The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Castro resigns, and the opposition implodes

Tuesday 19 February 2008 at 5:29 pm

So Fidel Castro has resigned in Cuba — and in a sign of the times, the announcement was made online! (There’s no official English version yet.)

Venezuela took over a while ago as the far-left’s poster child, so this isn’t as big a deal as it might otherwise have been, but it’s still a little sad to see one of the world’s leading stick-it-to-the-man figures go. That said, it’s also good to see the world rid of another tyrant — he did take power by force, after all.

Meanwhile, back in Australia, the Liberal Party is clearly in something of an “oh dear” moment. Not long ago I’d have said that the Canberra crew weren’t doing too bad compared to their state counterparts, but completely backflipping on their core policy of the last three years? Either they’re stark raving mad, or they’re completely and utterly desperate to get the public to love them now that Labor policies are in vogue. Opposition is a hard place to be, indeed …

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Notch up at least one change so far

Monday 3 December 2007 at 7:04 pm

How symbolic of the Ruddster to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on his first day of officially being PM.

And just as the what-do-we-do-next Bali summit opens up, too. (Given how long and painful it was to get agreement at Kyoto, I am neither holding my breath nor hoping for anything, though we might hear about some wacky ideas.)

The Ruddster’s ministry changes are also intriguing, what with Julia Gillard being handed a new super-ministry (might she turn into a federal Alannah MacTiernan-type figure?). And it’s cute that he renamed “Communications” to “Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy”.

Meanwhile, the party on the other side of the fence is still all messy and backflipping on policy. But despite his promises of change I really can’t (yet?) see Brendan Nelson ever making it as Prime Minister …


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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