Rudd’s speech

I saw Kevin Rudds National Press Conference address. At the start, there was a technical disconnection between his mouth and the words that came out which was distracting but it was soon corrected. The speech also seemed a little too long and repetitive (Rudd still lacks Howard’s communication skills) but he got his main points across forcefully and answered questions very effectively.

From an economists’ viewpoint, the most important point Rudd made in his speech was that Howard lived in easy, blessed times with an unparalleled resources boom (rarely equaled in our history). Rudd said he would have given his eye teeth to be governing in such an era. He noted the RBA estimate that the terms of trade bonanza contributed 8 per cent to national income and some $400 b to the budget bottom line over the last decade and accused Howard of “squandering the opportunity” presented by the mining boom by failing to invest in education, training and infrastructure and other productive activities. (Instead Howard frittered much of the mining windfall revenue on middle class welfare – a point Rudd did not make for obvious political reasons).

In my view, the Coalitions failure to grasp the golden opportunity offered by the mining boom undermines the claims by Howard and Costello to being good economic managers.

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rog
rog
14 years ago

I thought the best point was that a vote for Howard is a vote for someone who is to soon retire – thats not forward looking at all.

wilful
wilful
14 years ago

Fred, as I understand it your view is the view of just about everyone with an eye on the AUstralian economy over the past few decades.

I don’t agree Howard is a better communicator than Rudd, but maybe I’m biased.

Lyn
Lyn
14 years ago

He needs a speech writer who suits his style. It was pretty patchy, as if a few people got together and wrote a couple of pars each. He seemed more familiar with some parts than others. Last minute adjustments I’d say.

He did reasonably well with questions though. The ‘eye teeth’ bit should be the news grab, but probably won’t be.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

I thought it was excellent. The repetition was interesting and was I suspect a means to set up half a dozen possible sound grabs for the news, rather than leaving it open slather for editors. What came across was his genuine readiness to lead, and lead well. Looking at him all too often as a means by which the incumbent can be levered out, it was refreshing to find that genuine heartfelt desire to do some good work for the country. I think he’ll do us proud in many ways, should he get in.

hip
hip
14 years ago

His adventures in RoveLand seem to have given him enough confidence to “lighten up” a bit. He seems comfortable in his boots, leaving the Team Lib looking like nasty little Grumpy Bums. Form over content has its place.

Australian Atheist
14 years ago

And he just put in a pretty good performance on the 7.30 report. Only criticism – stumbled a bit on refugee policy.

Dave from Albury
14 years ago

I think the most impressive part of Rudd’s performance at the press club was the Q & A. Hi speech was nothing we hadn’t heard throughout the campaign, but the questions from the journos were handled with a lot of confidence.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

the most impressive part of Rudds performance at the press club was the Q & A.

A lot of confidence. And a good, no, just right, no, nearly just right, measure of humour. And he’s obviously read Kipling’s “If”. Backed up by his 7.30 Report performance, a highly trained ability to listen to questions, and respond with thoughtfulness for the questioner, that is, to elevate the questioner along with the answer. An awesome performance in that regard – and already I can hear the electorate divided.

The immeasurable positive: if or when the guy gets out there across the world, he’ll kick some serious arse for this place.

Cutting to the actual answers spoken in the Q & A – these varied from a genuineness to a polished genuineness, to a genuine dunno to polished dunno’s – to, and this is the point – white-hot obfuscation dressed as genuine far beyond what Howard has ever done.

Dunno about that.

Red Peter
Red Peter
14 years ago

I only caught the end of the QA, but I’ve gotta say it’s the first time I’ve heard Rudd speak and feel a little excitement at his prospective PMship.

Paul Martin
14 years ago

Another point that hasn’t been made, for what I also consider obvious reasons, is how economically irresponsible the government has been by squandering many billions of dollars on a redundant, unwanted and illegal war in Iraq on false pretenses (or stupidity at best). This is money that could have been spent on infrastructure or social improvements (like health and education) were the conservatives not philosophically opposed to such.

observa
observa
14 years ago

It’s OK Paul because the fresh billions will be spent on the good war quite soon.

Actually what is it with Labor and education all the time? Not more bloody noodle nation. It’s quite clear we need to ruthlessly prune education (namely cut back the basket weaving and concentrate on technical ed)and switch resources into health.

wilful
wilful
14 years ago

Its quite clear we need to ruthlessly prune education

That’s an interesting observation, Observa. But precisely not what the rest of the world is doing.