WA’s business lobby has wasted no time demanding a quick
for Geoff Gallop, in the interests of “stability.” Apart from the demons inside Gallop’s mind,
WA would have to be the most stable political environment on the globe, so
spending a little time coming up with a good replacement for him shouldn’t bring
ruin to the prosperous West.

While the papers have acting Premier Eric Ripper and Energy
Minister Alan Carpenter vying for the job, there is a man – a very big man
– currently working outside the State, who should be asked to apply by the WA
Labor party. And today’s Newspoll shows why. It highlights Kim Beazley’s continued lack of traction at a time when he
should be crowing in the polls.

Beazley has battled hard in his second incarnation as
Opposition leader, but he just isn’t cutting through. He has been unable to
reinvent himself as the man to cut down Howard. Last week, Beazley made this
solemn pledge: from now on, he would be “shorter in the way in which I talk
about politics and more clear-cut in terms of defining our policy positions.”

Oh, the irony of rambling on about being more succinct. That’s 21 words when in nine he could have
said: “I’m going to bullsh*t less and define our policies.”

How hard is it to run WA? Just keep the lights and air-con
on, the gas flowing and the miners digging and distributing their bounty and the place basically runs itself. Thanks to the commodity boom, it’s
essentially a giant quarry for our energy-hungry friends in

Even Kim Beazley should be able to manage that.

Still, if Kim won’t budge, our second choice is his WA
frontbench colleague Stephen Smith – the man Mark Latham called a
“self-conscious careerist robot.” With
his sharp suits, perfect hair, impeccable personal hygiene and that
very-concerned-yet-slightly-vacant media stare he must have learned from Steve
Bracks, Steve Smith is ideal Labor Premier material.