Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rudd's First 100 Days

As the final countdown to the November 24 poll begins, Mr Rudd outlined to The Sun-Herald his top five policy goals for the first 100 days if Labor forms government.

Declaring Christmas and Boxing Day the only holidays the first Labor cabinet in 11 years would enjoy over the summer break if victorious, he promised to oversee the implementation of policies in all portfolios.

"I believe leadership is about leading, with clear-cut direction," he said.

If victorious Mr Rudd wants to become known as "the education prime minister". He set five key goals for a Labor government's first three months:

1. Ratify the Kyoto Protocol. "We need to make sure we are around the negotiating table immediately ... for the next round of commitments on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions."

2. Start immediately to negotiate with the states on reform of hospital practices. "That is of crucial importance - we've got $2.5billion on the table but we'll need to frame a co-operative agreement around performance measures."

3. Begin the roll-out of the high-speed broadband network, along with connections to schools. In tandem, open up tenders for the $1 billion school computer program.

4. "Hit the ground running" with the implementation of the $2.5 billion program to upgrade trades training centres in secondary schools. "I went back to C block [the technical faculty] at [his old school] Nambour High the other day - it hadn't changed since I was there. It was like walking into a museum."

5. Begin negotiations with the Americans and Iraqis for the staged withdrawal by mid next year of Australian combat troops. "I have been very blunt with President Bush ... I have a no-surprises policy when it comes to these things."

Mr Rudd said a Labor government would start work immediately. "Christmas and Boxing Day we can have off, then it's to work."

The Labor leader said he wanted to be known as "an education prime minister", someone who didn't just talk about education but fundamentally transformed education as funded, delivered and measured from early childhood through to rocket science.

"This is the pathway to every person's future opportunities."


I think we're going to be just fine under a Rudd government. I'm a bit suspicious but why commit to a numbered list of things you're going to do and get them printed in national newspapers if you aren't going to do them? I mean people will be able to drag this out, you don't make a rod for your own back like that unless you're serious. I suppose it's always possible this would be a never ever GST moment but somehow I doubt it. Personally I feel like we'll be getting a PM who'll govern for us instead of for the over 55s.

I'm not given to flights of optimism and have little use for narcissistic nationalism but, damn it, Rudd makes me hopeful for our nation, hopeful in a way that can only be betrayed. I just can't see how or where it's going to come. Is he pulling out of Iraq to invade Iran? Does he secretly work for the Exclusive Brethren?

That list is like a 14 year old boy waking up next to a naked, horny Salma Hayek. It just can't be real, but there it is, and suddenly instead of enjoying your dream you've got her under the lights, quizzing her about how she got in, who sent her and what happened to her clothes. Even if he only does two things on that list it'll have been worth it. He's already lashed himself to mast on accountability so he's going to have very little room to maneuver. I guess it all depends on if the Libs fuck this up with their firewall, desperation strategy and the defeated coalition rump led by a smirking Costello frustrate him at every step.