About a month ago the minister for trade Dr Craig Emerson performed a rather unusual feat, stealing the headlines without impacting upon his party’s political standing one way the other. In June it was his curmudgeonly blasting of ABC journalists that earned him attention but as I remarked at the time the number of people whose voting intentions would be influenced even negligibly by someone telling off an ABC journalist is zero. In July the good doctor did it once again when he belted out his own adaptation of Sky Hooks “Horror Movie” with regard to the prophesied impacts of the Carbon Tax.
If you haven’t seen Dr Craig’s atrocious stunt, lucky you, you can watch it here but I wouldn’t recommend it. Some pundits reckon it was a political disaster but I reckon they’re dreaming. Dr Craig’s stunt probably didn’t endear him to many voters but I don’t reckon anyone’s vote swings on the decorum of a Trade Minister. Outside of the political diehards most people wouldn’t even know that Dr Emerson was the Minister for Trade and those that did would be the type to have pretty strong political convictions already.
Emerson wasn’t offensive despite some right wing nutters going on about holding voters in contempt, he was just silly. If you saw a Prime Minister or a Foreign Minister behaving like this it might be a bit of a problem, maybe even a treasurer but the Minister for Trade just isn’t that important. And it isn’t as though between them John Howard, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Joe Hockey, Paul Keating and Julia Gillard haven’t made exceptional dills of themselves on many occasions. The only real damage that has been done by Emerson this week is to his own chances of becoming Treasurer or leader, but they weren’t that great anyway now that he’s nailed his colours to Gillard’s mast.