We've been trying to instill in Olle the sense that this is a very important day. I know he doesn't comprehend that - but I hope that when he's older, much older, he'll remember and realise why it was so important.
Some pals of mine have created a t-shirt for the new era.
Unfortunately it’s too late for Hannukah, but if you hurry you could
get one in time to give it as a Christmas gift and I think they’re
eminently suitable as New Year presents.
I'm still feeling happy about the election result.
The day after the election, I had congratulatory emails [not that I was responsible!] from friends in New Zealand, Canada and England. Today, I had one from a friend in the US, saying that the defeat of John Howard gave her hope that there would be life after Bush. I do hope they get to experience this hapy feeling soon. I'm enjoying it while I can.
PS: for non-Australians, the title of this post refers to a well-known and now, happily, redundant slogan, "Not happy, John".
Richard Flanagan, writing in The Guardian, comprehensively puts the lie to the idea of Howard as one of this country’s greatest (or even great) prime ministers.
[For me, the angriest moment on election night was when Howard spoke about “bequeathing” this nation to the new government. He never did own us - we were not his to give.]
I can't help thinking about how excited we were when Tony Blair won government in Britain in 1997. And then how glad I was to see him resign this year. I ended up detesting him. Will it be the same with Kevin Rudd?
When I first picked up the personally addressed envelope, I thought ‘Oh no, not again, so soon‘. It was only a few days since the last campaign letter. Then I opened it and saw that this one was from Lucy
Turnbull, who had written to tell me about “the man I have known for
almost 30 years”. I had a strong feeling of deja vu — sure enough, Lucy
said that “before the last election I wrote a similar letter to many
people living in our area”. She’s done so again because “a lot of new
people have since joined the electorate” (aka a redistribution).
The two-page letter is essentially a chronicle of Malcolm Turnbull’s life story — in his wife's eyes. The key points:
Another campaigning week, another personally addressed letter from
Malcolm Turnbull. This one, I immediately noticed, managed to get the
word ‘families’ into the opening line — Dear Ms, While Australia’s economy continues to grow, I know families continue to face pressures. It was beginning to look very much like some Rudd-style empathy for “working families” but then came the next sentence: That’s
why John Howard and Peter Costello have together announced a strong
plan for tax relief, which will let families keep more of the income
they work so hard for. The rest of the letter was about the
importance of the strong economy, etc, etc. Then a PS in small type:
under “union-controlled Labor” … “families could face an extra 1.4% on
interest rates if the reforms that keep our economy strong are
reversed”. I don’t know whether to think it’s brazen or stupid to claim
that interest rates will go up under Labor in the same week that yet
another rate rise on the Howard watch begins to look inevitable.
A look at Maxine McHugh, who has a chance of defeating John Howard in his seat of Bennelong. Interesting thoughts about what might be motivating McHugh. It has to be something different what from motivates Howard, who has been in politics most of his adult life.
Australia will have an election on November 24. I'm posting about this on LP and will reprint some of those posts here.
It’s a surprise-a-day campaign here in Wentworth.
As everyone knows, this marginal seat is held by Federal Environment
Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was elected just three years ago. This
hasn’t stopped him from warning us against the “dangerous inexperience”
of the “union dominated Labor Party”. That was in the first letter I
received from him the other day - the same day I received one from
Kevin and George (Newhouse, the local ALP candidate) offering “a better
deal for families and seniors”. The ALP letter did offer policies,
whereas Malcolm’s offered many underlined sentences, culminating in “Don’t experiment with your vote“.