IT’S TIME TO GO… LINDSAY.
There aren’t too many former fish and chip shop owners putting out books about how the next bloke to take over the shop just can’t get the chips right.
You know why?
Because it’s boring. And it looks like sour grapes. As does former ALP politician Lindsay Tanner’s latest book.
The worst thing for Tanner about his book, “Politics with Purpose” is that it came out three months too late. His claim that the ALP has lost its way when it comes to reform looks a bit limp when the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the carbon tax, the mining tax, government-subsidised dental care for children and the NBN are all either implemented or imminent.
Perhaps Lindsay should have spent a bit more time reading the papers instead of trying to get in them himself.
His biggest beef seems to be that Kevin Rudd was hard done by when he was ousted in 2010. Isn’t it time we let this lie? It was two years ago—that’s a millennium in politics.
Lindsay Tanner & Kevid Rudd. Image via SBS.
Tanner is contributing absolutely nothing useful to the current political debate. He knows that, he’s a smart guy. It’s just vindictiveness hidden behind a few clever phrases.
If Rudd is as savvy as I suspect he is, he’ll be irritated and embarrassed by Tanner’s latest round of bloviating. I am sure Rudd doesn’t want to go down in history as the world’s biggest victim.
With years of political life left in him, Rudd has, if he wants, a chance to re-invent himself as a worthwhile and useful local member that has the good of his electorate as his main goal. He can leave the stereotype of the embittered, white-anting former leader behind him. Tanner is stopping him from doing that.
Lindsay Tanner is an enormously intelligent man. He is a voracious reader, a good writer and has vast experience when it comes to complex economic policy. There must be a bazillion companies, especially NGOs, that would leap at the chance to have someone like him on their board.
So why doesn’t he do that?
He currently advises for an internationally owned investment bank called Lazard, which focusses on mergers and acquisitions. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe taking a job with a company that specialises in takeover bids wasn’t quite the ‘politics with purpose’ Tanner was hoping for. If that’s the case, he should look for a job he would find more meaningful.
Whatever he chooses to do, it should be anything apart from writing another bloody book that will only give the Liberals something to gloat about.
Abbott has said that Tanner’s new book proves that the ALP is a “squalid party that wants to re-elect Julia Gillard”. (As opposed to a squalid opposition that wants to elect Tony Abbott, I suppose.)
Tanner has played right into the opposition’s hands and guaranteed his name will be mentioned on the news for the rest of the week.
If he’d wanted attention that badly, instead of becoming the Liberal party’s new plaything, he should have auditioned for the Big Brother house.
It is also somewhat annoying that the media gets excited about these books. Reporting on yet another embittered ex-politician is not news. It’s gossip. Oh my goodness, Peter Costello called Tony Abbott ‘economically illiterate’! (I think most of us could have worked that out for ourselves.) Oh gracious, John Howard said Costello was ‘bitter’. (No. Really? Because you treated him so well, John, that comes as a surprise to all of us.) Mark Latham is angry about…okay, it might be easier to find something Latham is not angry about.
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