Thursday, June 4, 2009

On the QT: Bye Bye Fitzy, Bye Bye

Today as luck would have it, I had a training day so I was away from my computer and all news services.

And so I missed today's Question Time, and also missed the announcement that Joel Fitzgibbon had resigned as Defence Minister.

He did the right thing. Although no actual wrongdoing has occurred, he was far too careless, and the meetings between his brother and Defence staff in Fitzgibbon's own office are dumb errors of judgement. (Although Fitzgibbon denies knowing about the meetings until last night, which makes you wonder how the opposition knew before he did? It seems he did have some rats in his ranks.)

Any political fall out? I doubt it. To the average Joe(l) no one will really understand why he resigned - after all no one is suggesting any contracts were made or any business arrangements occurred because of the meetings; it's just that it's not a good look. (Also, most people don't know who the Defence Minister ever is - quickly now who was Defence Minister under John Howard? If you can remember it was Brendan Nelson, well done - bonus points for who was before him.) The truth is most people know the PM, Swan, Gillard, perhaps Tanner, and maybe Albanese (if they watch Sunrise).

Apparently in QT today Hockey and Co have been trying to sell the line that Rudd and Swan have declared "Mission Accomplished". Pffft. Anyone who thinks the Government is suggesting that already votes for the Liberals. In fact most newspapers today focused on the fact that Rudd and Swan were downplaying the GDP figures - Kerry Ob'Brien even got into Swan last night for having been too negative!

Anyhoo, that's politics for the day. No doubt the Opposition will try to make a big deal about this Brisbane car dealer. If all they have is a letter from Rudd and Swan to treasury forwarding representations made, then they have got nothing. Such letters happen all the time. A constituent writes to a Minister, the Minister writes back saying he has sent the letter on to the appropriate Department. Big deal. You got one scalp today fellas, don't overreach.

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