Small business power. It was surely no accident that the decision to scrap the supermarket price watch scheme came shortly after the Minister for Small Business Craig Emerson had consumer affairs added to his responsibilities in the recent ministerial reshuffle. The group with most to lose from publicity being given to supermarket prices are small supermarket operators not the major Woolworths and Coles chains who are being blamed for forcing the breaking of this first major Labor election promise. Mr Emerson, who has been actively out and about listening to small business people, knows that advertising prices in a fair dinkum fashion would be very much to the advantage of the two major chains plus the growing force of Aldi.
The real test for Labor on the grocery pricing front will be whether it is prepared to act against the standover tactics that the majors employ to ensure that suppliers give them a price advantage over the smaller operators.
No spin needed for spoon feeding. There was a time when journalists for the mainstream television and radio outlets were outraged at the very suggestion that they be provided with electronic versions of the press statement. It was taken to be a matter of journalistic pride that what went to air was the result of what they themselves recorded not some handout. Those days are clearly gone as was illustrated at the weekend by the alacrity with which a run was given by the major news services to a Prime Ministerial You Tube statement.
Preserving its thunder. At The Oz they jealously guard the pre-eminence with which its fortnightly Newspoll figures are treated by the rest of the press and the politicians. Whenever the rival AC Nielsen polling team have been in the field, the release of the Newspoll figures is moved from the normal Tuesday publication day to Monday. So it was this morning that the bad news for the Coalition, and for the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull in particular, came from two barrels. Well, three actually. The day was chosen as well for one of the very occasional polls taken by Galaxy for the Murdoch tabloids.
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And what really did the trio of pollsters tell us? Very little that is new. While individual polls bob around a bit which enables journalists to invent an explanation for such behaviour the findings has been the same since the last election. Kevin Rudd is thought to be a better leader than anyone in the Opposition and Labor has a bigger lead than it had at the last election.
Stable interest rates. Confidence is increasing still further that the Reserve Bank will keep official interest rates unchanged at its July meeting. The Crikey Interest Rate Indicator now has no change as an 84% probability.