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Swan and The Last Surplus

May 12, 2011

It is pure Gotcha politics, the perhaps playful question aiming to spear Treasurer Swan because he could not bring to mind the last time a Labor government delivered a surplus. So this is consequential?

Not a question about the initiatives to up-skill the Australian population for a boom generated by industrialisation and urbanisation of China and India. Too solemn and serious. Not an interrogation about Howard’s middle-class welfare and the need to pin it back.

As if to confirm Lindsey Tanner’s critique of superficial media games, the question was trivial pursuit, a trick to trip Swan up. It was a question with no relevance to this budget, bypassing policy substance altogether.

I hope it is an episode that Canberra media passes over fast.

5 Comments
  1. Jimbo permalink
    May 12, 2011 11:50 am

    Unfortunately, the TV news bulletins won’t be able to ignore the breaking glass footage that comes with his discomfort.

  2. christine swan permalink
    May 13, 2011 8:41 am

    Not losing faith in the Canberra press? Yes, agree it’s unfortunate. Media can be headstrong. I just wish Swan could lose “the Goose” tag. There, I’ve gone and repeated it.

  3. Watson permalink
    May 13, 2011 8:42 am

    Sadly, the only reason why the gallery of guffaws will stop replaying this ‘gaff’ is because they’ve found a new piece of trivia. It’s a measure of their character that most of the so called ‘review’ of Tanner’s book repeated the ‘disgruntled ex-pollie attacks his colleagues’ meme. If any of the journos understood the critique of their debasement of their profession, they gave little sign of it.
    I’m not much impressed with the politicians, but for once my opinion of them is higher than my revulsion at the puerile behaviour of the news media, especially the ABC. It’s not hard to imagine astute news directors placing hidden obstacles in the path of their unwitting guests in order to elicit a ‘prat-fall’ accidentally captured when the cameras a rolling – so much more interesting than researching the policies, causes, statistics.

  4. Harquebus permalink
    May 13, 2011 10:39 am

    Yeah, I couldn’t remember either.

  5. May 13, 2011 2:53 pm

    Treasurer Swan… he could not bring to mind the last time a Labor government delivered a surplus. So this is consequential?

    Yes, it’s fatal, potentially. You are spruiking political allies so I don’t blame you. But I find it hard to believe that you don’t understand that this sort of slip-up can be electorally dire. John Hewson basically lost the election when Mike Willesee grilled him about the impact of his tax on the price of a cake.

    This of course is neither as journalistically intrepid nor as politically consequential. It’s not fatal. But I think the Gillard govt has a little trouble understanding what Hawke and Keating understood well. The ALP has an ethos problem.

    the question was trivial pursuit, a trick to trip Swan up. It was a question with no relevance to this budget, bypassing policy substance altogether.

    Yep. Lot of that about isn’t there. Marx was wrong. It isn’t the bourgeoisie but the PR Monster that will swallow up the world.

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