Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Why Tony Abbott has plenty to fear from Kevin Rudd

In Today’s Herald, Health Minister Tony Abbott questions Kevin Rudd’s long term leadership ability. He cites indigenous leader Noel Pearson and Age journalist Jason Koutsoukis to paint a picture of an arrogant and short-tempered egomaniac.

That may well be the case. But even Abbott must fear Rudd’s push to take Australian Christian politics back to the centre.

Back in mid-2001, I attended a political fundraiser for the then Federal MP for Parramatta Ross Cameron. Abbott was chief guest. Kerry Chikarovski was NSW Liberal opposition leader and was looking very shaky. I asked Abbott on that a question about what leadership qualities she should look for in herself and in possible preselection candidates. Abbott’s response went something like this:

"What the NSW Liberal Party needs to produce at this time isn’t ideological simpletons or factional warriors. What we need are people with genuine beliefs, big ideas and a fresh approach to selling them to the electorate."

Using Abbott’s own criteria, there’s a lot to be said for Rudd’s ability to lead on major policy issues. In his recent writings on religion and social democracy, Rudd shows ably that being a Christian doesn’t necessarily involve being socially conservative.

Today’s NSW Liberal Christian conservatives and their branch-stacking buddies aren’t always known for their big ideas. Rudd has already indicated he will target Christian conservatives within Coalition parties, especially those who use Christian rhetoric to pursue the most un-Christian and divisive politics in areas such as workplace relations.

Rudd’s more flexible use of Christian ideals (including family values) may well represent a useful method of co-opting Howard’s conservative rhetoric and using it against him. It could be a case of Rudd out-Howarding Howard in the opposite direction to what we were accustomed to with Kim Beazley in cultural, citizenship and security debates.

Rudd’s impeccable Christian credentials will assist him in sounding like more than just a cynical opposition leader coopting government rhetoric for political purposes. If Rudd is able to return genuine Christian compassion to politics, he will be doing Australians of all faiths and no faith in particular a huge service.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

One such as you, who has produced a blog such as this, should not be so quick to judge egomaniacs.

There is some value in many of the egomaniacs in politics, in the media, and in religious bodies, yet we should regularly send them home to talk to their families, to receive a few home truths.

Your comments about "Christians" in the NSW Liberal Party Division are likely to be ignored and condemned as you have never come from this camp. Attending a school and adopting the accent of some of the teachers does not make you one of them, no matter how much your father paid for you to attend.

You can proudly pretend Irfan to be a great many things, but being a Christian is not one of them.

If you would be so kind as to point my browser towards a Christian critic of the NSW Liberal Party, then I would be most greatful to you.

Anonymous said...

The ALP would do very well to ban useless fat black Paki Turdmen from joining their party. For the love of whatever you worship or just out of common decency pls remove your picture from the blog. My wife looked at it and almost became barren. My children looked at it and had nightmares. I looked at it and developed a desire to build a 100 ft toilet bowl so that I could flush your ugly turd coloured face down it. Please don't smile it only makes it worse. Why can't your wear a balaclava or a sack over your head like normal muslim terrorists?

wali said...

Anon @ 12:50 AM:
"You can proudly pretend Irfan to be a great many things, but being a Christian is not one of them."

Where is it indicated in the post that Irfan is "pretending" to be a Christian?

All he is doing is correctly pointing out that being a Christian doesn't necessarily imply being a right-wing rottweiler. He does this not by pointing to his own views on Christianity, but pointing to a prominant Christian's views on Christianity.

Please regard the crux of your position neutered.

Anonymous said...

This is all too gross.

I won't be reading this anymore.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian I find Irfan's remarks to be very sensible and sane. The replies to his remarks by the others, except Wali, are extraordinary. Such stupidity and malevolence.

I support the idea of a sensible christian attitude to public life in Australia and I hope that Mr. Rudd will re-establish it. Muslims are perfectly entitled to comment as they see fit.

mike davis.

Anonymous said...

Mike Hunt make more sense than this wally creature thang.

Anonymous said...

Great posting Irfan. I'm look forward to reading more of your blog.

On the curious topic of Tony Abbott, Andrew Lynch observes
that "In its decade in power, the Howard Government has been as centralist as any Labor regimes. In the key areas of education and health, federal ministers Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott have been setting the agenda." Steve Burrell rightly points out the flip-flopping of Tony Abbott on the issue of federalism. "Lo and behold, the Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, who just over a year ago proposed a not dissimilar plan before it was shot down by the PM, now thinks this would be a very silly idea indeed."

Abbott once strongly put forth a view that "Conservatives no longer believe in Australia's tiered federal system because the states were wasteful and inclined towards socialism". But now that Rudd is arguing a more compelling, more user-friendly, less rhetoric-heavy version of the same thing (not dissimilar to Peter Costello's views), Abbott's revised position? Pooh-poohing the idea -- but only when Rudd suggests it. We don't hear Abbott criticising Costello's view. This just goes to show Abbot is more about attacking the person than arguing the idea.

As for the vile personal remarks of some Anonymous posters on here, what a bunch of frantic lowlifes. It's extremist shit-slingers like them that spoil the democratic process for the majority. I'm sure you give their comments all the credibility they deserve: zilch.

r hutvan said...

mr. Abott please get real we should all get a slush fund to have you put away for your anti democratic behavior re one nation. you are aptly named abbort in my household we change it ever so slightly to apport simular for tiolet in german . it suits agutter swine like yourself