Well, only time will tell whether Julia Gillard’s carbon tax system is an heroic and idealistic attempt to save the planet as some want to believe, or a mindless attack on our frail manufacturing industry and way of life.
We are pioneers in new territory, with very little else to use as a reference to give us clear direction or confidence. If you enjoy irony, place the actual economics of the program alongside the ones negotiated by Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. There is very little difference between them, apart from the tax reform that was smuggled in as a redistribution of wealth by stealth.
We have yet to see what the outcome will be, if any, for the environment. The main outcome of the last one was to have both Malcolm and Kevin lose their jobs. In spite of the Labour Party’s apparent ‘rock solid’ support behind Julia, the news from behind the scenes is indicating serious questions like, “Will she be capable of selling it?” Questions have already been asked of possible alternative leaders, one in particular, who has said he wasn’t ready to assume leadership before the next election.
Power might be heady stuff but it’s a terrible experience when you know you’ve lost influence and are trying to hold your head up.
Today the crowing rooster in the hen house, tomorrow the feather duster!
There are two questions a very senior and respected Labour man believes the party is waiting to get answers for that will seal her fate. 1: ”Are they listening to her anymore?” 2: ”Do they believe anything she says anyway?”
It is always the unanticipated events that can bring you down.
The one thing that Barack Obama and Kevin Rudd didn’t anticipate when they came to power was the global economic crisis that nearly unravelled the whole world’s economic system.
Kevin Rudd’s response was to release billions of dollars into the economy to fund his education revolution by putting up hundreds of libraries all over Australia, and providing free computers for students. Similarly he fatefully rushed hundreds of millions of dollars into a scheme to insulate our houses.
The intention was heroic. It was to use the nation’s surplus to shore up jobs for the workers. The coalition would have been likely to have done exactly the same thing, but because they were not in power at the time, they are not the ones now wearing a big target on their back.
In hindsight it is now clear too much money was released and not enough good administration put in place to oversee the allocation of the money. There was too much waste but nobody had the crystal ball to see what was needed, and for how long.
There are three key words that typify effective inspirational leadership – inspiration, integrity and implementation. Kevin was, I believe was a great inspiration but the organisational integrity of the process and the patchy implementation sadly left a lot to be desired.
Every new government policy when released, always has unintended consequences.
Every brand-new model motor car has the unique selling proposition we are told about. It is always better however, to buy the more mechanically refined second or third edition of the model because there are always unintended consequences.
Personally I have done many things in my life, with the best will in the world, and had my self-confidence shattered. I had to face unintended consequences and in the words of Charley Brown wondered, ”How can you be so wrong when you’re so sincere?”
Welcome to life, Charley Brown.
There are times when leaders feel they are trying to find an ‘approximate solution to an insoluble problem,’ but they still have to have the courage to act on as much as they can see at the time. Hope is present if they have the humility to pray like Elihu in the book of Job, “That which I see not, teach thou me.”
A situation will almost never turn out exactly as we imagined it, and if we are humble, however badly it turns out, we will do better the next time round. But that assumes we don’t give up, and are willing to let God educate us.
This also presupposes that the very culture you’re in when the challenging situation occurs, is also humble enough to be able to learn If so it will learn life’s most important lesson that ‘failure isn’t fatal.’ In real life we are all on a learning curve and I as leader always saw an honest mistake as the price of education for all involved in the enterprise.
Back to Julia; we all know it’s not going to be as simple as she says, but will she, Tony, and subsequent leaders have the humility to acknowledge where the reality was?
We are all pioneers in the business of coming to terms with a world we have been irresponsible in.
We are all pioneers in a world we have never lived in before. To some extent that is a feature of life on the frontiers in the 21st century. In the words of the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard “We must live our life forward, but have the courage to understand it backwards.”
Maybe that is why we are told “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”.