Monday, September 2, 2013

Election 2013: Day 29 (or, build a bridge and not get over it)

Blogging is like going to the gym. When you do it everyday it is easy to do it the next day. You get into a rhythm. But if you stop for a few days, suddenly getting back to it feels like a massive effort.

And so I turn back over the day’s events and I wonder if I really took in much. I was working/writing for most of the day and I had the TV on the background, but it was a bit of an odd day in that I didn’t feel much need to keep my ear’s pricked in case anything interesting was said.

Tony Abbott was at the National Press Club. He said nothing we hadn’t all heard a very many times before. In the question and answer session the best one related to the dopey Direct Action policy where he confirmed what has long been assumed – namely that the aim of the policy is to spend a set amount of money on Direct Action rather than actually achieving a 5% reduction in emissions from 2000 levels by 2020.

He remains “confident” that this can be done for the money spent. But given we have not seen anything resembling independent costings of the policy, we’ll take that confidence to mean he is confident that not enough voters care for it to be an election issue.

Could you imagine a politician saying if s/he had proposed a certain amount of money to build a bridge that s/he remained confident the money would be enough to complete the work, but if not, well then s/he would not spend anymore money on it.

You budget to build a bridge. You get independent agencies to check your costings. You put in place good management plans. But the one thing you don’t say is that the money is capped and no more will be spent.

But that is where we are with Abbott;s climate change plan. And it is because it – as I have so often said – is a policy for people who want to at least think something is being done on climate change, but who don’t really care too much about it.

He also announced his Defence policy with Senator David Johnston. The big policy announcement? They’re going to have another Defence White Paper. We clearly need one because the last one was done all the way back in May.

Other than that the policy to buy drones was dumped, but the policy to increase defence spending was affirmed.


Kevin Rudd today did a bit of touring around QLD. Interestingly he was not jus tin ALP seats. So either he is feeling confident about picking up the seats, or he’s deluded and doesn’t want anyone to think he is going to lose.

His big weekend involved the ALP launch. I thought his speech was OK. I wasn’t sure why his big policy pitch was to small business owners. His policy regarding TAFE was good as far as it goes. But the policy to take over TAFEs was a bit odd given it pretty much brought up memories of his claim to take over hospitals.

Also in 2007 the ALP loved TAFE being run by the states and closed the pretty redundant Howard Govt funded Australian Technical Colleges.


Tonight Abbott was on the 7:30 Report. He did alright. Leigh Sales skewered him pretty nicely when she asked him to “unpack” his statements about the “baddies against the baddies”. He couldn’t name any other group, let alone any other “baddie” than AL Qaeda when asked to explain his statement. He did a fair bit of fumbling and umming and it was abundantly clear he hadn’t even read the excellent 9 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask about Syria from the Washington Post. 

But it’s a war that won’t involve Australian troops, and even if it did I doubt it’d matter how poorly he answers on it.


Kevin Rudd is on QANDA tonight.


Tomorrow the RBA will announce its interest rate decision. There won’t be any change, and the statement from the RBA will likely contain nothing that is all that interesting.


Anonymous said...

Pity Rudd didn't go on Q&A 4 weeks ago and ask to be on every week. It was a strong performance, made stronger by the sequestration of the monk, who declines to face any people who are not handpicked by Peta.

Anonymous said...

Well, I believe that Abbott was briefed on Syria. One would expect him to have some knowledge of the situation at least.

Well, enough to answer questions, without making a fool of himself.

Just showed up Abbott's lack of focus on detail once again.