Well today we witnessed what happens when the supposedly leading newspaper in the country decides to act in concert with the Liberal Party. The Australian decided all this news about Tony Abbott having a problem with women was obviously hurting their man’s chances of a win and so they did what any scum-bucket, shit sheet would do – it ran a front page story about how Julia has a problem with men.
Now Julia hits man trouble
TONY Abbott's problem with women is well known. But as the campaign enters its second week - and the nation grapples with gender muscling its way into an election for the first time - it's becoming clear that Julia Gillard may have an equally big problem with men.
The Coalition clearly believes the Prime Minister's problems are greater than the Opposition Leader's, subtly playing up his status as a family man for an electorate untested on their response to an unmarried, female leader.
Mr Abbott pointedly opened Sunday's debate by reminding voters that he and his wife understood what it was like "to raise a family, to wrestle with a big mortgage, with grocery bills, with school fees".
And then to really ramp it up they put on the front page as well (no I’m not making this up) a piece by light-weight comic writer Kete Legge on Julia’s earlobes.
The ears have it, in a deluge of distraction from campaign themes
- Kate Legge
- From: The Australian
- July 26, 2010 10:12PM
"HECK, there must be a surgeon who can help," worried one voter yesterday in a web debate over Julia Gillard's pendulous earlobes.
The discussion drowned out any serious post-debate analysis of her policies or performance.
"I can't remember a thing from the debate - just those earlobes," said another, who was struck dumb by close scrutiny of an anatomical quirk that has zero bearing on the Prime Minister's capacity to govern, but could derail her ability to keep the electorate focused.
And people wonder why I have a problem with The Australian. James Massola before he took up a position with The Oz asked me on twitter why if I hate The Oz did I read it. The problem isn’t that I want to read it, it’s that if you want to follow politics closely you have to read it – otherwise how else are you going to know what are the talking points of the Liberal Party for that day.
There were times when The Oz wasn’t too bad, but I have to say virtually every day this year, and most of last year reading the political coverage of The Oz is like taking a swim in a pool filled with vomit. Every story has a slant against the ALP if at all possible, and if there’s a chance to sow some discordance in the electorate then it’ll do it: sometimes subtly, or other times, like today, it’ll be obvious.
But you see biggest problem with The Oz is not its stories but that other feeble minded journalists take up their stories – so today Julia Gillard at a press conference got questions about her partner, even about attention on her earlobes (all in the context of “are you disappointed with discussion of…). One utter fool who apparently gets to call himself one of the Canberra press gallery asked Gillard if she intended to be the first de-facto couple in the Lodge or would there be a Prime Ministerial wedding.
And, in an example of complete coincidence, on the day The Oz decided to highlight that “Julia has a problem with men” Tony Abbott went to a fish market and gutted a fish, with his daughter by his side.
I guess if this was America he would have gone hunting for deer.
We know the Liberal Party have been behind this line of story because Fairfax journo Latika Bourke asked Abbott today why Liberal Party MPs have been backgrounding journalists about Gillard’s childless and marriageless state.
You know how it goes – a Lib MP goes up to a journo says, “You know off the record I’ve gotta say a lot of people have been coming up to me about how Julia doesn’t have any kids… I didn’t think it’d be a big issue but it’s really resonating out there – I think it’s something you guys should be taking more notice of”).
Most journalists would ignore it – but then there is The Oz…
The day started badly for Julia because she apparently made a gaffe in an interview with Alan Jones on 2GB. Now Jones is an old piece of work who if pensioned off would go someway to increasing the average IQ of Sydney. Unfortunately if he were to retire there would be some young right-wing version of him ready to take his place, because shock-jock talk back hosts like Jones are dime a dozen.
Jones was asking her when the company tax rate would be reduced to 28%. He was looking at the budget papers, seemingly oblivious to the fact that when Gillard did the deal with BHP etc they scraped the lowering of the rate to 28% and said 29% would be the limit.
Julia took a while to answer and then said it would come in in 2012-3. Jones jumped in and said she was wrong it would come in in 2013-14. Julia then came back saying for small businesses the drop would come in in 2012-13 but for all others it would only come in in 2013-14.
It was a small glitch, and won’t be noticed, especially because on tonight's Channel Nine news, Laurie Oakes delivered a true bombshell when he announced a Cabinet leak that Julia had opposed the introduction of the Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme and also questioned the increase in the pension.
According to Oakes’s source Julia opposed the PPL scheme because it would be unpopular with voters who did not have kids, and she noted that pensioners were not Labor supporters.
The big thing of the story is that obviously someone in Rudd’s former office or a Rudd supporter, or Rudd himself (though geez that would be low) obviously hates Gillard and would be happy to see her lose the election just out of spite.
That’s the pettiness of those who work for political parties folks.
The story also feeds in nicely to the Julia doesn’t have kids bit. Sigh.
Julia’s office responded by denying Julia’s opposition to the policies and added a dumb line about the leak being from the Liberal Party, which just gave Oakes a chance to say it wasn’t and that it came from “closer to home”.
Not for the first time I seriously have to wonder who is advising Gillard. They are doing a useless job. They screwed up the climate change policy with the dumb citizens’ assembly and today’s mental health policy, while good, was criticised by the two people who were absolutely guaranteed to be asked first by the media for a response – Patrick McGorry and John Mendoza. Their responses? McGorry said he was “devastated” and Mendoza said it was “simply patches on a broken system”.
How hard would it have been to get those two onside? How hard would it have been to say – look here’s what we’re thinking of doing, what do you think? How hard would it have been to come up with something that could have got one of them actually there at the bloody announcement? Yeah John Brogden being there was great. But c’mon you knew the media were going to go straight to McGorry and Mendoza didn’t you?
The ALP campaign has been useless. Yeah Abbott got off to a horrible start but he’s getting a free run from the media through basement levels of expectations. He was hopeless on the 7:30 Report last night and yet David Speers tweeted:
Abbott survives #730reportland. This discipline must be driving the alp mad
You see all Abbott has to do is not strip off and run nude around the set for him to do alright.
Am starting to worry about the election result. The wanker who is leaking to Oakes is obviously completely self centred and massively upset that his life at the top was cut short; the ALP policy seems to be conceived by fools who have no understanding of what questions will be asked by the media, and all momentum from last week’s good start is now lost.
Last Thursday I was pretty confident the ALP would win easily, right now I’m not even sure of a win (but I do go into funks, so I’ll be better soon!).
At least tomorrow’s CPI figures should be good news, but the way things are going I wouldn't be surprised if they’re not.