I am so sick of the ALP. It looks increasingly like the NSW disease has now spread throughout the national body and today they look like they’re nothing but a series of mafia bosses cutting each other down. And when the hit doesn’t come off they’re content to white ant their rivals. Used to be, putting Bill Hayden aside, that being leader of the ALP was like being Australian Test Cricket captain: once you got the gig you got to keep it. Bill Hayden got to be Foreign Minister too, before he was made Governor-General.
I don’t think Kevin Rudd is going to be made Governor-General anytime soon. Nor Julia.
I don’t have anything against the two antagonists. Rudd is OK, he’s bonkers and vain but he’s also competent and comfortable in track pants. Julia is competent too, she’s held together that minority government quite nicely, and while the body politic isn’t ready for a woman PM to be seen in track pants (shamefully when you think about it), she isn’t Julie Bishop and you can see her with a chipped mug of tea seated at a Formica table, dipping her Milk Arrowroot and talking to her Nanna.
The squabbling, the squabbling! Don’t they know how bad it looks? Don’t they know how dispiriting it is? Don’t they know how counterproductive it is? Yeah I reckon they do, after all, they’ve danced this dance once already. So what to do?
The answer from my perspective is Team Swan. The treasurer is boring, uncomplicated, and is not flash. The Treasurer is trustworthy, reliable, and is not in it for the show. So here’s my suggestion: dump both Gillard and Rudd and install Wayne Swan.
Swan is the sure fire antidote to Tony Abbot’s awful show pony, abdominal flashing, hysteria. Go for the honest toiler, the conscientious servant, the sincere teller, the scrupulous bean counter. That’s the gig now for government in Australia, most of the economic levers have been deregulated anyway, and the veracious, virtuous bank manager type is probably the right custodian for the Commonwealth. Swan is perfect; nothing could make it plainer that the ALP was more interested in doing good than being the government.
This is, of course, why it can never happen.