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Julia ‘oops

I doubted that Julia Gillard had resolved the boatpeople issue but she jumped so prematurely on this one that she doesn’t look good – she has now admitted that she did nominate East Timor as a relocation site prior to getting agreement from their government.  It is a question of judgement and on this one she has seriously erred.  I hope it is just her inexperience in the top job.

Gillard is doing the best she can to separate herself from the Rudd disaster but the spillovers continue to accumulate – the wasteful ‘education revolution’ program, the home insulation fiasco and now the rorting of the ‘green loans’ program.  It isn’t just Gillard who lacks experience in the top job – its the whole Labor Government.  The loss of two key Labor Ministers (Lindsay Tanner, John Faulkner) is a serious loss for the government.  Its not an obvious vote of no confidence in Gillard but it comes close.

There are sophisticated economic arguments for seriously limiting the scope of government spending activity to the addressing of market failures and the supply of public goods – I broadly endorse this position myself.  The left by decrying the value of ‘market fundamentalism’ question this approach and argue for a much broader role for the state in advancing their individual fantasies. But a simpler argument for restricting the role of government in the economy is that we often end up being governed by a group of dills who have no management experience and who stuff up literally everything they touch.  People who question my past support for the Liberal Party – I don’t support it now – claim that the Liberals are as deviantly social democratic as Labor. I nearly agree but think they are generally better people who manage simple tasks more capably.  There are fewer incompetent crooks in the Liberal Party and so they often do less damage.

3 comments to Julia ‘oops

  • conrad

    Yep, it looks terrible — and you can add the Steve Conroy situation to it as well (we’ll stop it before the election and then we’ll try and bring it back when you’ve forgotten because I can’t make my mind up now!).

  • observa

    I thought ‘Rococo Liberal’ summed it up pretty well in comments over at LP in response to the asylum-seeker debacle-

    May I put forward the proposition that the asylum-seeker issue lays bare the real problem with the left in Australian politics (both professionals and pundits) over the last few years. In brief that problem is the gap between theory and implementation.

    Time and time again the ALP (at both Stae and Federal level) has demonstrated to anyone who can see that they care more about announcing policy for the latest news cycle rather than the actual tedious business of government. So they rush into large policy announcements without first checking whether the main building blocks that allow for implementation are in place. For example, the Government didn’t ask East Timor about the Indian Ocean Solution, but hurried to announce the policy in the vain hope that no-one would notice this huge flaw.

    Fran Barlow above refers to John Howard’s asylum-seeker policy as ‘ugly.’ Ugly it may have been, but it worked! The boats stopped coming. Rudd’s policy was probably much prettier to Fran, because it took into account her “I-love-fluffy-kittens” approach to compassion. However, Rudd’s policy failed, as it led to a vast increase in the number of boats and 170 unnecessary deaths.

    The question at the next election is whether voters in the marginals want ‘pretty’ policies or policies that work. On the evidence, the ALP can provide some pretty policies, but few that work.

  • observa

    Which pretty well sums up my view that you can’t run countries and states like the Salvos or Mother Theresa and the Nuns. Logical fallacy of composition there in that we can’t all be Mother Theresas,etc or there’d be noone left to produce the goodies to donate or more appropriately at another point of the spectrum- It’s the deficit stoopids!

    The pathological flaw for lefties is to forever fail to understand the value and meaning of ‘tradeoff’ which blinds them to a subtler appreciation of the marginal analysis. No such deficit for those of us who’ve had to sing for our supper in the marketplace, as that is quickly pounded irrefuatably and irrevocably into the psyche. Sink or swim with that and the lefties sink rapidly to the bottom.

    It’s why I’m a devout market green and had a wry smile at the inevitable demise of the Great Moral Imperative, particularly the sublime irony of amateur Western Liberals with their ‘fluffy’ CO2 credit creation and trading being promptly despatched by the pro Maoists. It’s what people do when you try and institute quantitative controls silly lefties. Much smarter to set the Constitution of the marketplace and let price do all the work for you but to do that you have to have a deep understanding and appreciation of the underlying marketplace. Then it’s just a matter of adjusting the fundamental price signals to achieve the desired outcomes. The alternative approach is disters waiting to happen as we see in the latest green disaster and backflip from Labor.

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