For the past few weeks, a select few corporate types in Brisbane have watched with amusement at Liberal Party efforts to drum up interest in $10,000 seats for an intimate little fundraiser with the PM, being hosted tonight by employment services provider Sarina Russo.

They provide an appropriate backdrop to today’s “Australia Rising” speech.

The commentariat seems to have largely forgotten them, but throughout the life of the Hawke and Keating governments, they were happily diverted by a series of policy statements.

Some of these were mini-budgets. Most were surrounded – and treated with – all the trapping of reverence attached to the budget itself.

Yet out of all of these, about the only one we seem to remember today is Keating’s “Creative Nation” – and only because of the Captain Whacky connotations.

There comes a time towards the end of every government’s life when people stop listening – no matter what they say.

The Gallery go through the motions, because that’s what they’re there to do – to report what the government does and says.

Voters, though, simply aren’t interested.

That’s almost what they are saying in the Galaxy Poll today.

The Budget is handed down tomorrow fortnight. We know the government is cashed up. We know, as The Financial Review suggests today, it is making spending announcements but not bothering about the details.

Just as the Queensland Liberals have been trying to drum up the numbers for tonight, the Government is finding it harder and harder to get people to come to the party.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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