Essential polling:

Crikey says: Yesterday in reporting weekly Essential Research polling we said Bob Katter had the lowest approval ratings among the four independent MPs. The data provided to us by Essential was preliminary and incorrect; in fact Katter recorded approval figures (27%) slightly higher than Andrew Wilkie (24%), Tony Windsor (23%) and Rob Oakeshott (23%). We apologise for the error.

Brand Labor:

David Hand writes: Peter Ormond (yesterday, comments) takes a narrow view of branding, seeming to conflate it with advertising, promotion and media.  Branding has a much more profound place in any organisation’s life. It describes how people see and understand what you do and stand for.

The discussion going on about Labor’s brand is more about what it stands for than about how it communicates. So rather than public opinion being “superficial and shallow”, I think Labor’s woes reflect quite a bit of insight on the part of the voting public. People have generally worked out that the ALP don’t stand for anything apart from a union-hack nepotistic gravy train whose primary purpose is to win elections.

A focus group’s output on Monday becomes a policy announcement on Wednesday before falling apart through its lack of depth by Friday. I agree with Peter’s comment that devotion to focus groups and spin doctors is a recipe for the death of the party but this is why the public’s view is not shallow. They see right through the hollowness and spin.

The Labor brand is damaged because its reason for being is no longer understood or believed. This is where I see the discussions coming out of Labor to have promise. Widening the member base is vital to reconnect the party with the community it represents, as is a rediscovery of an ethos and vision for the 21st century. You have to actually be something before you can compellingly communicate it and this is Labor’s challenge.

Channel Seven:

Debbie Turner, publicity manager, Channel  Seven, Brisbane, writes:  Re. “Last night’s TV ratings” (yesterday, item 19). Just a clarification to a story in Glenn Dyer’s section. Glenn wrote, “Seven News was boosted in some markets (Brisbane and regional Queensland) by the ending of the Bathurst car race.”

Because Queensland does not have daylight savings, the V8 Supercar Championship series, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Race 20 finished at 5pm in Queensland.

It was followed by Destination New Zealand at 5pm and Great South East at 5.30pm.

So Seven News in Queensland was telecast an hour after the race had finished.

Seven News was the No.1 program for the night with 325,000 average viewers and built on the Great South East audience of 179,000 average viewers.

Pokies:

Jim Adams writes: Re. “Pokies lobby lets the cat out of the bag” (yesterday, item 3). The real reason the clubs do not want to see the pre-commitment card is because clubs such as the Canterbury Leagues, Fairfield RSL (highest clearances per machine in Australia) make the majority of their dough through pokies.

The mums and dads are where the problem gamblers are, and for the clubs to argue that these bottom-end gamblers will run into a TAB or get online to back the Wallabies with SportingBet.com is a fantasy.

They know that the pokies money will be out the door the day after the cards come in, and that they cannot say, so they hold the line they trot out day after day after day.

Mike Rann and same-s-x marriage:

Vincent Burke writes: Re. “Power Shots: Clubs offer to Wilkie … Crook spotlight … Rann on gays …” (yesterday, item 16). Despite the general cynicism about the timing of SA Premier Rann’s coming out in favour of same-s-x marriage (why not say so years ago if he believed it was right?), the general response in the local talk-back I heard has been favourable to his announcement, or neutral at worst. He is right, of course.

Come on Julia Gillard, show some courage and stand up to the religious right for once.

Mia Freedman:

James Molan writes: Re. “Media briefs: Linnell goes vertical … Gittens makes sense … Mia mum on News” (yesterday, item 18). Monday’s edition included items on authoritarian trends in Russia, s-x slavery, the deportation of refugees and the 15-year anniversary of Fox News.

And then there it was, buried in item 18, the most depressing news of all: “Mia (Freedman) has plenty of outlets for her talent”.

Peter Fray

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