Monday, February 26, 2007


Rudd Election Victory Nowhere Near in Bag

Politics A cautious rider to my earlier peices on Kevin rudd who, as Labor(their spelling) leader has been streaking ahead in the polls of John Howard, the Liberal Party PM. In British conditions we would probably be already annointing the assumed new leader with champagne and rave review leaders in the broadsheets. But down here, the Oz 'commetariat' is some distance from doing that and Labor officials themsleves are keen to discount the importance of recent polls. The reason is that since the loss of Paul Keating to Howard in 1996, there have been a number of Labor leaders- Beazley and Latham for example- who have held poll leads only to see their assumed victories implode disastrously when the votes have been cast. Labour now is a bit like New Labour back in 1997 when it looked back on an uninterupted aeon of power by the other main party.

Howard is a tough competitor- the Ricky Ponting of Australian politics maybe- and he'll do his best to reel back the lead which Rudd currently enjoys. He's a bit like Ponting's team and the coming World Cup: recent heavy defeats have taken the shine off them and it's realistic to think they may not retain their title, but the bookies still offer only a miserly 10-1 on them, making them still the favourites. Rudd has some time to go and much more to do before he enters 'The Lodge', the fine house which accommodates Austrailian Prime Ministers just a few minutes walk from where I noisily(I note the frown on the person working nnext to me) tap out these thoughts in the Internet Suite of the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre. I just hope the election, later this year, will resemble New Labour's 1997 rather than Kinnock's 19987 or 1992.

Mike Ion has pleaded in a comment on my last post that I stop posting from Oz as he is fed up of feeling jealous after reading about the sun, sand, food and English cricketing successes(!). Well, it's still a great palce and a great holiday but he might allow himself a quiet smile of schadenfreude when he hears that we've had cloud and rain plus a pyrtechnic thunder storm two nights ago. And it's still cloudy today too...

Surely a mistake. There is no way Australia are 10-1 for the cricket World Cup? With Ponting and Gilchrist in the side, they are still the best side. But they will miss Lee. Anything about 2-1 is generous.

As for the rest, I still trust Howard will win. Iraq isn't the issue you hope it to be Skipper(at least not with the Australian people). They have a prosperous economy and by and large the people are in tune with the kind of conservative ideas of Howard(indeed most are a damn sight more conservative).
So awfully sorry to hear that a cloud has settled over all that Antipodean hedonism Skipper. Here in Malaga the skies are clear, and currant bun is streaming down onto us with unabated fevour. Must get back round the poolside for another afternoon of Serious Research :-)
Skipper - thank you, I feel much better now.

Roy - bugger off!
I just tend to second Mike's encouragement to Roy...
Michael. Odds were given to me by a mate who bets all the time but i agree they seem way off beam. As for Oz political culture, my experience tends to support what you say, but there must be some explanation why so many of the constituent states are ruled by Labor Party governments. On balance I think the culture is about the same as back home. Amazing how much of Oz life harks back to the old country too- the Country Woman's Association seems just like the WI-Mother's Union to me with scone making and cooking classes.
You're right re odds- i've just checked and Oz are 3-1; surprisingly England are fourth favourites and S.Africa seconds.
Final comment from Oz. Sun shining on this, our final day and I'm off back from the Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre to do my -packing and hope for a smooth flight... Note that Kiwis duffed over by Bangladesh yesterday! Even if we are a brittle bunch of cricketers, we have a chance in this competition(desperate hope evident here? I know, I know)
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