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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

politics as showbiz « Previous | |Next »
May 10, 2004

It often feels like this for an ordinary punter around budget time:
CartoonRoweaph1.jpg
David Rowe

We've had the "leaks"--- the spin--- that gains the free advertising for the government from a compliant media. The copy is everywhere. And we know the little budget secret: tax cuts that will soon be clawed back. And we wait for the big suprise is what will enable the Howard Government to repel the ALP challenge and keep them in power for another three years.

Update
I do not normally agree with one Padraic P. McGuinness. But I concur with his comments on the budget ritual. He says:


"Tonight we see conducted one of the most boring and pointless rituals of the year - the presentation of the annual budget of the Federal Government. There is good reason to present budgets, but they have become surrounded with a degree of artificial excitement and hypocritical behaviour perhaps exceeded only by Christmas Day and Mother's Day combined. All that remains is for some empty-headed radio jock wishing listeners a Happy Budget Day."


Well said. Padraic P. McGuinness then goes to highlight the ritual of the budget lockup:

"The government of the day (as well as Treasury) has always liked the drama of budget presentation, and the power its secrecy and final unveiling gives it over the media. The "lock-up" - where a huge number of the media are confined incommunicado while they digest and prepare for publication the contents of the budget - has become loved by the press, where attendance is treated as a special prestige. Paul Keating, as Treasurer, introduced a special briefing inside the lock-up, thus corrupting the primary purpose of reporting and analysing the budget rather than the Treasurer's spin."


Yep. It's been nearly all spin and little analysis up to now.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:15 PM | | Comments (0)
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