Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

26.11.07

Left, right.

There he was, on the front page, photographed coming out of church with his wife on Sunday morning, trying to look humble and not quite succeeding. The man who declared he was an economic conservative at his campaign launch. The man who slammed the Coalition's profligate spending promises.

Who was Right and who Left? Before the election, the papers were similarly all over the place. The editorially Right-tending Weekend Australian endorsed and recommended a Labor vote; Left-leaning Fairfax's flagship and only national newspaper, the Australian Financial Review, wanted to stay with the Coalition.

The voters bought. Left went Right, and Left won. You could be forgiven for thinking that Right is now to the Left of Left. It isn't of course, but based on the campaign, that's how it looked on major policy fronts. And now Australia has a conservative Christian Prime Minister - a Queenslander - who has promised to cut spending and slash bureaucracy. These attributes and a party nominally of the Left are not, of course, mutually exclusive; but in modern Australia they are collectively unlikely, particularly in the inner urban Labor strongholds which largely cleave to government largesse and generally instinctively reject religiosity of the church-attending kind.

From the other side of politics, congratulations to Mr Rudd on a convincing victory.

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