Friday, 15th February 2013


As the government comes to the end of another torrid week, they might take solace in Greg Craven's advice for Wayne Swan in The Australian this morning: "Things are not perfect," Swan should say, "but we are afloat."

Swan heads overseas this weekend for G20, where his skills as a treasurer might be respected a bit more. (He is said to be proposing increased co-operation among nations to "crack down on tax avoidance by global businesses" – though this is apparently not referring to super-profits or mining companies.)

Speaking about the Australian economy, Craven says that "on an international scale, we are the bloke with the sprained finger in the casualty room". Yet public pessimism is widespread, business confidence is "manically depressed", and the ALP is obviously struggling to convince even itself that it deserves to be respected for its performance in government.

But maybe it should look on the bright side: at least things aren't as bad as they are for the newspaper industry.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Treasury Exposes Mining Tax Flaws As Martin Parkinson Blames Labor’s Concessions

“Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has admitted the design of the mining tax is responsible for its failure to generate revenue, not the falling commodity prices, higher currency and state royalties blamed by the government.”

Gillard Backers Firm As Rudd Camp Stirs

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s caucus numbers are holding firm but morale within Labor has plummeted after a week in which the government has been humiliated over its mining tax. Supporters of Kevin Rudd are talking openly of bringing the matter to a head either in March or June, the only two occasions the full Parliament will sit before the September 14 election.”

Kennett Voices Concern Over Leadership Of Lib Ally

“The fact that Mr Kennett, theoretically one of Mr Baillieu's closest political allies, is now warning that the Premier's ability to sell his government's message has been ‘far from good enough’ is highly significant. So significant it is likely to have lasting repercussions for Mr Baillieu's leadership.”
Also: Labor MP Tim Holding Set To Resign (ABC)

Supermarkets In The Gun

“The power of Australia's supermarket giants, Coles and Woolworths, is under attack from the nation's most powerful competition regulator, which is investigating accusations they used improper practices to force down prices paid to suppliers. The head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, will investigate the retailers - which control an estimated 70 per cent of the nation's grocery spending - for potential breaches of the law and bullying tactics against food and grocery suppliers.”

Watch Out, We Are In Clover

“Perhaps we see in the troubles of Europe and the US one crucial factor that we sense in our own body politic. The failure of government. Not the Gillard government, the Howard government or any future Abbott government, but the incapacity of governments anywhere that we always trusted to keep the economic wolf from the door. It's like seeing Daddy beaten by the school bully.”