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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Liberals At The Smearing Game Again

My words were prophetic. Just five months ago when considering emigration to Australia I wrote: "And then, one day, I'll wake up to read the latest Federal Newspoll telling me that Labor is 10 points behind the Liberal/National Coalition and - even worse - 15 points behind if Labor Leader designate Luke Akehurst takes over from the disgraced Kevin Rudd." At the time, the words "disgraced Kevin Rudd" were part of a nightmare in which members of Australian Labor shafted in last December's putsch would conspire to shaft their new leader in return. It was just a bad dream, of course, not a political prediction.

So when I woke up this morning to read this report from BBC News Sydney, I couldn't believe my eyes. The "bookish, intellectual Christian" with "a slightly dull, even nerdy public persona" had been ejected from a Manhattan strip club "for inappropriate behaviour" while on an official visit to New York to attend the United Nations as a representative of the Australian Government. In an admission reminiscent of Ron Davies' "moment of madness", the Labour Party leader describing the visit as "a foolish mistake", confessing that he "had had too much to drink" and had "only hazy memories of the night". Rudd apologised if he had offended anybody and said he "expected to take a hammering in the polls"."I'm looking forward to draining a few tinnies with your American Sheilas"
Sir Kevin Rudd-Patterson

But whereas the BBC article presumes Rudd's guilt, you only have to read the Australian press to discover that the Liberal/National Coalition is behind the smear. According to The Herald Sun - Murdoch's flagship and Australia's equivalent of The Sun - Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer may be behind the recent banner headlines, Well - surprise, surprise. Scratch a Liberal and out comes a smear. It's always been the way in Britain and, it appears, things are no different down under. However, there's no sign that the revelations have dented Labor's popularity yet and I suspect that the smear could well rebound on the Liberals, with Labor popularity increasing as the country comes to realise that their next leader is less of a nerdy bookworm and more of a real man. Good on yer, cobber.


Arnold Punter said...

It's no wonder Shane Warne wants to become a German citizen.

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