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Friday, February 15, 2008

Rudd - and a report card

On Kevin Rudd's way to the Prime Ministership, Miss Eagle was hopeful - but with many reservations. The reservations had their genesis in too much me-too-ism. Memories of the worst of the Goss Labor Government in Queensland for which Rudd was the right hand man. These reservations led to a few posts with this picture:

While Kevin 07 performed the necessary gymnastics on the way to The Lodge, Miss Eagle wondered out loud what it was that Kevin Rudd would stand for, would not resile from.

We are now at the end end of the first parliamentary sitting week of the new Labor government. Michelle Grattan has published her review of the performance so far. Miss Eagle's report card is in the form of an edited version of the picture.

Miss Eagle remains unhappy with Rudd's decision to keep the full impact of changes to industrial relations until 2010. Similarly, she does not favour delaying changes in the excesses of private school funding until 2010. All this makes as much sense to Miss E as saying to Kevin Rudd on election night that he had been elected but John Howard would remain in power for another three years. Corporations - whether they are major employers or classy corporate schools - don't think twice about delaying their impositions on others. They - if they were bright enough, flexible enough - would have factored in their risks from a change of government. So there would have been no shocks and few surprises. But still they received the soft end of the wedge.

However - and Miss E does wince slightly at the "however" - after Wednesday's superb and visionary and inclusive performance Miss Eagle can forgive much. It is undergirded by Rudd's very first call on business - to deal with homelessness. If Rudd continues to prioritise justice in this way, Miss Eagle will be able to wear the other stuff. Miss Eagle must also comment on the manner in which Rudd is setting the pace: business-like in his attention to the tasks at hand; informed by the hallmarks of Labor in government; intent on setting fresh standards of civility and vision. And all this in a down to earth manner with few, if any signs, of pretension of office.

Miss Eagle looks forward to more of that which has made such a great beginning.