Tired of inventing narratives, some members of the press pack are now giving the PM ultimatums.

The blog Gutter Trash has pointed out that on Saturday The Australian gave the prime minister an ultimatum of two weeks:

2 weeks

Today they’ve reduced that ultimatum to seven days to “shape up”:

oneweek

So the mining tax gets it, or it’s Gillard for the top job.

Or so the story goes. Laura Tingle in the Australian Financial Review today points out the political reality of press gallery generated fairytales:

“…it almost doesn’t matter whether things are true or not, they develop a life of their own when the government is no longer in control of the agenda.”

The next two weeks of parliament will be all about Rudd wrestling back the headline and beating it into shape. This morning Rudd fronted the press pack with Jenny Macklin, Sharan Burrow and a petition of 25,000 signatures urging the Senate to pass paid parental leave. There were a few toddlers in tow to do just that.

Meanwhile, reports out of this morning’s party room meeting suggest it was calm, with no leadership discussion, just lots of MPs wanting to know how RSPT negotiations – for that is what Kevin Rudd now characterises them as – are going. Stephen Smith tried to characterise it as “steely resolve”, which might be gilding the (member for) lily, but the alleged panic induced by impending electoral doom was nowhere to be seen.

Which inconveniently enough, doesn’t fit the story at all…

Peter Fray

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