Labor’s Parliamentary Performance

Iâve not made a habit of reading Hansard so these comments are necessarily those of a newcomer when it comes to parliamentary performance. Perhaps those of you who are old hands can disabuse me of the impression Iâve gained from the last four sessions and in particular todayâs.

Put bluntly, Laborâs efforts today in Questions Without Notice struck me as closer to Dorothy Dixers than the sort of searching examination one might hope for. First, Wayne Swan served up a lollipop to Costello about whether he had sought advice on the likely impact of a successful buyout on Qantasâ credit rating. It was duly dispatched to the boundary. Rudd followed up with two questions about a apparent minor inconsistency between the Treasurerâs answer and a statement of the PMâs quoted in the Fin Review. Once again, a four for the government. Rudd then labored over a series of questions revolving around the proportion of household income going towards mortgage payments and the rate of interest in Australia compared to other OECD countries. No discernable impact, indeed more realistically a small opportunity for Howard to once again trot out his economic management credentials. Finally, in what seemed to me a note of near farce, Garrett unleashed a deeply probing question as to whether the government would be supporting Sunriseâs Lights Off Australia on the 31st March.

About the only creditable performance from the Labor side I could see in my quick once over was a tidy little speech on Iraq from Chris Bowen during the Grievance Debate.

Is this really the best they can do?

This entry was posted in Politics - national. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
64 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
tim
tim
14 years ago

What happened to Monday’s Missing Link?

cam
cam
14 years ago

The House Hansards remind me of Young Ones’ Bambi where they trap Mel Smith into admitting the pig is some other animal, and then Rik says, “You fell for it like the fascist you are!”.

The best Hansards are from the Senate. It is a far more deliberative body. The best speeches are in the adjournment periods, especially in the Senate, though the House occasionally has a good adjournment speech, but the House being a closer representative body often will make one about their constituents or a group in their constituency – which is good too.

Because the Executive resides in the House, the House Hansard is pretty much a write off as the executive and shadow executive use it to bicker. I also suspect that anyone who reads the Senate Hansards for any length of time will end up considering casting a vote for the Australian Democrats.

cs
cs
14 years ago

There is no opportunity for searching examination of anything at all in Question Time, which is why you found more satisfaction in the Greivance Debate. The only place in parliament that approaches the possibility of “searching examination” is senate estimate committees. The most you can do in Questions is seek to get the government to go on the parliamentary record on matters of public interest and politically strategic importance.

The “apparent minor inconsistency between the Treasurer

Austin
Austin
14 years ago

“Is this really the best they can do?”

Yes. Pre-selectors don’t select the candidates on parliamentary performance or any passion for the issues. It is all about which faction you are involved in. (Note that this doesn’t apply to all parties).

This kinds of garbage has been going on for years. However, it will be far worse for the Liberals if defeated at the next election. I can see a lot of front bencher who will not like opposition. The Liberal backbenchers have a pretty bad performance record when it comes to important but non-topical issues. That is, those issues which don’t have government guidance. Without the financial support of government, they are going to have a terrible time of it.

Mike Pepperday
Mike Pepperday
14 years ago

To expect anything of question time is naive. The lower house (federal and states) is theatre.

The two sides put a lot of effort into planning Question Time tactics in the hope of scoring 30 seconds on the evening news. It is two war-painted tribes hollering and dancing and shaking their spears and making little fake forays at the enemy. They are careful not to draw blood. Rarely, someone gets over-excited and throws a spear which causes a casualty. Then things can get out of hand as a spear is thrown in return and the chiefs have their hands full trying to get back to the normal pracing and taunting. (It is quite rare; the Mal Colston business comes to mind; also the “possum” who was rorting his allowances in Tasmania.)

Sittings of the lower house do nothing. They don’t amend legislation, they just pass it to the upper house which, if no party has a majority there, may amend it, in which case the lower house will obediently agree with that amendment. For legislation, the clerk of the lower house should be given a rubber stamp saying PASSED. Nothing would change except for a marginal improvement in the evening news.

In short, sittings of the lower house are superfluous and the members know it and so nothing said there has to do with its ostensible topic – or is of any significance at all beyond a kind of tribal (or schoolyard) rivalry.

cam
cam
14 years ago

Mike, The two sides put a lot of effort into planning Question Time tactics in the hope of scoring 30 seconds on the evening news.

One of the interesting things is that the text based format and quick posting of the Hansards to the web mean that many bloggers read/cut/paste them. I would say the Hansards have wider dissemination in the blogging community than in the mass media. Politicians arent idiots, and the media, both narrow and broadcast, are outlets for them to market their message too. I would not be surprised if we start seeing Hansard speeches aimed/targetted at certain blogger/sites so they get wider publication than just the Hansard itself.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
14 years ago

Question time should be closed down. A complete farce.

Bring Back CL's Blog
Bring Back CL's Blog
14 years ago

Question time is vastly over-rated.
It is biased in favour of the Government of the day.

Having said that Mark Latham ran rings around the Government in Parliament but this never translated outside.

Costello is always said to be the Government’s best performer yet he has been hopeless in the last two elections. Remember him being lectured on basic budgetary costings by a journo on the ABC or making his pathetic pledge of staking his reputation on his criticisms of ALP economic policy.

Nick is correct

cs
cs
14 years ago

I’m sympathetic Ingolf, but the opposition cannot make an argument in Question Time, any argument; it can only ask very short questions, alternating with government Dorothies. A debt (or saving) question will be ignored by Costello, as he will rave about reducing government debt or about the recession we had to have or low unemployment rates, etc etc. There is stock government patter on all the obvious fronts. The challenge is not to ask a sensible serious question, as this will only be met by a government speech, but to win a headline, trap the government on the record about something or other, or generally try to make the other side look sillier than your side, and so on. Such is the politics of Question Time, alas. And so it goes.

Bring Back CL's Blog
Bring Back CL's Blog
14 years ago

I have always thought short succinct questions are better than 5 questions wrapped in one.
Costello is no different to Keating in ignoring the questions and the reporters being thoroughly impressed with the bombasity.
Question Time as Malcolm Fraser pointed out in 1975 is loaded in the government’s favour.

I am always struck by how important pollies think it is and how the punters ignore it!

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

Ingolf, the toned down question time of this week seems more of a case of “saving their powder” – the election is still many months away, and the opposition and government would surely be saving up their biggest guns for then.

At the moment, the strategy on both sides that would seem most effective would be a “white anting” campaign. The government would be well advised to clean up as many loose ends as possible (and are doing so) and the opposition to lay out a few broad themes and slowly gnaw away at the most vulnerable parts of the governments support base (small l liberals etc).

I think this is basically what is happening – it may do Labor some good to lay low for a while after the heavily covered start out of the blocks.

cs
cs
14 years ago

Yes, I think David is right. There will be a major debate on economic policy in this country before the election, and it may well be the decisive debate (assuming that, as I read it, the national security debate has now gone to a rough draw). The opposition’s timing on this is important, for it will have to be done in conjunction with, or at least with a view to, announcing its major policy directions, which are unlikely to be clear until after the ALP’s national conference, along with other political stratgic considerations. The day that, or the day after, the Max Factor swept the news is no time to be wading into such serious waters.

Mike Pepperday
Mike Pepperday
14 years ago

I think there some funny ideas here. I am not against a sporting debate or against stand-up comedy. And political parties may announce policies and argue them and try to score points off each other. But the acceptance I see here, that that is what the legislature is for, depresses me.

In Canberra, we built our rulers a luxuriously furnished, marble palace on a hill and we supply them with liveried servants to record their every precious word. This shall be the legislature of the Commonwealth.

It does no legislating. We are being swindled. The lower house members themselves know it and are caught in a pointless game.

How is it that you are content with this costly sham and seek, as in some sporting competition, for relative slickness in the conduct of the charade?

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Question time should be closed down.

It is infuriating, and could do with some changes, but I reckon there’s real value in having a constrained place where the buggers come face to face. It allows for a heap of observation and non-verbal communication to occur, from which significant developments are decided upon and backed into being. If a govt is doing well, it feels it; similarly, if an opposition is doing well, that visceral sense can inspire them considerably.

I think it’s important they have to get dressed up and are forced to smell each other, eyeball each other.

On a different tact, we have to remember that QT is dependent on talent. They’re a bland lot currently; part of the diminishing, dimming and dumbing of Howard’s carefully chosen tactical style. It’s not necessarily about entertainment, but there is something to be said for exhibiting depth and talent and sharing a mental capacity to invoke complexity and even humour, serving to offer us a bit of a reason to have elected the fuckers.

Parliament without QT would be like an All Blacks game without the haka. It’s wrong, it makes you angry, but you gotta love it for what it does to you in return.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Question Time today was interesting. Rudd peppered Ian McFarlane with questions about whether he – the resources minister – had met Ron walker and the other players in that new nuclear outfit. The minister for resources meeting business players in, er, resources. Wow – what a scandal. A veritable Iraqi Loans Affair right there. Howard got up and revealed to the House that he had seen Mr Rudd talking to Walker at the soccer! What’s more, said the PM, Steve Bracks was there too! Much hilarity and grim silence on the Labor side of the aisle. The Womble retired hurt and the next Labor question went to the backbench. Abbott finished proceedings by pointing out that Rudd was trying to be all things to all people. He “supports” the US-Australia alliance but won’t help the Americans in Iraq; he “believes” in fighting terrorists but not the ones in Iraq; he “supports” climate change initiatives but won’t countenance a debate on nuclear energy; he claims to be an Anglican but has never left the Catholic Church. Devastating stuff. I think we have our post-honeymoon leitmotif on the Leader of the Opposition: Flipper Rudd.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

…policy directions, which are unlikely to be clear until after the ALP

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Abbott was sensational today. Focused, quick, concise – dare I say brilliant? His years and years of training then excelling unto commandment in parliamentary oratory are showing daily now. Powerful; yes, devastating. His ability to cut wombles and wobblers down is of such exultation that he has no need for the tools of lesser beings, such as humour, wit, or even altered tone of voice. And what a tone of voice! Beautiful, rich, lustrous blended joy.

Howard today as ever appeared in complete control, at ease, and the world statesman of immense historical stature he is.

The womble, meanwhile looked flustered and completely out of his depth – you could almost feel him quivering in his flip flop Blundstones.

cam
cam
14 years ago

Mike, It does no legislating. We are being swindled. The lower house members themselves know it and are caught in a pointless game.

That is because the lower house isn’t a legislature – it is an executive.

The irony is in the US people are concerned about the President signing executive orders with a mind to trump/negate legislation. In Australia our executive orders and legislation are the same thing. The only separation of power we have is the Senate – and Senators can be in the executive too. The bottom of the barrel is Queensland as they have no upper house and no true legislative body.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

The womble, meanwhile looked flustered and completely out of his depth…

He did, actually. Now he’s suggesting a conspiracy theory re the Walker nuclear company and the government’s nuclear inquiry. No word yet on whether Walker has had any contacts with Roswell or Opus Dei but Rudd is now heading into Latham territory. Remember the Dirt Unit?

cs
cs
14 years ago

Christopher Sheil
14 years ago

Oh, and yes, your team is playing strong on installing nuclear power stations in Australia. Sure got a winner there. Yep, if I was a Liberal, I’d run hard with it. Sure fire winner, no doubt. Why, I can hear the votes filing into the LNP column on nuke power stations as I type. Hell, it’s all over. Can’t beat that policy. No Sir. Damn and blast. Outplayed again.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

The government had to do something to counter Labor’s promising ‘shut down the coal industry’ idea.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Latham wackiness alert:

The Federal Opposition says Prime Minister John Howard is pursuing his own nuclear power agenda by secretly encouraging business identities to build nuclear power plants.

LOL.

Paul Frijters
Paul Frijters
14 years ago

Should question time be abolished? Rather depends on what you think its role is in various circumstances.
Unhindered by much knowledge, my two cents is that Australians are so exceedingly well-off that politics is mere entertainment for many of us. Australians are relatively rich, have high welfare levels, relatively high and good schooling levels, no outside enemy to worry too much about at the moment, productive capacity to spare, good weather and good food. In such circumstances, one should expect people to tune out. Question time then is pantomine, but this does not mean it has no function. The main function at the moment is to check that the leaders are not going gaga. And the brutality of question time ensures a flailing leader is caught out immediately.
Should issues arise that get the blood boiling, question time is a good way to hold the executive to account then. And I dont believe for a moment that if the attention of the nation is on an issue that ministers and opposition leaders would get away with merely playing games and one-upmanship.
Question time thus seems in rude health. It serves a good function now, is entertaining, and seems ideally suited for more serious times. What more could you want of an institution?

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Good points, Paul.

Chris, I think you’ve missed it entirely on the nuclear push. When there are too many Liberal and National MPs for inclusion in news bulletins coming out in favour of their PM to say “Over my dead body” and “There’ll be no nuclear reactors in my electorate I can tell you that for bloody sure” and so on, what you are witnessing is a form of reverse federalism. This is clearly another devastating attack on Rudd. You see?

What these policy and path supporters are doing is highlighting not only Howard’s man of steel capacity to withstand pressure, forget the beacon deacon of a broad church line, they’re also serving to cut through into the electorate as per party room plan to pick up on voter sentiment at grass roots level and supply that through the system to the man at the top. The PM empowered with visionary inspiration reiterates the “cleanest greenest” line of nuclear power, gets heralded as standing firm, and the process recycles itself. Perpetual energy of antiRudd federalism.

Your cynicism is grossly unfair. This concerted attack by the LNP by its very action – remember, words are one thing but the electorate wants actions – illustrates in deed the whiteanting effect on Rudd’s hollow public regard, and the public feeling relaxed about it get to sit back and enjoy how the LNP is working for them, perpetually.

.. reminds me of that song.. “I knew an engineer before he died, uh humm, uh humm….”

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Labor’s Luddite Ruddite scare campaign (with conspiracy theory about secret Nuclear Businessmen!!!) – similar, in spirit, to the IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL 2004 campaign against the unpopular Iraq War – only shows that the ALP is still too juvenile for the Treasury Benches.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Juvenile in the sense of charging admission and giving away goody bags? The show which must will always go on?

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
14 years ago

Paul,

I like your approach to question time – a public check that leaders haven’t gone ga ga. It’s definitely up to that – and a robust check as you say.

I guess my objection is that the routine asking of questions as abuse and ‘answers’ being abuse rather than answers is a degrading spectacle a kind of parody of accountability.

What the pundits look for in question time is body language. So it favours those who have the least compunction in NOT answering questions. But it does, as you say prevent a situation such as seems to have occurred in the latter days of the Reagan presidency when as I understand it the president went a bit ga ga.

Then again, a question time in which the government faced some discipline to actually answer the questions would be a much better check on sanity. As you go ga ga you retain a lot of your linguistic body language as it were. (I recall seeing an old family friend a few years before his death. We spoke for about ten minutes before he got tired and he was ALMOST normal. But I think I could tell that he was wondering who I was and trying not to let on that he had no idea.)

Ronald Reagan could still make speeches and so on at the end of his presidency, so he could probably dish out the abuse just as well as ever – which is what he would have had to do in our system.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Can’t say Albanese is ‘overly attractive’ as an exponent but his growing attempts regarding the Lying Rodent (as the wider context including the Speaker’s actions) is wickedly entertaining….

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Hilarious stuff today with Ms Bishop telling the now struggling Womble “somebody took someone else’s idea, who’s a naughty little boy?” – he having presented his stolen national curriculum policy as the Labor Party’s own. The Opposition Leader swivelled embarrassedly away with Costello and others demanding “face the front, Kevin”, “face the teacher”. HAHAHAHA!

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Was out of the room for that comment C.L but caught a brief clip this evening on radio. The purists dislike that sort of stuff, but the “face the front” was funny.

cs
cs
14 years ago

Interesting exchange, that one. It was a striking mini-moment, I agree. I see that Grattan says it made Bishop just look silly, while elsewhere it was reported as leaving Rudd red-faced.

I was, perhaps oddly, reminded of Latham’s over vigorous hand-shake with Howard last election. The government walks a fine line with these sorts of personal attacks, as does anyone using similar. Unless they are genuinely funny, as distinct from merely partisan funny, or can draw a legitimating counter-response of the same standard, the attacker can easily look stranded out of court on reflection, as Latham was.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Forget Ron Walker: Rudd dined with Burke.

cs
cs
14 years ago

Apart from the already cast political classes, Burke is purely a WA story, Currency. Perhaps the ALP generally will take a hit over there, but usually these Perth things also end up snaring the other side of politics eventually. Small town and all that. Fat Lady and all that. Still, the federal Labor caucus will be breathing another sigh of relief about ditching the Beazer.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Chris, I think the malodorous waft emanating from the nation’s corrupt State Labor governments will be a definite goer for the Federal Coalition. ‘Keep one government non-Labor’ etc. Yeah, agreed, I love the big doofus but the Beazer would have been full of buckshot over this by now.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

The culture in the Liberal Party isn’t all that lovely either, C.L., wafting out from under the covers. You may find voters don’t give a hoot about state issues in the face of a federal election, federal issues, and that maybe voters looking at Howard are utterly bloody sick of him.

The Burke issue has raised similar attacks today (Exclusive Brethen etc) with the govt looking a little like clutching at straws, and the ALP no better. At least these built up mini-biters are getting a wash through the system hopefully to be done with. I wonder if there’s also a bit of a public expectancy about things being crook in WA and move to write it off much as the AWA was written off. The mining boom looms large in the public mind as well and WA issues tag along with that. Rudd may get some mud stuck for a while but I wonder if this doesn’t also come with a subversive sort of admiration for him showing a touch of ruthlessness.

These personal attacks from the Libs are telling in that they are giving away an admission of their own style and tactics: accusing the Labor party in words of the very things they do. Downer is particularly good at it, as of course the baldy. And overall QT provides a forum where the crookedness of politics actually gets voiced in these backhanded ways. Perhaps by blaming an opponent of something they do themselves they are relieved of any guilt for a time.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

“…personal attacks from the Libs…”

Come off it. Howard is the most vilified political leader in a generation and, in the last week, has been accused of setting up a nuclear inquiry on the say-so of Ron Walker – a man with an impeccable record. Secret meeting, Labor cried.

On the other hand, Rudd actually DOES have a secret meeting with one of the most corrupt Australian politicians of all time (a convicted criminal) but to mention that is a “personal attack”.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Correction: Rudd had THREE meetings with Burke. What did he promise to do for Burke and when did he do it?

cs
cs
14 years ago

Yes, but we must remember the context of the two attacks, as they are diverse in important ways, especially motivation.

The questions raised about the meetings with the Put-Nukes-in-the-Backyard businessmen go to live matters of public policy, given the pm’s explicit endorsement of this very idea as the way back to the future. In this sense, the questions of Howard are not personal at all. It wouldn’t matter if the pm had been meeting with Ron Walker, Rupert Murdoch, Sir Hooray Henry or Burke himself. If they also happened to have just started up a Put-Nukes-in-the-Backyard corporation, the same policy questions about what has been ticked off or not would be relevant. This is simply an opposition doing its job.

The attacks on Rudd are, on the other hand, purely allegations of stand-alone personal guilt by association, implying that the very touching of the man carries a personal contamination of character. It is not only cheap, but foolish, I think, since everyone knows that bumping into Burke is what happens to you sooner or later when you move around in the ALP sub-culture. The attacks imply that Burke should be exiled to an island by himself somewhere, like a leper, for everyone else’s safety. Come to think of it …

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Howard is the most vilified political leader in a generation

By who? Certainly not from the media, Cunse, which has variously been bland, sycophantic, dumb, non-questioning, cheerleading, compliant, simplistic. Howard has had a dream run for the extent of the things he’s done, partly of course to his playing the cycle against itself. However, the level of questioning, insight, and investigative thrust has been minimal, let alone any ridiculous claim for vilification.

Vilified from the ‘sphere? Mate, he’s been let off lightly. You’ve heard only a whisper – wait for the parties in the streets, literally, when he’s gone, and a healthy Australian sunrise the next day.

Re Rudd, good news the honeymoon is over. They’re barely tolerable. If Rudd achieves now he’ll be credited for it, if not, we’ll know clearly enough. The Burke thing is an exact example of what Chris says, in that to think it’s not about playing the man – a personal attack – included in their assessment has sung themselves down the river. This is the current government’s style all over.

And look at the issues the current government is facing: Iraq, IR, climate change, productivity, unspoken poverty and big-business nuclear – and in return it goes the man.

Keating hit critical mass for his personal attacks – the Liberal Party is not immune to that happening to them. Abbott, particularly, is pushing the envelope.
Any perceptions of “running the country” and “statesmanship” go out the window when that personal vitriol comes out. It’s not a good look, and I reckon the public get that as much as if not more the intended damage.

Ken Parish
Admin
14 years ago

If you were a Coalition apparatchik, you’d probably think that beating up Heavy Kevie’s meetings with Brian Burke into something dreadfully sinister-sounding is fair enough, given Labor’s comparable efforts to characterise Howard’s contacts with Ron Walker over nuclear power plants as somehow dodgy in the extreme. Sauce for geese and ganders? Which is which?

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

The concern with the Team Nuclear business boys is that Howard is working behind the scenes to impose an agenda on the Australian public, possibly against its will, given the results aren’t in that Australians want it. Howard has form in that regard. Not saying it’s happening but that’s the concern. That’s an entirely different thing than meeting with Burke,.. for ..what?

Obviously there are personal elements in the Team Nuclear/Howard line of attack, but at its core are issues that affect the place, and deserve to be questioned and answers given. (Which won’t come, of course, but it’s a valid line of questioning given Howard’s track record on under-radar activity and the seriousness of the nuclear power issue. There is a public right to know issue there).

cs
cs
14 years ago

If you were a Coalition apparatchik

Agreed. For apparatchiks, yes, it is a case of source, geese, ganders, etc. It’s all the same to an apparatchik. Punch for punch, whatever; it’s all politics and everything is the same, or at most relative, to the quest for seeking and maintaining power.

Yet, as Robert and I have both said in out different ways, from a public policy perspective, the distinction between the two is surely clear:

(1) did the PM meet to advance a surreptitious public policy agenda favoring nuke plants?

(2) did KR meet to advance a … what, exactly? There is no apparent answer to this. The issue has been raised to muckrake the odour of Burke in order to smear KR personally purely by association.

cs
cs
14 years ago

Forgive, but a couple more points.

Unless the government can supply an answer to (2) above, I suspect this is a 24 hour wonder, limited in its effects to some indefineable federal fall-out on the ALP in WA. Without more meat, the Burke-smear will have a status similar to the Qld smears – bugs on KR’s otherwise clean windscreen, compelling only to the naive and predisposed, as the car drives on nonetheless.

But what I really wanted to add was that I agree with Robert re thank goodness for the declaration that “the honeymoon is over.” This ages Kevin in the job, and quickens our way to substantial political adavnces. Next, I’d like to see KR’s polling leads come back to realistic levels, and then we can really start getting the prize in the sights.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

I agree it’s a short term hit, Chris. How many times can it be used against Rudd? Unless, of course, something else is unearthed, but from several media accounts it appears Rudd was put off by the attack but his responses of relative innocence plausible.

To show how short term it is, all Rudd has to do is table a whipcrack policy tomorrow and he’s off and running again.

Using Grattan on this thread, she’s called it pretty well I think. Shots in the dark.

More realistically, this is attack is an early part of the heavier pattern we’re sure to see.

Labor is going to have to do something about Albanese. He’s terrier-like in parliament but whiny and a fair bit of a vulnerability. I wonder if a woman could manage opposition business and make it harder for the Liberal’s personal attacks.

In terms of the end of the honeymoon, and in light of the intensity of the attacks to come, I’d say we’re coming into stage three of the sex cycle of marriage. Stage 1 of course is when you are newly married and have sex all over the house; Stage 2 is when you’ve been married a while and have sex only in the bedroom; Stage 3 is when you pass each other in the hallway and yell “fuck you!”.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Again with the “personal attacks” fantasy, Robert? Rudd had three secret meetings with the most notorious criminal in modern Australian political history. Nah, nothing to see here.

Dream on, brothers.

Rudd has been pulverised.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

Don’t underestimate the enormous damage done by union hack and Rudd successor, Bill Shorten, this week either. Various Labor figures – by no means fringe players – now want to shut down the uranium, coal, cotton, rice and forestry industries. Labor also wants to fight terrorism by surrendering to terrorists, meet Australian base-load energy needs with hot rocks and windmills; plus, go to the election with at least three competing IR policies, the stolen Naughty Boy national curriculum policy and no medical policies that anyone knows about. Come National Conference time, Rudd will be given a pre-planned “victory” or two but will essentially be standing around outside – metaphorically speaking – waiting, qua Gough, for the Faceless Men to give him his orders. The fundamentals for Labor are very bad, to say the least.

C.L.
C.L.
14 years ago

And, importantly, will Brian Burke’s China Plate and dinner-time divertissement expatiate on his Dietrich Bonhoeffer worldview at the National Conference?