In a big week of political news, both state and federal, with SPC and ABC being smacked down by the government in various different ways. The focus on the rejected SPC bailout and the editorial standards and purpose of the ABC dominated the list, with West Australian Premier Colin Barnett not even able to make the top 20 despite the continuing furore over his government’s shark culling policy, and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill stuck in the teens despite threatening to resign just weeks before the state election.
The previously strongest defender of agrarian socialism and now Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce was well up the list, but it was the federal member for Murray Sharman Stone who caused the biggest splash, weighing in to strongly defend SPC Ardmona from her own government's attacks, while ministers who had made critical comments -- including Treasurer Joe Hockey and Senator Eric Abetz -- also jumped up the list. Victorian State Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews was quick to leap on the issue, pledging support, which just added to Premier Denis Napthine’s woes after Frankston MP Geoff Shaw threw yet another spanner into the grinding cogs of his minority government.
On the ABC front, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull went from staunch defender to partial critic of the ABC’s editorial processes after a barrage of criticism from the PM and many other government MPs, not to mention conservative commentators. The main focus of ire was the "burned hands" story concerning Somalian asylum seekers, with discussion of the ABC’s budget looking to be very much back on the table.
Crikey Political Index: January 30 - February 5