The fact that Labor is considering returning to Kevin Rudd suggests its inability to learn from its mistakes is genetic.
"Labor has been down the Kevin Rudd route not once, but twice, before and both episodes ended in disaster," Senator Boswell said. "To even contemplate giving him a third go is irresponsible."
Senator Boswell said few people gave relevance to Rudd’s experience in the Goss government in Queensland in the 1990’s when they considered his credentials to lead Labor in 2007, but there would hardly be a Queenslander who lived through that era who would not have confidently predicted the disaster a government led by him would become.
"When Kevin Rudd was the undisputed, all powerful, control-freak, back-room guru of that government virtually everything he and it touched turned to mud. Spending went through the roof, and the wheels just spun. Health spending doubled but the system fell apart, very publicly. Nurses demonstrated with placards reading Bring Back Joh. Senior doctors quit with public blasts for the government on the way out as entire wards in major hospitals shut - while the bureaucracy ballooned. The increase in education spending was almost as steep but the system was just as publicly in disarray.
"A fully funded workers compensation scheme, the only one in the country, developed multi-billion dollar long tail liabilities because benefits were increased, while premiums were decreased. Defensive claims from the government that it had been wrong-sided by grasping lawyers making outrageous common law claims met with undisguised derision from a bipartisanly respected reviewer of the disaster.
"Allegedly huge capital works programs rolled over, year after year. Only one major project was completed in the entire five years of the Goss/Rudd regime, but that was a power station planned, scheduled, and budgeted for by Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The lights went out in Queensland regularly, and catastrophically, for months in the late 1990’s because of chronic stalling over more generating infrastructure planned by Joh that made blackouts inevitable.
"A prison was shut to save a few million dollars only for police watch houses to rapidly become defacto jails, a situation that persisted for years. Even Supreme Court judges lambasted the government from the bench over that one, and the attempt at spin from the government that there had been an unexpected increase in criminality was contradicted from within, in a report from the Public Sector Management Commission that said the government had, in fact, virtually no idea what was happening with prisoner numbers. Its excuse was just spin.
"Every excuse the government threw up was vigorously and publicly contradicted by the people in the front line but the government simply ignored them and kept up the random spending, and the constant spin. Does it all sound achingly familiar?
"Despite all this, Labor is reportedly seriously considering giving him yet another go.
"Any member of the Labor caucus considering inflicting this on the country has an obligation to speak to some Labor veterans of the Rudd era in Queensland. If they do, Kevin Rudd’s bid to again be Prime Minister will be nipped in the bud. There must be no third time lucky approach to Kevin."