Campaign countdown: Just fix it Kevin and Wayne
Lindsay Tanner was just on AM and made an observation so obvious it was almost funny. He said people only complain about the consultation process when they don’t like the outcome.
That might explain why people in the ALP are now complaining that Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan came up with the Resources Super Profits Tax all on their own, without even consulting the other half of the so-called “kitchen cabinet”, Tanner, and Julia Gillard.
Tanner denied the claims, saying as Finance Minister he’s a key part of the Budget process, but he did stop short of asserting anyone else in Rudd’s increasingly invisible cabinet was brought into the loop. If Rudd and Swan were responsible for formulating the RSPT, their back bench is now holding them responsible for stopping the bleeding it’s caused.
[Would I be a total conspiracy theorist for speculating the person with the most to gain from this story about a split in the gang of four is the Deputy PM herself Julia Gillard? Say it isn’t so!]
MPs have descended on Canberra this morning for what could be the last sitting period before the next Federal Election.
WA Senator Labor Senator Mark Bishop told Michelle Grattan at The Age: “It [the RSPT] needs to be addressed urgently and resolved. Only then will the government be able to punch through.”
Rudd will face not just a cabinet meeting, but a caucus meeting too, where he’ll be hoping to rally the troops with news such as this piece in the SMH this morning, saying the Government is close to reaching agreement with some mining companies:
Mr Rudd, who needs a policy victory, has thrown himself in- to negotiations with the miners alongside his Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson. Mr Ferguson did not go to Perth last week with Mr Rudd and the rest of the cabinet for the visit that was dominated by the mining tax. He stayed behind to negotiate. It is understood he and Mr Rudd are close to an agreement on transitional arrangements, which will mollify some companies but not the big players such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
He might also point out that the Government’s $38 million advertising campaign has now kicked in on steroids, to finally counter the big miners’ well-funded efforts. I had to turn off the radio this weekend to avoid the tit-for-tat ads - best to call it a draw and retire.
The PM will be trying to ignore a piece in today’s The Australia by Peter van Onselen [Punch readers have provided this link, thank you guys] titled “Novices at the wheel of state.”
In it van Onselen compares the youngsters in Rudd’s office to the older, wiser heads who ran John Howard’s operation. [Those older, wiser heads did preside over WorkChoices though, which proves they didn’t always get the politics right.]
Anyway, Question Time today should be a cracker. We can expect the Opposition to go right to the heart of the leadership speculation you can catch up on in yesterday’s edition of Campaign Countdown.
Oh, and the mining tax might get a mention. Don’t forget we’ll be covering Question Time live on The Punch from 2pm.
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Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The Woolwich attack victim's identity has been revealed, http://t.co/1Mw4lxDr1c
Peter Costello was slow to recognise Tony Abbott's economic mastery but his near wholesale adoption of Labor's Budget has swung him at last.
Shots fired at a coal seam gas protest in Tara, Qld this morning, http://t.co/bQpLhosjbh
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