Jennifer Hewett has an interesting take on Paul Kelly’s new book and Tony Abbott’s view on the basic thesis.
Has Australia’s political system broken down? Is it no longer possible to produce decent economic reforms in the style of the Hawke-Keating era or the Howard era? Are we now destined to endure a relentless cycle of effective negative oppositions turning into virtually impotent governments?
Tony Abbott certainly doesn’t think so. “It’s not the system that is the problem; it is the people who, from time to time, inhabit it,” he says.
Abbott was speaking at the Parliament House launch of Paul Kelly’s latest book Triumph and Demise. The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation. This is a sombre and forensic critique of the failings of the Rudd and Gillard governments.
I’m looking forward to reading Paul Kelly’s new book. His last book The March of Patriots was a bit disappointing and I expected his next book to be on the Howard era post 2001 through to 2007. Instead he has chosen to write about the Rudd – Gillard era. From what I’ve heard and read his arguments sound very plausible.
This is a challenge for the Abbott government – right now I think they’re making similar mistakes to the previous government. They govern by pronouncement and they believe their own propaganda. The big difference being that the ALP believe that their supporters’ interests are the national interest, while the Coalition seem to think that their supporters’ interests are somehow different from the national interest.