Wednesday, 30th January 2013


According to Julia Gillard's speech to the National Press Club today, Labor is about governing, not campaigning.

Nevertheless, the goal of her address is to outline the key messages that Labor will take to the election.

The government's priorities are funding education and national disability reforms, and finding 'structural savings' – such as entitlement cuts to big business and the wealthy – to pay for them. Gillard will also promote the government's upcoming industry and innovation statement, focusing on manufacturing and jobs.

It's all about connecting the government to Labor heartland, presuming this still exists, and sharpening the contrast with an Opposition it says has no plans other than to trash reforms and sneak in major spending cuts and IR changes. So the coming months will see a very traditional Australian political debate play out.

The surplus promise has been set aside, preselection issues (Nova Peris and Morris Iemma?) are being sorted, and the First Bloke is unlikely to make any more jokes about prostates – the government is hoping for a bit of clear air.



Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Julia Gillard Signals Cuts To Fund ALP 'Values' As Business And Wealthy Put On Notice

"In a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra that will set out priorities in Labor's re-election pitch, the Prime Minister will promise that her big-ticket initiatives in disability and education will be funded according to 'Labor values', saying 'fairness can only be funded through economic strength'."

A Reminder of Events and Players Better Forgotten

"If the ALP selects Morris Iemma to succeed Robert McClelland in the seat of Barton, it will not only be selecting a lacklustre former premier whose government heralded the decline of NSW Labor. It will also serve as a reminder that his political ascendancy was due in part to Eddie Obeid."

Butt Out Wherever You Are: Push For World's Toughest Smoking Ban

"Smoking would be banned in all public spaces in the City of Melbourne, including Bourke Street, City Square and even footpaths, under a radical proposal to make the city healthier and more attractive to visitors while reducing ambiguity for smokers."

Pessimists May Finally Get It Right

"For at least the past two years, many of us - business people and consumers alike - have been convinced the economy is slowing and generally in bad shape. Trouble is, until recently the hard statistics on the state of the economy have persistently refused to confirm this pessimism. But now there's good news for the fearful."

Floods Of Fiscal Nonsense

"In 2011, Julia Gillard’s government decided to raise extra funds for flood reconstruction with a special flood levy... At the time, both Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman opposed the levy, arguing that the government should fund reconstruction efforts by cutting government spending in other areas. Now that he is premier of a state again ravaged by floods and cyclones, Newman has changed his tune."

Craig Thomson Arrested By Fraud Squad

"Federal MP Craig Thomson has been arrested at his electorate office and is expected to face 150 fraud charges. Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad."

Gillard Brings The Waiting Game To An End

“In giving so much notice of the election date, the Prime Minister follows a growing trend in democracies that base their parliamentary system on the UK Parliament in Westminster. In Australia, four states and the two territories already have fixed election dates. Only Queensland, Tasmania and the Federal Parliament still have variable terms where the head of government determines the date.”

If They’ve Said He’s Negative Once, They've Said It 433 Times

“With her election announcement, Gillard has set a double trap for Abbott. If he stays negative, the government will say he’s scared to reveal his true policy agenda. If he goes positive, he must show that his agenda is feasible by spelling out details. As things stand now, the Coalition will have a lot to do to establish the feasibility of its various thought-bubbles of policy.”

Julian Assange To Run For Senate Seat As His Mother Says He Will Be 'Awesome'

“WikiLeaks unveiled the plan with a tweet that read ‘Australia: Julian Assange has confirmed he will run in the 2013 national election for the Australian Senate’, just hours after Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the nation would go to the polls on September 14. The 41-year-old's mother, Christine Assange, was delighted.”

Why Wait For Mainstream Media To Catch Up?

“And now here we are, a day in to the eight month lead-up to the 2013 election, an opportunity if ever there was one for the mainstream to show its credentials for serious journalistic endeavour, to present an ennobled and thoughtfully significant coverage of policy and ideas, regardless of the temptations... Will things change for the better through this campaign? Probably not, but now it matters less.”