Their ABC

Or, the Coalition and Murdoch Conspiracy to Co-opt the ABC for their own ends.


This blog is a Call to Arms. It is time for all Australians of good conscience to act before it's too late. Like a wraith, Mr Murdoch moves stealthily but deliberately. His work is always in the background, but he is a piece of work to be sure. Thus it is for this reason that I believe it is about time to shine a bit of sunlight onto Mr Murdoch's machinations in Australia, in particular as it relates to our ABC, a national treasure, as the BBC is in England, but one which is under siege from the forces of Global Media Inc., otherwise known as News Corp. I'm not imagining it. The game plan was laid out for all to see in a speech given last year by James Murdoch in London.  As the Murdochs think globally and act locally, there can be no doubt that the sentiments of James Murdoch are being echoed here, and our ABC has been laid siege to, as torridly as the Beeb now will be, seeing as how Mr Murdoch achieved his aim of getting David Cameron into 10 Downing Street, with the implicit promise that the BBC will be 'corporatized', we can only imagine what would happen to our ABC under an Abbott Coalition government.


So let's look at the evidence before us here in Australia:


Mark Scott: ABC Managing Director and former Liberal staffer.


Janet Albrechtsen: recently departed ABC Board member and wife of Malcolm Turnbull's best friend, John O'Sullivan, the chairman of his fundraising arm, The Wentworth Forum.


Keith Windschuttle: ABC Board member, current Editor of Right Wing polemical, Quadrant, Right Wing zealot and former Marxist (aren't they all these days?)


Maurice Newman: Chairman of the ABC Board, climate change skeptic and former head of the ASX (a bluest of blue-blood position for a member of the economic elite to hold), and great mate of, guess who - John Winston Howard, who it appears is no longer licking his wounds in Wollstonecraft but actively participating again in 'strategizing' for the removal of the Rudd government with his conservative confreres up and down the country.


So, does something smell fishy to you too? Well it should.


And those suspicions were confirmed when I read this little gem in the 'Tips and Rumours' section of Crikey recently: "Rebellion at ABC News? A staff rebellion is happening at ABC News about the way the ABC editorial agenda is being hijacked by News Ltd. A couple of people have threatened to go public..." 


Bingo! I thought so!


So, might I just say, to the putative ABC whistleblowers, this might be your last best chance to do something about it. So how about you let us know about it in more detail!  Come out of the shadows. Your 8c/day paying demographic desires it!


We, the people need the transparency that a full and frank disclosure of such matters would demonstrate. How can it be fair on the Rudd government for people in what is supposed to be OUR ABC to stay silent about this editorial coup by the forces of darkness? Why should we, in Australia, allow a megalomaniacal geriatric American media mogul, head of a corporate conglomerate that spans the globe, to insidiously dictate how we think and who our next government should be, by dominating all our sources of information? Especially that one which we have come to rely on as our trusted source of impartial and reasonable commentary, the Public Broadcaster.


I wouldn't be surprised, actually, if, at that infamous breakfast that Tony Abbott had with Rupert Murdoch at the beginning of the year, soon after he became Opposition Leader, you know the one, where Abbott, the Murdoch supplicant, said, “Oh, I just hope he liked me”, that at that meeting a similar undertaking was not made, to sell off the ABC in a forthcoming Abbott government, in exactly the same way that Murdoch is said to have reached agreement with the dough-faced David Cameron to sell-off the BBC, in exchange for his media empire's support in the run-up to the recent UK Election.


If Murdoch also achieves that aim in Australia, then it's 'All Over, Red Rover' for our National Broadcaster. After 'Corporatisation', or whatever bland, Orwellian managerialese they will use to style the media coup, even though we may still be presented with the same 'Talking Heads' that we are comfortably familiar with now, as the tip from within the walls of the ABC shows, we will know that they will have been nobbled by News Ltd., having infected the soul of the organization with a cancer which will be nigh on impossible to excise.


You just have to look at how the malevolent Andrew Bolt (who will hereafter be known as MAB, appropriately, I think), inserted himself onto last Sunday’s Insiders panel in place of the far more honest and reasonable Michael Stutchbury.  Barrie Cassidy should have just refused to do the show with Andrew Bolt, and demanded that Michael Stutchbury be reinstated to the couch. An act that would illustrate, once and for all, that the cultural cringe that appears to be automatically assumed by former ALP staffers when they go to work at the ABC, is no longer going to be manifest in their behaviour.  Now is the time, and now is the season, to come out and be proud of your Social Democrat heritage and links to the political party that embodies it, and be no longer willing to kowtow to the Bully Boys from Murdoch World Domination Enterprises. C'mon, Barrie, you know you want to.


So, what I would like to start now is the ball rolling; to start a Watchdog group on The Political Sword, to provide all and every scrap of evidence of ABC pro-Murdoch behaviour and echoing, or unfair anti-Rudd government bias.


Come one, come all, from inside the ABC (if must be, anonymously), and come out into the light. Bring us all the evidence you have of ongoing editorial bias and past misdemeanors. Let's show all Australians, and the world, that we're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!


After that, when we have the evidence in black and white, before our eyes, we might take it even further. I know I'd be willing to take whatever steps I could to get the information before the public and out into the spaces beyond the Fifth Estate, in order to snatch back OUR ABC, before it's too late and the 'Vampire Squid' of global media has sucked the lifeblood out of the real 'Right To Know' agenda.


What do you think?


Do you want to be a force for good, or do you want to let Murdoch steamroll over the top of the ABC and turn it into Fox News?

But, but, but...

The opinion polls and betting markets indicate that the probability of Tony Abbott becoming PM and the Abbott Party taking power at the next election is increasing.  To date a lot of attention has been focussed by the media and the Abbott Party on Kevin Rudd and his performance, and he’s been marked down.  Now that Abbott believes he is a serious contender, it’s time the media, indeed all voters, focused on him and what an Abbott Government might look like.


It’s a curious thing that the media has placed Abbott under so little scrutiny to date.  Maybe they saw him as such an outside chance that they instead focussed on hacking away at Rudd to knock the Teflon coating off his stratospheric approval.  The media hate a tall poppy, especially one who defied their incessant predictions over several years of the end of his honeymoon, who seemed immune to their barbs, who refused to conduct himself as they expected a PM to behave.  Add to that his disdain for much of the media, his unwillingness to ‘buddy-up’ to journalists, his refusal to pour money into media coffers via Government advertising, as did John Howard, and the personal vendetta The Australian has been running for a couple of years now, and you have an explanation of why the media attacks have continued so viciously for so long.  They rejoiced in his falling popularity and Labor’s decline in the polls, which they believe they have largely brought about.  


During the GFC the media could find little to criticize.  Although some journalists were critical of the stimulus right from the beginning and although a few still are, most acknowledge now that it saved the nation from recession, high unemployment and a flood of business failures, leaving Australia in a position the envy of other countries, most of which still flounder.  That this result might be banked and credited to the Government at the next election was a faint hope.  People quickly forget and are susceptible to media and Abbott Party propaganda that the threat to our economy was not as bad as made out, that the Government panicked, overspent and racked up debt.  That argument is easy to sustain as the people never ever did get to feel the effects of a full-blown recession.  Something prevented impresses less than something cured, as all doctors know. 


Of course once some of the unintended and adverse effects of the stimulus became manifest, such as the insulation misadventure and the problems with the BER, both the direct result of rorting by disreputable firms, the Government was exposed to criticism.  The media, especially News LImited, went feral and day after day ran stories of deaths, fires, fraud and rorts that took much of the shine off what were successful programs despite all the bad press they received. 


Then Rudd backtracked on some initiatives that seemed doomed to failure - the ETS and the insulation programme, and aborted some of the planned pre-school centre building.  This gave his adversaries an opening to attack, and they did with great ferocity. 


We saw the ‘pecked chook syndrome’ begin and steadily accelerate.  For those who have never kept chooks, this is where one fowl gets out of favour with the rest, who then attack it, pecking its neck until feathers are lost and bleeding occurs.  Once blood appears the frenzy increases and the attacks accelerate until the fowl has to be removed or otherwise it is killed.  The intent was figuratively to kill Rudd as a leader and as a politician.  The campaign might succeed and Labour might go down with him.


So it behoves the assassins to contemplate what they will get if that happens - an Abbott Government and Abbott as PM.


After Abbott’s speech in reply to the Budget, it looks as if he and his party and Rudd and the Government will be like ships passing in the night.  Wayne Swan detailed a sound Budget carefully worked out in consultation with the Treasury, properly costed and predicting an earlier-than-expected return to surplus.  In contrast, Abbott abandoned any pretense of attention to fiscal preparedness, and instead decided to fight the election on the issue of the Resources Super Profit Tax.  So his address canvassed just a few largely uncosted savings and focussed for two-thirds of his time on attacking the Government and its RSPT.  There was no plan, not counter budget, only a hospital pass to Joe Hockey who Abbott said would detail the savings next Wednesday.  So the two leaders and their parties are on vastly different paths  - one professionally competent, the other populist.  It’s as if they are fighting each other in separate boxing rings.


So what do we make of Abbott as a potential PM?  Does he know anything about economics, about running a trillion dollar economy?  Does he think that  presenting a properly costed alternative budget is needed to seize the reins of Government?  He says over and again we’ll all be told in the fullness of time and meantime I suppose he expects us to take him on trust.  Yet even the day after his budget address he was prepared to concede only $4 billion of savings over the forward estimates while Andrew Robb was touting $15 billion.  Where did that figure come from?  Why the difference?  Abbott does not seem to have what it takes on the economic front, nor seem to care that he doesn’t. He’s a bare-knuckle pugilist who knows only how to fight; reasoning and logic are replaced by ridicule, aggression, and wild punches.  This is our next PM if the current polling trend continues. 


His speech gave the strong impression that he would return to the Howard era, which administration he has always maintained was a ‘good Government’ that should never have been removed by a ‘sleep-walking electorate’.  WorkChoices by another name will feature.  Whether appropriate or not, Rudd was portrayed as ‘Howard Lite’; be assured Abbott is ‘Howard Heavy Duty’ - he is much more extreme, more conservative, more determined to return to traditional hard-line conservative values than John Howard ever was.  Be warned.


Another Abbottesque feature - his propensity to say whatever he thinks at the time - his ubiquitous thought bubbles - and when his thoughts are found to be erroneous or unacceptable, he laughs raucously, says he should have chosen his words better, and seeks forgiveness.  And the media largely lets him get away with these about-turns.  Why does he do this?  A plausible hypothesis is that this is learned behavior from his religious upbringing where sins and misdemeanors can be confessed, and forgiveness and absolution expected.  But how can he expect to operate in this way while governing the nation?


Yesterday, there he was on Neil MItchell’s 3AW Melbourne talkback, asked whether he was ‘rolled’ by his shadow cabinet over his thought bubble about paying stay-at-home Mums $10,000, said he didn't think it was a ‘fair construction’ to say he was ‘rolled’. When asked to put a fair construction on the discussion, he replied by saying: “I'm just not going to do that."  And then: “Well, Neil, I've done the best I can. And I'm sorry if I'm a disappointment but I've done the best I can.”  A frustrated Mitchell fired back by telling Abbott not to “play that trick”.  Abbott laughed loudly and delivered a damning self-assessment.  “Yeah, I'm sorry mate. I'm being a wimp - OK?”  Read all about it in The Australian of 14 May: I'm a wimp, Tony Abbott declares on Neil Mitchell radio show.


There we have it again - make a mess of things and then say ‘I’m sorry’ and hope for forgiveness.  Yet Abbott wants to be our nation’s PM!


Listen to his interview with Mitchell and ask yourself do you want this man governing our country.  


So for those out there who want to kill Rudd politically and his party with him, before you do, just contemplate the alternative - Tony Abbott, a bored-stiff economic ignoramus, a man who knows only fighting as a political modus operandi, who seeks only to criticize, demean, destroy.  He acknowledges he is a follower of the Randolph Churchill dictum - “Oppositions should oppose everything, suggest nothing and kick the government out”.  


With only a paper-thin front bench to support him, we can expect no well-reasoned arguments, no well thought through and costed plans, no vision for this nation’s future, only a return to the most extreme elements of the Howard era, a nihilistic approach to pressing problems such as global warming, and of course unremitting aggression, hostility and ridicule.  Is this the man what we want for our PM?


Every time you hear Abbott but,but, butting, a sure sign he is struggling to answer a question or address an issue, something he often does, ask yourself is this man Prime Ministerial material.  The answer seems obvious.  Yet that may be what he becomes!  


Do you want to wake in fright the day after the election?

Wake in fright


Peter Hartcher, in a column titled How a toxic elixir destroyed the prism of trust, has starkly set out a potential disaster scenario for Labor in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald:

 Australians will never see Rudd in the same light again. Every policy will now be seen as just another piece of clever politics. What's the point of Kevin Rudd? Australians don't know any more.

A shock jock I heard on radio the other day told his listeners that a caller, a critic of the government, must be correct in his rant against Rudd... because Rudd is always wrong. Whoever disagrees with Rudd is therefore right, the logic went. The subject was the Tobacco Tax. The critical caller, stricken with lung cancer, had rung to complain that Rudd had deprived him of his final six months' of smoking enjoyment. The shock jock could not but agree and sympathise.

The aim of the last few weeks in Australian political reportage has been to slander Rudd's character so that the centrepiece of the election year, the Budget, will be destroyed before its ink is dry on the paper. 

Critics of the government won't have to set out why the Budget is flawed. They will just assert that Rudd is unhinged, desperate, panic-stricken, unable to deliver programs, and useless at seeing things through. With the Budget in tatters there will be no upswing from the current disturbing poll figures, and Tony Abbott will be elected Prime Minister. Or so the theory goes...

In the details, the theory states that it is possible to elect the Coalition with no policies (except 'Real Action', whatever that means) and little talent left after its post-2007 blood-letting and systematic desertions, if only the incumbent Rudd is so damaged that the voters turn away from him without considering his policies. As to Rudd's record, it is to be turned into a series of nightmares, travesties, all of which (we have been told) have been failures, rorts, inept, disasters and fiascos.... whether this is true or not. Any official report made on any Rudd policy is to be trawled for the one snippet of criticism it contains and then that supposed flaw is to be exploited to the hilt.

The media organizations, especially those based at News Ltd., have given up imitating fairness and balanced comment. Their front pages and TV headlines are now all bad for Rudd, viciously so, all the time. Nothing escapes their attention. By being so disrespectful, they are giving permission to their readers to blame Rudd for everything and anything. If a reader's business goes bad, or even experiences a slowdown, it is Rudd's fault for not rescuing it. If they have trouble finding childcare for their kids, blame Kevin07. If their superannuation takes a dive for a week or so, ditto. But it takes two to tango. The media can set up the miserable scenario, but the public needs to be receptive to the idea. This is where Rudd made his first mistake. He believed the voters would remain constant.

Australians, by nature, are a scared, cowed lot. We literally hang off the end of the human archipelago. Surrounded by ocean and, after that, brown and yellow people, we see ourselves as vulnerable to attack and invasion. We are in constant stress from the fear that anytime soon the fragile thread by which we hang onto the world will snap. We are a cork on the water, in almost a real and certainly a metaphorical sense. If we are not swamped by the hordes to our north - potentially millions of them, according to Tony Abbott - our economy will be clobbered by a fat finger in New York, pressing zero one too many times on an anonymous keyboard.

To compensate for our parlous perch in the world we've developed a protective cockiness altogether inappropriate to our situation. We constantly boast of Australia being 'The Lucky Country', 'God's little acre' and so on. We travel the world, punching above our weight in sports, business, war and the arts, yet we still call Australia 'home', because it is so fabulous. We would rather believe that we avoided recession during the GFC because we are better than other countries, whose economies have been devastated and remain so. It is easier to put our faith in a manifest destiny to be spared as a nation than to accept that our government acted swiftly, courageously and controversially to stop the economic rot using stimulus measures during 2008-2009. But the Stimulus did no good, it is said. Many now believe there was no recession to avoid, or that if there was, Rudd and his government over-reacted, in order to make themselves look like heroes.

We are constantly informed that we owe our economic success to mining. So, when a tax is proposed that will properly compensate us for the excess profits forthcoming from the mining boom, we panic and turn against the government. We must not upset those who can ruin us by threatening to go elsewhere to dig their holes. When such threats are made we don't feel a proper, righteous outrage at their arrogance. In our insecurity we beg for forgiveness instead, in effect allowing ourselves to be held hostage, bluffed by a bunch of billionaires, all of them Liberal Party donors and patrons, thinking only of themselves and their political mates.

The absurdity of this scenario is seen when we consider that the mining boom is set to last for thirty years, as if that was a long time. No-one asks, "What will we do then, when our landscape is littered with craters and the miners have moved on? Why shouldn't we make hay while the sun shines, like so many other resource rich countries, and tax the miners more appropriately?" The answer lies in our insecurity, always there, waiting for the opportunity to bloom again.

Rudd's mistake has been to trust the voters to see the issues as clearly as he sees them; to see that we cannot rely on digging up dirt forever; to see that we are a part of the world, subject to its vicissitudes; to realize that we must never let our cockiness override reality, thinking we are somehow immune from danger. Our country has a 'Small Dog Syndrome': ready to pick a fight with a Rottweiler, but even more ready to turn tail and run when the bigger dog bites. Our country runs scared. It is axiomatic that it will respond to a scare campaign.

Some may think this is blaming the nation for Rudd's mistakes. Not so. The whole thesis of this piece is that Rudd made a monumental mistake: he thought the public, having once made up its mind, would never change. He thought he could do whatever he wanted to and they would forgive him. He trusted a constancy, which was never there. He left the moral ground to his enemies, hoping that we would be rational in assessing their claims. But we are an irrational lot. Given the chance to be scared we let ourselves in for the terror every time. Our naive trust in miners as our saviours, for example, leads us to offer obsequiousness to them whenever they demand it. Mining is a very small employer, but the rewards are huge. As for the rest of us, we can sit back for thirty years and sell each other real estate and insurance policies. Let the miners be the productive ones, and don't ever upset them, because then we might have to do some work. This brings me to the second aspect of the Australian people: they are lazy.

By any measure Australia is a banana republic. Our chief sources of wealth have always been what we could pick up off the ground or otherwise scavenge for easily and flog off to international buyers. As bananas grow on trees, so are gold nuggets found in streams, wools on the sheep's back, and so does iron ore get dug up by the mega-bucketload. Somebody else will always add value to our ores and our nuggets, while we sit on our bums and congratulate ourselves for being wonderful. The slightest threat to this cosy existence engenders panic.

Combine national laziness, cockiness and paranoia with a well-placed scare campaign, a vicious media controlled from New York, a cynical Opposition, a complacent Prime Minister and you have an almost sure winner. What Rudd can do about it, I don't know. He may cobble something together to get him over the election line. I certainly hope so. But the disease will still be there. The Budget is stillborn (the media will see to that). The miners will continue their posturing. Most alarmingly, the people will remain scared, as they have always been, since right back before Federation. They will continue to believe that — as the media tells them — unless a solution is instant it is no solution. But most of all they will not want to challenge their cosy view of Australia as something special, apart from the rest of the world, blessed by God, with them being lucky to be on the inside looking out, if only in fear. Rudd's challenge is to convince the public we can control our own destiny and that only then we need not, every morning, wake in fright.

What do you think?


The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal

From stratospheric, even unrealistic heights, Kevin Rudd’s popularity has rather suddenly become much less, according to opinion polls.  Why is this so?  There is any number of journalists who are willing, even eager to offer their opinions, attributing it to this or that – the conventional wisdom, which may be yet another manifestation of groupthink, identifies the deferment of the ETS as the most significant reason.  The temptation is to look for a simplistic direct cause-effect relationship, but life is never, never so simple.

This piece suggests that the problem boils down to the pedestal.  A natural human trait is to seek to elevate some of our number to positions of authority and trust.  We seek leaders who will guide us to the promised-land.  So we place them on a pedestal and hope they will fulfil our dreams and their promise of vision, leadership, courage and strength.  But unless they are mythical god-like creatures from a parallel universe, they can never live up to our dreams and their promises – life is too complicated, variables so numerous, fate so unpredictable, circumstances so changeable.  So why do we put some, but certainly not all politicians on a pedestal?  We know that we are likely to be disappointed, yet we do it over and again.

Just about every poll that asks people to rate groups of citizens on a scale of respectability lists politicians near the bottom, down there with journalists and car salesmen.  So why put any politician on a pedestal; why not stay in touch with reality and accept that doing so will lead to disappointment?  Because it seems to be an inner human yearning to elevate just a few above the masses, to admire them and follow their lead.  So we go on doing so with a tiny handful of politicians despite our poor opinion of them as a group.

This piece maintains that many in the electorate, not just Labor-leaning folk, placed Kevin Rudd on a pedestal and many are now disappointed that he has not lived up to all of their expectations of him.  Who is to blame – we do like blaming don’t we?

Many would say Kevin Rudd himself is to blame.  The Abbott Party and many in the MSM insist he set expectations that were too high – he would do something about petrol and grocery prices, he would ‘fix’ the hospital system to ‘stop the blame game’ and most of all would take ‘decisive action’ about global warming, ‘the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our time’.  Thus the slogan ‘Rudd has over-promised and under-delivered’.  So why did he do what he did, especially pre-election, but also since then?

Politicians are salesmen – they need to sell their credentials, their vision, their ambition for the nation to a sceptical electorate that already has its political leaders, already has a party in power.  Those seeking power have to convince the voters they can do better than the incumbents.  So we shouldn’t be surprised when they make promises without qualification.  How would the public react to: “I will fix the hospital system and stop the blame game, but that will require fighting vested interests and negotiating with the states, and that might be messy and even inconclusive – there may have to be compromises; I may not get all I want.”?  Honest you say, but how many voters would buy such a qualified promise?  Not many swinging voters I suggest.  So politicians are almost forced to make unqualified claims about what they can and will do.  Just take a look at the Abbott Party’s first election ad. 

It’s no good blaming politicians and crying for this elusive thing called ‘honesty’ in political campaigning when the political system under which we work makes this virtually impossible.  There is no virtue in now crying about Rudd, or for that matter any other politician, overpromising – that is the nature of politics and campaigning – just watch for a barrage over the next few months.  It is just too cute for journalists to simulate anger and disappointment about Rudd’s overpromising, just as they did about Howard’s, and every leader before him.  All political leaders overpromise and under-deliver.  We live in a political system of our own creation – we had better get used to it or take some drastic action as a community to change it so that we swap our current batch of politicians for ‘honest’, straight-shooting, say-it-the-way-it-is pollies that we can love and admire, always knowing that what they promise is what they will deliver, 100% guaranteed.  We might as well summon up the fairies at the end of the garden.

So we the citizens have to accept some of the responsibility for promises not fulfilled, because many placed Kevin Rudd on a pedestal, albeit with encouragement from him, and now are somewhat disappointed. Not about all the promises made, as many have been kept, but about some of them that certain people, especially Labour-leaning folk, have held sacred, notably those related to global warming.

Recall the clamour for a Rudd ‘narrative’, both before the election, and more stridently after.  So intense was the insistence of journalists that Rudd must have a narrative, something they asserted he lacked, that I wrote a piece back in September 2008, In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative.  As that piece asserted, Rudd had already obliged with a narrative that included promises about a variety of matters that he addressed in his campaigning and after election.  The journalists, from Paul Kelly downwards, took ages to recognize that narrative for what it was.  They no longer call for a narrative from Rudd; instead they castigate him for not keeping the promises encapsulated in his slow-to-be-recognized narrative.  Ironically, as the 2010 budget approaches, one the Government chooses to describe as ‘no frills’, even ‘boring’, journalists chide it for taking that low-key, low-promise approach.

As Howard tired and ran short of new ideas, as his Government became languid, the people yearned for an exciting fresh new leader to inspire them.  Kevin Rudd obliged, met the people’s expectations for a new vision, a new start, and new set of aspirations, new promises.  Maybe he should have been more circumspect, but would we have elected a hesitant, cautious leader unwilling to commit to change, to fixing problems that affected the lives of the people, one whose rhetoric was qualified by the difficulties inherent in keeping promises?  You know the answer.

Another thing – the cult of personality.  In his article The politics of delusion in The Drum, Josh Fear, writing about the UK election, says:  “Absurdly, one journalist asked 'Is Nick Clegg Britain's Barack Obama?'. This reflected the common view that it was not the issues that are important in this election, but the individuals involved and the incentives they act upon.  But the very fact that an Obama reference was raised is testament to the longing that many people have for a more inspirational form of politics, in which it is possible to be swept away by force of argument and personality, rather than persuaded by economic self-interest or (more commonly) fear of the other options on offer.”

We need to ask ourselves whether the cult of personality is operating here.  In my opinion it did when so many put Rudd on a pedestal.  We put him there as an appealing authentic personality, but of course many now deride his personality.

So to all who bemoan broken promises, especially fervent Labor supporters, I would say - take some responsibility yourself for placing Kevin Rudd on such a high pedestal, for embracing expectations unrealistic for any politician working in our adversarial system of politics that so constrains good governance.  Like parents disappointed that our kids that we put on a pedestal as uncommonly brilliant turned out not to be so, we need to ‘get real’.

And as Grog points out in his fine piece last week on Grogs’ Gamut: Memo to Kev – what’s the story Kev and the Government should be proud of their achievements and shout them from the rooftops.  Those who share Grog’s view that this Government had accomplished a lot should do the same.  Take Kev off the pedestal where he never should have been placed, accept that despite his foibles which journos like to accentuate, he is a genuine and very smart guy who is busting a gut to improve this nation for you and me, and has made commendable progress in the short time he has had in Government.

Join the counterinsurgency that the Fifth Estate is mounting against the spiteful guerrilla war the Fourth Estate is waging against Rudd and his Government, the effects of which are now being reflected in the polls.

Will you?