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07 Jul 08 Peter is from Mars, Brendan is from Uranus

Did you ever happen to notice…

Politicians have developed the annoying habit of constantly repeating what they consider to be their key catch phrases. A line like “We’re about a fair go for working families” is always quickly followed by another: “yes, a fair go for working families”. Do they really think the average person is so thick they won’t understand the complexity the first time? Are they not aware that it really sounds just a bit patronising? In fact, this strategy serves several purposes. It allows the media to make sure they have captured a tidy sound bite, and it’s also a good way of stopping yourself saying “ummmmm” when you’re not sure what to say next. Both would have about the same meaning.

Whenever Brendan Nelson refers to Peter Garrett, he repeats the question: “Which planet is he from?” I’d like to offer an answer before Brendan asks again: Peter Garrett quite clearly comes from Mars. Garrett is an imposter who has been conscripted into the Labour Party in a cynical attempt to boost the youth and green vote. Even in his Midnight Oil days he professed to be just the singer and not responsible for the group’s political messages. As an Environment Minister, he makes a pretty good singer, remaining a figure head and leaving the really important stuff to Penny Wong. He has put forward a policy on the momentous issue of plastic shopping bags but he remains something of an embarrassment and a reminder that cheap populism has a price. Judging by his proposed solution to the fuel crisis (5 cents!!!???) there are strong indications that Brendan Nelson may actually come from Uranus.

The Australian Democrats have finally drawn their last breath. I doubt too many people will shed a tear over their final demise. A great many middle class, small l liberals thought they were very clever during the Democrats heyday and would announce: “I vote Labor in the lower house and Democrat in the Senate, let’s keep the barstards honest!”. They didn’t feel so clever when Meg Lees capitulated to the GST. This was surely a crime against the electorate; no one wanted it and once installed we’ll know we’ll never be rid of it. So much for keepin the barstards honest; Meg Lees may also be from Uranus.

Keep watching the skies…

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19 Feb 08 Political Animals

Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and her colleagues last night questioned what impact Mr Rudd’s cat, Jasper, and his golden retriever, Abby, would have on the state of the lawns at the Lodge. With Kevin Rudd enjoying an approval rating of 70%, and Brendan Nelson languishing on a mere 9%, is this really the best the Liberals can do? Nick Minchin’s explanation of the figures as ‘the honeymoon peroid’ effect hardly seems convincing.

I mean, really… calling Rudd’s dealings with his family pets into question sounds a little desperate. A lot in fact. Do we really have to go through the whole Brian Bourke thing again. That was tried last year to little effect. The leaked revelation about Rudd’s visit to a New York night club seemed to make him more popular if anything. What next? Revelations about Rudd’s indiscretions as a schoolboy? Perhaps the Liberals are running out of straws to clutch at, but they surely need to have a better strategy than this incredibly trivial garbage raking if they are not to be consigned to political oblivion.

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