Adding to her woes. The report in the Australian Financial Review this morning on Julia Gillard’s attempts when Kevin Rudd’s deputy prime minister to scrap plans to price carbon emissions will further feed the puzzlement over who the “real” Julia is and what she actually believes in. The cabinet paper that the paper publishes — there is a version of the story on its website — suggests that at the very least she was a late convert to the need of a carbon pricing.

The cabinet paper, written by Gillard and entitled The Bipartisan Solution was apparently handed out to her cabinet colleagues. It proposed a bipartisan deal on a 5% reduction in carbon pollution, to be achieved without a carbon tax or an ETS, arguing that there was little chance of the Coalition agreeing to an emissions trading scheme (ETS) while Tony Abbott was Opposition Leader. Deputy Labor leader Gillard urged the government to adopt a fallback position that was likely to get bipartisan support.

Her cabinet colleagues rejected the idea but as PM Gillard followed it to a large extent with the pronouncement of a no carbon tax in a government led by her election promise.

What today’s publication of this little bit of history will do is give new strength to the Abbott assertions that the Prime Minister was forced by the Greens to ignore the political wisdom of her own advice. At least some of her declining popularity can be put down to a belief by many voters that she is a politician who stands for nothing but keeping the Prime Minister’s job.

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A sensible opinion poll coverage. A minor reference on page one with the details well inside on page four is an appropriate way to treat an opinion poll when an election  is a couple of years away. The numbers are largely irrelevant and their importance should not be overstated. So a commendation to The Australian for its handling of this latest Newspoll. We can but hope that a future poll showing things getting worse for the government rather than better is treated in a similarly sensible fashion.

Down rather than up. The Crikey Interest Rate Indicator shows that a fall in interest rates is the more likely outcome of next week’s Reserve Bank Board meeting than a rise. It’s been a long time since the indicator has pointed in that direction!

Not that anyone with a mortgage should get too excited. By far the most likely outcome is that there will be no change in either direction — an 84.5% probability.