By any normal measure, the government term that is now coming to an end has been an extraordinary one in Australian political history. Starting off with a Prime Minister losing his seat, then an unprecedented dumping of a Labor Prime Minister in his first term, with a myriad of opposition leaders coming and going in the background.

Future pol sci students looking at this time might be wondering what world-shattering events were causing such political upheaval. The irony was while there was one, the worst economic crisis in a lifetime, it hardly made any direct impact on the Australian political scene. While all the comings and goings were not happening in a vacuum, it was the state of the parties themselves that was the immediate driving force.

What we are seeing in Australia is a political crisis in slow motion. For most of the last three years that crisis has been focussed on the Liberal party. Coming to the surface as the Howard government imploded in its final days, it was full blown by the time of Turnbull and his ousting. Turnbull brought out the dilemma that exists for any redundant political organisation, the irreconcilable choice for a party between standing for its traditional values – and electoral viability.

Since Howard’s departure the old leadership had managed this by hiding behind a more palatable alternative and putting pressure on them to adopt to its vote-losing agenda, then discarding them when they became useless. That started to be more difficult under a less compliant Turnbull and attempts to try again with Hockey failed after Turnbull polarised the issue in his final days. The result was that the Liberals ended up stuck with a highly unpopular leader on the back of a highly unpopular policy, climate change scepticism.

Almost immediately the old guard had to tone down their scepticism once they took the leadership. However, their need to talk about what they wanted to talk about, rather than what the electorate wanted to talk about, meant that the Liberals still looked detached, or incoherent, particularly its leader, who suffered very mediocre polling for a new opposition leader.

What distinguished the media throughout the crisis in the Liberal party was a constant under-estimation of its problems and a persistent attempt to see “business as usual” when things were clearly not. So the Howard implosion became a Costello ‘challenge’ even well after Howard’s departure; the unprecedented wipe-out of the Liberals in the states was just a normal swing of the pendulum; and Turnbull was going to show the ’game was back on’ when he took over, despite little bounce in Coalition polling when he did.

But it became harder for the media to delude themselves with Abbott. The attempts by even the most blinkered right-wing commentator to talk about Abbott and Barnaby ‘cutting through’ and a groundswell of scepticism building against climate change action eventually had to be abandoned. Abbott remained unpopular, and a little odd. Henderson recently tried to point to Abbott’s polling as not being bad as some inner city types think. But actually what he is pointing to is a recent steady improvement in his polling.

Because fortunately for Abbott, even before he took over, the problems were starting to spread to Labor, signalled by surprisingly shaky governments in the states, but coming to Canberra especially after Copenhagen. Rudd’s declining authority in the party and his declining polling began reinforcing each other. This was especially after the party made its presence felt with the back down over the still popular ETS and backing off from a highly popular confrontation with the Labor Premiers over health reform.

As Turnbull’s fall did for the Liberals, the unprecedented dumping of a first term Labor Prime Minister brought out the crisis in Labor. Gillard, of course, is no Abbott. She is a far more effective operator, and although never out-polling Rudd prior to taking over from him, was nowhere near as unpopular as Abbott was when he took over and has clearly out-polled him since, even if her own approval ratings are somewhat unexciting for a new leader. Yet Abbott’s personal polling has generally improved over the last month, and while the media is missing it, there have been some signs the Coalition is starting to hone in on Labor’s problem that lay behind her rise.

Like Abbott’s, Gillard’s accession was largely internal driven, and since then, Labor has had to justify it to everyone else. The trouble is, the more they do so, the more Labor’s underlying problem comes out.

At first it was all about Rudd being mean to everyone and lousy ‘internal polling’. But given that this made Labor MPs look pathetic or poll driven in turn, this has largely not been pursued, except by journalists who can’t read polls.

Seemingly more sensible is to make it about polices, a government ‘losing its way’ and ‘needing a new direction’. The problem is that not only does this mean trashing a record that a government should be running on, but has meant that the ‘new direction’ is largely what Abbott has been banging on about for the last few months. In other words, rather than Abbott appearing out to lunch and more worried with his own party’s concerns, than the electorate’s, it now seems he had his finger on the pulse all the time. Indeed, to such a degree that it necessitated Labor taking the extraordinary measure of dumping its own Prime Minister in his first term just to catch up. How far this has gone was brought out by Gillard at her speech launching the campaign when she made a deal of how much they were agreeing with Abbott’s view on border protection and gave the strong impression that she was more running against Rudd than Abbott.

This clearly has some problems as well. So what has emerged is the final preferred way, not talk about it at all. Journalists have complained about the vapidity of Gillard’s over-used “Moving Forward” slogan, but then it’s not just for them, or indeed us, but also the edict towards her own party and supporters to move away from the Rudd dumping. The less sophisticated version of this in the left blogosphere are Labor hacks screaming at others who were questioning the dumping to “move on!” and “get over it!” within a few days of it happening.

This may be comforting, but it ends up making the dumping of a Labor Prime Minister no big deal. This points to the real problem Labor faces in this election. It’s not the Rudd sympathisers to worry about, Rudd had already lost a lot of cross party appeal, so those who are angry are unlikely to stop voting Labor, even if it might have to go through the Greens first to get there. Nor is Queensland parochialism necessarily that much of a big deal, or at least to the extent that it is not a proxy for something else. The main problem with the Rudd dumping is that it makes Labor look like a bunch of rootless flakes who change their Prime Ministers like someone changes their season’s wardrobe.

This is what the Liberals are getting at when they talk about the need for “stability”. This may seem cheeky from a party that has had three opposition leaders in as many years. But firstly, dumping an opposition leader is far less a big deal than dumping the head of government, as shown by the far more times it’s happened and secondly, the Liberals at least managed to make Abbott’s ascension look like a point of principle, rather than what seems like a poll driven whim by Labor.

That is why Labor is rushing to an election. Antony Green says that the idea that Labor is going “early” is wrong when compared to other first term governments since the war. But this is just making a clever academic point. None of those other first term governments changed its leader part way through. Given that we had a new leader promising a “new direction” and insisting on being judged on her performance to deliver it, calling an election after three weeks is “early” whatever way you want to look at it. Gillard is wanting the election to overcome the problems her internally driven climb to the top has given her, a lack of political legitimacy.

What we have then are two leaders, chosen for mainly internal reasons and approaching the electorate on the same internally focussed basis, and this could be tricky. We already saw it on day one of the campaign; especially from Abbott with his attempt to bury Workchoices, which was unconvincing not only because of Abetz’s promise to “tweak” industrial relations, but from Abbott himself who refused to rule out campaigning for it the following election, which in turn just raises the question why not campaign for it now instead? Or easier still, why not do neither and just introduce it anyway like Howard did? The need by the old guard to assert their “values” through an irrelevant piece of legislation could be just too tempting over the next few weeks.

But less obviously, at least at this stage, Labor could have the same problem, if not appearing as shambolic as the Liberals. Everyone has enthused at how “clinical” and clean was the surgical removal of Rudd, but that is usually what happens when you operate on a corpse. The media may hate gaffes and stuff ups, but the sight of a party calmly accepting a Pacific solution some of them carried on about when Howard did the same a few years ago, can be a little unappealing as well, even positively creepy. With both leaders trying to prevent from coming out the real reasons that put them there in the first place, it suggests an unstable campaign with volatile polling. Either way, even though the bookies are suggesting this is the most comfortable approach to an election by a government since Holt’s in 1966, to this blogger, it doesn’t feel like it.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Monday, 19 July 2010.

Filed under State of the parties

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37 responses to “Self absorbed and deluded – cross party edition”

  1. David Jackmanson on 19th July 2010 10:22 am

    The point about the PM’s lack of legitimacy is the start of a good rebuttal to the pedants who say “It’s the Westminster System, idiot!” whenever anyone questions the undemocratic nature of the leadership change.

    Of course no matter what the constitutional niceties are, legitimacy comes from persuading people to vote for you.

    I suspect Gillard will win the election, because Abbott still looks like a flaky lightweight who says a different thing each month.

  2. The Piping Shrike on 19th July 2010 10:28 am

    In fact not only do leaders need legitimacy from the electorate for themselves, but these days for the party as well.

  3. john Willoughby on 19th July 2010 10:34 am

    “Moving forward” sounds like the bastard child of Rollback.
    This could lead to gingivitis.
    Has anyone seen a worse case of the “Frank Spencers” than the strain contracted by K.Rudd.

  4. Tweets that mention Self absorbed and deluded – cross party edition :The Piping Shrike -- on 19th July 2010 10:47 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Jackmanson, The Piping Shrike. The Piping Shrike said: Both parties are approaching this election more focussed on themselves than the electorate […]

  5. Dr_Tad on 19th July 2010 12:35 pm

    I think your analysis is pretty spot on here, TPS.

    Looked at from below, this is an unpredictable election not because of the qualities of the two sides (or leaders) but because they are fighting a battle so divorced from the lived experience of most voters. The only time they seem to refer to economic insecurity is when they are trying to displace it into xenophobic angst.

    My suspicion is that Gillard will scrape through because of the residual progressive hope that was invested (mistakenly) in Rudd when he appeared to rise above the morass of official politics, but I am not 100% sure.

    Her resort to the right-wing dog-whistle clearly reflects the lack of any positive agenda for Labor’s traditional working class support base. It’s all smoke & mirrors, pathetically covered by most in the MSM (and many bloggers) as “real politics”.

    Meanwhile capitalism will be “moving forward”, widening inequality, hollowing out society and lurching into periodic crisis. A great result for the ALP’s traditional supporters.

  6. kymbos on 19th July 2010 1:20 pm

    Any time someone writes ‘lived experience’ I immediately stop reading.

    Shrike – have you outlined how the parties can overcome their essential irrelevance which you point to? I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but can it be overcome or is it not dissimilar to the lived experience of major political parties around the world?

    Oh no, did I just say ‘lived experience’…?

  7. Graeme on 19th July 2010 4:17 pm

    Instability and vacuums develop after a period of long stasis. Look at the Liberals after Menzies, and since the dying days of Howard. You might say what has changed is Labor’s approach, but that’s a 20 year old development and tracks the general belief in the fuhrer-prinzip as much as any baselessness brought about union decline.

    After all the Beazley-Crean-Latham-Beazley-Rudd shuffle well predated the latest coup.

    And without underestimating the factional-zombies-strike-back analysis, Rudd wouldn’t have been such a paper in the wind had he had a modest base in caucus, or been able to use his significant power and mandate to deliver on competent policy development and implementation.

    Instead, Abbott tore Rudd down and in the process dragged himself down too. There’s karma in that kind of negative politics. Rudd wasn’t in a position to sell snakeoil a second time.

    Of course Gillard has even less of an agenda, though few leaders are born with them. (Indeed she appears to be eschewing Rudd’s last gasp ‘tough on miners’ trope: it’s as if Labor is so scared of the bogey word ‘tax’ that it’s shy of highlighting the Liberal contradictions on debt vs mining tax and Abbott’s declaration that ‘climate change is crap’).

    But what the new PM has is a neutral agenda. (That’s not a contradiction in terms, it’s relative to Abbott’s unshakeable negative agenda). You could of course fear it goes no further than a ‘conversation’ about population growth…

    She’ll win, perhaps not by a big seat margin, but Labor has and will fare better electorally under Gillard than under Rudd. For this year at least.

    Sigh. Hardly inspiring stuff for progressive politics or policy making in general.

  8. Thomas Paine on 19th July 2010 4:26 pm

    “The less sophisticated version of this in the left blogosphere are Labor hacks screaming at others who were questioning the dumping to “move on!” and “get over it!” within a few days of it happening.”

    Hacks would appear to be the cockroaches/dung Beatles of the political world. Those dirty little creatures dealing with effluent that continually flows behind the scenes.

    Indeed they were out working to try and make Gillard’s power grab look legitimate by smearing the daylights out of Rudd.

  9. Thomas Paine on 19th July 2010 4:30 pm

    Gillard’s greatest piece of luck is that she is up against a pretty useless Opposition leaders who is unable to lay a strategy and plan and take the team along with him. Abbott is just a scatter brain that can’t remember his position from one moment to the next. He keeps backing himself into corners because of it.

    Eventually, soon, he will have backed himself into so many impossible corners that the only way out for the Liberals will be to replace him. This will enable them to clean the slate on policy and start again with something sensible and consistent.

    Unfortunately for the Libs the only man they have up to the job is Turnbull, and they won’t chose him.

    However it they chose Turnbull it will be a brand new game.

  10. The Piping Shrike on 19th July 2010 4:47 pm

    Kymbos, I think it’s hard for the parties to reform when the fundamental basis for why they were set up has gone, but we will just have to see. Parties elsewhere were based on that divide generally through the developed world and the problem is reproduced there as well, although more open in many ways in Oz.

    Graeme going through your points in turn: there was instability over the late Menzies period but they only dumped one leader in those 23 years (the Chinese sub got the other!) and a lot of that was adapting to the ‘modernising’ brought on by Vietnam and the unsustainability of White Australia. So it was responding to external factors than an internal leader thing. The Libs usually understand their changes through a leader than ideas. A change from nowadays and a sure sign of their problems!

    You’re right Rudd never based any from support in the party as I have also argued, largely because he was running against it, but his problems pre-dated Abbott. What the GFC did was undermine any coherence internationally which came out in London, which is where I argued was the top of Rudd’s popularity.

    Rudd/Beazley et al was driven by internal factors, what to do with the factions. Gillard was against it and now has been backed by them, so it will be interesting to see if this truce lasts.

    Gillard’s been fairly useful for Abbott as well TP.

  11. Quipping on 19th July 2010 5:08 pm

    A very thoughtful analysis,Piping Shrike. Why are the MSM unable to examine any of these fundamental issues?

  12. The Piping Shrike on 19th July 2010 5:30 pm

    Because I think they are deeply tied up in the old political system. That was one of the reasons they hated Rudd and found his popularity incomprehensible. I don’t think it’s a Liberal bias so much as a Labor v Liberal bias. Gillard is more embedded in the old political system, in my view, which is why the media have always preferred Gillard to Rudd even when Rudd’s polling was sky high.

    As to why they are, it’s one of those themes I keep wanting to look at but things move too fast!

  13. john on 19th July 2010 8:13 pm

    Gillard has shown her amazing political courage by having the only election debate on the same time as the MasterChef finale.

  14. Rage Against the Machine on 19th July 2010 9:27 pm

    The election machinations now mask what is still a very serious and unprecedented attack on the fabric of Australian democracy.

    The facts behind the Shorten/ Arbib/ Feeney/ Gray etc. hijacking of the Rudd prime-ministership remain well hidden.

    Whilst Rudd’s popularity was taking a hit in the polls there was little doubt that with a deal imminent on mining tax, the NBN deal with Telstra sorted and an improving post GFC economy there was much for Rudd to leverage and restore his popularity base in the run up to the election.

    This of course presented a worse case scenario for the factional goons, with the propsect of the anti-faction Rudd getting another term and marginalise their power and prospects even further.

    hence the need to act, and using polls as the subterfuge, install (as cliche as it is) their puppet in the highest office of power- over whom they have complete authority to drive their own personal and organisational agendas.

    Backed with the complicitness of coward backbenchers who were prepared to ride Rudds coattails in 2007 but not lift a finger to support him and work hard to justify their re-election.

    A really depressing state of affairs that tarnished the Gillard brand from Day 1 and eroded the genuine goodwill that our first female PM should have generated.

    Its no surprise that Gillard has her work cut out for her winning the election since she now has to overcome the simmering resentment in the electorate towards the disgraceful and unjustified hatchet job of an incumbent and respected prime minister.

  15. The Piping Shrike on 19th July 2010 9:35 pm

    The way I see it the democratic problem is not that factional leaders decided the government leader. They have always done it since the ALP began. The problem here is that they didn’t represent anyone else but themselves when they did.

    While Rudd presented an anti-political attack that had an appeal, I don’t think he really represented anything else either, which is why his departure was so swift.

  16. Al on 20th July 2010 8:53 am

    Shrike ….. and anyone else who cares to comment …and maybe this one is worth a blog?

    I just don’t get it .. that Rudd is prepared to hang around in a Gillard government. Don’t most ex-pms slink off into relative oblivion (after a coup) , to lick their wounds, scarred for life? This must be VERY humiliating for Rudd. He must be VERY bitter.

    He doesn’t need the money, does he ? What has he got to gain? A sense of being ‘valuable’ / ‘useful’ ? Maybe he just finds it stimulating, the idea of ‘shooting the breeze’ with foreign leaders ? I just don’t get that someone who’s been right to the top, can settle for so much less / front the parliament on an ongoing basis. Will it be a ‘good look’ ? Will people REALLY think he’s ‘over it’ ? Very odd / probably de-stabilizing, / a chance for opposition mischief, I would have thought ?

    If I were in his shoes, the ‘Foreign Minister’ would be such a trifling bauble as ‘compensation’ … I’d walk away from politics altogether. In his wildest dreams, surely he doesn’t have the idea he’ll ever be PM again ……. does he ?

    He won’t !

  17. The Piping Shrike on 20th July 2010 9:06 am

    Wouldn’t imagine Gillard will want him back, so will just offer him something he has to refuse I guess. As for Rudd’s motivation, Lord knows.

  18. Michael on 20th July 2010 9:49 am

    Al, it might be highly unlikely, but given the events of the last couple of years I wouldn’t completely right off Rudd. Howard looked unelectable at one stage but made a comeback when the times suited him. The problems with the ALP’s shrinking base that originally brought Rudd to the leadership aren’t suddenly going to disappear. I don’t think it’s really that unusual that Rudd is still around. Foreign affairs is his main thing and it seems plausible to me that he would want it.

  19. Michael on 20th July 2010 9:53 am

    I wonder how much the last election was about policy vs personality. It’s hard to see what if any real policy differences this election will be fought on. Obvisously there are policy differences, but how many people get excited about the specific policy differences? It’s hard to see debt, health or industrail relations getting people motivated. Climate change policy?

  20. dlew919 on 20th July 2010 10:14 am

    Excellent analysis Shrike – unlike our mainstream media. Lenore Taylor of the SMH wins for vacuous fatuousity when she called Tony Abbott ‘an effective and ruthless Opposition Leader’ – the man can’t even lie about lying…

    Given all our shenanigans, I’m wondering if we’re about to go through a period of one-term governments: I can’t see Abbott surviving long after the election (unless he actually wins!) – but the issues which put him there will remain in the Libs. The Liberal Party won’t be annihilated, as it would have been six weeks ago, so the divisions will still be there…

    Turnbull will take over after the election, but the concerted effort to remove him will continue and destabiise the Libs. Meanwhile, I can’t help but think Ms Gillard can do what she wants: having bought a product (removing a PM on a bad poll) that they now cannot return, they cannot remove her until election – or they will be forever tarnished with fundamental disloyalty to the leaders…

    One of the most insightful comments above was on the cowardice of those who supported Rudd and came in on his coattails, and dumped him at the first waver…

    If party memberships weren’t so low, you’d hope that the party would remove those who did it.

  21. James on 20th July 2010 11:47 am

    From the editorial: “Labor’s federal apparatchiks seem to have forged a nexus with Big Mining in the same way their NSW counterparts have with developers.”

  22. The Piping Shrike on 20th July 2010 5:20 pm

    Crikey, that’s a savage editorial, especially the bit about this not being an election for the young.

    Not sure I see the mining link being that strong, Twiggy said Rudd was willing to compromise as well. But the hollowness of it is spot on.

  23. Marilyn Shepherd on 20th July 2010 5:30 pm

    And this election is all about “look at moi”. I am not really a backstabbing bitch who agreed with everything Rudd did until it didn’t suit me.

  24. MG on 20th July 2010 6:14 pm

    The lack of legitimacy in coming to power can continue to affect Gillard’s performance even if she wins the election.

    Gillard is no Rudd.

  25. john on 20th July 2010 7:02 pm

    Rudd was also an amazing campaigner, which Gillard is not. She left voters cold in 2007, and not much will have changed.

  26. dlew919 on 20th July 2010 7:40 pm

    John: great point. Rudd could win elections. It’s why JA Lyons was kept on for longer than the government or his health could stand; as a result, the longest prewar government. Menzies, too. Hawke (despite Sunday night’s hagiography.)

    Will Gillard? This time’s a bit of a lay-down misere. Next time?

  27. bilgedigger on 20th July 2010 7:42 pm

    What we are witnessing is the death of institutions. “Parliament” “the Church” etc. etc. – the evidence of a society in chaos. What will emerge from the chaos goodness knows – perhaps another bout of fascism.

  28. adamite on 20th July 2010 8:23 pm


    My impression of Gillard so far is quite different. She seems very cool and collected and much cleverer at handling the curly media questions than Rudd was before his recent demise. I also like the fact that she can give as good as she gets when the debate turns nasty – not something Rudd could do well at all from what I could see. That’s much more imprtant with a street fighter like the Abbot.

    I cant see where there’ll be an issue about her legitimacy if she is elected either. As someone on Q&A said last night, its always been political parties that determine their leaders and for how long, not the electorate. That’s the political reality which most Australians seem to understand.

  29. The Piping Shrike on 20th July 2010 8:40 pm

    The way I see it, I think the question is not whether she was chosen by the party or the electorate, the question is on what basis.

    The irony is while Labor has been mouthing Westminster tradition of party governance, we are moving even further away from it. The party has given Gillard no program and they are looking for the election to fill the gap.

    Yet the way the campaign is starting, with the absence of any real issues, I don’t think she will get much legitimacy from the electorate either. A mandate to do what?

  30. adamite on 20th July 2010 9:05 pm

    P.S. – I may be taking Gillard’s statements too much at face value, but the one consistent thread informing this Labor Government since Rudd became leader and now under Gillard has been the theme of nation-building. This was, and still is, if I understand Gillard correctly, the internal agenda parallel to the international agenda you discuss.

    It was at the core of Rudd’s attack on the profligacy of the Howard Government, informs the broadband proposal, the education reforms, in a different guise maybe also the stimulus and, most recently, the mining tax, to mention a few examples.

    Unfortunately, the nation building narrative has been tainted by association with the stimulus, but, for my money, its what fundamentally differentiates Labor from the Coalition – most starkly manifested in Abbot’s absurd vow to scrap the new mining tax.

    I’ll be interested to see whether Gillard maintains this agenda if she is reelected.

  31. The Piping Shrike on 20th July 2010 9:20 pm

    I always saw Rudd’s nation building as a way of highlighting the Liberals’ limited vision than a coherent program itself. It was highly contradictory because Rudd always made a deal of his economic conservatism, especially during the ‘inflation crisis’ of the first few months of his government.

    There were already then some complaints that the education revolution, for example, was woefully underfunded.

    That was changed by the GFC. The stimulus was pretty in line with other countries but wrapped up in the programs you mentioned. The trouble was that as Rudd’s vision thing started to fade with his authority, the ‘nation-building’ turned into ‘waste’. I don’t see Gillard reviving the vision thing, indeed so far she seems to be making a virtue of not having one (e.g. against a ‘Big Australia’).

  32. adamite on 20th July 2010 10:16 pm

    I also have that concern with Gillard, particularly given the obvious need to differentiate herself from Rudd at this point in the election cycle. But, viewed more optimistically, its also possible to see how she may be (willingly or otherwise) refining the nation-building agenda by emphasising its links with broader issues of sustainability as a key factor in the larger process.

    Of course, this is easily dismissed as just clever politics, but ultimately she will have to address the commitments made during the campaign if elected and forge a positive agenda of her own in the face of a potentially Greens dominated Senate. Pursuing a policy program focussed around sustainable national development would seem an obvious option. By comparison, the opposition appear basically clueless, still lost in a reactive, post-Howard, policy vortex.

  33. john Willoughby on 21st July 2010 7:49 am

    Umbut might manage to do a santamaria on the
    liberal party and turn them into a rump party similar
    in size to the old DLP but with no major partner.

  34. Douglas Hynd on 21st July 2010 5:23 pm

    The animus against Rudd from the mainstream media from day one was quite striking. To support the point made about Rudd’s anti-political politics it is my suspicion based only on limited knowledge that his most substantial friendships were outside of the ALP, to people with commitments around specific issues – see Frank Brennan’s comments in the Australian recently, Tim Costello probably also falls into that camp. Australia does not have strong connections between the intellectual/activist world and the political process that is characteristic particularly in Europe where someone like him would have been more comprehensible.

  35. The Piping Shrike on 21st July 2010 5:31 pm

    I think one problem for the press from this was that Rudd was bypassing what were their normal channels of contact in the political parties.

    But also Rudd didn’t just have contacts outside the political class he used those contacts against the political class. The most explicit attempt was the 20:20 Summit which was to provide a vision that he stated was clearly lacking from the political class. They are certainly proving him right this election.

  36. Al on 22nd July 2010 12:03 am


    That’s my overall ‘feel’ …. for how this will all play out. I believe labor will be returned, but that it will otherwise be mostly ‘business as usual’ … as far as possible. I think both parties are paralyzed to some extent? They’re so keen to gain office / will say/’promise’ almost anything to get there ….. they’re less trustworthy than used car dealers to most of us (?) …it’s a joke.

    Maybe the only ‘joker’ on the block, to kick them all up the ‘ass'(arse) is the debatable global warming troublemaker ?

  37. Election Reader – July 26, 2010 « My Hot Topics on 27th July 2010 3:12 am

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