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

getting down to the wire « Previous | |Next »
May 4, 2005

I was in prosperous Melbourne yesterday working through the Productivity Commission's recent work on health. I was unable to access a free internet connection at the airport Hilton business centre when I had a free moment to write a post for public opinion.

That was a big suprise. The Hilton charged a $100 to use broadband for the afternoon. Broadband should be treated just like a telephone line: there all the time as part of hiring a meeting room in the business centre.

When I glanced through the nation's newspapers over breakfast this morning I noticed that most of the political news was about the Costello v Howard leadership tussle in the federal Liberal Party, with Brendan Nelson hovering in the background.

Ho hum. Another indication of the growing instability in Coalition ranks. This is Canberra Press Gallery territory. They love this kind of story. They are going to write their stories though the lens of the leadership tussle now.

There was also some material on the Bracks Government's lets-loosen-the-purse-strings-a little-budget handed down by John Brumby in the media. The neo-liberals in love with fiscal responsibility are muttering that the Brack's Government is still cruising on the Kennett legacy unaware of the need to tighten the budget settings, Tough reforms are needed they add......

I found it more interesting reading about the UK election with the battle for middle-ground voters between New Labour, the Liberal Democrats, as the defections continue to drift to the Liberal Democrats over the angst about the Iraq war. A challenge is being presented by the Liberal Democrats (Conservatives slipping a further two points to 27 with the Lib Dems rising by two points to 23), with Labour faring poorly in the marginals.

Few see the Conservatives as the government in waiting. Few voters give Blair's Labour government much credit for their good deeds in achieving low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment and rising employment. These signs of economic prosperity and stability indicate that Britain is a generally prosperous nation, confident of its place in the world and tolerably well governed.

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It's down to the wire as they say. And in more ways than one.Tony Blair has been obliged to do a deal with Gordon Brown to hand over power during Labour's third term.

Is Blair's time over as the ground shifts beneath his feet? Is he increasingly becoming yesterday's man? Are the hard-faced Tory boys on the move? Will the Conservatives judge that the strategies of Australian campaign director Lynton Crosby---a narrowly focused and negative campaign about immigration and asylum seekers targeted at marginal seats---were wrong?

It was interesting reading about the process of producing The Guardian's election editorial. Most unusual.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:10 PM | | Comments (0)
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