May 07, 2007 | Graham

Wedged on the budget

The Queensland takeover of the federal ALP campaign is really starting to pay dividends. Consider the budget. My impressions of the media coverage is that whatever Costello and Howard deliver will be regarded as just a gambit to win the next election. It won’t matter whether it is good policy or not, it will be tainted.
Queensland takeover? I’ve just been watching coverage of the Labor Day march in Brisbane, and while you couldn’t miss Rudd, you also couldn’t miss Wayne Swan walking one row back. One of Rudd’s most critical acts after he won the leadership was his reconciliation with Wayne Swan. This reassembled two of the crucial pieces of the team that pushed Wayne Goss to victory in Queensland in 1989. A campaign that was characterised by almost flawless execution of “search and destroy” rhetorical exercises.
That’s the sort of rhetoric that is being applied against the Howard government, and it’s working.
Take tax cuts. You can’t logically criticise the federal government for being the biggest taxing in Australia’s history, as Swan does, and at the same time oppose tax cuts. But that’s the thrust of Labor’s attack. Tax cuts, we’re told, will lead to higher interest rates. They’re backed-up by market economists and treasury bureaucrats, whose grasp of inflationary theory is in the grip of some long-dead economist. When you don’t have indexed tax rates, tax cuts aren’t just inevitable each budget – they’re a right.
And if governments raise more money than they need for committed expenditure, then they have a duty to refund it, rather than find novel ways to spend it just because they have it. It’s not inflationary to return assets to their rightful owners!
Howard’s problem is that he isn’t applying the same focus-group honed rhetorical warfare that Labor is applying. If he doesn’t invest in some armaments soon he’s definitely going to lose the next election. There’s no way he can spend his way out if every and any sort of fiscal action is branded as being “mean, tricky and out of touch”. Now who said that?

Posted by Graham at 7:42 pm | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. A sharp analysis. A flawless execution of “search and destroy” rhetorical exercises by a sharp campaign team is what it takes to get elected.
    Let’s hope that the ALP have learned from Howard, and don’t assume that because it works to win an election, it makes for good government.

    Comment by Slim — May 7, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  2. Dear Graham, Is Costello not just giving back a lot of the Bracket creep that he seems to want no one to know about,or have we forgotton about that.
    Apart from that Howard will spend whatever it takes to bribe the punters and get himself relected,he will backflip, lie whatever to do it

    Comment by John Ryan — May 8, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

  3. Nice site. Thanks!

    Comment by Armstrong Swiftlock Laminate Flooring — May 22, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

  4. Nice site. Thanks!

    Comment by Armstrong Swiftlock Laminate Flooring — May 22, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

  5. Very good site. Thanks!

    Comment by silver bullet vibrator — May 23, 2007 @ 9:57 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.