Tag Archives: rudd

Communications is the key to political success

10 Jan

I’ve just finished All that’s left – What Labor should stand for, which is a reasonably interesting read looking at the future of the Australian (and in the process global) Labour momevements. It a philasophical look of where we on the left are, where we’ve come from, and where we have to go to ensure social justive and the future of social democracy. There was some interesting articles in there,  but there is a gaping chasm that we on the left we seem never to fill and it is one of my greatest irks.

Where is the section about selling ideas to the public? There is plenty about how the labour movement needs to increase social engagement and that government should be out to help the people, but there is nothing so far as to how to sell it to the public. There is a section on getting trust back into politics, but that isn’t quite the same.

Kevin Rudd made a number of mistakes, some big, some small, but I still believe his biggest one and the err that ultimatly led to his downfall, was the cutting of department communications budgets. When I was looking for a job when I got back to Australia, a public affairs recruitment agent told me that when Rudd got into power departmental communications and marketing positions dried up. This got me thinking, how much did this have to do with his downfall and I figure a lot.

Put it this way. This was a time where a new Government with a relativly progressive agenda wanted to sell in grand new ideas and new ways of doing things. But there was no one to sell it. Communications budgets were cut, so the advertising was left to the Prime Ministers’ office and the cabinet members’ press officers and they couldn’t do it. Not because they weren’t talented enough, but there wasn’t enough time in the day to package it and get it out there. That made it look like they couldn’t engage with the public.

You could also probably guarantee that the communications teams weren’t included in concept planning from day one either. Its important for a comms plan to be included in planning right from day one, so pit falls and wins can be planned out right from the begining.

The CPRS and the Mining Super Profits Tax are two examples where poor comms planning completely blew up in the ALP’s faces. In the case of the CPRS, the Government was trumped by the Opposition having a) not being able to sell the concept to the public b)  not being able to forsee the right wing views that took over in the Opposition and c) Abbott had a catchier line with “a great big new tax”, which is devilishly brilliant. The great big new tax is also an example of  sometimes the left needs to get down and fight with conservatives  in the dirt and throw some mud. That’s where they fight and to match them, we have to do. One person on the the left who did do this succesfully was Alastair Campbell (you know I had to chuck that in somewhere).

But still, despite all of this, the book doesn’t even list communications as an important issue. Reengaging with the community and the public is vital. Sometimes we talk to the public, not talk with and we wonder why they don’t hear us.

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Pragmatism in Politics

26 Jun

What happened on that 24 hour period in Australia had to happen, it’s that simple. I was an admirer of Kevin Rudd during the first two years of his term as PM, however, it was clearly starting to unravel. The placement of the ETS on the back-burner; the awful messaging surrounding the Mining Super Tax; the number of times the Coalition were let of the hook despite some hideous mistakes including Julia Bishop’s horrendous national security passport gaffe; Tony Abbott’s numerous mistakes culminating in his statement on the 730 report that in the heat of the moment, not everything he says can be considered gospel; the complete lack of effective policy from the Coalition. As Gillard stated, this was a good government that had lost its way and the Coalition now will have a brand new, re-energised foe to face.

What the ALP must do is reconnect with the electorate.The public must understand what the Government is fighting for and why. The Government has the ammunition to blunt any of the Coalitions economic arguments and this ammunition should be used constantly. overtime the Opposition mention the debt, the Government should be screaming from the rafters that the ALP got Australia through the second worse economic crisis the world has ever faced. Australia’s forecast of being out of debt in three years has the rest of the world green with envy. Sure, the Government had to spend money to stimulate the economy, but it worked. Sure Australia have briefly gone into debt, but the fact that the economy was handled so well, employment never went as high as was forecast, debt never went as high as forecast, borrowing never went as high as forecast and Australian is in great shape because of the ALP. We will soon be out of debt and far from any  The ALP should scream this, often, frequently, until they are horse.

The ETS must be brought back and fought for at the next election, completely blowing away any chance the Coalition will have to block it in the Senate because there will be a clear mandate. The Coalition should be tarnished as the party of no and a party willing to play dangerous games with the nation’s future by putting climate change as an issue of little importance. The Greens have to be attacked as the Party of our way or the highway and as being just as responsible for the blocking of the ETS as the Coalition. This will get the ALP’s environmental credentials back and would mean votes would stop leaking to the Greens.

The Super Mining Tax is a good tax, but it must be communicated in an effective understandable way. It should be framed as the People’s Resources Fund, not a ‘Super’ tax on miners, which is currently how it sounds.It is necessary, it will help our economy and the voters agree that money derived from our resources should stay in Australia. But it needs to be sold properly.

A discussion surrounding a pull-out date for Afghanistan will also help. With casualty numbers up, people are losing faith in the war and Karzai. Obama, Cameron and NATO as a whole are discussing a pull out date, so should we.

Gillard is an excellent choice and will be a brilliant leader of the ALP and the country. She is strong, frank and very Australian. She doesn’t act or sound like the academic that Rudd did, despite being incredibly intelligent and exceptionally politically savvy. Being the first ever woman will naturally be a positive for half of the electorate and I believe the other half will soon catch up.

She has fought Abbot on numerous occasions and has generally won more often than not. She will be able to take the fight back to him, question his odd statements and show him to be the extreme right leader he is. Already, the Coalition are playing a dangerous game by attacking the ALP for having blood on its hands – Abbott is the third Coalition leader in three years – people can do the maths.

If the ALP can get this messaging right, they can regain their popularity and win the next election convincingly. It will be hard and it will be a lot of work, but they can do it.

Will Copenhagen be a failure?

15 Nov

Thoroughly depressing news to wake up to this morning. It looks like our feared about the Copenhagen climate change talks have come true. World leaders have admitted that there is likely to be no final resolution and that the Copenhagen talks are most likely to be a starting point to talks rather than an end point.

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum leaders including Barack Obama, Hu Jintao and Kevin Rudd, who have all drawn up significant plans for ETS deals and other environmental strategies in their own nations, appear to have given up on uniting world nations’ to come up with a meaningful deal.

This is disappointing, but not unexpected. There has been some intense expectation management over the last few weeks and it seemed almost inevitable that there was to be no lasting strategy to come out of this meeting. The EU has set out strategies to help nations meet their climate change targets,  but nothing has been set in stone, especially in regards to money being set-aside. Developing world nations have been consistently threatening to walk out of talks due to the lack of agreed funding from the developed world to help developing nations fund anti-climate change projects.

Personally, I never really had much faith in the COP15 meeting to come up with any large-scale meaningful treaty. The fact is though, Kyoto formally ends at the end of 2011, begining of 2012. This obviously leaves a couple of years to create a meaningful and effective post-Kyoto deal.

The significance of a no-deal result in Copenhagen, is the number of nations that have created emission reduction schemes that will only be meaningful if there is a result in Copenhagen, the EU is one of these nations. Currently the EU has committed to a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, but it would be 30% if a deal was met in COP15.

Therefore, not reaching a result in Copenhagen will obviously be a failure. Hopefully, world leaders have something up their sleeves and will be able to swoop in at the last-minute to come up with something. In my wildest dreams I can imagine Obama, Rudd or Brown flying in at the last moment and saving the day, but realistically, I think we will still be looking forward into 2010 before a post-Kyoto deal is reached.

Thoughts?

And Murdoch wants us to pay for this?

11 Nov

By Nick Osborne

I know a lot of these points have been written about them before, but I thought it would be worth revisiting them and combining them. I thought of this when I saw the video from Sky News Australia that Alex Smith wrote about this morning on Labour List.

In this video at the Murdoch managed to call Obama racist, agreeing with the appalling Glenn Beck from FOX News. He also goes into detail about his plan to charge online users of his newspapers such as the Sun and the Times, stating that people should have to pay for all online news and the public has been getting away with free news for far too long. In a way, I can understand his point from a purely commercial point of view, we pay for exactly the same thing on paper after all.

Jacqui Janes

And Murdoch wants us to pay for this?

But I resent having to pay for stories like the recent misspelled letter fiasco from Gordon Brown. What is especiallyawful about this is the fact that they couldn’t get the name right either, appalling. Thanks to Harry’s place for picking up this article. This was purely vindictive in my opinion.

Murdoch also had a go at Google for “stealing content” earlier in October and suggested that all aggregators were thieves.

Suffice to say, Murdoch managed to annoy plenty of people on his recent tour of Australia. As well as his rants about Obama and charging for news, in separate interviews (given to Murdoch owned newspapers The Australian and Melbourne’s Herald Sun), he called Kevin Rudd delusional and implied that he had better watch out in the coming election year by pointing to the anti-Gordon Brown sentiment in the UK media, hinting at the Sun’s conversion to the Tories.

We all know the media has huge power over the will of the people through the media, but is Murdoch essentially weilding his power over Heads of State? Apparently Murdoch doesn’t think much of Rudd for attempting to change global thinking regarding climate change and also called him over-sensitive.

To be honest, I don’t know what scares me more; the fact that Murdoch thinks he has this power, or the fact that he probably does.

Thoughts?

Australian political polls – October

9 Nov

By Nick Osborne

I love political polling and electoral math, they make me happy, I don’t know why, especially when I hate normal math with a passion. Anyway.

I was on Pollytics this morning, which is an Australian blog that looks into polling and I thought I’d share some stats.

According to the media, Australian PM Kevin Rudd has allegedly taken a battering because of Australia’s reaction to the Asylum Seeker issue. But as you can see from the poll, little has changed and if there was an election, the Coaltion would be in severe trouble.

As Michelle Gratten states in her article, it only seems to be Rudd’s preferred leader numbers that have been hit and the ALP is only down 1 point in the two-partied preferred stats.

Essentially, people are saying, Rudd is being a bit soft, but Turnbull and the Coalition are nowhere to be seen, plus they were the party of Howard’s immigration policy

Love to know your thoughts on any of the other numbers.

Seat projections

Australian voting intention

Australian PM kicks out at climate change skeptics

6 Nov

By Nick Osborne

Hats off to Kevin Rudd, the Australian PM who has recently had a go at organisations and individuals trying to derail COP15_LOGO_B_Mtalks in the run up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. I applaud him for standing up and speaking out against these naysayers, he is taking a viewpoint that is steadily increasing. I have heard David Miliband and Gordon Brown make similar statements.

Australian PM warns of fossil conspiracy

The upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen are threatened by a conglomerate of opponents “driven by vested interests” aiming “to erode just enough political will that action becomes impossible”, says Kevin Rudd.

Morten Andersen 06/11/2009 13:10

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sees the current UN negotiations on climate hampered by a mixture of “do-nothing skeptics, deniers and a gaggle of conspiracy theorists”, according to Bloomberg.

Australia itself is at a crossroads as the approval of a cap-and-trade scheme suggested by the government has been delayed. According to Kevin Rudd’s analysis, it is a global strategy by forces trying to obstruct climate policy to have action in individual countries delayed.

“Their aim is to erode just enough political will that action becomes impossible. By hampering decisive action at a national level, they aim to make it impossible at an international level (…) it is an endless cycle of delay, and I am sure that with December almost upon us, the eighth excuse cannot be far away, which will be to wait until the next year or the year after until all the rest of the world has acted,” Kevin Rudd says according to Reuters, while adding:

“They are a minority. They are powerful, and invariably they are driven by vested interests. They are powerful enough to threaten a deal on global climate change both in Copenhagen and beyond.”

With a parliament vote due by late November, Australia may still make an approval of the cap-and-trade scheme before the UN conference in Copenhagen this December. Should this not happen, however, “then it will be a failure that will echo through future generations,” Rudd says according to Bloomberg.

http://en.cop15.dk/news/view%20news?newsid=2528