Rudd’s rattling Turnbull

Kevin Rudd’s popularity has increased, with the latest Nielsen poll indicating that his handling of the global financial crisis (GFC) wins especially high approval, putting his personal approval rating at a personal best of 71%. Labor as a whole is more popular than at the last federal election.

Malcolm Turnbull has responded to the voters’ support of the government’s economic measures with the claim that Rudd is “hyping-up” the GFC:

“Kevin Rudd has hyped up this financial crisis by saying it’s a rolling national security crisis,” Mr Turnbull said. “He has tried to present himself as a wartime minister with his tin hat on and bayonet fixed. The fact of the matter is we’re not at war.”

As Wayne Swan said in response, Turnbull must be one of very few people on the planet who don’t think that the GFC is indeed a rather serious situation.

Mr Swan said Mr Turnbull’s remarks implied that the International Monetary Fund, and world leaders and finance ministers from the G-7 and G-20 nations had all “got it wrong”.

“Apparently the only person in the world who knows what’s going on is Malcolm Turnbull,” Mr Swan said. “Well it’s not about Malcolm Turnbull. This is a severe global financial crisis.”

Obviously there’s some predictable partisan posturing going on in both statements, but Turnbull is handing Swan and other Rudd ministers an absolute gift with his claim that the GFC is being over-hyped. While I can understand that a finance wonk would want to attempt to paint the GFC as less of a disaster, wanting to stem the fear that is fueling the market crash, wanting to build confidence in the market again; he’s gone about it totally wrong by engaging in a personality attack on Rudd, as if Rudd was somehow creating the problem.

Turnbull is going to get totally hammered on this claim over the next few days. I eagerly await the first editorial cartoon invoking the chap from Dad’s Army who was always going on about his bayonet.

Categories: economics, media

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