Take the next step. Her Green allies might not like it but Julia Gillard should take the next step in letting the people give their verdict on her carbon tax regime. At last night’s community forum she started down the path that might blunt the anger people have that she broke her election promise not to introduce such a tax. She argued that judgment on the carbon tax should be reserved until the 2013 election, by when people would have had a ”lived experience” of the new regime. The necessary next step is to promise that Labor would accept the electoral judgment and not attempt to block in the Senate any attempt, should there be a Coalition Liberal-National government elected, to repeal Labor’s legislation.
The Greens, who already are relishing their balance of power position, would not like that prospect much for it would make them irrelevant again but it would allow the Prime Minister to argue that allowing people a real test drive of a policy was even fairer than giving them the chance to judge it in a pre-election campaign brochure.
Tony loves the broken promises bit. That Tony Abbott thinks the prime ministerial broken promise on a carbon tax is a big thing going for him was shown by the relish with which he referred to it during his 7PM Project appearance. You could see the joy on his face as they showed the clip of the rather dignified Brisbane woman asking Gillard why she was a liar.
I must say it is a bit rich to hear a Liberal leader talking about broken promises to do with climate change when his two predecessors went to elections promising to put a price on carbon but broken promises that are just words do not have as much impact on the public as actual actions.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
That said, the Abbott appearance shows how skilled our leaders have become at these slightly less serious but quite influential current affairs shows. Combining a few digs at opponents with the ability to laugh at himself, the Opposition Leader was comfortably in control. Another 10-point performance.
Simon shows how. Being a deposed former leader and still being an active political participant is a difficult role to play. In the past day Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd have had difficulty in getting the words right when asked about past and future directions of their political parties. Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard would no doubt encourage their predecessors to study the methods of that other former party leader Simon Crean who goes about his ministerial duties without causing any embarrassment.
Meet the press. The UK Prime Minister will give new meaning to “meet the press” if he goes ahead with this suggestion reported in The Guardian this morning: