For a moment, when we first heard about it, we wondered if the ALP ad featuring the housewife would represent the return of Whingeing Wendy. Not a chance. Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party is plugged into a far more modern meme.

Both the ABC and The Australian’s George Megalogenis reported that the ad was a radical step; that Labor was wary of criticising the PM directly because of his high public approval ratings. But they’ve found a way of doing it. A very contemporary way.

The “You’ve lost touch, Mr Howard. No offence, but you’ve just been there too long” slot is a piece of genius.

The ALP is channelling Ja’mie King. Ja’mie has a habit of insulting people, but finishing off her comments with a fake sincere: “No offence, but it’s true”. Like when she says: “Wife beaters and r-pists are nearly all public school educated, sorry no offence, but it’s true”.

“No offence,” the ad goes. Why didn’t the ALP just call Chris Lilley?

There’s still two and bit weeks to go in the campaign. We look forward to seeing Ja’mie there on our screens saying “Mr Howard. You’ve lost touch. You’ve been there too long. You’re daggy and old. No offence, but it’s true!”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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