Part 2 of Colossus of Cabramatta
Myth # 2: “Gough stuffed the economy, blew the budget, and made a mess of the joint” (The Liberals)
The Liberals love this one. Only the last part of it is even remotely true. Gough’s major downfall was trying to achieve too much too soon. After 23 years in opposition, having missed the global tide of left-wing reform in the 1960s, Gough and the ALP had a truckload of ideas they were aching to unleash.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve waited. No government is capable of focusing on more than a handful of key policies at once. The ALP learned from this mistake – the Hawke-Keating years were a succession of drastic, much needed economic reforms, spread out over the course of thirteen years. Gough tried to squeeze in the lot in three, and the government collapsed under the confusion and turmoil.
But that’s as far as it…
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