The Premiers feature heavily following the COAG meeting on health reform at the weekend. Despite the focus on her opposite number, the health backdown/ compromise/ stroke of genius (depending on who you read) kept Julia Gillard’s media numbers rising, showing yet more pragmatism from the PM and Health Minister Nicola Roxon. What all of this will actually mean for provision of health services to punters remains a mystery to most of us.

Sh*t continues to happen to Tony Abbott whose struggle to keep his grip on shadow cabinet has Joe Hockey weighing in, distancing himself from his more conservative leader and the Member for Cook (ie. the Cronulla end of Sutherland Shire, in case anyone didn’t know) on asylum seekers. It follows a week of leaks and claims that Andrew Robb would challenge for deputy leader Julie Bishop’s job and coveted Hockey’s as well. Nice time for a book launch, anyone?

Despite a public apology and early launch to NSW Labor’s election campaign, Premier Kristina Keneally won’t be heartened by the latest Nielsen polling that reflects what everyone suspected. She can safely book Bali in for the first week of April. For Gillard, on the other hand, lost state Labor votes could have positive implications, moving forward.

Incredible numbers for Abbott who had the undinted support of talkback land, which felt he was ambushed by Channel 7 on his conversation with troops.

Geoffrey’s on a BAFTA hat trick having won Best Supporting Actor for The King’s Speech — he won the same award last year for A Single Man.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey