THE PETA PRINCIPLE
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Good advice in Opposition may not be as good in Office. PM advisers, married couple, Peta Credlin and Brian Loughnane, have sought to protect and isolate Tony Abbott from his own Ministry and, in the process, it’s making a lot of people angry and making the Prime Minister look like an idiot.
The Prime Minister’s Office is overdue for a cleanout. No-one elected the married couple to run the show so why is Abbott allowing them to when their advice is so obviously flawed? Well, long-time loyalties are very easy to maintain in Opposition but in Government there is no room for misplaced affection.
Silly domestic stuff like the selling of the $7 GP co-payment, $200 vouchers for marriage counselling proposed by Minister Andrews who happens to run a Catholic marriage counselling company, a budget emergency while increasing spending, a doomed PPL that’s been using up political capital since its light bulb moment, deregulation of universities, it goes on and on and detracts from foreign successes
No room here to dissect them all, but just take this one; the $7 GP co-payment nonsense. Of course we need a price signal, everyone knows the late Uncle Gough’s Medicare mess is out of control. Free doctors? Why not throw in other essentials like free plumbing and free electricity?
So the price signal, designed to stop oldies going to the doc every afternoon to get their genitals played with, was initially to be $2 for the medicos, but they then added $5 for some research stuff that private enterprise and the CSIRO already do pretty well at.
Well, blind Freddy can see why they added the $5... the benefit of a $2 donation to doctors would be more than usurped by the administration of such a minimal impost.
So the research “kitty” would never have materialised, as all administration costs would have been offset against the $5 component of what should have been a $15 co-payment anyway.
The “research” nonsense was designed to obscure the unpalatable message that Medicare was no longer sustainable. No-one fell for it and the real message of a Medicare emergency never got sold.
Same with the ADF cuts! Nicely timed for remembrance day, the departure of troops to Iraq and a waiting, hyperventilating Lambie. It wasn’t about the ADF at all, it was about flow-on pay increases to the bloated Public Service.
So instead of proposing an emotive ADF cut why not sell a bloated Public Service cut that would of necessity have flown on to the ADF?
Let’s not go anywhere near the PPL, that’s just too painful. The PM’s Office is busy sticking targets on the backs of Lib Ministers and handing out archery sets to the Opposition.
In case the PMO hasn’t noticed, the Opposition is besotted with one thing only, and that’s to take Abbott down.
Not only is it opposing every one of the government’s spending cuts in the Senate, it’s even opposing $5.7 billion in cuts that it itself was proposing in Government and that's extraordinarily and irresponsibly encouraged by Fairfax and the ABC.
Oh crumbs, I forgot the pretend cut to Labor’s ABC. One per cent per annum over five years and the public broadcasting baby is predictably squealing like a stuck pig blaming Abbott for unnecessary regional programming changes. Was it ever going to do anything else? Was it ever going punish the Left and its favourite programs like Q&A?
A complete reconstruction of both the ABC and SBS must happen soon anyway, so why tinker at the edges where the most political bark can be lost?
A stack of regulatory cuts can be made without going anywhere near the obstructive Senate.
University deregulation should have been proposed by willing chancellors, not the Government. It just meant a simple phone call or two and Abbott could have appeared to have been solving a problem rather than creating a confrontation.
The PM’s latest approval poll is a condemnation of dumb tactics emerging from his own Office.