BREAKING: Oakeshott And Windsor To Quit Politics

IN NEWS that will shock nobody, so-called Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have announced they are quitting politics at the imminent election; it comes at the beginning of what is set to be a big day in federal politics, and all but guarantees the National Party will win their seats.

I am going to be otherwise occupied for much of today, and so I will post more comprehensively this evening.

Still, the resignations of Oakeshott and Windsor should come as no surprise.

I maintain that both essentially sold out staunch conservative electorates after the 2010 election to put a Labor-Greens government into office, and — irrespective of any justification served up today — it was always inevitable that both would either be defeated this year or quit in order to evade such an outcome.

To this end, Windsor’s contention that he “would probably have won (New England)” is debatable at best, if not delusional.

But we note he has also said he “has health problems,” and if this is the case then we certainly wish him every prospect of recovery even if his absence from Parliament will be satisfying on purely political grounds.

I will be back later in the day with more detailed comment. However, I would be stunned if this is the only substantial item on the news roll today; we will have much to discuss when I am back on line.

Gillard’s Early Re-election Message An Abject Joke

The Murdoch press is today carrying stories in which Julia Gillard declares her “readiness” to fight for re-election; aside from the probability she is more likely to be fighting a rearguard action that will end in catastrophic defeat, the early agenda she nominates for her campaign is a joke.

This post comes ahead of an overdue look later today at the debate over Optional Preferential Voting, but I simply had to comment on the ridiculous story being covered in News Ltd newspapers.

In a clear pointer to just how disconnected this Prime Minister and her government are from both reality and the sensibilities of the Australian public, Gillard proclaims she has “never felt more ready” to face the daunting challenge the looming federal election poses.

It is a challenge compounded by the track record of a mediocre and incompetent government that the Labor Party will stand on only to hide.

And it is a challenge magnified by the hard reality that as disappointing as this government has been to those who invested their faith in it and to those who never voted for it, it seems implausible that a re-elected government would offer anything more than a perpetuation of the shambolic mess it has presided over for the past five and a half years.

“Getting the big things done to create more opportunity for all is inevitably hard, messy, contested,” she writes in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph, “but I am determined to get them done.”

Like most Australians with an IQ higher than the pea-brained incoherence Gillard and her cohorts assume of the electorate, this column is heartily sick of the meaningless slogans that form the backbone of the ALP’s practical exercise of governance in this country.

“Getting things done” involves more than glib statements and posturing, and it certainly entails a more substantial level of enterprise than making vast promises of grand action that are manifestations of socialist acquiescence to the Communists over at The Greens and/or carry multi-billion dollar price tags that will never be met.

Unless, that is, they are met with further addition to the mountain of public debt that will be this government’s only lasting legacy.

I find it utterly laughable that Gillard intends “Education” to be a key battleground on which she intends to fight: surely, after the ALP has had years to act upon this red herring as the party of government, the mythical assumptions that underpin its status as the so-called “party of education” have now been debunked?

The “Education Revolution” has proven to be no more than a smear of ill-conceived and largely useless structures on the school landscape across the country.

Gillard’s NAPLAN reforms are expensive, of dubious merit, and provide little meaningful information to parents that can’t be obtained through some research and forethought.

The Gonski reforms in education manifest as colossally expensive promises for which there is no money, and short of borrowing even more from China, are unlikely to ever be delivered.

And in an under-reported “initiative,” Wayne Swan’s allegedly sound economic stewardship has cut educational funding by over $1 billion; you see, folks, cuts in education are responsible and prudent management when the self-important turd presently occupying Treasurer’s office makes them, but when the nasty-bastard Liberals do it, it’s proof the Liberal Party hates educators, educational establishments, and education itself.

Please!

Gillard deserves some commendation for surviving — as of today — for as long as Kevin Rudd did as Prime Minister; it’s no mean feat, especially given a bad government took a decided lurch further in the wrong direction on 21 June 2010, and hasn’t look backwards since.

Somehow, the Prime Minister has avoided a credible leadership challenge for over two and a half years — which in itself is some minor miracle.

And she has achieved the near-impossible by making Kevin Rudd’s tenure as Prime Minister resemble a model of competence by comparison.

But Gillard technically lost the 2010 election — the worst result for a first-term government returning to the polls since 1931 — and remains in office only by virtue of her submission to the Communist Party Greens and a few conservative discards who defecated on the trust invested in them by their respective electorates in supporting her.

To describe national security as a “foundation stone” is sheer hypocrisy, given the ALP is busily neutering and/or dismantling what’s left of Australia’s armed forces, and when an ally partner in the US is increasingly incensed, privately, at this government’s expectation that it do the heavy lifting in our defence whilst the government redirects defence spending to socially “useful” programs.

It amuses me greatly that “family” — something Gillard is hardly in a position to claim any worthy comprehension of — is, along with education, the other prime issue she says she will fight on.

No, I am not having a jab at her unmarried, childless lifestyle.

Rather, I am referring simply to the impact her policies have had on the cost of living in this country, and their impact on employment — slavering to her masters in the union movement, and the anti-business, anti-employment industrial relations regime it has fostered — which are suggestive of a government dedicated to the feathering of nests and the favouring of vested interests.

“To hell with families” might as well be Labor’s watchword under this Prime Minister.

And whilst I sympathise with Gillard over the loss of her father last year, I can only say that if he taught her the lesson of the importance of equal opportunity for all, it is one she clearly failed to absorb, if not listen to at all.

Australia, under this government, has become far more a place for preferment and  patronage than it ever has been, whilst the silent majority in the country’s middle classes — including, and especially, the families she professes to wish to fight her — have rarely had it tougher in decades.

If this is the agenda on which Gillard proposes to base her re-election campaign, I say “bring it on!”

After all, as former Labor leader Kim Beazley once asked, who will miss this government when it is gone?