It’s hard to say which major party won this fortnight in politics. You might have thought an opinion poll boost for the Gillard government might have spurred them on to a good parliamentary sitting but the government ensured that wouldn’t be the case. The pathetic capitulation on asylum seekers, conceding enormous political ground to Tony Abbott for a policy most Labor MP’s don’t actually believe in must rate highly on the list of the governments disasters. Graham Richardson appeared on Qanda which is never helpful and of course Gillard has been engulfed in the Slater and Gordon scandal. Gillard’s management of the Slater and Gordon scandal in particular was lacking in judgement. She fronted the media and like Mario Savi spoke passionately and energetically, theatrically she was brilliant but politically she was inept. Her vaudeville press conference has electrified a damaging issue. One can’t help but contrast her orating with Rudd’s calm, soothing interviews back in 2007 when he was linked to corrupt Labor powerbroker Brian Burke.
After Labor’s rendition of the clampets you might have thought the Liberal Party would feel a little self congratulatory, unfortunately thy managed to undo most of Labor’s bad work with silliness of their own. A slightly disappointing poll might have given the coalition cause to tighten their script but far from it Tony Abbott kicked off the week by getting himself suspended from parliament, the first opposition leader since 1986 to achieve the feat. The leader of the opposition continued his good from two nights later with a disastrous interview on ABC’s 7:30 whereby he unconvincingly argued about the content of a statement he admittedly had neither seen nor read.
The Labor and Liberal spin doctors must have been tearing their hair out all week. Both major leaders were unable to rise above their own incompetence to capitalize on that of the other. Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull was getting high fives all around for his beautiful tribute to Robert Hughes and Kevin Rudd delighted an audience with his intellectual mumbling at the Eureka Strett Magazine party. I suppose given they are ahead in the polls, for the coalition a tied week is a won week, but really and truly it was a disastrous week for both parties.