It’s deja vu all over again! Yesterday we
talked about Glenn Milne’s coverage
of a Kim Beazley no-brainer, a joint statement on standards in politics.
“Either the PM says no, and he can be portrayed as mean and small-minded,” we
said. “Or he says yes, and Beazley, who as opposition leader is usually
deprived of oxygen, gets a big boost by appearing beside the PM. It’s a win/win
for Beazley, and he would have known it.”

Take a look at the Fin today.
“Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has challenged Prime Minister John
Howard to a televised debate on his planned industrial relations shake-up.

Mr Howard last week accused Mr Beazley of
not having the ‘ticker’ to put any alternative policies to the Australian
public.

But Mr Beazley said the Prime Minister had
not raised the sweeping changes he planned to make to the industrial system
during the election campaign last year.

“How about we have a debate on it – the
debate that we missed in the last election,” Mr Beazley said on Sky News
yesterday.

“Let’s have it on national television.”

There’s not even a response in the piece
from the Prime Minister. Everything we said yesterday applies here. It’s an old
trick. But if the tactic works one day, you might as well wheel it out for the
next.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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