Oh what a lovely war room, Prime Minister
A cynic might query the timing of the announcement - as a devastating tsunami hits the Pacific, news sneaks out that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is spending $35 million on a White House-style “situation room” or war room.
It will certainly come in handy when New Zealand finally declares war on us. And if you’re going to devote yourself to a life of sacrifice in public office, it seems only fair that you get your own room with big maps and lots of pins in it, so you can chart the performance of the ADF along the eastern front running from Dubbo to Orbost as our boys repel the Kiwi invaders.
But maybe it’s just a huge waste of money. It’s certainly a lot of money. Seventy times more than the $500k John Howard wanted to spend on expanding meeting space in the PMO, which he was hounded over in estimates by John Faulkner and Robert Ray.
The story received the tiniest run in only a few of the newspapers this morning - you can read it here - and it certainly looks on the face of it like a clever drop.
In the afterglow of Rudd’s prominence at the G20 where his tyres were pumped up by none other than Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, it’s the kind of thing which Rudd’s critics could hold up as an example of hubris and ego.
His defenders will say that as a genuine middle-power it’s an absurdity that we haven’t got a situation room anyway.
The timing still looks suss.
Over to you.
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@christoforpaine hope youre OK.. and the bali trip is still on!
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