Is Rudd\'s honeymoon over? Let\'s ask Tex Perkins

June 14, 2008

There has been a lot of speculation in the mainstream media about whether or not Labor PM Kevin Rudd's honeymoon with "the electorate" (that is media-speak for us) is over.

The media commentary usually highlights very real questions facing ordinary people such as rising interest rates as well petrol and food prices — which are causing pain to the "working families" Rudd professes to love so much. His budget for the rich didn't really help much.

But the question goes much deeper and gets to the heart of our relationship with the PM. When Kevin Rudd was elected, he had a key quality that won us/"the electorate" over.

He wasn't John Howard. And for that, we loved him.

But is that enough to sustain a healthy relationship? Let's face it, we were on the rebound from a bad long-term relationship. We needed to get away from John and Kevin was there.

However, do we even have much in common with Kevin?

After all, polls suggest we want troops out of Iraq: he wants to keep hundreds of them there. We are not keen on the Afghanistan occupation: Kevin is increasing our involvement.

Also, while he swears to us he is serious about climate change, he just won't commit to the serious action urgently needed to combat it. It is clear he has strong feelings for the coal industry. He should just admit he loves them.

It's not like we are saying he can never see the coal company CEOs again. If he wants to meet up every now and then for coffee, that's cool, we wont get jealous. But, for our relationship to work, he really has to stop sleeping with them.

And one of the things we really couldn't stand about John was his cruelty to refugees. It turns out Kevin's government is refusing cases brought by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for those seeking asylum in our country on humanitarian grounds at a rate even higher than the previous government, according to a May 8 ASRC statement.

Then there is the mixed messages he has been sending us about Indigenous rights. First, he seduces us with the historic apology to the Stolen Generations. Then the no-good two-timer goes and keeps up the racist, apartheid-imposing Northen Territory intervention!

Then there is how he promised us, crossed his heart, that he was totally dumping Work Choices and it was all over, all the while he has actually been quietly keeping most of it anyway!


So — is the honeymoon over? Well, it is still early days and many of us are still pretty happy about seeing the back of the previous guy. And the full extent of Kevin's two-timing policies (saying he loves "working families" while going to bed with the corporate rich) remain unclear for many.

Still, more and more of us are looking at the state of our relationship with Kevin and declaring, as Australian rock legend Tex Perkins once put it: "The honeymoon is over baby/ it's never gonna be that way-ay again".

That's right, as Perkins sung in The Cruel Sea's 1993 single, The Honeymoon is Over, we're "gonna get that tattoo, changed to another [pollies] name".

The only reason this relationship came about in the first place is the lack of any decent alternative. I guess the time to start building that alternative is now.

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