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
Sign up to get Politicoz delivered to your email address every weekday at lunch time.
Treasury Exposes Mining Tax Flaws As Martin Parkinson Blames Labor’s Concessions
“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.”