Looking forward to a sterile life in Rudd’s 2020 Australia
If things are looking good for 2010, just think about where we will be by 2020 in Kevin Rudd’s Australia.
In 2020, I will be 31 and the Prime Minister will be exactly double that.
Rudd will be at his peak having surpassed John Howard as the second longest serving PM only a few months beforehand. A good consolation prize, after his failed bid for the UN Secretary Generalship in 2016.
According to my day-dreaming during class, I will be settled in a leafy house with two children. One boy and one girl to be precise. I’ve even thought of names.
As a young father I won’t have much to worry about though.
By then, Rudd’s 2007 War on Drugs will be over. As will the 2008 War on Binge Drinking along with the 2009 War on Doping. The 2008 War on Downloads will hopefully be winding up too, which is just as well because Australia’s new superfast National Broadband Network will be leading the world by then.
So no drugs, beer or porn for my kids.
My life will be pretty sterile in some ways too.
The 2007 War on Whalers will mean my fondness for tuna will need to end, as will my now elderly parent’s newfound love of RSL Clubs thanks to the 2008 War on Pokies.
But Rudd’s 2008 War on Unemployment and the 2008 War on Disadvantage will mean I can be living the dream without many worries. And just to make sure, the 2008 Wars on Neoliberalism, Inflation and Banking Deals will take care of any evil capitalists still out there.
In 2020, the budget will be full of black ink again. But only if Treasury’s 2008 modeling turns out to be more accurate than a Godwin Grech email on their system.
The 2007 Education Revolution will finally be over, with school retention rates reaching 90% in 2020. Unfortunately, by then the laptops promised over a decade earlier will be the equivalent of using the prehistoric MS DOS today when they finally arrive. Just like the one used by Rudd at the policy launch.
Our health system will be leading the world though after a long-awaited federal takeover as promised in 2007. But only after the Rudd Government runs out of synonyms for reviews, inquiries, working groups, taskforces, forums, reports, commissions, summits, ministerial councils, boards and offices.
The child-care equivalents of an American Wal-Mart will be up and running too, according to a 2008 announcement, providing one-stop-shops where parents will no longer be needed.
There will also be half as many homeless people – down to just 50,000 – and we will be halfway to “closing the gap” between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians apparently.
But then again, if climate change hasn’t been solved by 2020, we are probably screwed.
The apocalyptic vision of the Garnaut Report will finally be unleashing havoc with a devastated Great Barrier Reef, a Kakadu flooded by sea water, and an utterly barren Murray-Darling river system.
So it is just as well things on the international stage are looking brighter.
Australia will finally be considered an “active middle power” in the world. But not because of our stint on the UN Security Council in 2013-2014, but because we will be hosting the next Soccer World Cup in 2022, a much more effective multilateral institution.
Relations with the United States will be better than ever in 2020.
President Hillary Clinton, halfway through her first term, will have never forgotten Rudd’s 2007 confession on Rove Live of his preference for her. And Rudd’s Asia Pacific Community goal will finally be a reality in the region, cementing his place in the corridors of history.
But don’t fear those Asians, because those F-35 fighter jets will have finally been delivered. A bit like ordering the Wright Brothers’ plane off the back of a napkin and having it delivered during the Battle of Britain.
Our submarine fleet will have also doubled according to the 2008 Defence White Paper, but only because each of the notoriously bad Collins Class submarines simply split in half.
Following the tragic death of the Queen (come on, she won’t make it to 94!), we will have carved our own path as a new republic. The catalyst: simply our inability to have someone with big ears as our King.
Rudd’s love of bipartisan appointments will be shining through still, with the newly inaugurated President Turnbull, who led the revitalized republican movement to its success. Rudd offered it first to Tony Abbott, but his ears were far too similar to those of King Charles for the people to distinguish.
Rudd will also be likely gearing up for his 2050 Summit later in the year when he realizes his neurotic love of the year 2020 might have been a bit too ambitious given the timeframe involved. But we are already seeing that now with the release this week of The Australia to 2050 Report.
But if nothing else, hopefully by then the $200 million spent on media advisers, monitoring and PR spin last year by the Rudd Government will only surely have shrunk.
That way, we can each get back to reality.
Thom Woodroofe, 20, is the Young Victorian of the Year and founder of Left Right Think-Tank. Email thomwoodroofe (at) gmail.com
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