Open Labor launch thread

It’s a bit puzzling, really, that a succession of debates between shadow ministers have been televised on the ABC, but neither major party launch has been shown live.

But we’re just over an hour away from Kevin07’s big speech, and you can watch it via live video streaming. I found the best link for Howard’s to be the one accessible from the Courier-Mail’s homepage.

Any predictions, live blogging, reaction, analysis can go here on this thread.

Will Rudd flick the switch to fiscal responsibility after Howard’s spendathon? Will he easily counter Howard’s “back to the future” nostalgia with a compelling vision for the country? Just some discussion starters…

Update: Ben Eltham reviews the Rudd launch at PollieGraph.

Posted in announcements, federal election '07
80 comments on “Open Labor launch thread
  1. Sir Henry says:

    ABC News reports:

    “There are doubts about the legitimacy of federal Labor candidate George Newhouse’s nomination for the key marginal seat of Wentworth in Sydney.

    “It has been suggested Mr Newhouse failed to resign from a position with the state’s Consumer Disputes Tribunal before lodging his nomination for Wentworth, which is held by Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    “The constitution requires candidates seeking election to Parliament to resign from any office of profit under the Crown at least 24 hours before the formal declaration of nominations.

    “New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Linda Burney says she did not receive Mr Newhouse’s resignation until November 2, the same day the Electoral Commission announced the nominations.

    “Ms Burney says Mr Newhouse may have sent his resignation letter, which itself is not dated, several days before it made its way to her office.

    “Coalition frontbencher Andrew Robb has called on the Opposition to clarify whether the candidate is eligible for election.

  2. LuckyPhil says:

    ABC NewsRadio will broadcast live.

  3. The argument that the government should save rather than spend (due to inflationary pressures) is too complex. The important (swinging) voters want handouts and that’s what they get.

  4. Vee says:

    The ideal political junkies Labor campaign launch.

    A bunch of labor platitudes then “We’ve made all the spending commitments we’re going to make. We’re economic conservatives…”

    Of course it wont happen.

  5. joe2 says:

    So it looks like the campaign launch has become the secretive domain of insiders and destined, next time, to be one day before an election for the sensible accounting needs of the two large parties.

    Further, I reckon that they are both too gutless to expose their policy pledges to wider public scrutiny because whoever wins will need to start backtracking the moment they win office.

  6. gandhi says:

    I’ve been tracking some rather odd media activity this morning.

    Labor is intimating that they will limit spending rather than try to match Howard’s excesses. Howard insists “The genii is NOT out of the bottle” and all his promises are affordable core ones.

    But Barnaby Joyce is saying the Coalition is depressed and frustrated, and even the News Ltd hacks are saying that Monday’s launch was Howard’s “last throw of the dice”.

    Enter Kevin Rudd, stage left…

  7. Kymbos says:

    I’m not seeing a link to the launch on the Courier Mail’s website…

  8. mbahnisch says:

    “live from noon” – it’s under the story about pay rises and rates.

  9. mbahnisch says:

    The streaming has begun. Bruce Hawker doing a preview.

  10. mbahnisch says:

    Hmm, looks like it doesn’t start for half an hour. So we’ve got 30 mins of Sky chatter.

  11. mbahnisch says:

    Excitement! Insider talk!

  12. mbahnisch says:

    Watch out for the fiddling feet!

  13. joe2 says:

    To deliver a policy launch this way will certainly remind us all about how crap internet speeds are.

    Further, that Newscorp is the only acceptable viewable sieve, for both parties, at what should be the most important event of either parties political cycle.

  14. Enemy Combatant says:

    Sir Henry, hot off The Bludger, Julie sez…

    Julie Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 1:00 pm
    Glen et al.,

    “Newhouse quit before nominating: Burney”

    “I received a letter from George Newhouse tendering his resignation effective 22 October as a part-time member of the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal,” Ms Burney said in a statement.

    “I have accepted his resignation, effective from that date.””

    Put it to rest guys and buy yourself another round of beer to cry into.”

  15. mbahnisch says:

    joe2, yep, we’ve seen the campaign thoroughly commodified.

    Penny Wong’s very polished with the soundbites.

  16. nasking says:

    “It’s a bit puzzling, really, that a succession of debates between shadow ministers have been televised on the ABC, but neither major party launch has been shown live.”

    but it’s on SKY NEWS…tells us who is running the ABC these days.

  17. joe2 says:

    Penny is a talent and likely to be a great minister. I just hope she is is Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and not taken away from the area she seems to understand well.

  18. mbahnisch says:

    Indeed, joe2. If you have a look at the web stuff, she’s really ahead of the pack in terms of policy thinking and development.

    In other news, all this Sky News chatter is so crappy. Does it go on like this with self-serving nazel gazing and journos talking to each other and saying the same stuff 24/7?

  19. joe2 says:

    These are strange days, indeed, with Aunty ABC nasking.

    Local Aunty radio flicked the switch to the cricket, all over the country, during an election period and tv branch prefers not to cover the election campaign speeches.

  20. mbahnisch says:

    So apparently things are actually happening, but Sky News isn’t showing what’s going on in the auditorium, but just their freakin talking heads talking about it and repeating the same points over and over again.

  21. mbahnisch says:

    Awww, it’s nice to see Bob and Paul mates again…

  22. joe2 says:

    It’s like church.

  23. mbahnisch says:

    Go Anna!

  24. mbahnisch says:

    Interesting to contrast Gillard and Bligh with the blokefest that was the Coalition launch.

  25. mbahnisch says:

    It’s like church.

    Yep, it’s a bit Hillsongy but they don’t call them the “party faithful” for nothing.

  26. dylwah says:

    was there just a bit of montage, the age stream showed an empty podium

  27. mbahnisch says:

    Lots of Queensland parochialism…

  28. mbahnisch says:

    was there just a bit of montage, the age stream showed an empty podium

    Yep, there was.

  29. dylwah says:


  30. gandhi says:

    Jeebus! Who can even get to the streaming video link when the Courier Mail’s homepage is so full of bikinis and sexy body images and all the rest? Let me see:

    1. When are you too old for a bikini?
    2. Best bods/sexiest stars
    3. Scroll down for “House porn addiction” (opinion, not news)…
    4. The best bra: just add water (lifestyle)
    5. Sperm worry: Living on infertile ground (also lifestyle)


    I wish Rupert would just shift all his money to hardcore porn and be done with it!

  31. joe2 says:

    ….as usual nothing for the lazy sitabouts.

  32. joe2 says:

    It is on the television now, gandhi.

  33. mbahnisch says:

    Is it, on ABC?

  34. dylwah says:

    Channel 9 to the rescue, the abc still has the bill

  35. mbahnisch says:

    Ah ok, thanks. The Sky feed was breaking up really badly, so I switched to the Fairfax feed but the video quality is not flash.

  36. jinmaro says:

    it’s on the abc tv website – News Home page – very clear

  37. mbahnisch says:

    Is there a sequel to the education revolution? Will it become a trilogy? A movie franchise? What’s with all the chapters? Is it Kill Bill or Harry Potter?

  38. dylwah says:

    seeing as rudd is a nerd/geek, it is mostlikely the star trek ‘verse

  39. clarencegirl says:

    I’m not one of the party faithful and I’m watching Rudd’s campaign launch on Aunty right now and even I clapped loudly – for what I heard was both bread and hope.
    Something that was lacking from Howard’s launch.

  40. joe2 says:

    I have not heard one thing , about teh compulsory mid-afternoon siesta, either.

    Where is he going?

  41. mbahnisch says:

    It’s definitely heading in the right direction in terms of the emphases and the understanding of what has to be done, but I’m disappointed that he’s gone for the individual handout (ie undergrad scholarships) rather than more meaningful across the board funding, the phenomenon I indentify here:

    However, and I wasn’t listening carefully, I think I might just have been individually bribed at last!

  42. gandhi says:

    From the GG:

    “Rudd delayed on launch pad

    … However there was a hiccup at the start of Labor’s biggest day of the campaign, with the launch delayed by up to one hour. The reason for the delay has not been released but the doors to the venue were not opened until 30 minutes after the scheduled start time.”

  43. Sir Henry says:

    Well, in that case, Enemy Combatant (ret. DSO, MC, with bar), you must now be looking forward to Mr Downer in debate, coming up. He’s always at his best with his back against the wall. There have been warming up sparring bouts on Lateline (“It’s always a pleasure…”) but this is the big tent. Roll up, roll up, roll up, as Jimmy Sharman used to shout outside his tent at the Royal Easter Show.

  44. gandhi says:

    Interesting time for Bob Brown to launch his free tertiary education initiative. I guess he knows it will be ridiculed in the media, even though the whole idea was totally feasible 20 years ago.

  45. clarencgirl says:

    Opps, sorry! Forgot I just recallibrated my station signals – it was NBN I was watching Rudd’s launch on.
    Comment still holds – bloody marvellous!

  46. mbahnisch says:

    I guess he knows it will be ridiculed in the media, even though the whole idea was totally feasible 20 years ago.

    It’s probably feasible again now, given the huge amounts of money being thrown around. At the very least, a big reduction in HECS.

  47. McCrea says:

    Well I’ve leveled my worst at this election process just last week:

    .. but I have to admit to being a little sucked in by the details of the Labor launch. If the beds materialise and the scholarship system is really doubled, its a great start. The big stuff, organising a new labour system for health professionals and working out skills evolution from high-to-tertiary schooling will be much more expensive. But these two were much much more than I was expecting to see.

  48. gandhi says:

    I guess he knows it will be ridiculed in the media

    Just seems an odd time to release this, knowing that the Labor launch will get all the coverage. OTOH it does make a good contrast, doesn’t it?

  49. Stephen Hill says:

    Doubling postgrad scholarships. Yippee, imagine a day when APAs don’t cut in at high firsts (a high band high-distinction, 95%), and I won’t have to go paranoid about every misplaced comma in my thesis.

  50. mbahnisch says:

    Well, yeah, Stephen, but how much better could the system be if funding was lifted generally?

  51. Antonio says:

    APAs are really pitiful (~$18,000), particularly for Humanities students who don’t get industry top-ups. Rather than doubling the number of APAs, wouldn’t it be better to double the AMOUNT of the APA? Many humanities students eventually relinquish the APA in favour of employment paying a decent wage.

    I’m not sure what the problem is with restricting APAs to people with high firsts. Shouldn’t we be reqarding very high achievement?

  52. McCrea says:

    Antonio, I think the amount is fine (as a former recipient) and it encouraged me to seek teaching work to reach a full wage. 36 grand (tax free, mind you) is way overboard. The demand is always very high, I don’t actually think the level will drop that much.. so sorry Stephen.. watch those commas!

    I agree with Mark.. a serious rethink of the cost structure needs to take place, halving of HECS, staff numbers (national notional level of 16-18 in a tutorial room would be a real revolution), coordinated tertiary teaching training, rewiring of the ARC for area-specific boards, etc. I guess I’m just used to low expectations..

  53. Paul Burns says:

    I like the way Rudd made Howard look an economic incompetent, but I only have Google report in Age to go on. Old computer, technological moron and all that.No wonder JWH is terrified of computers. He can’t control what’s on ’em.

  54. Antonio says:

    McCrea, that’s great for you if you can get teaching. I’m interested to see what you think a “full wage” is. To me, a “full wage” is around $50,000 pa. $36,000 is too much?! Do you pay rent or buy groceries?!!! I would like to see anyone earn more than $15,000 from teaching AND productively do a PhD full time over the course of a year. $18,000 pa. full time equates to around $9/hr for a 40 hour week. To put it in perspective, I pay my office junior (18 years old) $16.50/hr. Totally ridiculous!

  55. Futt Bucker says:

    The Downer vs. Patrick Conlon Debate was also today. It’s up on the Adelaide Now website and by the looks of things Downer couldn’t even take out a State Minister. The Libs are in serious trouble.

  56. Sir Henry says:

    Is the Go for Growth strategy overboard now?

  57. The launch was extremely well executed and if the comments at blogs are any measure the angry tories are becoming very frightened.

  58. joe2 says:

    You have to wonder where they grabbed their slogan… fresh ideas… from.

    Is their advertising agency moonlighting while waiting for the next Safeway contract?

  59. Fanny Robin says:

    Like people, perhaps sometimes political parties can rise to the level of the expectations others have of them. After the disasters of the previous three ALP leaders, I think ALP-leaning people have willed into being an at least halfway credible alternative ALP leadership, after all the long hopeless no longer to be tolerated years.

    Political content differences aside, as political theatre the ALP launch was pretty much tone and pitch perfect. Exuberant without being false and distastefully over-hyped, it pressed a lot of good buttons, presentation smart yet colloquial, statesmanlike yet homey, with a few believably sincere personal tributes and which at least mentioned most of the most important issues and groups of people.

    Rudd will be an interesting PM, in the full meaning of the word. Which in itself is something to be grateful for, I guess.

    But I think we willed today into being. We had to. The situation was beyond desperate. So three cheers for us. But we need to do better.

  60. Fanny Robin says:

    To answer my own question yesterday about what is it that’s so feared about an ALP victory, given a strong 2PP policy convergence, emulating Ruddspeak, my answer is this. Rising class expectation. It terrifies them because it can be like a force of nature and it’s something they don’t believe can – or should be – accommodated.

  61. Stephen Hill says:

    “but I’m disappointed that he’s gone for the individual handout (ie undergrad scholarships) rather than more meaningful across the board funding.”

    Mark, I’m not disagreeing, but I think the undergrad scholarships show the dysfunctional nature of how Austudy is applied (cutting in at family income of 30K, age of independence at 25yrs). I would have preferred less undergrad scholarships, and an increase in the threshold on which Austudy is granted (I remember I couldn’t even get Austudy when my Dad was unemployed), so I can’t begrudge the move too much.

    You’re right, more funding is needed per student in areas like humanities, teaching, nursing, physics/maths – the majority of the postgraduate funding my department receives is deferred into keeping undergraduate courses solvent and paying staff wages. As a result there is a perverse incentive for departments to over-enrol postgrad students (that can offer the financial stability needed for staff salaries), as a result the incompletion rate has sky-rocketed, as even in the worst-case scenario of enrolling an inappropriate student the department receive half the RTS mullah. Richard Nile’s piece in the Oz in this sense, is to a degree correct – that it would be better to reduce some enrolments (say by about 20%) and siphon this money into student scholarships. All these incompletions to me indicate a waste of both government and personal resources (I know plenty of postgrads that have stopped their thesis because they couldn’t afford to continue.)I know incompletions will always be high as a thesis is a long, long slog with little institutional support, but they wouldn’t be anywhere as high as they are now. Also there was some DETYA research some years ago, that pointed out that part-time research students are about half as likely to complete than full-time students. I’d add that part-time students are even less likely to get any tutoring work, as often the department (not seeing them in the corridor) has forgotten they exist.

    Also I have heard whispers that the HEEF will be used by Labor to focus on PhDs (rather than being a Go8 vanity fund), if its done the right way this would be a good thing. But there are diminishing returns in just funding more PhD places without improved institutional support.

    “I’m not sure what the problem is with restricting APAs to people with high firsts. Shouldn’t we be reqarding very high achievement?”

    I don’t think my department has ever awarded a student a high-first (95% grade average), surely even with grade inflation, a first-class honours is still a significant intellectual achievement (averaging high-distinction across at least four/five subjects seems pretty good to me). We had one student that got 92%, bright, very well-read, would have been a great academic, now working at a petrol station.

    Also I’d survive on an APA, it would be more than I’m earning at the moment. I’ve found employers are so intolerant of the time I need to concentrate on my thesis. Most of the jobs I’ve applied for expect me to be available 6 days a week, I tell them I’m doing a thesis and it’s “Hit the Road Jack.” As a postgrad from another uni said to me you’re better off finding a job in which you can slack off, it was sage advice indeed, as I find you just can’t write important parts of your thesis after working long hours, you are better getting up at about 4AM and working for about five-six hours and going to work tired.

    Luckily, I’m getting close to completion, so I’ll be applying for an APA next year. Can anyone name the best jobs where I can do thesis on the sly without the boss finding out, it only needs to be for a couple of months? I really should spend at least a couple of months proof-reading, making sure every t is crossed, and i is dotted, ever paper I’ve read that is revelant is included, wouldn’t want to be up shit-creek with a mark of 94%

  62. Tony D says:

    “Can anyone name the best jobs where I can do thesis on the sly without the boss finding out, it only needs to be for a couple of months?”

    Behind the desk of a storage warehouse like Storage King – sit on yah butt and keep an eye out for customers/wanderers. A little cleaning maybe but plenty of ‘waiting for customer’ time. Never did it myself when I was a student but always thought it’d be ideal for a thesis job after speaking to someone who did.

  63. nasking says:

    “Is the Go for Growth strategy overboard now?”

    lol…another truth sayin’ piece of chuckle til yer red vid from the brilliant Cyrius.

  64. joe2 says:

    Tony D, sounds a little bit too optimistic, to me, and can tell you never did it yourself.

    You would need to do a tafe course first,now ,to be in the running for such a position and then plan to marry the bosses daughter with the baby child imminent.

  65. jinmaro says:

    Steady on, sis. Look at the faces of the Labor faithful at the launch. Blank, expressionless, unmoved, passive. What are they thinking?

    Whatever it is it’s a major dissonant note from any otherwise excellently choreographed ALP election launch.

    Oh, and loved the way Rudd covered all bases. Even death. The ALP will defeat cancer, no less. Yikes.

  66. mbahnisch says:

    Ben Eltham reviews the policy launch at PollieGraph:

  67. Zarquon says:

    Damn, I thought you wrote “Ben Elton reviews”…

  68. mbahnisch says:

    Someone should have hired him as an election blogger!

  69. Shaun says:

    Anyone see the new Labor ad on tele tonight? Simple, effective and quite amusing to boot.

  70. Christian says:

    What was in it, Shaun?

  71. joe2 says:

    Ben Elton is actually in oz, at the moment, plugging a new book.

  72. boredinHK says:

    I listened to the launch and haven’t seen any TV coverage.
    The whole thing was creepy .There was too much control- the applause was excessive and why have everyone clap every second sentence?
    The leader is hardly an insprirng figure – more like a super nerd . And the overly detailed plans about computers – I mean really ? Just arrange to supply more funds and target the less priviledged and we trust for the rest. Is the difference between the parties so slight we need to pretend such details actually matter? Each student between years 9-12 – give me a break.

    Another comment on this thread mentioned the appalling absence of any mention of the party – this party with a long history of division and struggle which has survived into the modern era and maintained relevance . Listening to the Dear Leader you would easily think this was an election between 2 people only.

    A fiscal conservative , a person who talks about himself as being of seemingly paramount importance. It’s just weird.
    The ALP really looks to me to have sold it’s soul.

  73. Stephen Hill says:

    I reckon the new Whinging Wendy ad would be pretty effective.

    Have the Liberals lost the art of subtlety? Their advertising last time was quite clever (a little below-the-radar), this time its as overblown as one of those crazy warehouse closing down sale productions.

  74. Shaun says:

    On SBS Christian during Newstopia. So it could have been a fake ad by Micallef. If it was, Labor need to hire him now. If not, good on Labor for a producing a witty campaign ad.

  75. Ari says:

    Plenty has been said about education but does anyone know what Labor’s policy is on reducing HECS fees?

    Are they still planning to scrap Brendan Nelson’s 25% HECS increase from 2003?

  76. Frank Calabrese says:

    [Plenty has been said about education but does anyone know what Labor’s policy is on reducing HECS fees? ]

    Rudd announced halving of HECS for Students studying teaching in the areas of Maths & Science

    [In chapter three we announced we will tackle the chronic shortage of maths and science teachers by halving HECS for those disciplines at university, and we’ll halve it again for those graduates who go on to teach maths and science in our schools.]

  77. Foucault A Go Go says:

    As 90% is the barrier for a university medal, I would be very suspicious of any university throwing around 95% to honours graduates, even in Maths and Physics. I am not sure what percentage of APA holders get “top-up” scholarships also, but over the past two years the number of these has certainly skyrocketed. An extra $10-15,000 can make a big difference to quality of life.

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