Friday, August 27, 2010

Abbott's Great Big Treasury Backflip

After several days of steadfast resistance to submitting Liberal & National Party policy costings, Tony Abbott has agreed to Treasury costing of Coalition election policies & promises. The underlying assumptions will not be provided to the ALP, but the Independents will have access to treasury briefings on both Labor and Coalition policy costings & analysis by Treasury.

This did require consent from both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to amend the conventions covering caretaker governments & oppositions.

As late as last night, Coalition Shadow Finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, said "We don't want to have a fight with these guys (the Independents), but we're not going to be dictated to and not tug our forelock.." Today, he'll wish he hadn't said it like that, with its implied sexual innuendo - some people will call him  "tugger" today.

The backflip occurred quickly to stifle any public comment, and voter belief, that he, and the Coalition, have something to hide. Last night Independents Bob Katter & Tony Windsor publicly questioned whether Mr Abbott had something to hide by not submitting policies to Treasury for costing.

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott moved quickly to distance himself from loopy Family First Senator Steve Fielding's threat that he might vote against (all) Labor legislation & possibly block (money) supply. Julia Gillard, despite having fundamental differences of philosophy with Senator Feilding, quickly tried to smmoth the waters, saying she had been, and would continue to, try to work with Senator Fielding, citing the Fair Work Australia legislation that undid much of the insidious parts of WorkChoices. There might be other Coalition backflips still to come - climate change springs to mind.

The quest for power occurs almost without principles, regardless of who it is.