April 28, 2014 • 6:36 am
“I got to wondering why Andrew Neil’s (Spectator Australia) interview with Joe Hockey was
a ‘break through’ moment. After all, he didn’t ask any particularly
probing questions and he certainly didn’t get any revealing answers –
the example given by Joe on the question about ‘entitlement’ was the
school kids bonus.
What was unusual was that Hockey got placed in a forum where he was
actually asked questions and was expected to answer, which obviously
stunned him. I couldn’t think of a comparable situation involving Abbott
or his Ministers where they actually have been grilled or even made
themselves available to account for their leaks and spin.”
The coalition strategy seems to be to leak and work in closely with
News Corp, avoid interviews beyond those with friendly outlets where
quite obviously the questions are scripted and whatever happens don’t
appear on the ABC.
Funnily enough Terry, I had been thinking about exactly the same things.
There were a couple of things to come out of the interview. Joe
Hockey, for all his doom and gloom to local press, was forced to admit
that we are actually in a very good position economically – not only
that, we are vying for best in the world. Why the hang dog look for
Australian audiences, replaced by a satisfied smirk internationally? Why
are we even contemplating austerity measures? Why are you telling us
we are in trouble when we so obviously are not?
- AAA credit rating
- Debt 23% of GDP
- Deficit 3% of GDP
- Growth of 3%
- 22 continuous years of growth
- Unemployment around 6%
- Strong currency
- Vast mineral resources
No other G20 country is anywhere near comparable.
Hockey says “we have dropped the ball”. I actually like sport but I
am sick of hearing sporting analogies rather than factual statistics.
From my spot in the grandstand, I look at the score board and see us so
far in front that I am heading for the bar.
As you point out Terry, the only entitlement cuts that Joe could come
up with the School kids Bonus and the Low Income Allowance – both of
which hit the people who can least afford it, as will the $6 co-payment
to see a doctor. All of a sudden the carbon tax and the mining tax don’t
look so bad do they?
I too had been thinking when was the last time I heard Tony Abbott
interviewed. If you don’t watch Andrew Bolt or Skynews or listen to 2GB
then you only get controlled press conferences or cooking shows – very
occasionally 5 minutes on the 7:30 report where they try to cram in
prepared questions and don’t have time to follow up on anything.
Actually I can’t remember the last time even that happened. Matthias
Corman pops up everywhere and repeats his standard phrases over and over
like a doll having its string pulled regardless of what he is asked.
It is somewhat off-putting to have a Prime Minister who refuses to
face the people he represents. In fact it is way more than off-putting.
The CEO has an obligation to face shareholders and answer their
questions. To continue to avoid it is treating us with contemptuous
dismissal and makes one wonder what he is afraid of.