14 November 2007

Two silly

First, the weakly Jase. I was getting worried that I was starting to agree with him, then toward the end he came out with some typical silliness:
The one Liberal who is having a very good election campaign is the party's former Victorian president Michael Kroger. Kroger is everywhere — on television, radio and in print. Kroger is everywhere, except the place the Liberals need him most — campaigning for a seat of his own.

And that's how he likes it, and as much good as he'll ever do.

Now that Malcolm Turnbull has turned a seat Labor has never held into a marginal what the Liberal Party needs is cash. Kroger should be taking over from Ron Walker as the bagman and the justification for the party not ignoring Melbourne, its worst-performing state capital.
It's not too late for Kroger, who is only 50, to think about a move into federal politics.

Yes it is. He had his chance in the early '90s. He had another chance when Peacock stood down - Kooyong was his for the asking. Yet again, when Peter Reith stood down he could have brushed Greg Hunt aside - no. You can see why he's such great mates with Costello, can't you? The Hamlet Brothers.
He's rich, he looks good, and he knows the Liberal Party inside and out.

Untainted by the Howard Government, Kroger has a freshness that none of the current front bench has and he knows how to wield the knife.

The hand that wields the knife and the head that wears the crown shall be fed by different hearts. It's some sort of rule, look it up.
If the polls are right, then more than one ex-minister will be a looking for an early exit ...

They needn't look far - looks like the voters are going to replace some ministers with Labor candidates. What on earth makes you think Kroger has any sort of common touch, Jase? Is he really going to sweep on with the fat and greasy citizens, writing polite letters to Labor ministers asking to help this constituent with their social security payments, that one with a visa? Do you really think he'll impress anyone at all north of the Murray? That's the daily grind of politics, Jase, and Kroger knows it's beneath him. Why can't you see that? Don't you understand politics at all?
... giving Kroger the chance he needs to get in and sort things out.

Kroger was a big man in Victorian Liberal politics late last century. Result: a decade of Labor government and that state almost went bankrupt. Jeff Kennett worked out the way to get the Liberals into government: shun Kroger. How important was Kroger in getting Howard up in '96? Not very - the safest place for him was on telly, at least you could see what he was up to and it left the professionals free to work unencumbered.

Feel free to leap to that conclusion yourself, Jase. You've finally got Costello, now wake up to Kroger.

Rudd left himself open to attack by vaguely defining the national security apparatus, but it required a better response than this:
Australia's current system works. Each of the 13 distinct organisations that Labor proposes to bring under the umbrella of its new department, including ASIO and the Australian Federal Police and customs, have adapted well to the post-September 11 environment.

There have been notable successes, including many that haven't come to light I'm sure. Yet, the stumblebum approach to immigration cases in particular makes an assertion like this hard to sustain. Plus, while civil liberties concerns would bog down an effective response to fake militant Islam and other threats, they have a legitimate role to play in considerations as to whether (and for whom) the system "works".
But it was the department's failed emergency response to Katrina that will be forever etched in the American public's mind.

The sight of thousands of helpless families waiting weeks for outside help was a low point in the Bush presidency.

In Australia, while somewhat on a different scale, state and federal emergency management authorities responded quickly and co-operatively to the devastation left by Cyclone Larry after it hit Innisfail, Queensland, in March 2006.

This is all true, and has nothing to do with averting disasters caused by human destruction. This is a real straw man, Josh.
Even the Americans, despite the problems with their agency, never sought to combine their law-enforcement agency, the FBI, with their intelligence agency, the CIA, in one department.

Yes they did, Josh. The original plan was for the heads of FBI and CIA to report to the head of DHS.

The Yanks have not come up with the right model for defence in an age of asymmetrical warfare, and the British and Canadians haven't come up with the right model either. Who has? If there was one area of government that needs to be profoundly rethought, national security is it - and she'll-be-right is the one policy response that is guaranteed to be absolutely wrong.
Joshua Frydenberg is a former senior adviser to Prime Minister John Howard.

Another reason to get rid of Howard, and The Age too.

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