Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Today’s news

Daybreak on day 3 of the campaign, and our nation’s hardworking journos have chosen to focus today on such earth-shattering issues as Liberal Senator George Brandis and his rodent remark (perhaps he’ll come out and tell us that he was relying on advice from the Defence Department and thus not accountable for his words), the ALP’s response to the Coalition’s “Big Bad Interest Rates” scaremongering and the $100,000 university degree.

In what will no doubt become a theme throughout the campaign, the Murdoch press is having a field day with the Greens, pretty much echoing directly the PM’s spin on the Greens as the demonic, child-sacrificing candidates in this election.

Sometimes though, it’s the little stories which are most interesting – the small moments in an interview or news article which bring satisfaction. A couple of highlights for me so far.

This from the PM’s interview with Kerry O’Brien on Monday night:

O’BRIEN: You’re happy to attack Labor’s past all the way back to Whitlam, but you want to limit what we can ask about your own past – why isn’t that hypocritical?

PRIME MINISTER: What are you talking about?

O’BRIEN: Well, you’re saying that we can’t....you’ve said this election isn’t about the past, it’s about the future but then in the next breath you’ll tell us about how interest rates has risen under Whitlam, under Hawke, under Keating and so on. So you’re prepared to talk about the past on some things but on other things where one might say it doesn’t suit you, you say we should talk about the future?

Take that! Nice one Kerry.

Similarly, from yesterday’s Crikey:

Our Labour insider writes:

Kerry O'Brien (7:30 Report 1 February 1996): "Okay. the pledge of no new taxes, no increase in existing taxes for the life of the next parliament. So for the next three years, not even a one cent increase on cigarettes or beer or wine or petrol, no other indirect tax increase, no tax increase of any kind?"

John Howard: "That promise is quite explicit".

Up to late 2002, that promise had been broken at least 130 times, according to Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans, in a list he provided to Labor of all bills that introduced a new tax or raised an existing tax, so one must forgive us a little chortle over the extraordinary attempt by Howard and Costello yesterday to hammer Latham over his payroll tax rise.


Now obviously these little moments are but ripples on the surface of this campaign, but one must enjoy the small pleasures when they come along. For we all know that the more uncomfortable and outright disturbing moments are on their way…



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