Peter Van Onselen is clearly miffed that not only could Julie Bishop not be bothered writing an essay for his collection “Liberals and Power: The Road Ahead”, but neither could the staffer she dumped the job onto …
The public stoning of Dr Henry in Wednesday’s Senate hearing and George Brandis’s bizarre behaviour on Lateline on Friday shows that the coalition had more in mind than political point-scoring last week.
The Australian may be making the right point that somewhere along the line, the RBA Governor probably did state the obvious, i.e. that banking guarantees distort the financial markets. But Turnbull’s disastrous appearance on The 7.30 Report last night is a reminder that politically it’s a stupid point to pursue.
Australian politics is in a strange position at moment. It has been realigned in step with what has gone on in the US and Europe, but without the direct pain of getting there.
Opinion polls suggest Australia is being run by the most popular government since Hawke’s early days. And there is little doubt that handing out $10.4bn will make it more so (this is even after ignoring the latest bounce to Labor in the AC Nielsen which is just a reversal of the mythical Turnbull bounce it reported last time).
Yet popular does not mean strong.
… if there is one thing Rudd knows how to do, it is to make his highly popular actions look like brave statesmanship.
However, behind this, Turnbull put his finger on two weaknesses that may come back to cause problems for the government.
It is always nice to see pensioners and low income earners get a hand-out. Indeed it is a shame that we had to wait for a financial crisis for it to happen. But it makes little sense from the way the government has described the economic situation.
Rudd is facing the same problem other governments are facing. In looking to be decisive, he is forced to act and talk in a way that undermines confidence further.
It is not hard to appear like a statesman against such histrionics.
Is the penny starting to drop about Turnbull?