IR and terror. Asleep already? C’mon, political junkies. It’s not all that dull. At least we’ll have the anniversary of the dismissal this week and that’s bound to… Oh dear. Narcolepsy, I fear.

C’mon. There are a couple of interesting bits and pieces around. Take Glenn Milne’s contribution in the Oz on the industrial relations proposals today, for example.

Milne, until lately, has been to the Libs as Tinkerbell is to Paris Hilton – but he’s turned into an attack Chihuahua of late. Look what he has to say:

Arrogant? Anxious to close down debate and curb dissent? What, this Government? You betcha. We had another example of the creeping hubris that may yet consume the federal Coalition late on Thursday. Labor’s chief whip, Roger Price, was informed by the Government the parliamentary debate on its contentious industrial relations reform package was going to be shut down early. No ifs. No buts. No beg your pardons. That’s what you can do when you have the numbers in both houses The debate in the reps was meant to have continued this week, through to Thursday. But the Government has apparently had enough…

And what about this: “If he is so proud of his final ideological vindication why not let debate in the parliament run?”

And this: “Despite being omnipotent in both houses, one sniffs weakness here, not strength. Having outraged more people than it convinced with its $55 million publicly funded advertising campaign, the Government’s response indicates a recognition that so long as the debate over IR is dominating the six o’clock news and the front pages of the nation’s newspapers, the more damage it is doing to its own cause.”

Them’s fighting words. It’s hard to do anything but agree with Milne’s conclusion: “The solution, from the Coalition’s point of view, appears to be: get the bills through the parliament as quickly as possible, batten down, take the issue off the front pages and hope the continuing good performance of the economy will mask any bad side effects of the changes. Because the Government knows that when growth turns down, and the skills shortage eases, that’s when employers will begin to use their new-found power to wind back wages and conditions.”

Arrogant on IR and incompetent on national security and civil rights. Michelle Grattan skewers Philip Ruddock beautifully in this morning’s Age.

What a shambles! No sooner does the big anti-terrorism bill hit Parliament than the debate about it is reopened within Government ranks.

Instead of having everything done and dusted before the bill was introduced, the Government responded to backbench unhappiness over the (totally unsatisfactory) sedition offences by saying the Attorney-General’s Department would review them early next year.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock was probably ready to clutch at almost anything to get a “yes” from the backbenchers. But this is not logical. It should have been fixed up already, or at least after the coming Senate inquiry. As Labor spokeswoman Nicola Roxon has pointed out, it’s hardly sensible to pass a flawed provision while agreeing to revisit it almost immediately.

Indeed, it makes you wonder. Just how much more of the package is flawed?