Sorry, I’m not convinced

Mr Albanese sent me a letter today, spruiking federal Labor’s achievements (because there are no State Labor achievements). He assured me that “I am interested in your views on matters which affect the Federal Government.” I’m certain that isn’t true, so instead of writing to him, I’m going to fisk his letter for an internet audience – much more satisfying.

Since the 2007 election, the Federal Labor Government (sic) has introduced a number of progressive reforms, all significant achievements. We have ratified the Kyoto Protocol…

Hold it right there, Albo. That ratification is about as meaningless as it can get. Your government subsequently went to Copenhagen with a phony offer, and refuse to consider a carbon tax, and have even backed away from the crap-tastic CPRS. So don’t wave a useless treaty under my nose and expect me to be impressed.

..set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, abolished WorkChoices…

Yeah. Great. WorkChoices was bad law – being less about deregulation and more about biasing regulation towards employers – but has Labor replaced it with anything better? Not really.

..brought all combat troops home from Iraq…

The Iraq war was waged illegally, on spurious grounds, and fought very badly. Australia’s contribution was minimal. However, once Australian troops were there, there wasn’t much reason to recall them. Yes, they were sent for bad reasons, but keeping them there had two positive side effects – it underscored our commitment to our most important military ally, and provided a lot of valuable experience for an army that was a bit short on that sort of thing. Labor’s withdrawal was premature.

..reformed immigration law, apologised to the Stolen Generations…

That was a good move. But you supported the Northern Territory intervention (that ignored 98% of the recommendations of the Little Children are Sacred report), then continued its operation once in government, and basically ignored all the criticisms of its rationale and implementation.

..and removed Commonwealth legislative discrimination against same-sex couples.

And then categorically ruled out same-sex marriage, thus perpetuating a very clear legislative discrimination!

Albanese then spends a majority of his letter talking up the “Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan (sic) that will help support Australian jobs”

This Plan (sic) includes $14.7 billion for the construction of primary and secondary school infrastructure, $6 billion for the construction of social housing…

A vastly overpriced sop to the building industry, more like, with very little to show for it.

..$10 billion for road and rail, and more than $1 billion for community infrastructure such as town halls, playgrounds and sporting facilities.

Most of that “road and rail” was road, which is suboptimal. Some good projects have been financed, but not a whole lot. $10 billion doesn’t go a long way when you’re talking real infrastructure rather than halls for schools that already have halls. And that “community infrastructure” – they sound like nice things to have, but were they the best use of our money? Debatable.

I look forward to representing your interests as the Labor Member for Grayndler.


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One Response to Sorry, I’m not convinced

  1. Yeah, agreement with about 85% of this. (I think the BER achieved more than what you think it did, I think that while Feds have fucked up the NT intervention it was a pretty “damned if you do damned if you don’t” scenario, and I give a bit more kudos to Labor over moves to de facto equality for same sex partnerships even while de jure status went nowhere.)

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