Newspoll swings and roundabout: “Beazley’s dip defies the trend” is The Australian‘s
headline for a state-by-state wrap of Newspoll results this morning.
“Labor has made solid inroads against the Howard Government in NSW and
Queensland, but voters have gone soft on Kim Beazley in his home state
of Western Australia,” Steve Lewis writes. Forget the West. Look at
that first part. Queensland? Where Peter Beattie seems to have caught
the political equivalent of Golden Staph from the health system?
“Support for Labor in Queensland has risen to 49 per cent, on a
two-party-preferred basis, compared with a paltry 42.9 per cent
recorded at last October’s election. Labor holds just six of the 26
electorates in Queensland,” Lewis writes. There are a hell of a lot
more seats in the Sunshine State than the West. That’s a boost for
Bomber.

Iron Mark’s company: Friday figures from Nielsen BookScan show The Latham Diaries are the nation’s number two best-seller – but are we alone in thinking that he is surrounded by very suitable company in the book charts? Number one is The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Nuff said. Iron Mark’s number two. Number three is the 2006 Guinness Book of Records. He must fit into the Australian appendix somewhere. And given the stink over the Diaries his old caucus colleagues must think it very appropriate that at number four is Andy Griffiths’s Bumageddon: The Final Pongflict.

National Party logic: Barnaby Joyce called for zonal taxation in his maiden speech, a system where economically depressed areas would pay less tax. Let’s forget about Section 51(ii) of the Constitution,
which gives the Commonwealth power to makes laws for “Taxation; but so
as not to discriminate between States or parts of States” and indulge
the Nats. On Friday Troy Whitfort, the director of their think tank,
the Page Research Centre, released a paper suggesting the party should
go back to propping up struggling bush communities to win back the
support of conservative country voters tired of economic rationalism.
Perhaps they can combine that with a form of Barnyard’s big idea – set
up a system where the RARAs pay more tax so they can go and pork
(barrel) themselves.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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