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Political atmospherics « Previous | |Next »
February 19, 2004

I mentioned here that the political ground in Australian politics is shifting. Here is another indication of the shift:

Bill Leak

The Howard Government is looking ragged. Some time ago Leunig was saying about how the man of steel had become the man of stale.

Perceptions. Politics is always about perceptions. And the perceptions have shifted. Howard looks vulnerable. The atmospherics have changed.

Even Dennis Shanahan has noticed the shift. He says:

"John Howard is having trouble with his intelligence. ...It's the intelligence failure about what his Coalition colleagues are thinking.

For Howard, the breakdown in his internal intelligence would be the most alarming of all. Not only because of the immediate and damaging consequences of such a failure, but also because of a deeper malaise it represents in personnel and policy. Howard must confront this challenge of re-energising his political machinery and ideas or face a rampant Labor leader."

The deeper malaise is the tiredness of a long-term government, where the leader becomes disconnected and reliant on like-minded individuals and supporters for advice.

Shanahan's judgement?

"All of which smacks of a leadership that doesn't have its finger on the pulse. It's not alert to political disaster of even the most obvious kind. And it's lacking a vitality and willingness to face yet another election campaign."

Does that mean the Coalition does not have much in the way of a third-term agenda.

Of course, it could be only a passing moment that the Coalition is wrong footed politically. Atmospherics can, and do, change rapidly.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:01 PM | | Comments (0)