Could anything highlight the vacuousness of Peter Van Onselen as a political commentator than the following quote from his column, prognosticating on the outcome of the next Federal election, in today’s Australian:
The question time performances of Malcolm Turnbull and senior ministers will be crucial.
I could be described as a political junkie but I never watch or listen to Question Time. Taking understatement to a new level, I would not be alone in this. QT is as far removed from the concerns of the vast majority of Australians as it is possible to be. The sight of highly paid egomaniacs scoring childish points off each other might provide riveting entertainment for the members of the Canberra Press Gallery but voters could not care less. Turnbull has suffered 38 Newspoll losses in a row but can turn that around by eviscerating Shorten on the floor of the House? Really?
Here’s another one:
It was mischievous to say the Coalition would privatise Medicare, but the argument cut through with voters.
Mischievous! How about cynical, deceptive, dishonest?
And again, relating to Emma Husar:
Questions hang over exactly what Shorten knew; and the government has called for an inquiry into her conduct, in particular with regard to entitlements. This issue won’t go away.
Want to bet? What and when Shorten knew about this fiasco is a distraction that has already passed its use by date.
On the other side of the coin is the Coalition’s $444million giveaway to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. On that Van Onselen has this to say:
Sending so much money to preserve the reef should have been a good news story but, again, poor processes have soured the outcome. Strong media interest is likely to keep this story prominent unless the Coalition revises the funding allocation.
So the Husar issue ‘won’t go away’ while the GBRF scandal could be neutralized by the Government ‘revising the funding allocation’, whatever that means. I don’t know about you but my money’s on Labor keeping the GBRF issue alive long after the Government, and the public, has lost interest in Husar.
Van Onselen’s theme is that the polls are so close that Turnbull could fashion a win:
Yesterday’s Newspoll highlights that while Labor’s dominance continues, the lead is wafer thin. Four 51-49 per cent two-party-preferred Newspoll leads in a row for Labor has the government close enough to steal the election during the campaign, as long as the issues debated between now and then can run the Coalition’s way…
Four 51-49 polls might suggest a close result but only if you ignore the 34 that came before it. Oh, and the mayhem that’s likely to attend ongoing negotiations around the NEG.
He gets paid to write this stuff?