Dear Kevin,

The first time you were PM you inspired me. You ramped up foreign aid and focussed it on helping poorer countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals; gave us a more humane asylum seeker policy; delivered that spine-tingling apology to the Stolen Generation; and declared climate change the greatest moral challenge of our time.

You took a courageous leap into the political and economic unknown when the GFC hit. Following Ken Henry’s advice you went early, went hard, went households. And it proved wise. It’s amazing how little damage we sustained.

Then the wheels fell off. Hubris seemed to get the better of you and the machinery of government ground to a halt. You took a great idea in the mining tax but blew the negotiations, and then you lost me when you backed down on climate change, subordinating the greatest moral challenge of our time to tawdry political expediency.

Now you’re back and it seems things are different. Your rhetoric at least suggests you have learned the importance of consultation. Have you also learned that you need to delegate decision making to your Ministers? Time will tell.

I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am at the lurch to the right your Government has taken with regard to asylum seekers. Every time I think it can’t get any worse, your government and the Coalition prove me wrong. I had hoped you would reverse this trend, but apparently my hope is misplaced as your senior Ministers have now started speaking of asylum seekers as economic opportunists. Dog whistling indeed.

Please don’t give me Kevin09. Give me a humbled and chastened Kevin07, a PM who has learned the art of collaboration and drives a morally principled agenda, a PM I can tell my children to be proud of.

You’re a big Bonhoeffer fan. Maybe you can wear a WWDD – “What would Dietrich do?” bracelet. Not a bad question is it?

 

Yours sincerely

 

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