Posted by: jkirkby8712 | April 5, 2011

Monday, 4th April 2011 – unhappy Monday

The day didn’t begin well, with a 90 minutes drive to the office in the morning – usually, just under an hour –  all good to put one in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day!

But of course. all of that was overshadowed by concerns for Susan – thankfully, she had a couple of days this week before she was due to return to Bendigo, but I have to assume that for her, this was a very long, lonely and unhappy Monday.  Visited by her Mum during the day, and then younger sister Jodie came over and joined Susan and I for an evening meal. I think my girl made an effort to eat, but didn’t really achieve much, and soon after, apologised, and went back up to bed.  Neither Jodie nor her Mum [nor myself] had achieved a great deal of conversation from her, and I guess none of us wanted to push, she would talk when she was ready to. Jodie herself had a heavy cold, so was not feeling 100% herself.  The only positive aspect was that Susie went out for a while later, to visit a girlfriend who lives nearby – one of those loyal team of friends from schooldays who all seem to have stuck with each through good and bad. At least there was potentially someone to share her pain with, and for that I was grateful, having been feeling somewhat inadequate myself, and wishing the impossible, to rid a daughter of the pain she was going through – of the sort that many of us experience in the world of relationships, sometimes early in life, sometimes later. For Susie, this was a new, and painfully unexpected occurence.  I feel a little useless at present, but of course, won’t hesitate to assist when it is needed.

Again, with not as much enthusiasm as usual, I watched the ABC’s QA & A program tonight, the pasnel for which included former Prime Minister and now Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Julie Bishop. Those two seem [not surprisingly] to bare the brunt of the questions, and responses – some of Julie’s comments, when they became negative, annoyed me, while I have to admit that I felt  Kevin Rudd handled himself quite well, particularly in responding to the kind of ‘grilling’ he got from host, Tony Jones, who seemed to be inputing more vigorous questions than time allowed from the audience, from where most of the questions should have been allowed to come.  In fact, the outcome was a series of ‘almost’ confessions from Mr Rudd, as indicated by this report, taken from a National Nine Newsonline item.

“Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says he made the wrong call when he decided to shelve the federal government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).  But, he said, he was trying to find the middle ground after some members of cabinet argued the scheme should be scrapped for good.  Asked on ABC television why he delayed the scheme until 2013 despite calling climate change the greatest moral challenge of our time, he said he made a mistake. “The judgment I made then was wrong,” he said.  He said the decision had been swayed by the roadblock faced in the Senate, which had already twice blocked legislation setting up the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).  But, Mr Rudd said, he’d also faced the difficulty of placating party colleagues who wanted to “kill the ETS” completely. “You had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether, that is kill the ETS as a future proposition for the country. I couldn’t abide that,” he said on Monday. “There were others that said we should stick to the existing timetable, apart from the fact that the Senate couldn’t deliver it.  “I tried to find a way up the middle of all that, preserve the unity of the government.  “On balance it was the wrong call. We should have simply tried to sail straight ahead.”

Leaked cabinet documents have suggested it was his then deputy Julia Gillard, along with Treasurer Wayne Swan, who urged Mr Rudd to shelve emissions trading. Ms Gillard later toppled Mr Rudd as prime minister. Opposition deputy leader Julie Bishop said Mr Rudd’s mistake had been to trust his deputy. “She gave him the wrong advice, and he’s borne the consequences.”  [Later] asked later about what he’d learnt from his dramatic exit from the top job, Mr Rudd said: “I may in the future be a less trusting soul”.  The now-foreign minister was then asked why he had not explained Labor’s internal debate to Australians at the time, having chosen to instead blame opposition senators. “Guess what? Political leaders are not perfect,” Mr Rudd answered.  “I take responsibility for communicating the government’s message. “But no one gets it right every time, and I did not.”

Perhaps I saw more into his performance tonight than was justified, but I warmed to Kevin Rudd a little more because of his sudden preparedness to be more openly ‘forthright’ about past mistakes, and judgement calls, and his strength in resisting the attempts by Tony Jones to get as ‘bigger story’ out of the program, then would eventuate anyway. An interesting session.  Incidentally, the other panelists on tonight’s show, who didn’t really get much of a go, were Jeff Bleich [the current US Ambassador to Australia], Louise Adler [political publisher], and Robert Manne [writer and academic].

Another disappointment from this Monday was the news from the first day of horse racing’s ‘Jumps Season’, a subject uponwhich I have touched on previous occasions. Only Victoria and South Australia continue to allow the jumps to be part of the racing calender any more, it has been banned elsewhere in Australia. Today, on Day 1 of that season, at Warrnambool, three horses fell in the first jumps event, one of which had to be put down!! A terrible start for the industry, and plenty of ammunition for the anti-jumps protestors  –  of hich I am included, despite actually loving to watch the horses go over the jumps.

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