It’s pork a plenty in the lead up to the election, or so it seems.

Abbott and Howard, for their part, are playing it straight. “My experience going around this great country of ours is that Australians, no matter where they live, whether it’s in Devonport or Cooktown or Esperance or Broken Hill, it doesn’t matter, their view is: I don’t care what level of government provides the service as long as the service is provided,” the Prime Minister has said.

His Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has told The Australian that anyone who feels their local public hospital is being mismanaged by their state Labor government should “say so loud and clear”.

But, to keep up the metaphor, is the government biting off more than it can chew? And will the electorate be left with a nasty taste in its mouth?

All this government has been really good at is getting re-elected – and even that skill, at this eleventh hour, appears to be deserting them.

The people of Devonport are about to have a hospital service brought to them by the same people who:

  • Have (further) stuffed our universities;
  • Failed to get their technical colleges moving;
  • “Run” the Department of Immigration;
  • Dreamt up – then binned and re-wrote – the WorkChoices laws;
  • Have been utterly incapable of managing defence procurement; and 
  • Missed the mess right under their noses in Canberra’s hospitals (or perhaps over looked it, since the ACT’s two seats are both safe Labor).

Is the government offering pork – or putting lipstick on a pig?

CHRISTIAN KERR  writes: “The government seems to be asking for real trouble by scrapping the Community Development Employment Programs in the Northern Territory…”
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