The Politics    Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A normal day

By Sean Kelly

Source
Today felt like government should

Today was odd. It felt normal. Like normal used to feel. Back when normal felt normal. You know what I mean?

Joe Hockey stood up to talk about the economy. Sure, he was a little bit blithely optimistic, but at one point he also acknowledged the challenges of a diverse economy and the fact that some states were not doing so well. He answered questions about the major issue of the day – Indonesia cutting cattle imports – as well as about Greece, and unemployment.

Before he’d finished talking, Julie Bishop commenced a press conference in which she covered UN discussions on flight MH17, cattle, the Indonesia–Australia relationship, an Australian detained overseas, ISIS, and several other matters. Her answers were intelligent, knowledgeable, and nuanced.

In other words, things happened today that will affect Australians, and senior ministers offered reasonable reflections on them, giving the public a clear picture of where the government stands. None of those matters was the subject of bellowing rhetoric, nor dumbed-down culture wars. Q&A barely got a mention (we have to have something left to hope for).

It was just government getting on with governing, and then explaining its governing to the citizens it governs.

More, please.

 

Today’s links

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is a columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and was an adviser to Labor prime ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

@mrseankelly

The Politics

Composite image of Nationals MP George Christensen and Greens leader Adam Bandt (both images © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images)

Friends like these

Labor distances itself from the Greens, while the Coalition does little to condemn the actual radicals in its own ranks

Image of former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian in September. Image © Dan Himbrechts / AAP Images

Gladys for Warringah?

In attempting to take down an independent MP, Morrison is helping pro-integrity candidates across the country

Image of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during Question Time earlier this week. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images

Go figure

How did Labor end up with an emissions-reduction target of just 43 per cent?

Tudge and go

Is Morrison’s standing down of Alan Tudge a sign that he’s listening to women or watching the polls?


From the front page

Composite image of Nationals MP George Christensen and Greens leader Adam Bandt (both images © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images)

Friends like these

Labor distances itself from the Greens, while the Coalition does little to condemn the actual radicals in its own ranks

Image of Abdul Karim Hekmat. Photograph © Sam Biddle

Australia needs to hear asylum seekers’ stories, in our own words

Our presence has preoccupied the nation, but our stories have been excluded from the national narrative

Image of Australian Bicentenary protest, Sydney, NSW, 1988

The stunted country

There can be no republic without constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

Image of Oscar Isaac as William Tell in The Card Counter. Photograph © Focus Features

Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man