What if it’s not the tax but the broken promise? Another opinion poll. Another disastrous measurement of Labor popularity. Another opportunity for government ministers to restate that things will improve from now on with the carbon tax at last a reality rather than a promise.

A promise? Oh, there’s the problem. I doubt that people have absorbed much of Tony Abbott’s doomsday scenario. Their judgment of this government was created by the initial deception in breaking the “there will be no carbon tax introduced by a government I lead.” That will not disappear because of a few extra dollars in a pocket.

Tony Abbott certainly thinks so. He could not resist his good polling news this morning and broke the silence political leaders normally observe about such matters.

“I think that governments which do the wrong thing by the Australian people, that tell lies before an election to the Australian people, are rightly punished by the Australian people,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Geelong.

Mr Abbott said the government was in a dire position despite channeling billions of dollars in handouts to people and an expensive new advertising campaign. “This is the electoral justice that awaits governments that aren’t honest and straight with the Australian people,” he said.

What the Crikey indicators show. There’s been a slight, very slight, recent improvement in the chances both of Julia Gillard remaining Labor leader up to the next election and of her party actually winning it.

Petrol keeps edging lower. Perhaps the continuing fall in petrol prices will remove some of the public hostility. There was another drop this week.

What we are paying at the pump is certainly putting an end to any immediate inflationary fears.

The TD-Securities-Melbourne Institute Monthly inflation gauge shows the annual inflation rate fell to 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to June 2012, the slowest pace since 2009. Prices fell 0.2 per cent during the month of June after remaining flat in May, the survey shows.

Waiting for James P to respond. Is this what Rupert Murdoch thinks of James Packer?

Some news and views noted along the way: