After much hoo haa and hushed voices about what would be on Four Corners on Monday it turned out that there was a single piece of new information, put right near the end so we watched it all.
As seems to be always happening with the current government, there was just as much media concern over the way Julia Gillard answered the question than the issue itself of when she was planning what. Will any of this resonate deeply with the punters, the vast majority of whom weren’t watching? Have they already made up their mind anyway? Probably not and possibly yes.
As we said last week, the economy may get a decent run in politics this year and with the means testing of the rebate for private health insurance looking good to get through both Houses the Government took a big step closer to surplus Nirvana. The Opposition are already starting to concede the surplus is likely (they claim through all kinds of accounting trickery), and of course the Government really had no choice, but Rob Oakeshott has helped them hit that number mightily, and also given the Opposition another clear differentiator they can point to when claims of a lack of policy substance are thrown their way.
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Twitter comments during the Q&A episode following Four Corners included the frequent comment:
“I didn’t vote for Julia Gillard. I voted for Kevin Rudd. What democracy?!!! #qanda”
And there were many other Twitter and blog comments about Gillard’s appearance on Four Corners, with suggestions on how she should have handled it, others sarcastically saying she’s great and should stay on as leader so she can then be voted out at the next election. Tony Abbott was back in the top spot on the social media top five. And following the RBA’s decision to hold interest rates last week saw social media discussions mentioning Swan and Hockey increase.
Whitney Houston mentions on social media well ahead of either the PM or Tony Abbott, which probably won’t be a huge surprise to many. Those who are concerned about that should perhaps remember that this is not the bad new days, younger people have always been less engaged as a group with politics than their elders (except when they’re about to be drafted to a war).
Perhaps the bigger issue of concern is that as an artist Whitney Houston was never allowed to leave behind the earth shattering voice of her youth and become something more Billie Holiday than Ethel Merman.
I blame the Rolling Stones for most of us expecting performers to be artistically pickled at what we’ve decided was their peak.