Mood: accident prone
Topic: aust govt
Picture: PM Rudd indicates inner turmoil at the sign off on 7.30 Report just as compere Kerry OBrien looks down and away as if ashamed of his old ALP employer: Ruddd's thin lipped 'smile' indicates a disjunct with a pained expression around the eyes. Next day Minister Garrett is effectively sacked from the $2.5B insulation programme.
Some spontaneous reactions to the imbroglio, taking a broader view of the real politik, beyond demotions and promotions and all that PMC, Opposition choreography:
- Abbott Opposition opposed the stimulus because of the debt implications. But really because of the huge popularity it would buy the Government?
- According to this interpretation 'safety' as an issue is really secondary to the main motive of trashing free or near to free insulation as a vote buyer. In effect running interference on a NSW ALP Right/Mark Arbib style give away like the free light globes and hats and lights on the Harbour Bridge in 2007 state election.
- Insulation in that sense is a vote buyer with oomph because as my landlord says for his home - "it really works" this last hot summer meaning when he gets home 6 days a week driving his truck his house is fairly cool. That's like a How To Vote Card multiple times a day every hot day of the year.
- In one sense nsulation is the Rudd's govt's AWB bribery scandal, at least a little: Using taxpayers money to buy an advantage for a treasured political sector. In this case blue collar tradie vote, in that earlier case national party farmer types.
- But is it really 'a bribe' morally speaking? We believe the surplus in the budget pre GFC was built up over 10 years via the GST being a 10% hike on all consumables in a regressive tax. It seems eminently moral and ethical for a government to return that to the same people who paid it as least to some degree with broad give aways that pump prime the economy.
- We haven't seen one media release from The Greens free subscription list praising Garrett or seeking to intercede on Garrett's behalf over insulation or renewable energy. Now Senator Brown is in the news challenging his successor Combet will be any better. Implying Brown wants a battered Garrett to keep his broader portfolio? Mmm, that's a bit cold then warm mixed message for us. No doubt The Greens know the programme was an ALP vote buyer too aimed at sidelining their eco role too.
- It was Ken Henry, Treasury Secretary who famously advised - go hard, go early, go households ... or something like that to avoid a miserable recession during the GFC late 2008 to avoid say 200K job losses, social dislocation and statistical fatalities that go with that kind of thing - suicide, domestic violence, drug use etc. In this sense Henry, no where to be seen in general media, was the motivation behind Garrett's rushed and amateurish building programme. Just do it, indeed.