"Not for the first time in history, the international challenge for social democrats is to save capitalism from itself: to recognise the great strengths of open, competitive markets while rejecting the extreme capitalism and unrestrained greed that have perverted so much of the global financial system in recent times. It fell to Franklin Delano Roosevelt to rebuild American capitalism after the Depression. It fell also to the American Democrats, strongly influenced by John Maynard Keynes, to rebuild postwar domestic demand, to engineer the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and to set in place the Bretton Woods system to govern international economic engagement. And so it now falls to President Obama's administration - and to those who will provide international support for his leadership - to support a global financial system that properly balances private incentive with public responsibility in response to the grave challenges presented by the current crisis. The common thread uniting all three of these episodes is a reliance on the agency of the state to reconstitute properly regulated markets and to rebuild domestic and global demand.
The second challenge for social democrats is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. As the global financial crisis unfolds and the hard impact on jobs is felt by families across the world, the pressure will be great to retreat to some model of an all-providing state and to abandon altogether the cause of open, competitive markets both at home and abroad. Protectionism has already begun to make itself felt, albeit in softer and more subtle forms than the crudity of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Soft or hard, protectionism is a sure-fire way of turning recession into depression, as it exacerbates the collapse in global demand. The intellectual challenge for social democrats is not just to repudiate the neo-liberal extremism that has landed us in this mess, but to advance the case that the social-democratic state offers the best guarantee of preserving the productive capacity of properly regulated competitive markets, while ensuring that government is the regulator, that government is the funder or provider of public goods and that government offsets the inevitable inequalities of the market with a commitment to fairness for all. Social democracy's continuing philosophical claim to political legitimacy is its capacity to balance the private and the public, profit and wages, the market and the state. That philosophy once again speaks with clarity and cogency to the challenges of our time."
(Kevin Rudd, February 2009, No. 42, The Monthly)
CNNNN is an Australian television programme. It takes delight in parodying some of the conservative aspects of recent Australian life. This includes the increasing popularity of ''newstainment'' (as it threatens to undermine the priority of investigative journalism) and the efforts of the Liberal (social-conservative) Party (before their 2007 Federal election defeat) to undermine some of the fundamental rights and values of Australian society.
"Australia has formally apologised to the stolen generations with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reading a speech in Federal Parliament this morning.
Both Mr Rudd and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin received a standing ovation as they entered the Great Hall before the Prime Minister delivered the speech.
Former prime ministers Paul Keating, Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser and Sir William Deane were all seated on the floor of the Parliament as well as 17 people representing the stolen generation.
Redfern [inner city suburb]
Mr Rudd''s speech received a standing ovation at the Redfern Community Centre, where hundreds gathered.
Residents, workers, families, students and Sydney''s Lord Mayor Clover Moore braved the rain to watch the speech via a large outdoor screen.
David Page, composer with the indigenous dance group Bangarra Dance Theatre, said he liked the fact that Mr Rudd made a personal apology.
''It was very moving to see a prime minister with a bit of heart. I loved it when he said he was sorry. There was just something personal about it. It''s very hard for a prime minister to be personal,'' he said.
Enid Williams, 72, who was brought up on a mission in north Queensland after her father was forcibly removed from his family, said she was happy with Mr Rudd''s speech, but said it was now important to look to the future.
''I''m 72. The main thing is the young people, to give them a better future.''
At Martin Place in [central] Sydney, hundreds of Sydneysiders from all walks of life gathered to watch the Sorry Day celebrations holding Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Men and women in business suits, schoolchildren and other passers-by of all different backgrounds cried, smiled and stood in respect as they listened to Mr Rudd apologise."
(Dylan Welch, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2008)
[This has been a long time coming - and is something that was clearly beyond the capacity of the previous Australian Liberal Party administration!]