Friday, April 27, 2007

From the 44th ALP National Conference

DH is thrilled to bits to be "broadcasting" directly from the 44th National Conference of the ALP, a place where one can call the future Housing Minister simply "Hi, Tanya", and then nearly die from the excitement of it all.

Kevin Rudd's opening speech was low key. No razzamatazz, no presidential-style grand entry to the blare of a triumphal march, a la Kim Beazley. Kevin Rudd simply walks in and goes: "My name is Kev. I'm from Queensland. I'm here to help." It got the audience smiling, and what's more, relaxed and comfortable. (Rudd:1. Howard:0 ... We're winning already!).

No great oratory, no stirring battle calls to revolution, nothing to bring the delegates cheering to their feet in rapturous ovation. Only what the times demand: Playing it safe in Howard's brave new "Australia the Beige". The jokes were accordingly cheesy too - "Howard doesn't believe in a single idea he didn't see on black and white TV" was as good as it got.

Signs of the times: The delegates are no longer "Comrades" but "Friends". And in line with Brother Kevin's avowed Christianity, he makes much mention of souls. Compare and contrast Howard: "Naked political ambition is what drives his soul" (How true!) vs the ALP: who "grafted the Fair Go into the Australian soul".

Rudd comes across as calm, modest and intelligent, no hype-artist, no overweening ego that constantly requires stoking, why he hardly stopped to strike a Resolute Pose all day!. And anyway, who needs more oratory in these terrible times ? We've all burnt ourselves out thundering about how Howard has ruined the country. If a Rudd Government can up with fair, just, detailed, achievable policies, and get the Howard monkey off our backs, he can be as bland as he likes.

Rudd and subsequent speakers exposed the hypocrisy and arrogance of an out-of-touch Howard who has the nerve to say "Australian families have never been better off", when personal debt levels have hit unprecedented heights, when 1.2 MILLION households are in housing stress, when the under 35's hopes of home ownership are waning, when Turkey has better outcomes in dental care than we do, and more. (see next post)...

Anyhow got to stop ... the queue waiting for the computers behind DH is getting restless... DH went to the launch of National Shelter's Housing policy, and has she got some hot stats for you!



Remember that word. If the housing crisis gets any worse, it could be coming to your neighbourhood soon, but don't get too excited: it's NOT about the most fun you can having without laughing.

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