Has no one noticed that Wayne Swan looks rather like a duck? Considering his name and the uncanny resemblance, it's surprising that more cartoonists haven't made milage out of it. Sorry about the silly picture Wayne; I really couldn't resist. The serious issue here is the current obsession with basic commodities like petrol prices, groceries etc. Do people really think that the government has any real control over such things? Surely they realise that imports are part of a global economy and as such can't really be controlled. As far as petrol goes, if anyone wants to play a blame game here they should be pointing a finger at previous governments for not exploring viable alternatives to petrol. It has been increasingly obvious for many years that a fuel crisis would develop sooner or later.
Certainly 'working families are hurting because of the skyrocketing price of fuel, high grocery prices and interest rates. Any government would need to address such issues to ensure political survival. Ultimately, these issues are a distraction; people can't expect a goverment to do what it can't, however much they would like them to.
People should be expecting the government to focus on areas where it can have some influence, such as dismantling the diabolical 'Work Choices' policy of the Howard goernment. This was an area that most people did very quickly see for what it was; a bad joke. The very name 'Work Choices' was a joke; the only choices most workers were being offered by their bosses was 'my way or the highway'.
Government can exercise meaningful control over areas, like:
- developing a more compassionate immigration policy (no more children behind razor wire please)
- a more reasonable approach to the Nothern Territory intervention and indigenous affairs
- a more equitable and efficient health system
- an improved education system
- a telecommunications/broadband network that doesn't lag years behind the rest of the world
- an improved public transport system
- a more progressive environmental policy
These are areas towards which the Rudd government has at least made some positive moves. Wayne Swan can be partially forgiven for his anatine appearance.