Hyperopia is what our current leadership so obviously lacks.
The opposite, as you’ve probably realised by now, is MYOPIA. One-term’s is so bad, he can’t even see women…
Ross Gittins writes today in the SMH, comparing Keating’s vision to Abbott (and Hockey).
It’s not a favourable comparison for the incumbents.
We’re not talking here about political position, or Left versus Right, we’re talking about vision. Keating had it, Abbott doesn’t. Gittins provides two recent quotations from One-term and Honest Joe to demonstrate this. Just listen to the tepid, mealy-mouthed, ineffectual sloganeering here:
”the challenge is always the same: to build the strongest possible economy with lower taxes and less red tape leading to higher productivity and stronger economic growth … my business – the business of government – should be making it easier for you to do your business” – One-term Tony
Reduce red tape. Doing business. Now that’s a nation-building vision. Or Honest Joe’s “economic plan”:
”It is focused on getting rid of inhibitive taxes and inhibitive regulation that undermines our capacity to be at our best. We need to speed up the Australian economy and … if we repeal the carbon tax, it will add to economic growth … when we get rid of the mining tax it sends a clear message to the world that we need mining investment.” – Honest Joe
Gittins compares this unfavourably with Keating’s vision and agenda.
However I couldn’t help remembering an absolutely brilliant litany from Jonathan Green, when comparing Gillard to Whitlam (see, this isn’t about Left and Right, it’s about vision). In the article, Green provides a list of the Whitlam government’s first-term achievements. Before you read them, just consider how many of them still exist today, and what they mean for us as a nation. Then compare them with the current mob, who have a significant majority and who campaigned on trust and a few bits and pieces to do with nautical navigation. There is simply no comparison at all. In its first 100 days, all One-term’s mob can point to is a piles of disassembled and wrecked machinery, and angry neighbours.
Here’s what Gough did in his triathlon (and all without the aid of lycra). You can read in its entirety here.
[…] ended conscription and withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam, implemented equal pay for women, launched an inquiry into education and funded government and non-government schools on a needs basis, established a separate ministry responsible for Aboriginal affairs, established the single department of defence, withdrew support for South Africa, granted independence to Papua-New Guinea, abolished tertiary education fees and established the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme, increased pensions, established Medibank, established controls on foreign ownership of Australian resources, passed the Family Law Act establishing no-fault divorce, passed a series of laws banning racial and sexual discrimination, extended maternity leave and benefits for single mothers, sought to democratise the electoral system by introducing one-vote-one-value, implemented wide-ranging reforms of the Labor Party’s organisation, initiated Australia’s first federal legislation on human rights the environment and heritage, established the Legal Aid Office, established the National Film and Television School, launched construction of National Gallery of Australia, established the Australian Development Assistance Agency, reopened the Australian Embassy in Peking after 24 years, established the Prices Justification Tribunal, revalued the dollar, cut tariffs across the board, established the Trade Practices Commission, established the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, established the Law Reform Commission, established the Australian Film Commission, established the Australia Council, established the Australian Heritage Commission, established the Consumer Affairs Commission, established the Technical and Further Education Commission, implemented a national employment and training program, created Telecom and Australia Post to replace the Postmaster-General’s Department, devised the Order of Australia to replace the British Honours system, abolished appeals to the Privy Council, changed the national anthem to Advance Australia Fair and instituted Aboriginal land rights. Mind you it took them three years… but we were, at the somewhat tumultuous end of Whitlam’s time, a nation re-shaped.
So, One-term, after you’ve smashed all your predecessor’s machinery, and cut a few red ribbons, hop along to the optician, will you? At least you should be able to see women once you’ve got your specs.