Friday, 8th February 2013

PLAYING TO THE GALLERY

At the end of a long, bad week for the Gillard government, tempers are fraying. Departing minister Chris Evans this morning admonished those ALP colleagues who've taken to leaking constantly to the press, telling them to 'shut up, just shut up'.

A minority of Labor caucus members ('mostly but not exclusively supporters of Kevin Rudd', according to Barrie Cassidy) have clearly taken to re-running their destabilisation campaign against Julia Gillard, leaking to journalists and providing a running commentary on her political failings. The media is unsurprisingly more than willing to report this, albeit without naming names. Kevin Rudd, coincidentally, is back on breakfast television.

But beware the implication that these internal ructions will inevitably lead the party back to Rudd. A strong majority of cabinet members are still behind Julia Gillard. Would caucus risk overthrowing them, too?

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Forget Parliament: Brekkie TV Is Where It Counts

Rudd's decision to return to Sunrise on Channel Seven is instructive… It's an indictment on modern politics that such a brief weekly media appearance should carry with it such implied political consequences. But that's the way it is. It seems parliamentary performances matter, but brekkie TV is where the real action is. That's what they are watching in Sydney's western suburbs.”

‘$4m Cut Planned’ For Mines Minister Ian Macdonald

“Disgraced former NSW Labor resources minister Ian Macdonald has been accused of lining up a $4 million payment from a friend who was in business with the Obeid family as Mr Macdonald's share of an allegedly corrupt mining deal he helped to facilitate. The sensational claim, made in the form of evidence tendered to a hearing yesterday of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, is the most serious allegation against a minister in ICAC's 25-year history.”

Abbott Backs Off NT Drink Register

“Tony Abbott has backed away from a call for the Northern Territory government to reinstate a banned drinkers' register amid concerns at an increase in alcohol-fuelled violence in indigenous communities. After calling for the register to be ‘preserved’ in a speech to Parliament on Wednesday, the Opposition Leader has bowed to a defiant refusal by the territory's new Country Liberal Party government to reinstate it.”

Tropical Tax Zone Plan Destined To Be A Grand Failure

“Don't worry, the federal Coalition's dream of moving a lot of Australia's population north of the Tropic of Capricorn ain't gonna happen. It's a crazy idea practically, politically and economically. Presumably, it's a kite Tony Abbott is allowing to fly for a day or two to show how positive he is in his vision of our future. It's an idea some in the National Party would dearly love, but most in the Liberal Party will be appalled by.”
Also: The Assault On Abbott's North Face – Rob Burgess (Business Spectator)

O’Connor Inherits An Immigration Conundrum

“There is a new minister in the immigration portfolio and old minister Chris Bowen is breathing a sigh of relief that he is finally able to move onto a new area, in his case tertiary education, skills, science and research. For incoming minister Brendan O'Connor, it is going to be a long, tough year ... One thing is clear: it looks like it will be years before one single person will be declared a refugee if they have arrived in Australia by boat since the August 13 change of law.

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