Why won't you answer my question, Mr Abbott?
Despite what you may think, I do have a degree of sympathy for political journos.
Political change within a democracy usually occurs at a glacial pace, often involving small numbers of people talking in stuffy, over-heated rooms or (less frequently) large numbers of people shouting at other people on the streets and dodging the rubber bullets and tear gas.
Unhappily for political journos, it’s more the “small numbers of people talking in stuffy, over-heated rooms” scenario, which makes it hard to write entertaining copy. After all, what self-respecting Chief of Staff or editor is going to be pleased with “In dramatic scenes in Canberra, nothing much happened and the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit”?
No, far better to bang out the sort of tripe everybody else is writing. It’s easier and after a while you can write guff like “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is standing by besieged Minister for X after a controversial series of weeks as the opposition blah, blah, blah…” in your sleep – which I believe is Glenn Milne’s preferred way of working.
Case in point.
For weeks, the Gallery has been churning out opinion piece after opinion piece about how the Tony Abbott has the Ruddster “rattled”, about how people are starting to “see through the Rudd Government spin” and endless bilge about “plummeting approval ratings”; based on nothing more than tittle-tattle and idle chat in coffee shops.
The latest Newspoll in today’s Oz has the two party preferred vote for Labor at 52 per cent (coalition at 48) – compared with the November 2007 election of…err…52.7.
Three years of bluster, bullshit and hype has resulted in three quarters of fuck-all.
Alex also asked why isn't Lindsay Tanner treasurer and why Julie Bishop?
There are a number of possible reasons as to why Lindsay Tanner isn’t treasurer, Alex. Swan is from the right and Queensland (like the PM) while Tanner is from the left and Victoria, which may be a factor but I suspect they use Tanner as the political head kicker while leaving Swan as the “calm, sensible voice of reason”.
I think we’re all still scratching our heads about Julie Bishop, though.