The week began with the combined forces of the Foam-O-Sphere directing their heavy artillery on a supposed weak spot in the hitherto impregnable defences of the Rudd campaign.
Altitudinous egghead Peter Garrett, provided the foamers with their first big break when he neglected to insist that China and India must tighten their carbon belts before Australia would tighten hers.
Mr. Garrett had agreed that the belts of China and India must be tightened for global warming to be slowed, but hadnt tied our tightening to their tightening and as a result found himself in a tight and tricky spot.
The Foam-O-Sphere fired a withering front page barrage with memorable headlines like Ha Gotcha, Climate Calamity for Labor and Dont even think about voting for these anti-business-union-thug-jobkilling-communist-symathising-me-tooing-pretenders to the throne or words to that effect. And the Government followed up the attack, yelling Jobs Away confidence bolstered by its recent climate makeover and fad dieting binge and a hastily tightened carbon corset.
This media barrage was partly designed to derail Labors planned week of environment policy releases, and partly to cover up the embarrassing stain caused by a very unsightly Malcolm Turnbull loves Kyoto cabinet leak.
The foaming flopped however when Health Minister Tony Abbott decided to exhibit signs of a personality. A big no-no in these tightly scripted campaigns. Mr. Abbotts first crime was to accuse a dying man of not being pure of heart. The PM had made it clear last week in response to The Chaser song that insulting dead people was unforgivable, but Mr. Abbott choosing to skate close to the edge – was still burnt. The PM having no choice but to support the beleaguered Mr. Abbott lauded his actions as showing spine. More like spine tingling Id say.
That was just one part of an Abbott trifecta which included swearing and unpunctuality. The end result being that Mr. Abbott managed to ensure that the main TV headlines of the week were all about him.
As the week comes to an end, with the polls looking unchanged the Foamentariat, to its profound frustration, is left with just one angle of attack. The rather lame charge of me-tooism. With no opportunity to thunder about ideology or market interference, the foamsters are getting intensely frustrated and more and more likely to thunder about not very much at all.
Rudds plan to differentiate only on Workchoices is looking savvy indeed. Will we see in the last week of this campaign a sudden and dramatic policy shift from this most pragmatic of PMs in an attempt to resuscitate his political career?. The PM remember is not above a bit of ‘me-tooism’ of his own. So might we see the most daring me-tooism of all in the final weeks? No. I dont mean the PM abandoning Workchoices and adopting ALP policy. I mean going all the way and joining the Labor Party.
Update Friday 5:00pm: Woops. A last minute blunder by Peter Garrett potentially blows all the gains of the week. An emergency meeting will be required to bang a few eggheads together, and a clarification by Rudd explaining that there will of course be some adjustment of policy once the true state of the mess that the government has left behind is revealed. Plus a subtle reminder that Steve Price is not a credible witness anyway.