Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Tactically, Rob McClelland’s proposal to oppose the death penalty for the Bali bombers would have to be the worst thing to have come from Labor’s campaign all year.
It was so off-message that reports Rudd did not know the content of the speech could be credible.
But the hypocrisy of this is not that Australian politicians are saying one thing at home and another overseas, but that they are saying anything overseas at all. It escapes this blog what gives Australian politicians the right to go to somewhere like Indonesia and tell them that their sentence for a terrorist who blew up 38 of their own countrymen was too severe.
The only reason there is a furore here is that the same bombs also killed 88 Australians. If it is understandable that some parents of Australians killed in Bali may be upset at Labor’s position, then it must also be understandable why Indonesians are even less impressed with such moralising from foreigners. McClelland’s apparent lack of diplomat’s ear for such hypocrisy that would encourage him to back off, will probably disqualify him from keeping his portfolio after the election.
Having said that, the front spread of The Age on the “Me-too mess” suggests a growing frustration at Rudd’s policy positions from some quarters. A charge that had been mainly levelled by the government a few months ago at the time of the NT intervention and Haneef, is now shifting to the left (in fact the government preferred yesterday to create policy differences where none existed). It is a sign that traditional supporters of Labor who assumed Me-tooism was an electoral tactic, must be recognising that what they see now will, after the election, be what they get.
Posted by The Piping Shrike on Wednesday, 10 October 2007.Filed under Media analysis