The perpetual motion machine. Surely the battery must run out eventually. Our Prime Minister is just like a perpetual motion machine that cannot stay in one place for a moment.

The way Kevin Rudd treats every day as if there is an election in a week’s time would fill me with fear if I was Malcolm Turnbull. This Prime Minister just keeps ticking all the boxes you need to if you are preparing for a double dissolution next year. Start the week doing something about global warming. End it visiting the troops in Afghanistan. The man just cannot stop spinning.

Preaching to the converted. Preaching to the converted is a hard habit for The Australian to break. From the moment Labor nearly lost the Northern Territory election, the paper’s political writers — federal and state — have all been going on about some sagging national trend for Labor. The actual West Australian defeat was confirmation that the resurrection was underway and Labor’s slide in the polls in New South Wales was portrayed as inevitable.

Then along comes the opinions of those pesky Queenslanders and Victorians. In both states, Newspoll has measured Labor on the improve. How can we fit that into our sagging national trend? Yesterday, bringing the Newspoll news about Queensland, where the two party vote is now 57% to 43% on a two-party basis, Sean Parnell made the grudging concession that “Labor has slowed the momentum of the Liberal National Party’s run to the next election” but Premier Anna Bligh is struggling to keep pace with her Opposition and satisfy community expectations.

Just run that by me again: Labor’s vote is going up and the LNP’s is going down and Labor would bolt in if these figures were repeated on election day, but the momentum of the LNP has only been slowed? Clearly there’s something that Sean knows that I have missed.

At least this morning, giving the Newspoll verdict of Victorians, Ewin Hannan did not try to hide that Labor has “performed a remarkable turnaround”, regaining a commanding lead over the Coalition at the mid-point of the state’s electoral cycle. The same 57 to 43 two party vote share as in Queensland is higher than the Steve Bracks-led Labor Party got at the last Victoria election. There’s not much evidence of a sagging national trend there, nor is there in the Newspoll federal findings, which also has Labor further in front than at the election a year ago.

Starting at the top. No doubt the world-wide recession will get us all in the end but at least this one seems to be starting in a different way. As the London Evening Standard pointed out overnight, it is the middle class professions such as finance, advertising and consultancy that are being hit first. London now has an unemployment rate of 7.6% with new rounds of retrenchments being announced almost daily.

Checking the power of Crikey. My colleague Ruth Brown had an entertainingly witty piece in Crikey last Friday “P*nis in a park bench” looking at the 100 most read stories for the year at Now I notice that the most read story overnight at was a similar list of the 50 biggest online stories of 2008. Quite an achievement for a once-great paper when the most interesting thing to read on its website is a story about what things have been most read over the previous 12 months. Maybe it is not so surprising when you study what made the list and discover what Age readers really like.

Not wishing to be a spoil sport, I have left off the year’s most popular story. To find the winning entry, click here. Who knows, the power of Crikey might even be enough to return it to the top of the most read list tomorrow for yet another day.