Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Not surprisingly-tough versus right

No surprise that Malcolm Turnbull gave Kevin Rudd the thumbs down at the National Press Club today. What fascinated me was that while admitting he had taken many 'right' decisions, his strongest critique was that he had not taken 'hard' decisions. There was an implication that it is easy to take right decisions but only 'real men' can make hard decisions. I
I sort of understand this, but I actually wonder if it's merely populist nonsense, that appeals to a pseudo macho ethic that some push-poller is promoting as the latest differential to be exploited .
Does the Liberal party assume that the electorate prefers someone who does what is hard to someone who does what is right? (The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive).
They may be correct, but that doesn't mean that this makes for good government.
Howard was 'hard' about immigration, sectors of the electorate loved this. But in my opinion it was poor policy, opportunism of the worst sort. It caused Australia to be perceived as racist in the eyes of the world, it was expensive and divisive. But hard....yes it was hard!
Hard is, of itself, not a value. We should be asking questions like is this policy good and right? These are the values; 'hard' is simply a description of how easily the policy can be implemented.

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