Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coalition At Odds with Itself

"A week is long time in politics" is a well-worn clichè. Kevin Rudd had his blooper this week at a gathering of seniors in Tasmania, where he received a spray from one Howard supporter. Then there were the days of Coalition criticism of Kevin Rudd about his removal of CFMEU Assistant Secretary Joe McDonald's from the ALP.

This weekend must seem an eternity to John Howard, his minions, and his minders. Consider the following weekend events:
  • Joe Hockey told journalists that the Coalition is simply running a "fear campaign" about unionists.
  • While John Howard would not commit to a % of unionists that would be representative, Hockey said 20%. He then struggled to name 3 former union members who were ministers. He tried to count a student association and the AMA as unions. Tony Abbott might be the only one - hardly "representative", as Hockey would want.
  • The Sunday Telegraph ran a story that Malcolm Turnbull had previously urged Mr Howard to sign the Kyoto Protocol (on global warming). No only had Cabinet discussions been leaked, but this was contrary to the position Mr Howard enforced on his ministry. Liberal sources were blaming Mr Turnbull for the leak - possibly to destroy any future leadership roles he might desire - saying he was only interested in retaining his own seat.
  • Mr Howard was questioned by Channel 9's Laurie Oakes about his promise to keep interest rates at the "lowest levels for 30 years". There have been 5 interest rate rises sisnce the last election, and a sixth seems likely on 6 November when the Reserve Bank board meets to discuss inflation.
  • The Sun-Herald today revealed that Federal Territiroes Minister, Jim Loyd, has tried to have a memorial to the people of SIEV-X who died at sea, removed. The memorial was previously approved, by the government, the ACT Government and the NCA. IT became unacceptable after the election was called. It is consistent with John Howard's policy that refugees, boat people, and "foreigners" should be dehumanised, and used to create fear in the comunity.
John Howard must be cringing that he can't hold all his ministers' hands, all the time. Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" would be an appropriate chorus for them.