Saturday, May 29, 2010

Worse and worser

Senator Eric Abetz holds forth on the Rudd Government’s taxpayer-funded advertising blitz to sell its super resources tax:

“They have now done worse than we have done by setting aside their own guidelines.”

True, the government’s actions in this are quite troubling, but is it really ‘worse’ than having no guidelines at all? The Howard Government had an abysmal record of hitting on the taxpayer to advertise their policies. And the government’s “setting aside their own guidelines” is redolent of Howard’s ministerial code of conduct, and how meaningless that became.

More than anything, however, this all seems to be about Kevin Rudd. His government will become paralysed if it can’t neutralise the ‘KRudd’ factor... or jettison it.

UPDATE 30 MAY: ABC TV’s Insiders program this morning aired video footage of Kevin Rudd campaigning in 2007 in which he emphatically states he would resign if, as Prime Minister, he failed to honour his promise to clean up taxpayer-funded government advertising.

Kevin Rudd therefore should now do the honourable thing and fall on his sword — unless he can successfully take the ‘Abbott defence’, on the grounds that his off-the-cuff statement in 2007 was not a “carefully prepared, scripted remark.”

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