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.
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.
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.
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.
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.