Truly disastrous polling. The Oz can be forgiven for playing down the significance of this morning’s Newspoll. It is no longer news that the Coalition is on the electoral nose and that Malcolm Turnbull is about as unpopular a leader of a political party as you can get.

Playing by the government’s rules. They are incredibly slow learners those Liberals. Week after week they keep playing politics by the government’s rules. Week after week the opinion polls show that people are markedly unimpressed by them. When will they ever learn?

Learn, for instance, that when people overwhelmingly and increasingly say they are confident about the economic future that there will be no response to claims that a debt-laden doom is about to descend upon the nation? Realise that while for the next few years, whatever happens in Copenhagen or anywhere else, no decisions about emissions trading will translate into changes that people notice; global warming will be a motherhood issue.

For as long as it does not actually cost anything, saving the planet will be a vote winner so why continue to be a nark once again predicting hard times to come.

Liberals desperately need an issue of their own that people can relate to now, not far off in some distant future. Let me suggest it again. Start talking hospitals and health and blame Kevin Rudd’s dithering around with committees of inquiry for every mishap and tragic death.

Lobbyists should be proud of him. As a former member of the lobbyists club, might I say what a first rate appearance it was yesterday by Graham Richardson when appearing before the New South Wales upper house inquiry. His evidence should be studied in detail by every aspiring influence peddler, especially the parts about not having a diary and keeping no notes. In this litigious and investigative age, it is essential that written records not be available.

Public servants and politicians worried about pesky Freedom of Information requests should similarly undergo Richardson-style memory training. And who would now dare to call my old profession dishonourable when, as Graham pointed out, no proper lobbyist could work for a client who required a written agreement when a handshake should do. Long live such old-fashioned values.

An Indian flurry of excitement over global warming. India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh caused a ripple of excitement in the world of global warming diplomacy this week when he suggested that his country commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions without insisting on the, and India might transfer of finance and technology from rich developed countries. Such an approach from an important member of the developing world would certainly change the nature of this year’s talks in Copenhagen but it brought a swift diplomatic response from China.

This morning the Times of India reports that there was considerable surprise at the minister’s statement within the newly elected governing Coalition.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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