Henry disagrees
with the press, especially The Oz. It was a good
performance by Kim Beazley. It won the vote of Bert, aged 16, who feels at a
big disadvantage when he joins his international guild to play World of
Warcraft – he especially likes the broadband pledge. Mrs Thornton liked the
daycare centres at primary schools. Henry himself (soon to turn 60) liked the
endorsement of tax cuts and especially the trashing of the exit tax on
superannuation. Henry also liked the frequently reiterated “you put in you get
out” line – reminds him of his high school headmaster who every Monday morning
told the assembled school: “you put in you’ll bring home the

The rhetoric
generally was good. You pull the handle – nothing. You pull it again –
nothing. Finally a jackpot – a lousy $10. (This is a truncated account, but Kim
got the pauses about right and the roar from the Labor bruvvers and sisters was
astonishing.) It was good to see Kim smiling, as he does that far better than
the demented bull-ant act that was on display for most of his

If only… if
only his “pact with middle Australia” had committed Labor to
genuine and lasting tax reform. Then the next polls might show a real upward
break. Naturally The Oz
did not like it at all, and the fairest account came from Mark
Davis in The Fin: “Beazley makes a
play for the middle ground”.

In New York stocks had a bad
night (down 1.3%), presumably not in reaction to the Bomber’s egalitarian
rhetoric but more likely for fear of global inflation. Metal prices rocketed
higher – copper up by another 6%, gadzooks! – and oil was up again. So today
will be “mixed” on the Australian bourse, and Japan
even worse.

Henry Thornton.