“What’s the point of Kevin Rudd?” asks Peter Hartcher in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. “Australians don’t know any more.”

In four consecutive polls over the past week — Newspoll, Morgan, Neilsen and Essential — the government, and especially the Prime Minister, have taken a pummelling.

These are no rogue events. This is a government and PM who are now badly on the nose. Not over specific policy positions but, to reprise Hartcher, because “by playing the clever manipulator of a public of mug punters, Rudd has merely exposed himself to the public as exactly that”.

Rudd’s relentless and shameless political pragmatism has led him and his government into dangerous territory.

It looks increasingly like the master of “framing” issues”, as Noel Turnbull  described the holy grail of spin in Friday’s Crikey, has out-framed himself. Perhaps irrevocably.


Budget 2010: All thrills, no frills. Crikey hits Canberra

Crikey‘s crack team of analysts will be on the ground, on the job and in the lock-up to cover Treasurer Wayne Swan’s “no frills” Bi-Lo Budget 2010. Among the many treats for subscribers you will find:

  • Three (3) editions live from the nation’s capital, plus a bonus Tuesday evening lock-up edition.
  • Gripping pre-lock-up analysis.
  • First Dog in the house: Crikey‘s hairiest cartoonist will live blog the 2010 Budget speech directly from the gallery.
  • A special Tuesday evening edition hitting yer inboxes at 8.30: lock-up coverage from your favourite Canberrra correspondent Bernard Keane, economist and blogger Professor John Quiggin, editor-at-large Sophie Black and roving gumshoe Andrew Crook, plus Alan Kohler (need we say more …), SmartCompany‘s James Thomson and more. We said it.
  • Plus, at 8.30 on The Stump, a live chat with Keane and Quiggin, fresh from the lock-up — your chance to fire any Budget-related wonkery at two of the biggest wonks in town …

Then, your Wednesday bumper Budget edition — with more Keane, Quiggin and Kohler, plus a host of commentators breaking the budget down by sector, including Stephen Mayne, Glenn Dyer, Andrew Macintosh, Eva Cox, Phillip Davids, Chris Graham, Stilgherrian, Ben Eltham, Erica Cervini and a special Ask the Economists feature and wrap of the best commentary from the press gallery. Plus, a video packaging all the previous night’s highlights and First Dog’s Canberra Diary.

And best of all — on Wednesday night it’s the Buy Crikey A Beer evening! Crikey is taking over the regular ‘wonk drinks’ at Canberra’s hottest nightspot. Come and meet your favourite Crikey people in person, and First Dog On The Moon as well! Between 6pm and 8pm at All Bar Nun in O’Connor.

That’s right, this is your opportunity to meet the Crikey team and buy us a beer. Anyone who purchases an alcoholic drink for First Dog on the Moon will get their own original First Dog on the Moon drawing of them on a Post-It note.*

*Numbers limited to cartoonist’s capacity to drink alcohol

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey