Over the course of 35 sleepy minutes, Kevin Rudd, speaking as a guest of the NSW Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon at the Hilton Sydney, glossed the history of the credit crunch, called for an end to “financial nationalism”, and offered the refrain “we’re all in this together”.
Mr Rudd’s big picture strategy, which emphasised the need to remove “toxic assets” from the international financial system, seemed more a pitch to the TV cameras than to the members of the chamber, who listened in vain for what they expected: the Government’s vision for small business in Australia today.
Of course, ‘vision’ in this case means ‘show us the money’.
The Federal Government has encouraged this cargo cult mentality. It has splurged $60 billion in a few short months. Anyone who has missed out is liable to develop a sense of grievance.
Small business does have one good point. The focus is always on big business, individual small businesses rarely make it onto the political radar in the way that a company like Pacific Brands makes the headlines. It’s unfair, but it’s always been that way.
The Rudd Government is enjoying a high level of approval and popularity. Hardly surprising after throwing all that money at the voters.
But it can’t go on.
Even Rudd and Swan will have to say “No” at some point.
We saw how people feel about that yesterday and we’ll see a lot more of it over the next few months.
Rudd’s tortured attempts to appear economically literate won’t help.
Rudd’s popularity will suffer accordingly.