If you read The Economist’s recommendation to vote Labor you would have to wonder what planet the editorial team inhabit. It is so far from reality to make one wonder if The Economist team has ever examined Australia other than superficially. Its understanding of Australian politics is about as strong as our understanding of the former planet Pluto.
The main mark against Labor’s policy card is that it has shifted a long way towards Mr Abbott’s position on asylum-seekers. Aside from that, it has a reasonable record. It has loosened its traditional ties to the trade unions and promoted growth and enterprise. It has managed the economy well while introducing popular social programmes, including an insurance scheme for disabled people, reforms to schools aimed at raising teaching standards and a high-speed fibre-optic network that is now being laid out across the vast country. It put a price on carbon emissions by introducing a carbon tax in July 2012. Given that Australia is both the world’s biggest coal exporter and heavily reliant on coal for its electricity, this is a laudable achievement. Mr Abbott, once a climate-change denier, vows to scrap the tax (as well as cut spending on Labor’s schools and broadband projects).
So The Economist thinks it is all fine to have thousands of asylum-seekers dying en route to Australia?
Loosened its traditional ties to trade unions? Wow, that’s a true fantasy. Labor is ever more indebted to its trade union mates.
Managed the economy? Mismanaged is a more appropriate word. It introduced a carbon tax at levels well above the rest of the world: all cost and no benefit. All while promising to do no such thing.
As for the broadband – designed on the back of an envelope without a cost-benefit analysis it is going to be the most expensive white elephant never to be delivered.
If you needed a reason to cancel your Economist subscription, here it is. It has become a rag.
Perhaps it is telling that The Economist and The Age both advocate a vote for Rudd. They both want Australians to be poorer and to be deprived of freedoms. Perhaps The Economist editorial team doesn’t like one of the former colonies to be wealthier than the mother country?
Anyhow, the Australian people have a lot more sense than The Economist’s editors. They judge the present government through a microscope rather than through a rusty telescope.
Ceterum autem censeo Kevinum Scardinium delendum esse.