The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

The Liberals are making lots of different noises lately

Friday 4 May 2007 at 4:30 pm

Bill Heffernan and Joe Hockey; Creative Commons licence doesn't apply to this image
Liberal on the left: not so trustworthy. Liberal on the right: he’s your best mate!

I was somewhat disappointed by the apology from Bill Heffernan on Wednesday — not because he was doing it grudgingly, his hand clearly having been forced by Johnny, but because it means the crazy NSW senator will be silenced for at least a couple of weeks.

You see, the other bits of his interview in the Bulletin revealed just how much time he spends thinking about being horny. So I was looking forward to all-new slurs being thrown at other Labor figures — we could have heard how Senate leader Chris Evans doesn’t understand the average Aussie because he supports the Dockers (real men root for the Wagga Brothers!). Or maybe environment spokesperson Peter Garrett could’ve been cut down to size with a reminder that the people of Australia will never trust a man who waxes his head.

Instead, the Heff’s been pushed aside by last night’s announcement from that big bear of a man Joe Hockey: WorkChoices will be made slightly kinder and gentler. Even though this’ll quite nicely blunt criticism from Labor and the unions, it doesn’t constitute bowing to public pressure, oh no. It’s just that Honest John found some places where his flawless IR policy needed a “stronger safety net”.

First the scramble to replicate Labor’s broadband policy (which hasn’t yielded anything yet), and now this. So it seems that what we have a new strategy from the federal Liberals: just photocopy Labor’s press releases!

I wonder what this strategy will yield next? Maybe Kevin should dump his concern about repeating Mark Latham’s mistakes, and start talking about our troops in Iraq …

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The obligatory Burkie post

Wednesday 7 March 2007 at 10:53 pm

I had been trying to avoid jumping into the fray about the former Premier.* But according to Paul Keating, he can’t be avoided. (Admittedly, that radio interview has some delightfully sharp sound bites: “the fact is Burke is smarter than two thirds of the Western Australian Labor Party rolled together.”)

Overall, it’s my reading of the blogosphere that you either think Howard and Costello are using Brian Burke for yet another attack-slash-smear, or else you’re just an easterner and therefore don’t care about some bloke from Perth. And here I was thinking that it’s kinda cool to see events in the west actually having some bearing at federal level. (But it’s double-edged: some reporters can’t shake the idea that Perth is but a village with nary a dozen home-grown companies and a “small gene pool”.)

Locally, you can’t avoid all of the people who are calling for an election. While I agree in principle, exactly what would it achieve? It’s not like we have a serious Opposition in this state. Indeed, the WA political scene is kinda like NSW, the difference being that our scandal-plagued government is at least competent enough to deliver new infrastructure and run the trains on time.

As for Ian Campbell, few people have mentioned that he’d probably have been kicked out of Cabinet weeks ago if Johnny didn’t feel a need to placate West Australians (so in other words, this was a convenient excuse). Also, I do hope that the otherwise praiseworthy development at Belmont Park doesn’t get delayed or scaled back just because this furore has touched it.

(Incidentally, when the CCC was formed I was suspicious that the new organisation would be bureaucratic and ineffective, since it seemed to just be a rehashed version of the older anti-corruption bodies. Thankfully, I was wrong.)

* Naturally, this is a better excuse than “I’ve been snowed under” …

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