Saying sorry shouldn’t be a strategy

If any further evidence was needed of Labor’s inability to understand the changed public mood across Australia (and the slide in public support for ALL Labor administrations) it came today in the form of The Media Tart. Yes, former Queensland premier, Peter Beattie, has chimed-in from the sidelines. Though whether his advice is welcome is a moot point.

Safely ensconced in a quite lavish, publicly-funded lifestyle in Los Angeles you’d have to wonder if the toothy one was suffering a bout of relevance-deprivation syndrome. Perhaps it was just a rainy day and he had no business deals to conclude? Whatever.

Beattie’s intervention was triggered by Kevin Rudd’s tacky public apology for the lacklustre performance of both his government and himself. Rudd couldn’t quite bring himself to say the Sorry word (a lesson learned from Peter Garrett who appears to have quite forgotten his previous persona c. 2000) but he made clear he felt he had to eat some humble pie.

Beattie thought it was lovely stuff and was moved to tears from the other side of the world. (If you lived here you’d really know what frustration was, Pete, but who could ever blame you for riding the gravy train?). Beattie gratuitously offered all current Labor premiers some heartfelt advice: Say you’re sorry anytime you think you’ve screwed-up. The public like a bit of humility in their leaders.

It’s a fascinating image to ponder all those Labor mates choking on their weeties as they wished they could get their hands around Beattie’s neck. LOL!

So, what triggered the intervention? Maybe Beattie was worried that his legacy (apology instead of quality administration) was about to be purloined by KRudd. Maybe Beattie was just feeling homesick and wanted to get re-involved. Maybe Beattie really believes he developed a unique political style (the politics of sorry). Or maybe he just doesn’t get it yet.

Peter, Australians are sick to death of political spin and theatrics as a substitute for quality performance. We are tired of ineptitude. We are tired of a lack of grace from our leaders (just apologise for the deaths, Garrett) and we are tired of sham instead of substance. Frankly, the mood suggests we are just tired of Labor. Full stop. No-one’s writing the ALP off yet but only those who refuse to see cannot discern the number of baseball bats being stockpiled on verandas right across the nation.

Wouldn’t you like to come home, Pete? There’s a few things we’d still like to ‘discuss’ with you.