Articles from Politically homeless
The one sure way to tell that a politician is on the rise is when nothing they do blows back on them. They say clumsy things, they do clumsy things, as we all do - but for those on the ascent, someone else takes the blame. It’s a sweet position to be in, and Scott Morrison is in that position now.For years, the part of Mr Do-no-wrong was occupied by Tony Abbott.
Coverage of the budget is always dreadful. The entire Australian media relies far too heavily upon the lines the Treasurer's office wants to push, it congeals around a consensus that is almost always wrong, and throws away what little journalism skill it has for the sake of ... for the sake of filling up airtime/adspace that nobody wants to buy. 1. The consensus on this budgetWe get it, Joe:
When Senator Christine Milne retired yesterday as leader of the Greens and was replaced within hours of the announcement by Senator Richard di Natale, the press gallery was so shocked and so 'unprepared' that it actually reported the news. Those who complained about that lack of preparedness looked so stupid they cast doubt on the very idea of insider political savvy, on which the press gallery depends for its existence. Next week Christine Milne turns 62.
Barrie Cassidy is one of the longest-serving members of the press gallery and the host of the ABC TV show Insiders. His analysis doesn't quite work because, like Michelle Grattan, he takes political developments as they happen without any real long-term perspective.Take this. The first questions are: what is "Plibersek's gay marriage pitch"? At what will it fail?
When any disaster happens it is reasonable to ask: could we have foreseen this, and could we have done anything to stop it?The deaths of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been disastrous for Australia. People who once disdained them have been confronted with the awful unspinnable finality and barbarity of death, and government-mandated death at that.
Eventually, a section of the political class that has ascended to high office through back-room maneuverings and media stunts comes to the realisation that governing is more about day-to-day grind than maneuverings and stuntwork. This becomes the real test of the government. Some never recover from the shock: this is the point where ministers often come crashing down or quit 'unexpectedly' as some gobbet of Canberra gossip finally makes it into traditional media coverage.
Occasionally, press gallery journalists will show that they are even more dumb and/or sneaky in avoiding their central responsibility of telling us how we are governed.Soon after taking office, Tony Abbott hired a TV cameraman so he could shoot his own flattering footage and have it sent directly to newsrooms, bypassing the press gallery.
Peter Hartcher thinks he has ascended to a high clear place where he knows our political leaders well and can trumpet their virtues across the land, reinforcing our respect for them and him and also, perhaps, improving our understanding of how we are governed. Only when you read his pieces do you realise how much he is kidding himself.
In the lead-up to the NSW state election last month, I knew that the Coalition stood to lose almost all of the seats they won on the Central Coast and Newcastle in 2011, thanks to the largely uncontested allegations of improper fundraising exposed in ICAC (or as Guardian Australia would refer to it, Eyeseeaysee).