Friday, 13 July 2007
As if to prove yesterday’s post, Dennis Shanahan’s close ties with the real world have not been enough to prevent him missing the point on Rudd’s call for an inquiry into grocery prices. The misunderstanding is best summed up by the Treasurer’s appearance on The 7.30 Report. Costello’s reply that prices are already monitored by the ABS misses the point – the problem is that people do not believe them. The implication of Rudd’s attack, which he is also making on housing affordability, is that the political class is detached from the real cost of living and hiding behind statistics that do not reflect people’s reality. This was reinforced by the dismissive performance of the Treasurer, who must surely be the most politically inept member of a major party leadership since Billy Snedden.
This is not, as Shanahan says, appealing to the hip-pocket nerve, but something more powerful, antagonism towards the political class. In effect what Rudd is doing here is starting up again his anti-politics strategy of portraying the government as detached from the electorate, like he did over the use of Kirribilli – a strategy that was brought to a halt with the NT intervention. There is a real basis of truth in this charge as both parties have a dwindling social base that makes them more reliant on artificial means like focus groups and opinion polls to tell them what is happening in the electorate. Rudd is better at making this charge against the political class because he himself is detached from his own party. However, it does not necessarily make him any better at establishing ties with the electorate as suggested by his fairly cringing attempt to tie in with youth on his MySpace site.
Posted by The Piping Shrike on Friday, 13 July 2007.Filed under Tactics