Posts Tagged ‘ howard ’

Generous to a fault

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

By figuring out who got what piece of the excess revenue that was generated by lower unemployment and the China-led resources boom since 2004, we get a better idea of the reform hurdles ahead for the Rudd Government. Assuming that no government will want to take money off people, how do you fix a system that is, in many respects, overly generous?

Fight for naming rights

Sep 21st, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

A dull, drone-like dependability masks the political and policy fire and brimstone within Kevin Rudd. He wanted to make the voter transition from the dull but reliable John Howard to himself seamless. Now, 10 months later, we are stuck with - you guessed it - dull but mostly reliable.

All in the timing for Turnbull

Sep 21st, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

Kevin Rudd’s week-long visit to New York to address the UN General Assembly will mark his second visit to the US this year. Labor has been in office for about 300 days and the new Prime Minister has spent 50 of them overseas. Former prime minister John Howard spent 18 nights overseas in his first year.

State of the union

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Labor’s substitute for WorkChoices, which it calls Forward With Fairness, is no counter-revolution. In a way, it’s more an attempt to make WorkChoices more efficient, the sort of prescription that John Howard might have gone for had he not been overwhelmed by the desire to leave behind a profound ideological mark.

Costello recalls his golden age

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Malcolm Turnbull is largely divorced from the Howard era. Coming into parliament only at the 2004 election, Turnbull was not present for the early successes, only the later failures. The intriguing test is where Turnbull takes the party. How will he reinterpret Liberal beliefs? How will he unite the conservative and liberal traditions in the one party?

Four in 10 families pay no tax

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The income-tax-free club now covers 42.2 per cent of the nation’s 9.754 million families. But middle earners just outside the tax-free zone are caught in a new personal tax pincer, with 134,000 breadwinners being pushed up the scales from 30c to 40c despite Labor claiming it would “increase the take-home pay of all taxpayers”.

Memo Costello: timing is everything

Sep 18th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The commonly held view among political junkies like myself is that the racy bits of ‘The Costello Memoirs’ have already been published in the papers. John Howard did it in the library with the candlestick. So why bother shelling out $55 to read what amounts to 380 pages of filler?

Libs finally turn away from Howard era

Sep 17th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Unlike his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull has a real prospect of leading the party back into office. The decision to call a party meeting at short notice for a leadership vote, which backfired spectacularly for Brendan Nelson, typified the misjudgements that characterised his brief tenure in the top job.

A Liberal dose of hope

Sep 17th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Malcolm Turnbull’s ascent is the culmination of his own will to power and the historic weakness of the Liberal Party after its 2007 election defeat. This is the real Liberal leadership transition. It completes the purging from the election debacle. This is a historic vote because Turnbull, provided he lasts, will fashion a different Liberal Party.

Opposition must learn from experience

Sep 15th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

For whatever reasons, Brendan Nelson’s poll figures are dismal, his impact nowhere to be seen, and under his leadership, the Opposition is going backwards. Senior Liberals need to learn from history and not make the same mistake they made with Howard in 2006: someone needs to tell him that it is time to go.