Friday, 19 June 2015

Two Killings, One Show.

Over the last two weeks, The ABC has aired the first two parts of a political documentary series The Killing Season, which purports to focus on the last two Labor Governments, but is in actual fact a portrait of the two leaders of these governments Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. On this blog I documented the first Rudd Government in some detail. Initially I was not going to post a blog on this series, but after watching the second episode of the series late on Tuesday night I posted a rather detailed rant, and given the events are contemporaneous with this blog, it seems appropriate to share my thoughts here. 
While some may view the ascension of Kevin Rudd with a sense of fading nostalgia, I've been researching the period covered in the first episode almost since the events occurred. 
With this in mind, Killing aspires to be the offspring of the far superior 1995 ABC documentary series Labor in Power, but lacks the real wisdom and analysis to achieve it. While Rudd and Gillard have Keating and Hawke's pomposity in abundance, they lack their predecessors clarity of thought and candour. All 'Killing' really does is highlight the hypocrisy of 'The Leader and his Loyal Deputy' (the title of the first episode) with hindsight in an ironic and clunky fashion. Much of the important aspects of the 'Kevin 07' campaign were overlooked, and the section on the importance of Rudd allocating the Ministry is valid but entirely wrongheaded.
The second episode comes the quote We just killed ourselves' 
So says Martin Ferguson, old school Labor Warrior and Minister of the first Rudd Government about two thirds of the way through the second episode of the series. You can see the utter contempt in his face and hear the disgust in his voice. We knew full well no one came out of the Rudd coup looking good, but the constant thoughts coming to my mind throughout the episode were questions addressed to all participants of the program in the Australian Labor Party?

'How the fuck can you do this to my country?'
'Why do I deserve any of you to represent me?'
It is clear that Rudd displayed poor behaviour towards his colleagues across the board during the last six months of his Prime Ministership. It is purely subjective as to whether you think that this behaviour warranted his dismissal. It is something that initially I believed was not worthy of a coup, but as time passes I think that if a majority of his colleagues believed they couldn't work with him, sacking him might have been the only thing they could do. However Rudd has every right to feel aggrieved at how events played out.
I never believed that Gillard was telling the truth and this episode only solidified my view. Every single word she uttered I believe to be a lie. Rudd is only just barely better at telling the truth, and he did not do it much either. Their collective behaviour is a disgrace to the Australian political system, its history and the office of the Australian Prime Minister.
It's a good thing that only 'the political class' watches The Killing Season, because if every voter watched that compelling, intriguing, despicable, deplorable hour of television, Australia would have a Liberal Government for the next three decades.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Part of 'The Machinery of Government'

A few weeks ago I was asked by the Griffith University School of Government and International Relations (at which I'm currently completing my PhD) to contribute to their new blog The Machinery of Government (MoG). The conveners of the blog had seen my coverage over at The Conversation during the recent Queensland State Election campaign, which consistently ranked in the top bracket for both page views and unique visitors amongst contributors from Griffith University. Based on these results, I was asked to write an analysis of the UK Election, a week after results had been finalised.

A person or a number of people in the department must have been impressed with the content of the blog and/or the traffic it generated. On the back of the first piece, I was offered a part time job as a regular contributor to the blog. Since then I have written two further posts: one on the dilemmas of public service officials trying to combat terrorism and another on the role that smaller or 'minor parties' play in the federal governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.

MoG only launched a couple of months before my recent arrival and has already accumulated 1000 subscribers worldwide. At the pace I'm going at now it looks like I'll be contributing to the blog on a weekly basis. I would encourage readers who like my political writing to head over to MoG and subscribe to regular updates.

Monday, 1 June 2015

My Private is Not Your Private

Everyone who needs to know this, already knows this. Or so I think.

But after literal years of searching for the right girl to date, I found a girl, and she found me. It's early days, and in certain circumstances some might not feel the need to tell people. But the nature of living with a physical disability that requires 24/7 care means that lots of people already know by now. This is not through my own choice, but because I have needed to tell them. Those who don't understand the burden of relying upon someone all day, every day for the most basic tasks do not realise that these kinds of things are never truly private, no matter how much I might wish they could be.

I also can't share all my constant failures with dating, without showing you that sometimes it may work, beyond all my frustrations and battles with low self esteem. I don't know how long it will last, but I hope it is for a long time.

I've learnt from my mistakes of the past and won't be documenting our relationship at all on this blog. I will, when appropriate, mention FRG because she now is a part of my life, as this blog will be.