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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
ALP PR machine successfully deflects Costello 'me too' taunts on crucial tax policy
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

 Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

Picture: Moir in the Herald today reprises the damning Daily Telegraph front pager last week of the Oct 2004 election with role reversal above. We can't find our copy of that evil effective 2004 graphic leveraging interest rate fear with $800M logger restructure plan but this gives the gist too. Back then it was 'Latham - money grows on trees' alleged profligacy, which sunk the young blood after promising to do the right thing on carbon storage forests which was totally affordable (a number by the way very similar to tax subsidy to Gunns pulp mill plan). Today it's allegedly squandering our hard earned revenue on throw away tax cut bribes. Irresponsible govt?  On this view let's tell the kids they can have lollies for dinner too? 

Peter Hendy, Lib aligned business lobbyist 6.45 am Tues with Fran Kelly abc radio national, challenges Rudd to 'me too' the Costello election tax package.

Then Treasurer Costello and PM Howard later same Tuesday morning (abc AM, World Today from memory) also challenged Rudd to 'me too' their arguably sound $34B tax cut 'as the right patriotic thing to do if he really is a fiscal conservative'. The psychology was transparent - to stampede the ALP into their pre emptive election  financial daisy cutter.

What might the Rudd PR team do?

We detected the PR logic of the ALP response soon enough

A 'culture jam' of the 'me too' taunts with a deflection onto a different 'me too' land release policy already in play from mid year, but not tax which is far more critical to the election outcome, as urged by Howard et al with suspect motivation  

Then secondly, via shadow treasurer Wayne Swan, buy time by opportunisticly leveraging the Howard gaffe the night before on Ch9 ACA pop quiz on interest rate quantum for the first few crucial morning hours of the media cycle.

Then thirdly buy more time for the ALP for the next critical hours locating and presenting 1996 footage of then Opposition Leader Howard's valid plea to be allowed a 22 day delay on election tax policy against Keating. This history had the added bite of fitting perfectly with Peter Brent of Mumble/Crikey thesis of the 1996 polling scenario no. 3 which 'gives no heart to the Howard Team in 2007'.

The compelling Brent thesis is that Rudd's polling pattern in 2007 mirrors Howard's in 1996 (and so no wonder Turnbull is swearing as reported by Crikey too, below): 

This recovery by the ALP under dangerous pressure, akin to prusik loop ascent via bootstraps from a fatal yawning crevasse, then allowed, despite annoyance of one cluey but sun stressed sketch writer, Rudd at a set piece presser in Werriwa to plausibly call Costello's timeline bluff to respond on tax 'by Wednesday'. A place bound to attract alot of the Big Meeja pack (with echoes of crew cut Latham resignation (the sub plot culture jam?) as spice in his old seat but logical being a redevelopment site near un released Commonwealth land).

A logical, smart 12 hour PR/policy strategy by Rudd machine under real pressure to rush a tax policy, allowing space to really build a critical tax position in the public interest. Which sort of reminds this writer of the Gene Kranz character played by Ed Harris in Apollo 13 with the immortal words about the disaster scenario paradoxically showing NASA 'at its best'.

And the ALP can be well pleased with the media payoff today with various sceptics, including Moir cartoon shown above, and quite more than the 'usual suspects' (as per Hendy's anticipatory sledge), in fact very credible dignified economists like ANZ Saul Estlake, on inflationary effect in the "medium term".

"An opportunity" for the Rudd ALP says Saul, the gist being more balanced tax cuts with investment on economic capacity constraints. The Coalition mantra to stampede the ALP was turning to gibberish, with no objective observer seeing any merit in denying the ALP reasonable time to talk and work through there tax policy response.

What a shame that Peter Costello and John Howard as incumbents have displayed a willingness to rush the ALP for their electoral self interest rather than the national interest. Such is life, and not just for broken sad young crims or emotionally crippled football stars on the front page of every newspaper.

Even the Govt 36 hours on have been forced to shift back to the land release issue from their tax policy economic debate in this latest 12 hour  intense media cycle, with Nick Minchin on abc AM this morning and elsewhere.

And that folks is, we think, why Rudd was genuinely amused in his hour of tax policy need at the presser in Werriwa so well attended by Big Meeja, and saying to journalists with quite some cut through (and we might say leadership) who were thinking to interrupt his soliliquy, to rather "hang on, hang on" to continue his preferred thrust. That's a man with his hands on the wheel and in his lane who can sense plenty more fuel in the tank for quite a race, to extend the Grattan metaphor in the Sunday press (only 72 hours ago and yet so long) about wayward policy driving by PM Howard recently.

The Daily Telegraph today too has already moved on to the subject of  Howard's increasinlgy wobbly rejection of Kyoto, worth 3% voter increase says Christian Kerr in the top story on crikey.com.au yesterday. And we note the biffo tone, like ours earlier this week, which would make the memory of Mark Latham's leadership proud:

Will "that f—king c—t" sign Kyoto? is the title allegedly quoting Mal Turnbull in significant trouble in Wentworth, as is the Coalition generally.

Whether a true quote or not, one thing is for sure, the big policy elephants are dancing and we mice must beware of heavy footfalls. It's exciting stuff for political junkies but quite a dangerous tune wafting across the battle ground.


What is that buff tanned PM Howard on 60 Minutes all about, as sledged on Crikey.com.au earlier this week suggesting a 'lighting set up'. Au contraire - more sunlight on early morning walks means more of a tan so we think it was quite real. As per my walk yesterday around 7-7.30 am.


As for the merit of land releases itself, just another reason why the Greens should be included in the upcoming debate(s)?:

[Greens media release follows}

Rudd and Costello's housing plan threatens important environmental
treasures in Western Sydney


Senator Kerry Nettle today pledged The Greens support for protecting
rare bushland areas of Western Sydney which are under threat from both
Peter Costello and now Kevin Rudd's determination to sell off
Commonwealth land for housing development.

"This policy is short-sighted both environmentally and with regards to
housing affordability, and another example of ALP 'me too-ism', Senator
Nettle said.

"Much of the Commonwealth owned land in Western Sydney is home to
important bushland including the last remaining remnants of Cumberland
Plain Woodland and Sydney Coastal River-flat Forest.

"The Greens will work in the next parliament to ensure that these
important sites are conserved for future generations.

"The land release policy will not be the magic bullet for rising house
prices. In fact NSW has been releasing land with no effect on housing

"What's required is a national housing plan to expand the housing
availability of low rent housing, more funding for public and community
housing measures and appropriate medium and high density housing in
urban centres - not more urban sprawl.

"Western Sydney is already struggling to cope with the poor government
planning decisions that do not involve public transport - more of the
same is unacceptable."

Contact - Kristian Bolwell 0411 63 83 20

Are You enrolled to Vote?  Have a look here: https://oevf.aec.gov.au

Kristian Bolwell
Office of Greens Senator for NSW
Senator Kerry Nettle
T:(02) 96902038
F:(02) 96902041

Posted by editor at 11:15 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007 6:01 PM NZT

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