If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, there’s more than a touch of the dromedary about Labor’s new/old broadband policy. What on earth were they thinking by sullying a nice political pitch with “raiding the Future Fund”, “smash and grab” and “hands in the cookie jar”?

A quick squiz of the headlines shows the raid on the Future Fund seized more attention than rolling out a fibre network.

Most of the population doesn’t really know what’s quite so important about bigger better broadband anyway, but everyone understands the slur that you can’t trust Labor with the keys to the bank vault.

And what makes it particularly stupid is that it was entirely unnecessary – the federal government has and will have billions to burn as the money rolls into Treasury by the iron ore and coal truckload.

As reported elsewhere today, those preaching “the end is nigh” about the commodities boom are rapidly recanting, lifting rather than cutting price forecasts for next year. Watch for Costello to do the same thing in his May budget.

Given that the $2.7 billion Rudd wants to “steal” from the Future Fund is actually lying around in the government’s petty cash account, why provide Cossie & Co with such easy ammunition?

One can only speculate that the new leadership required some half a-sed excuse for ditching the ditsy “we’ll keep Telstra ownership in the Future Fund” and some bright spark thought they could kill two policy birds with one stone.

Instead, Kev’s nice clean broadband shirt has a large dollop of pigeon poop oozing down the front – and that’s what has caught everyone’s eye.

It looks like Kevin Rudd’s biggest single problem is that he’s leader of the Labor Party, with all the baggage that entails.

Peter Fray

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