This week both sides of the political divide sought to establish policy debates before parliament resumes next week. Almost counterintuitively, Abbott chose freedom of speech as his battleground while Gillard chose electricity prices. Grateful journos and commentators gleefully ran with both in an otherwise slow news week.
Towards the end of the week, political binoculars turned to the Spring parliamentary session, the end of which is traditionally the time to knock off an ailing leader.
Meantime, those interested in political journalism wondered how the media can note, even admire, but not challenge politicians’ manipulation of the truth.
This week’s political media contained two debates that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed. At one end was the debate over what the Government should do about Slipper. At the other, disagreement raged over the Reserve Bank’s judgement (and still continued over the need for a surplus).
The most sensible of the Slipper pieces are here (plus one that spells out the risks for Abbott). Also listed are those that most clearly explain the economic issues. LaTingle talks about the upcoming Budget. And there’s a good piece from former WA Premier Geoff Gallop on the future of the ALP.
Three weeks into the five week break before Parliament resumes, the media swarmed yet again to the story that required the least effort. Some called Hockey’s ‘entitlement’ speech refreshing and encouraging, others called it ‘courageous’ and an unnecessary distraction. Meanwhile, blogger Matt Cowgill’s post showed that big cuts can only be made from safety net welfare payments.
Amongst the quality pieces on the Greens, there are some insightful posts from bloggers with connections to the party.
By the weekend, many writers had turned their eye to the economy and the Government. GrogsGamut’s regular Wednesday post explained how government debt and interest rates have no connection.
There was also an excellent longer read from Mark Latham explaining why suburbanites are climate change deniers.