First campaign poster. Yesterday we shared the RiotACT’s discovery of the first federal election campaign poster, put up by Canberra Liberal wannabe Troy Williams. It’s now been annotated. Someone’s added the line “As seen in Crikey”.

Leadership settled. Skirmishing in the Press Gallery beer wars has continued over the past few weeks – but Channel 7 may have clinched victory with their new sign. “A fridge to far?” it reads. “Fork no!”

So you want to be shadow foreign affairs minister? Reshuffles are rarely played out in public. They’re normally settled in smoke filled rooms. This week it’s different. Government MPs are bagging Amanda Vanstone to journos as speculation mounts that the PM will remake the ministry. And ahead of today’s announcement from Kevin Rudd, Robert McClelland has auditioned for his leader’s old job of shadow foreign affairs minister with a hilariously OTT press release:

ADF Subject to the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

Australia is like the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet – with no independent existence separate to the tragedy playing out in Iraq.

As Wikipedia states about the two characters: “They are portrayed as two clowns or fools in a world that is beyond their understanding.”

The Prime Minister’s answer in Question Time refusing to acknowledge the reality confirmed by the incoming US Secretary for Defence Robert Gates — that the United States is not winning the Iraq war — demonstrates complete detachment from reality.

Like the two hapless characters in Hamlet, Australia has no independent strategy or objectives in Iraq other than to be drawn along with the tide of events determined by other players.

The Howard Government has again refused to state what our mission is in Iraq, the benchmarks for achieving that mission and the timeframe for its completion.

Unfortunately Rosencrantz and Guildenstern blundered into a sad end. We have a moral duty not to lead Australian soldiers down the same path.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey