tip off

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: beware the record of the vanquished

Out of my comfort zone. I confess to being confused about this election. I have been writing about them, and participating in them, federal and state, for nearly 50 years but have not come across anything like this one.  My experience tells me that first-term governments don’t lose when economic conditions are basically good. Yet, a first-term government in good economic times that sacks its leaders on the eve of the campaign and then welcomes the vanquished back to campaign on his record? What are the public going to make of that? Frankly, I just don’t know. If there is ever going to be an election that a government loses because of its own stupidity, this is it.

Start talking of Labor. One thing the government, all the members of it, should start doing is to talk about the Labor government. Forget this business of always personalising it as the Gillard government.  Having admitted that its not a one-woman band, get less presidential. At least if they call it the Labor government ministers can selectively pick out the good bits from the record of the past three years without having to mention the dreaded Rudd government words.

Silent Simon delivers. Oh, it is a wonderful thing for a football club to have a No.1 ticket holder of influence. The Western Bulldogs have Prime Minister Julia Gillard and a nice little sponsorship for games from the federal department of Education. And North Melbourne, who have her replacement as Education Minister in  Simon Crean, were able to announce yesterday that $1.9 million has jumped in to expand the Arden Street Oval.

5-08-2010 ardenstreetupgrade

Wonderful to see that the self-effacing Simon did not even have his name mentioned on the Kangaroos’ website announcing the good news. All that’s needed for this dream to come true is a Labor victory.

Anger on the rebound. The anti-Australian feeling in India keeps growing. We’ve had criticism from the Indian government of the way its country’s students are treated in Victoria and John Howard was blackballed as a future head of the International Cricket Council by India’s cricket authority. Now it is Australian companies providing services and facilities for the Delhi Commonwealth Games that are under the gun.

Overnight, the Treasurer of the Games organising committee resigned after publicity was given to his son working for the Australians laying Rebound Ace tennis courts. Rebound Ace might have been given the flick by our own national tennis authority for the Melbourne tennis centre but it somehow won the contract for Delhi.

6-08-2010 toismamdealscrapped

The sports marketing agency SMAM has fared even worse. Its contract to earn commission for finding sponsors has been cancelled with immediate effect on what the Times of India calls the ground of non-performance.

Wyclef for president. It’s not a bad song if you like that kind of thing and Wyclef Jean’s words sure are more inspiring than looking forward.

5-08-2010 wyclefforforesident

And now the hip-hop superstar is about to announce that he plans to turn his lyrics into action by standing for the presidency of his native Haiti.

Different standards. In Townsville, Queensland, Australia, yesterday free speech had a victory as the Townsville Bulletin recorded all over page one.

6-08-2010 legaltotellpolicetofoff

In Madison, Wisconsin, USA, free speech had a setback when a court barred a candidate for a state Assembly seat from using the words “Not the Whiteman’s b-tch” to describe herself on the ballot.

6-08-2010 wisconsintv

2
  • 1
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 6 August 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Mule Skinner Blues.
    How many “first term” governments have allowed the likes of the underachieving, egocentric, myopic, dithering, yet powerhungry, conceited and so limited, “Shorten Arbib” cabal, close enough to the steering wheel to let them run it off the road?
    With this team, allowed their lattitude, however they usurped it, the party has proven not ready to govern.
    Usually a team of asses, when managed properly, could be used to pull you out of the shit - this mob have turned that concept (and the bus) on it’s head!
    The upshot being that, in the wake of their inept stewardship, and because of it, we could have Tony Abbott and his “retreads” dropping their do-nuts and skid marks through the garden.

  • 2
    Terry Simons
    Posted Friday, 6 August 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bit like an episode from “Faulty Towers”; “DON’T MENTION THE WAR”. Tony Abbott and the Coalition are the same people that mislead the Australian public and took the country to war.

    Even though John Howard is gone why have the remaining Coalition members not being scrutinised on their past involvement with the decisions regarding Afghanistan and Iraq. Even if we accept that our military involvement was justified they proved to incompetent in the prosecution of the war and in the post war administration of Iraq. Instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan, the Coalition government joined the invasion of Iraq and put Afghanistan on the back burner. A decision we and Afghanistan are continuing to pay for. There seemed to be no real planning for a post war Iraq, a decision Iraq is still paying for.

    The war in both countries also led to an increase in refugees from both countries. The Coalitions response was and is to demonise the refugees that they helped to create. I come close to throwing up every time I hear a Coalition politician or supporter bemoam the loss of life when a refugee boat sinks. How do they live with themselves when they think of the the tens of thousands that have died because of their incompetence. Or don’t they count.

    The Coalition’s supposed superiority on security matters appears to be largely a result of their propensity to take the country to war after misleading the electorate as to the reason and taking a tough stance on those victims of their policies and incompetence who are unable to fight back.

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