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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Give Me a Dictator

All right, I don't really want a dictator. Just because Hosni Mubarak unified and protected Egypt, made her strong, and got her out of debt and back into the Arab Alliance, does not mean that I, if I was an Egyptian citizen, would be prepared to put up with that degree of corruption, despotism and fascism. The prospect of being locked up simply for criticizing the government is not one which holds any appeal.

Australia would need to start a penal colony in the desert or on some far flung Pacific island if our government starting arresting people for bagging it. Thank God that's not the case, and I am free to write of my extreme disappointment with our political leaders.

Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and her predecessor, Kevin Rudd spent a great deal of time talking about making tough decisions. All the government minsters do the same thing, as they dribble out the nausea inducing phrase, 'what's best for the national interest'. They don't follow through though. Lots of talk, and very little action.It happens at the state level as well. They make some big announcement, they encounter opposition, they say they will resist that opposition and make it happen, but the criticism increases, the political heat rises, and they back down.

Kevin Rudd gave the states an ultimatum on health. Sort yourselves out, he said, or I will. When he first talked about nationalising the health care system, I could have hugged him. There is insufficient time here to go in to the details as to why this was and still is, not only a great idea, but absolutely necessary. The point is when the deadline arrived the Prime Minster caved in and went for a namby pamby compromise which he tried to sell to the public as some sort of revolution. It was nothing of the sort, but it was at least a start. Julie Gillard announced this week that the government has decided to ditch that allegedly revolutionary deal. Why? Too much opposition from the states. Who wears the pants in this country, Julia?

Politicians speak as though their every word, tone of voice and facial expression will become the subject of intense scrutiny. That's because it will. They waste endless words justifying and explaining themselves. They can't talk straight and they can't back up their rhetoric with action. Why? No courage. They are afraid of the polls, afraid of the media, afraid of being unpopular. Tell me how many great leaders throughout human history cared about their popularity. Great leaders, I said. Whether they were good or bad men or women is beside the point. I'm talking about leadership.

Where are the true leaders; the courageous, the visionary, the passionate and the single minded? I'm so sick of poll driven, media boot licking, indecisive political leaders who talk the talk but don't walk the walk.

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