Henry’s spies tell him that it is far from peace and goodwill to all men in ALP in Canberra. Bomber Beazley is reputed to have underwhelmed ALP strategists with his commitment to planning the party’s election strategy recently, preferring to stick to his repeated line that he wants to face John Howard in the election, rather than Cossie (yeah, right), and work on his aggrieved frown look.

Bomber seems to think that the WorkChoices backlash and the likelihood of a few more interest rate rises between now and the election will be enough to sweep him into office. He might be right, of course, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to turn up to a few meetings and work on plan B. The whisper is that Bomber has been given an ultimatum from his team to get engaged or start looking for another strategy outfit.

As Shaun Carney in The Age pointed out, ALP discipline has been better of late, but he also pointed out that it comes off a very low base. Bomber better hope that others keep up the pressure on the Coalition, and that ALP punters don’t work out that he is blowing a golden chance to make some headway into what has been a lamentable collective performance over the last few years. He is getting a dream run from his party room at the moment for no discernible reason other than the fact the Coalition aren’t travelling brilliantly at the moment and there’s no need to distract them while they’re fouling their own nests.

Cossie and the PM are playing their own little games at the moment, but the real pressure is still on Bomber to get his act together.

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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