Letter from

Letter from … Sydney

First published in Progress magazine

Changing leader was enough to save key bits of furniture. The much-predicted domino effect in western Sydney never happened. But neither did the great seat pick-up in Queensland.

Paradoxically, Kevin Rudd’s second stint as prime minister has secured the substantial achievements of Julia Gillard, both his successor and predecessor. The Liberals do not have a majority in the senate and will now struggle to get through key policies, and will find it harder still to undo Gillard’s reforms, including the Gonski ‘better schools’ plan and DisabilityCare Australia. They have even had to accept significant parts of these changes into their party platform. (more…)

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Letter from … Sydney

First published in Progress magazine

From afar all looks well for our Australian cousins. A Labor government has delivered sustainable growth and ensured this is the only country in the G20 not to suffer recession following the global financial crisis. Domestically, it is making majoritarian, nation-building investments in public life that sit firmly in the centre-ground of politics but are undeniably Labor legacies. These include investments in schools, disability services and high-speed broadband which are, as Ed Miliband would say, ‘for the many’. It dominates a policy agenda that the unpopular opposition Liberals have to readily adopt in huge proportions, normally dragged kicking and screaming by their own state premiers, interest groups and the voters, but overall leaving small, yet important, areas to scrap over. (more…)