22 August, 2010
What I love about election night is that it’s really the only night when anyone in politics tells the truth.
One such example was Maxine McKew’s assessment of what went wrong for Labor. She was spot on in her assessment that Labor’s problems “go back to last year when we never quite claimed victory over the global financial crisis.” It’s absolutely correct that Labor did a pathetic job of selling their achievements. But for her honesty, McKew was accused in the media of having a dummy-spit similar to Cheryl Kernot in 1998 when she effectively complained that she wasn’t given a safe enough seat to run in. There is obviously no analogy because McKew has said earlier in the interview that she had asked to stand in a marginal seat.
If you wanted to see a real dummy-spit, you had to tune into Insiders this morning, where Bill Shorten shot Barrie Cassidy a filthy look for suggestion that “if it does come to that sort of constitutional crisis Bill Shorten just by the way, your mother-in-law, the Governor-General, would have to make the call.”
Shorten responded with barely concealed fury, “Oh I assume that’s a bit of humour to finish the interview.”
He did go on to give the right answer, which is, “In terms of the Governor-General's role she will carry out her role I’m sure,” but added, “In terms of any other point that you may be humorously alluding to I’m not going to impugn that office.”
This is why Bill Shorten should not be allowed back near a campaign any time soon. If a similar question had been put to either Rudd or Gillard, they would have either given the straight answer or prefaced it with something like, “That’s a good question and I’m glad you asked it because it gives me the opportunity to address these concerns.” Whether Cassidy was being cheeky or not, the fact is that Quentin Bryce is now in the most uncomfortable position any Governor General has been in since John Kerr in 1975. It neither impugns the office nor questions the Governor General’s integrity to point out that having her son-in-law as a key player in the ALP can only increase that discomfort.
What will not be said by any of the paid commentators is that this election didn’t just see a rejection of both major parties, but also of the major media players. By far the best analysis was by independent writers, mostly on ’blogs.
Finally, as both parties try to form government, the Liberal party must stop talking about having the “moral right.”
It’s called enterprise bargaining, arseholes! Now you know how it feels.