A cost indeed, but perhaps one worth payingOctober 25, 2007
Over the past few days, I’ve had many discussions with friends and colleagues (and some thoughtful banter with Weez over at MGK) about how Kevin Rudd is just a whiter shade of Howard and that he is just copying most of the Coalition’s policies. Granted, Rudd isn’t your progressive saint and he’s a conservative by any self-respecting progressive’s standards. About half of the people I’ve spoken to think that Rudd is playing the game, doing what he has to do and beating Howard at his own game and will be able to shape his own agenda once he has beaten Howard. The other half are of the opinion that Rudd is indeed not pulling any punches and he is out there showing himself here and now (an opinion put forth by Ross Gittins in The Herald yesterday).
I’m probably more in the second camp than the first, but I’m not completely in either. However, I’ve thrown my support behind Rudd over the last few months (as you may have noticed). Look, he’s most definitely not perfect and he isn’t your progressive pin-up boy. But, it’s got the to point now where Howard must go and Rudd is our only hope. WorkChoices is the immediate and most obvious reason why this is so. Whether or not Labor is going to scrap key elements of it will hopefully be a negotiating point between them and a Senate with the Greens (or the one in a million shot of the Democrats rising from the dead) controlling the balance of power after the election. However, for this to happen, the election needs to be fought and fought hard. This is it – this is the moment! This election is crunch time for the Australian people and the reality is there is Howard and then there is the better alternative. How much better this alternative is can be discussed after the downfall of Howard – and that downfall is most certainly not a foregone conclusion.
Whether you think Rudd is a tiny bit better than Howard or much better at this point in time is irrelevant. That he is better at all is the issue. He’s not Howard. We must first get him over the line. This should be the primary objective for progressives. More than anything else, and yes even at the cost of having Rudd as our PM, I want that war-mongering, lying, conniving, rights-robbing, power-hungry, snivelling rodent Howard out of my parliament house. That is the issue my friends – that is the issue.