This is probably not how Julia Gillard imagined her campaign would begin.
The scandals were overlapping. Moses Obeid, the son of former NSW Labor power-broker Eddie Obeid, yesterday appeared to perjure himself in the ICAC witness box, caught out by a tape recorded, unintentionally, by Obeid himself. Even more sensationally, MP Craig Thomson was arrested, strip-searched and charged with 150 counts of fraud.
Tony Abbott was three-quarters of the way through his National Press Club appearance when a journalist announced Thomson's arrest. Following a campaign-style speech recycling his common themes, Abbott had been struggling to deflect uncomfortable questions about policy costings and the Ashby affair. He may have been dimly aware that the news would overshadow his own message, but this mattered little. A broad grin crept across his face.
Nick Feik Politicoz Editor
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“The Prime Minister moved this week to try to put some certainty into federal politics. Nice try, but clearly certainty is going to be in short supply in 2013. Even her unusual attempt to call an election 227 days ahead of time is not assured. It seemed so for 24 hours, but then came the dramatic arrest of Craig Thomson, an untimely reminder of how brittle is the bedrock underpinning the government.”
“Liberal frontbencher Steven Marshall says he phoned former foreign minister Alexander Downer last night before announcing plans to stand for the South Australian Liberal leadership. Isobel Redmond stepped down yesterday following months of speculation ... '(Downer) made it very clear that he's got no intentions to run for the Liberal party leadership whatsoever and he wished me well,' he said.”
Real Media Revolution Gives The People The Power
“The signs are not good. Not only are there fewer journalists available to cover the election this year - thanks to lay-offs at both Fairfax and News Ltd and in television - but just as importantly the industry is still dominated by a mindset and a power structure that resists change. The basic problem is that, for all the technological adaptation the media has been through, the real revolution needed to improve actual political reporting has not taken place.”