A lesson forgotten
. As someone all too closely involved with that famous "no child will live in poverty" slogan I am well aware of the dangers of political over-promising. What continues to surprise is me is that following generations of Labor apparatchiks did not learn the lesson from that embarrassment.
So it is that Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard will end the year with "we will bring the budget back into surplus in 2012-13" as a vote losing deadweight hanging around their necks. And the retreat that the Treasurer announced yesterday will be far more damaging than Bob Hawke's over-promising. For this Prime Minister does not have the luxury of a Hawkeian approval rating and suffers as well from previous extravagant promises broken.
Scrapping two years of assurances that government spending will be balanced at least by government revenue will just remind voters of the cavalier fashion with which Gillard abandoned her solemn "there will be no carbon tax imposed by a government I lead".
A good time for a holiday
. The Prime Minister got off quite lightly really from her government's budget back-down. Of the tabloids only Melbourne's Herald Sun
really went to town.
Being on holiday helped with the loyal deputy Wayne Swan stepping forward to take most of the flack with a bit of help from that master of the dead bat Penny Wong. With the public's mind on other things, this was a perfect time to make a mockery of repeated promises.