Last post on the #npchealth debate

This time it’s over at The Drum – The Great Debate Game: winning over the worm. As policy the debate was essentially pointless, as political theatre Abbott was relentlessly upstaged by Rudd, because Rudd stayed focussed on the audience that really counts.

Since I wrote that, Abbott is apparently now demanding a debate next week on asylum seekers. This is sheer grandstanding: if he didn’t know it last Thursday he’s certainly realised by now that Rudd only had a gap in his Prime Ministerial schedule because Us President Obama postponed his trip and thus the PM quite a few unexpected spare hours to play with, Abbott certainly knows it by now, and also knows that there simply aren’t any similar holes in the PM’s schedule next week.

Mind you, if Rudd did decide to take him on (not next week, but when his schedule allows) I don’t think Abbott is likely to do that much better in The Great Debate Round 2. Sure, the electorate doesn’t see the same personal benefit to themselves from taking in asylum seekers as they see from investment in education and health infrastructure, so they’re not going to be quite as approving from the off. I, however, have faith in Abbott’s inability to prevent himself from going pit bull during the debate, and only the Press Gallery will like it.

Categories: media, parties and factions

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12 replies

  1. Congrats on posting at The Drum!
    Sorry I haven’t been much involved in political convos this week. Busy getting insurance paperwork and ceiling and roof repair quotes at the moment. I did catch a bit of the “debate”, and that Laugh really was horrifying. He completely lost the plot at the mere suggestion that a bipartisan approach to healthcare improvement might be a good idea.

    • Oh, yes, I found a transcript of That Laugh Moment:

      KEVIN RUDD: Can I just go back to the future? Let’s work together on how we build a system for the future.
      (Tony Abbott laughs loudly.)
      Because we can rehearse these debates for past over and over again, but what mums and dads want to know out there is: will we frame a policy for the future which delivers better health and better hospital services for working families. All I’ve heard so far from Mr Abbott is a negative attack on everything the Government has said and done.
      TONY ABBOTT: I’ll tell you what, Kevin, you stop telling lies about me and I’ll work constructively with you – that’s a fair deal.

      And the worm went south.

  2. Congratulations Tigtog, in getting a spot on The Drum!

  3. “Mind you, if Rudd did decide to take him on (not next week, but when his schedule allows) I don’t think Abbott is likely to do that much better in The Great Debate Round 2. ”
    Maybe, maybe not – but Rudd is in no way ever going to agree to a debate about asylum seekers, because unlike health, it’s definitely not Labor’s issue.

    • You’re right there, Rebekka. I very much doubt that Abbott has any hope of Rudd falling for it, they just want something to spin as Rudd running away from another debate.
      I fully expect that Rudd will point to a full appointment book for this challenge and bide his time until another issue pops up that suits him better.

      • Oh, and I also have a complaint (I wish to register a complaint!) against the wielder of the red pencil at our ABC. There were a couple of small changes where useful words like “in” were dropped in the process – OK, this happens. However, why make a change which is less correct than the variant one is removing? The following line (third para), to be precise:
        Is it really any big surprise that the larger audience saw it differently to the press gallery?
        Now, I actually wrote “differently than” there. Some people don’t like “differently than”, I do understand. But if you’re going to change it, at least have the pedantic consistency to change it to “differently from”, puhleeze!

  4. Congrats on the Drum slot Tigtog – I did read and enjoyed your commentary there.
    I, for one, am relieved that there will be no debate (in that format at least) on asylum seekers for a couple of reasons. Firstly the sight of those two attempting to score political points by attempting to out “tough” each other in regards to asylum seeker policy would be an unedifying scene that the Australian public would be better for not seeing. (Can’t think why people think it’s acceptable to be racist in the context of Australia Day, for example, when recent elections were won with a mantra along the lines of “We will decide who comes into this country, and under what circumstances” – Very glad Rudd doesn’t seem to want to stoop to that sort of tawdry populist rhetoric on the issue). Secondly, the sight of a pumped up Abbott insisting that under a Liberal government boats would be “turned around” would probably make me want to vomit in shame. For a man that makes a big deal of his Catholism I find his lack of awareness/disinterest in social justice astonishing, and it strikes me as disingenuous. Maybe his stance is entirely in line with his faith, but I am disturbed by the man’s apparent lack of compassion. I am really outraged that a man lauded for his intellect proffers turning the boats around as a serious solution to a complex problem.

  5. Another congrats re the Drum piece from me. (And I’m with you on the grammar pedantry 🙂 )
    Plus Rayedish’s last three sentences.

  6. Fab, tigtog. That’s going to be poison come the federal election.

  7. Somebody should make a sound button out of that laugh – to be played anytime the Libs do or say anything egregious in the upcoming election.

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