Campaign countdown: Hey Hey, well that was OK
If the Liberal Party’s campaign HQ is finally open there’ll be some relieved faces there tonight. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott calculated risk in appearing on Hey Hey It’s Saturday turned out to be relatively smooth sailing. (Not so Mark Latham’s appearance on Sky News for Labor, but more of that shortly.)
Abbott broke W.C. Fields’ golden rule - never work with children or animals - and came out unscathed. There were some fleeting uh-oh moments with the acts on the Red Faces talent slot including some dancing dogs in dresses and a group of four girls singing the Troggs classic 60s number Wild Thing.
But as it played out it was all fine entertainment. Abbott was a good sport and looked comfortable as he shared the judging panel with Kylie Minogue and actor Rex Lee, best known for his role as Lloyd, a gay office assistant, in the hit show Entourage. No harm in appearing alongside such huge stars on such a hugely popular television show - when it goes right.
It capped a marginally better day for the Liberal campaign which has been beset by confusion over its industrial relations policy all week.
Also tonight former Labor leader Mark Latham was interviewed on Sky News, where he described Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s position on population growth as a fraud.
Speaking to David Speers, Latham described the Labor position on population growth in Western Sydney as follows:
Ms Gillard’s “sustainable” population call was not backed with any substance and was a “fraud” designed to appeal to western Sydney voters sensitive to the asylum seeker issue, Mr Latham said.
“That’s a proxy for saying, `Maybe we’re not in favour of those refugees’,” he said.
“And this sustainable thing is also sending out the message to the green community that, after the backdown on climate change, that we’re really sort of still green.
“So I think that some smartie in the Labor Party has worked out that this could perhaps help save four seats in western Sydney and it can be used as a proxy in the climate change debate.
“It’s clever politics, but it’s a fraud. It’s a fraud of the worst order.”
He also said that despite the Government claiming it had started an “education revolution” schools were functioning as they were years ago. More (with video) at the Sky News site here.
Latham also spoke at length on how the leaders of both parties are forced to stop themselves from saying what they really think because of the media cycle and the need to manage the competing views in the electorate and their parties. It’s worth a look.
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