Good get-out line. Full marks to Malcolm Turnbull this morning for a good get-out line. When asked what he would do with the asylum seekers on board the Ocean Viking the Opposition leader did a very neat sidestep with these words: “I don’t want to give Kevin Rudd advice with a megaphone on that because I know no more than what I’ve read in the press. Anybody making decisions as sensitive as this shouldn’t be making them unless they’ve got all of the information.”

The man with all the information is making heavy weather of his explanations.  Rudd does not appear to be getting through with his claims about Labor’s policy being firm but fair. People are looking for actions not words.

A neighbourly disinterest. Two of Australia’s near neighbours are close to a state of war and what can you read about on the home web pages this morning of Australia’s newspapers? Not a word at all about the frightening deterioration in relations between Thailand and Cambodia.

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Ending boozy violence is there nothing our Kevin can’t do? To the growing list of things our Prime Minister is promising to fix we can add putting an end to alcohol-fuelled violence. With the skill we have come to expect from one of the great “gunnas” of political history, Kevin Rudd told the Brisbane Courier Mail in an interview that he will spearhead a fresh battle against binge drinking amid a growing outbreak of alcohol-fuelled violence. Rudd called for confronting advertising campaigns to warn young Australians about the dangers of excessive drinking, a sober rethink on the concentration of liquor licences in CBD areas and adequate resourcing for police. Fair dinkum, this obsession by Labor spinners reacting to every last media campaign has surely gone too far this time.

Gilding the commissioner. In the Canberra bureaucratic pecking order, the chairman of the Productivity Commission would come well down the list after most departmental secretaries and quite a few deputy secretaries and ministerial advisers as well. Not that you would know that if you believed The Australian. In a rather pathetic attempt this morning to give some weight to a beat-up attacking Labor’s economic policies, the paper promoted the commission’s chairman Gary Banks to being the government’s “chief economic adviser”.

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