All quiet at the top this week as Prime Minister Gillard’s populist politics quell the media storms for a time. Her policy platform, some of it a little at sea with her party’s core values, now borrows enough from the opposition on issues like asylum seekers to leave erstwhile rabble-rousers splitting hairs on talkback radio, and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen hedging his bets between Nauru and Malaysia on offshore processing.

Populism, with its typical disregard for science, also sees calmer waters south of our isle where public opinion once again moves the government off its policy course, this time to grab some Green-love as Environment Minister Tony Burke grabs headlines showing us the aft of the Abel Tasman as she super trawls her way back to Europe (and presumably her maiden name).

Back on terra firma Barry O’Farrell, the Premier of the most populous state in the nation, actually made the news this week. Nope, not just in calling for a crackdown on Twitter trolls, but by announcing a funding cut of $1.7 billion to NSW schools while green-lighting coal-seam gas extraction in NSW. Just up the road the Malcolm In The Middle show continued as the shadow Communications Minister said he supports gay marriage but toes his party line against it. Martyrdom, as painful to watch as to observe.

Crikey Political Index September 6-12 2012

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s budget delivery was the target of the Twitterati this week as his cuts to health and public service were ill-received.

Social Media Top Five

Our most successful Paralympian took five gold medals in London, taking his tally to 13 since first competing in Athens.