Dear Mr Rudd
My name is Gedalia. I am a Jewish blogger from Western Australia. I have some things in common with members of your party. For example, I am a faceless man who likes to influence discussion. I am a working class person, with values, and a belief in social progress. I would love to be able to position my political support behind the Labor party (the real Labor party, not the one currently masquerading as a Government), but I am simply unable to. I am writing to you to let you know that I think you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Tonight is the start of a new Jewish month, the month of Adar. Within the month is a festival called Purim. This festival is about political intrigue, comical and delusional leadership, nonsensical power plays, and absurd public policy. We celebrate the festival through frivolity. We mimic and mock the establishment, and we dress up in costumes to conceal the real identity that sits behind the mask. The mask represents the faceless man who deludes himself into thinking he wields political control.
The custom to dress up on Purim is from the book of Esther. The queen conceals her face, a gesture that we mimic. The Hebrew word for face is “panim”, which is unusually a plural construct. It signifies the many emotions of our expression. The origin of a related verb is “poneh”, meaning to turn, in effect to turn your face towards or away from something. If we change the grammatical tone (binyan) it becomes lifnei – what stands before us, or bifnei – to be in the presence of. The word Pnim means what is inside, the connection being that the face discloses what sits inside. So you see that the cliché of the faceless men of Labor, the force upon which you base your statement of resignation, is deeply rooted in Hebrew linguistics, and very relevant to the season.
As within all Jewish matters, amongst the parody sits a real and concerning truth. My problem with you Kevin is that you have discredited Australia and delivered a disservice to the Australian taxpayer. Your egotistical pursuit of a seat at the UN Security Council, the governing body of an inept organisation that fails in its mandate of collective security, has cost Australia dearly. You have morally compromised the ethical integrity of Israel by supporting moves to let Australia affirm UN resolutions that are based on lies and deceit. You have allowed huge amounts of Australian aid to go to Countries that subjugate populations, and delivered my taxpayer dollars to places that return no accountability and no humanitarian outcomes, all the while there are desperate needs for those same funds to be applied domestically.
The Government that you are part of has ruined the quality of life for middle Australian’s. When you became Prime Minister the Government had huge financial reserves to draw on. Remember the future fund? But then came the GFC. Your stimulation drew on all those resources and more, simply to buy time, but not to solve the problem. Out came the chequebook, and then your Government kept borrowing. OK, so you are no longer a friend of Wayne Swann, but since the election the Labour-Green Government has borrowed an average $1.6 billion a week. We now have a gross debt of $170 billion, and somehow we are going to have to pay it back. You are part of that Government.
When Labour promised not to bring in a carbon tax, firstly yourself, then your successor, I believed you. I have not heard you speak out against this badly constructed tax regime, and I note the Parliamentary record has your vote on record to support it.
Last year I gave money to a relief fund for Queensland flood victims, only to find out a few days later that the Government would tax me with a levy, forcing me to contribute a second time. Thank you to your Government for teaching that there is no longer any purpose in being charitable.
Now the Government that you are part of has removed the private health care rebate, making me pay more for healthcare that I already pay my taxes for, and I still have to pay for even after my taxes and insurances have been put to work.
Your Government removed the indexing of middle class welfare thresholds, pushing my cost of living beyond reasonable bounds. You create an education rebate, then you shift the eligibility to the point that hard working families are unable to access it.
When you and your party deliver a government that can’t fix the economy, but can issue a dozen press releases a day attaching the blame to someone else, I have no option left. I realise that the opposition are hardly any different to yourself, and that the Greens policies are even more lunatic but the bottom line is that based on performance, the Australian Labor Party does not deserve to be governing Australia again for a very long time. The sooner you force Julia to the polls the better, but your delusional objective to wrest back the Prime Ministership will not change the systemic incompetence of Labor administration and the poor policy that continues to be instituted.
Your vindictive pursuit of the faceless men of Labor is a sideshow of no interest to the Australian public. As a voter I care not for the ego’s of Federal Labor politicians. I am not scared by the notion that unidentifiable powerbrokers deliver factional control and therefore the leadership of your political entity. The leader of the political party is there to represent the movement, the policy, and good government. What Labor can’t work out is that it is not about the person who is leader. It is about the policy of the Government Administration that the party drives. At the moment, it doesn’t matter who is leader, the message remains off target and it is driving hardworking Australian households towards economic oblivion.
Thank you for throwing your toys out of the cot and resigning. No doubt Stephen Smith will take your place and do a far better job than you. No doubt Julia Gillard will continue to lead this Government, whose mandate to govern comes not from the electors, but by the maverick independents and the misguided Greens who deliver the balance of power and are hardly willing to terminate their finite political careers early. The worst case scenario is that we have another 18 months of this.
Mr Rudd, thank you for your contribution to this nation’s political decline. Please go now and consign yourself to political oblivion. Go and have a bourbon . Who knows, you may even become one of those very faceless men who destabilise the Labor party from within. Wouldn’t that be ironic!
Happy Purim, and may your superannuation package that I helped pay for keep you comfortably cared for. May you live long enough to see the fortunes of the people of this Country restored for the better by a Government far better than the one you led and the one you served in as a Minister.
Yours with undue sincerity