Friday, October 23, 2009

Rudd Uses A Howard Solution

Prime MInister Kevin Rudd this week showed that, under pressure, he resorts to fairly standard political behaviour. The pressure on dealing with boat-people came from the electorate (well, the poll surveys) and the media.

His response, particularly during media interviews was to "talk tough", trying to make the electorate warm to his handling of the issue, use lots of repetition of the "tough talk". Under pressure during an interview with the ABC's Kerry O'Brien, Kevin Rudd retreated into bureaucratese: that language which sounds overly complex, uses confusing language, and is sanctuary under pressure. Even the bumbling, Turnbull-led Liberal-National Opposition managed a few hits; at least until Wilson Tuckey opened his mouth, and let the Prime Minister and other Government members deflect attention.

Today's announcement of $50 million in extra aid to Indonesia to help intercept boatloads of unlawful migrants/refugees has quickly been dubbed "the Indonesian solution", much like John Howard's use of Nauru became "the Pacific solution". I wonder whether the UNHCR will report on Australia's current policies, and practices!