typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

US reading of Kevin Rudd’s victory

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GettelongThe New York Times has gone with an epitaph for George Bush’s best white English-as-a-first-language li’l buddy. They more or less say Bye John, Hi Kev. Apparently the main difference between the two is that Rudd wants to pull Aussie combat troops out of Iraq. And of course

Mr. Rudd, 18 years younger than Mr. Howard, has a reputation as a cerebral student of policy, as opposed to the Liberal leader’s image of a hardened and aggressive political animal.

Mr. Rudd’s rather dry image was if anything enhanced by the revelation which emerged shortly before the beginning of the campaign that he had got drunk and visited a strip club when he was on a visit to Scores New York in 2003.

It might be interesting to see what The Washington Post thinks… just kidding! There’s apic by Rick Rycroft of A.P. paper barely suitable for lining bird cages. The Seattle Intelligencer, however, has run one of the most broad-reaching international articles I’ve yet seen tonight. Although this particular article by Rohan Sullivan of A.P. gives a clear picture of what has led up to this change of government in Australia, my favourite paragraph would have to be…. well, just see if you can spot it:

Rudd, a 50-year-old former diplomat who speaks fluent Chinese, urged voters to support him because Howard, 68, was out of touch with modern Australia and ill-equipped to deal with new-age issues such as climate change.

Howard campaigned on his economic management, arguing that his government was mostly responsible for 17 years of unbroken growth, fueled by China’s and India’s hunger for Australia’s coal and other minerals, and that Rudd could not be trusted to maintain prosperous times.

Labor has been out of power for more than a decade, and few in Rudd’s team – including him – has any government experience at federal level. His team includes a former rock star – Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett – a television journalist and former union officials.

It’s a far cry from BBC Radio’s characterization of Rudd, as being “sort of like Tony Blair, but without the charisma”.

Stock market website Bloomberg often comes up trumps in news reporting. In matters of politics and policy agendas there is often an implication of ‘let the market sort it out’. At the same time, however, there is frequently news that breaks well before it does elsewhere, and often sufficiently impartial for readers and commentators to be able to analyse independently. Their pieces are frequently hard-edged and thorough.

“Rudd has convinced people there is nothing to fear from a switch to Labor,” said Clive Hamilton, director of Canberra-based think tank the Australia Institute. “His promise to ease labor laws and tackle climate change resonated with voters and he is seen as a safe pair of hands.”

Howard, 68, said he is unlikely to retain his seat, becoming the first Australian leader to be voted out of parliament since 1929. He accepted responsibility for the defeat and anointed his deputy, Treasurer Peter Costello, as his successor.

Australia’s second-longest serving leader, Howard was one of the first allies of U.S. President George W. Bush to send troops to Iraq.

And although financial paper Forbes wrote about the unlikelihood of a negative impact on the stock market in advance, any article that starts like this:

From a few convicts dropped ashore in 1788, Australia has developed into a first class global economy.

and then pretty much goes downhill is pretty intriguing.

update: BBC are also covering the rout quite frequently throughout the day. Their discussions with a US think tank suggest that George Bush will have been taken by surprise by this loss and won’t at all be happy about it. Heh heh heh, i say. More importantly, perhaps, is that the same think tank (from the centre-right) see this Rudd victory as a signal for Democrats still timid about running for office on an Iraq-withdrawal platform. Also interestingly on the BBC – in about 20 pieces of coverage running from one to five minutes in length, there was not one soundbyte from Howard. All of the audio was from Rudd’s speech about the future, and Howard was talked about very much in terms of goodbye to George Bush’s most loyal/automatic international supporter, ultra-conservative, racial tensions, hardline on refugees and workers. Very much a ‘good riddance, let’s go’ approach to the news from Britain.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

November 25, 2007 at 4:11 am

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