Brown’s lessons for Rudd

17 04 2008

Lattenomics is wondering if this can happen to Kevin Rudd in not so distant future. Just replace Tony Blair with John Howard and Gordon Brown with Kevin Rudd and it seems quite probable:

The revelation that the emperor has no clothes might now come as a shock to those who created the fantasy of Brown’s political finery. But the truth is that it was only their hatred of Blair that blinded them to the obvious truth about Brown. Such was the depth of their Tono-phobia by the end of the Blair years that many left-liberal observers desperately invested all their hopes in Brown to breathe the miracle of life back into the Labour Party and government.

Nobody who looked at Brown’s real record over those 10 years, rather than at his imaginary principles, could have seriously imagined that he would start a programme of bold reforms once in power. Yet the apparently sane and serious Brown-nosers told us that a ‘revolution’ was afoot last year.

So now the Brown-nosers are turning on their less-than-glorious leader, seemingly shocked to discover that their hero cannot walk on water with his feet of clay, pleading with him to make a stand. But for what? Contrary to the myths they have indulged for years, Brown never had any set of ‘secret’ principles and bold policies up his sleeve ready to revolutionise the UK the day he entered 10 Downing Street.

Could this be a warning shot towards Rudd’s adoring media pack?

Despite their sudden naive disappointment with the prime minister, however, the disillusioned Brown-nosers have no alternative to offer. They have invested all their hopes in him, just as many did with Blair a decade earlier, apparently without ever starting a serious debate about where politics is heading. They are now left with nowhere to go.

What a man, what a Glorious Leader, what a hero, they all cried, as Brown promised ‘change’ on every front. Go back and read what some of those breathless Brown-worshipping columnists wrote at the time and you might wonder what they were on. Now it becomes clear that, as some of us predicted at the time, little has altered and any change there has been is for the worse – a quite remarkable achievement, given the state of Blair’s government.

Obviously both Blair and Brown are on the same side of politics, unlike Howard and Rudd. Still there are some striking similarities in the behaviour of our media pack and public intellectuals hailing “our Kevin” as the messiah to take Australia out of the “wilderness”. They have created a fantasy of “saviour Rudd” from nothing more that their own rejection and hatred of John Howard. Chances are they will be disappointed.

There is nothing in Rudd’s record before, or after becoming Australia’s PM to suggest he is the messiah. So far Rudd hasn’t made a single difficult decision apart from grand symbolic gestures and vague announcements of ever more targets, reviews and committees. We also feel that his contrived personality, “aren’t I clever” nerdiness and penchant for celebrity worship will eventually become a liability.

Read the whole article here.

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