The art of the photo opportunity. Presumably the campaign strategists do it because it works. All those visits to schools, childcare centres and hospitals. The hardhats and fluoro vests. The shopping centres and visits to workplaces wearing hair nets and funny hats. Forget about what the politicians say when they get there. The photo opportunity is the thing.

So the first of our weekly updates on this important aspect of election campaigning: Crikey‘s photo opportunity scoreboard, meticulously assembled from a study of the metropolitan daily papers.

And our first winner by the length of the straight is Labor’s Kevin Rudd with 18 happy snaps between Monday and Friday to Tony Abbott’s one.

Now I should add that the Opposition Leader did make more appearances than that single one with schoolchildren, but they featured boring men in suits and thus don’t count.

Hoping the favourite wins. Those in the Labor campaign team will be hoping the favourite way wins and that Reserve Bank board lowers official interest rates again.

Another quarter of a point reduction would put an end to that claim that interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government.

The death of a newspaper. There’s not long to go now. The transformation is almost complete. Melbourne’s Age is quickly morphing into a daily magazine. Just take a look at this morning’s paper:

A front page virtually with nothing on it to read. And old-fashioned news stories are hard to find inside too, apart from the 12 pages of sport up the back with their one half-page paid ad between them.

Bombing them to be next? If the mere presence of a general in charge of things did not stop the boat people arrival, what would Field Marshal Abbott do next? My thoughts this morning turned to Randy Newman and his Political Science:

News and views noted along the way.

  • The arrival of women in the office — “The typewriter is almost obsolete in the modern office. But it played a crucial role in women’s arrival in the workplace.”
  • New Whitehall style guide bans jargon — “No longer will civil servants be able to ‘deliver’ improvements or priorities, as the term is reserved for items such as pizzas and post, not abstract concepts. The only thing that they can now ‘drive out’ is cattle or ‘foster’ is children, the style guide suggests. Tackling is also banned, ‘unless it is rugby, football or some other sport’, and the writers of the guide point out that the ‘key’ should be used only in a lock.”
  • Venice Film Festival unveils lineup — In competition: Tracks, John Curran (U.K.-Australia); Out of competition — Wolf Creek 2, Greg McLean (Australia); Out of competition documentaries — Ukraina ne Bordel (Ukraine Is Not Brothel), Kitty Green (Australia)
  • Banks should keep out of mines and warehouses — “In September the Federal Reserve will have a choice of whether to allow banks to carry on as before, or roll back the boundaries of what they do. It should employ common sense and keep them out of activities that have only a tangential relationship to banking.”
  • The real mission for Pope Francis — “Catholicism — or, more accurately, the celibate male mythos at the heart of the institutional church — rests on centuries of s-xism. An antifeminist culture pervades the organization. Thoughtful theologians can distinguish among psycho-s-xual issues; in practice, however, fear of a slippery slope to calamity prevails.”