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

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April 8, 2008

Nine is located somewhere between 7 and 10, and it's an awful long way from 73. Poor Brendan. On the bright side, that leaves 18 percent who could well be swayed by the listening tour.

Two party preferred is 59 to 41. And this despite valiant efforts in some parts of the media to turn the salute into the crime of the century. Even Janet defended Rudd on that, although that's not terribly surprising since it was directed at Bush. Personally, the fuss reminded me of the tabloid response when Keating touched Her Royal Majesty. Except that was funny. The salute frenzy was just pathetic.

What now, then, for our two party system? Will Brough re-enter the fray via Queensland? Will Costello step up until the rump limp off to retirement and Malcolm's destiny becomes reality? Will Kennett come to the rescue? It's a pretty sad state of affairs when your best option is raising the dead, but what's the alternative?

Meanwhile the organised opposition consists of Andrew Bolt and Glen Milne, and Milne doesn't even oppose properly. He just makes stuff up.

| Posted by Lyn at 3:51 PM | | Comments (23)


I am surprised a little by the numbers but obviously they reflect the poor perception of Nelson rather than a good perception of Rudd. True people are becoming more used to Rudd as he starts to look like the role especially overseas.
Its a wait and see how the media will deal with him when he returns to Oz. If the recent fiasco of dealing with the Gov of the Reserve bank by chasing him like a fleeing 6:30pm news fraudsters and the recent front page story in the Telegraph "Is this the lowest man in Australia" is anything to go by. Well who knows.
I think Nelson will get a bit more time when Rudd returns to make some in roads, a month or so. If there is no change he is gone. But 2 points can be argued to be an up wards trend :)

Upwards trend from 10? Are you going for Denis Shanahan's job?

I'm surprised you say Rudd's starting to look like the real thing with this international jaunt. So far it strikes me as pretty limp. Then again, I don't watch commercial tv so if you reckon he's looking good I'll take your word for it.

Media/Nelson, forget it Les. The media's nuttery might cause Rudd problems but that doesn't translate into support for Nelson. A tapeworm has better prospects of winning an election than Nelson.

No I am not saying Rudd is beginning to look the real thing. I am saying that people are beginning to see him as the PM. There is a subtle difference. Those that said the sky would fall in were meaning in a couple of years but it translated to 3 weeks after the election. It hasn't happened yet so the people are thinking Hey! the sky didn't fall in Rudd might be OK for a while and after all all pollies are basically wankers that will lie to us. So the poll figures reflect people going oh yeah hes orlright mate.

Yes I agree Rudd really has looked a bit of a twat. That laugh has to go! And I am beginning to become suspicious as to no recent sightings of Janette Howard. Perhaps Terese ate her?

Any opposition in Australia's parliamentary system will do three terms in opposition. It is a rare one that doesnt. The Liberals at the national level are a ten year programme. They will have to rebuild slowly. Incumbency is a massive advantage and keeps governments in even when they should be thrown out. Labor will be in power for probably ten years now. The Liberals are going to do it tough over that period.

I disagree. The media is different now and needs different things faster and lies more. The libs chose the wrong leader.

re your comment 'Labor will be in power for probably ten years now. The Liberals are going to do it tough over that period.'

That's my judgement too. I do not even listen to them at the moment. They have little of interest to say.

Milne is on a drip feed from the Liberal Party. He used to be Costello's mouthpiece.

Nelson is the only one who can hold the conservative and progressive factions together in this political moment.

The Libs are a rotting heap at the moment. The comedy is that we're supposed to feel a loss when one or two announce their departure from politics. One chap who has announced he is leaving was only ever good at creative T/A bookkeeping. He won't be missed.

Sorry Les. Badly worded. I did understand what you meant - the difference between the man Kevin Rudd and the institution of Prime Minister. In that sense I can kind of sympathise with stylists saying Therese needs a makeover. On the other hand, she never pretended to be a twin sets and pearls type, so I guess as a couple they're a challenge to our expectations of the institution.

Unless something disastrous happens. My political awareness started with Whitlam and that's left a false perception of norms.

I thought the Liberals were on a drip feed from Milne.

Nelson may be holding the conservative and progressive factions together, but they're not behaving like a unified party. They rarely get the message straight and the presence of the rump is still causing problems. Nelson meets their factional need but not their political ones.

yeah the trouble with Nelson is that he doesn't look right and that wont change. He was always I think going to be a stop gap leader till it became time for the election campaign in 2 years now (getting closer grab your crosses)
I don't attribute too much of the election defeat as Labor against liberal. As far as I am concerned Rudd won the election and Howard lost it.

Abbott is my choice as the best person who could be molded into the face of the new Liberals. Don't get me wrong I don't like the guy but if I was to choose one to say OK do what I say and we'll have a crack it would be him.

Abbott? Good luck with that Les. He's the Liberal equivalent of Latham. Mad as a cut snake with all the self discipline of Alan Jones. The man says the darndest things. If he's your answer to doesn't-look-right Nelson you might as well go straight for mad eyes Bishop and be done with it.

What about avuncular Joe? Tidy him up a bit, remind the folks at home he used to be Kevin's best friend and saved him on the Kokoda Track, point out Andrews introduced WorkChoices. He's NSW, but he's so jolly.

You could dress Abbott in an akubra and stand him next to a cow. He'd look good.
Joe is forever tarred with work choices and he has a big bum. Nobody wants a PM with a big bum. And he doesn't have a bible.Abbott's got a big one and he can kick a footy,throw a pass, do a mexican wave and eat a pie. Yep he's the one. Theres no doubt.

The Liberals are all over the place on China. Some Liberals (Brandis) are calling for a boycott of the Olympic games whilst other Liberals (Robb) are saying that Rudd should broker a dialogue between China and Dali Lama. How can you do both? Nelson's position is that he supports Rudd raising human rights but that he shouldn't do it so publicly. So the Liberals have three different messages!

Nelson is going around Australia listening and telling us personal anecdotes that don't make up a consistent message. Good strategy but poor execution since the impression is that Nelson has little to say.

Howard was brought in under the co-ordinated white house message machine calling Bush sir one time. Rudd now saluting is the same mechanism of Bush being the 'chief'. There is no reason for Australia to go cap in hand or even co-operate on these things, especially not politically. Bush's policies have been disaster. He can be ignored, the US electorate is, Australian politicians should be too. Politically Bush is insignificant.

Milne's article is standard stuff. He basically recycled the Coalition's criticism that increases in interest rates by the RBA were devastating the non-resource states in the south east (and western Sydney in particular). It mixed this with the attacks on Glenn Stevens, the RBA governor, by the Daily Telegraph and the letter written by Bill Wavish, the Myers chief.

The implication was that Swan had criticized the Reserve Bank's monetary policy as going too far.

This is an attempt to drive a wedge between the political interests of the Rudd Government and the RBA's monetary policy. Milne helped launch a Liberal attack on Rudd. Which Liberal feed Milne is on is unclear at this stage--Turnbull?

I would have thought Turnbull's interests would be better served by internal unrest than successful, concerted attacks under Nelson.

maybe. It's a case of watch this space in the media flows, keep your ear to the ground and interpret the smoke signals.

Turnbull does have to show that he can take it up to the Rudd Government and put them on defensive--something Nelson--'call me Brendon'--- is not able to do. Therefore Turnbull is not just the spoiler with a knife. He can actually do a better job than Nelson, and so give the Liberals some hope that they will not be wandering in the political desert for the next decade talking to themselves. '

Where's Malcolm when the Liberals need him?

Or did Treasurer Wayne Swan use Glenn Milne to do a hatchet job on RBA governor Glenn Stevens? That is Crikey's interpretation of Laura Tingle's article in todays AFR, The article says Swan had dinner with Milne at Portias in Kingston, Canberra just before Milne wrote his article.

Oooh. Another possibility. It's like who killed Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks. I wonder who will turn up wrapped in plastic.

the media scouts are saying that some of the smoke signals arising from the monuments in the badlands say that Nelson's throat may be cut sooner than latter. He's had his chance. The drums are beating.

it may be sooner than latter. Here's Nelson talking about his national listening tour:

I'm not home much. That's the nature of the job, obviously. I'm going through Australia at the moment on a listening tour. Obviously, I'm listening every day. I mean, any politician worth his or her salt is doing just that, but I've been to Perth and south-west Western Australia. I've been up in Queensland, I'm on my way to Tassie. I've been in the Northern Territory over the weekend and I've also been in Adelaide and South Australia down into the Lower Lakes [near the Victorian border] where there's an environmental and human catastrophe unfolding.

So policies did he put forward re the Murray-Darling Basin. Nothing that I heard of. Did you hear anything?

Nelson again on why he doing the listening tour:
one of the criticisms of the previous government, fair or unfair, was that in some way we needed to be more in touch. The second reason, of course, is for me personally to get around Australia and, you know, I can spend, if I'm not careful, I can spend too much time in my office having meetings, going to boardrooms, speaking at conferences, and so on. But there's nothing like standing in a supermarket queue, or at a petrol station, or being in a school playground talking to parents, being out in a farming community. I was out on a quad bike last week. I ride bikes, but I took a quad bike out into the Lower Lakes there at Lake Albert, down at the lower end of the Murray River [in South Australia]. And it's just, it's heartbreaking to see what's happening to people. And to, you know, when you have a woman holding a baby, with a husband, who says, 'Look, I'm just so glad to live in a country where someone in your position who cares enough to actually come and listen to us'.

It's all about him and his bike not addressing the River Murray catastrophe.

The trick will be to be the leader in 2 years and have a good majority of the parties support. Stepping into Nelsons shoes now might not be the wisest thing to do.
When Rudd step off the plane he will have to deal and be dealt with local issues. It is a much different playing field than the one we have had for the last couple of weeks.
Tactically though Nelson and co lost a good opportunity to chop away at tree Rudd by getting on the offensive with the deputies. Clearly they see the Rudd is the only target.