Tempus Fugit

24 November 2008

Yep, time certainly flies by as I get older.

It hardly seems possible that a year ago today David and I were crammed into a community hall not far from here with a couple of hundred others and the world’s press.  The walls of the room were lined with television screens and in the back drop of the TV studio, we could see ourselves partying,  The eyes of Australia were focused on Bennelong and in particular on that community hall.  We sang ourselves hoarse, we stamped our feet, booed and cheered.  And this after most of us had been up since before 5 that morning and spent the day standing at polling stations.  But, boy, was it worth it!  We’d got rid of John Howard and I think we all felt pretty pleased with the small contribution we’d made.

Last Friday night, Maxine McKew hosted a party for the volunteers and supporters and it was great to meet up with everyone again. 

So we’ve had “Kevin 07” for a year.  And has it been worth it?  He doesn’t set the world on fire with his oratory style that’s for sure.  I think we were all pretty sick of “Australian Working Families” and now he’s declaring war on everything – “War on Alcopops”, “War on Unemployment”, “War on Internet Porn” etc etc.  But his popularity rating is still at over 60%.  People see him for what he is and they trust him.

He signed Kyoto, he said “Sorry”,  he fulfilled his promise this week to legislate for equality for gays and lesbians  –  though not as far as legalising marriage yet. 

He’s been criticised for going overseas so much but frankly if the Government can’t function properly without Kevin sitting at his desk in Canberra, he’s picked the wrong people.  He’s hopefully mending fences after Howard brought this country into such disrepute.

Today the Zimbabwean Government is being criticised for refusing a visa to Kofi Annan but I remember just before I came to live here that Mary Robinson, then head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, was refused a visa to come to Australia.  A first world, democratic country refused a visa to the head of an international organisation of which we’re a member because she may have criticised it for its appalling record on the treatment of refugees.   We now hear that a number of those asylum seekers who were sent home apparently had good reason to fear for their lives – they were killed as soon as they got back.

John Howard famously said that the day America elected Barack Obama would be the day Al-Queda would be dancing for joy in the streets.

Kevin has a lot of fences to mend.


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