The view from Channel Nine II

For an explanation of why I’m writing these posts, see last night’s entry.

So, from the vantage point of commercial news, tonight was all about the kids. (And, again, the election was bumped into second spot, this time by a bloke driving his car into a shop in Cleveland.) Tony Abbott was “mobbed” and promised a great big new tax rebate for private school fees and violin lessons and stuff. The setting for this announcement was Faith Lutheran College, in the bayside Brisbane LNP ultra-marginal of Bowman.

No news on how this would be paid for, but then, I guess we take it for granted that they’re just making it up as they go along, and Simon Crean says they’ve made a counting error.

A certain former Prime Minister also went to visit some kids at Coorparoo in his electorate of Griffith, accompanied by a press pack as big as the current incumbent’s. Unlike Abbott, Kevin Rudd’s visit was to a state primary school. Nothing newsworthy happened but the sight of the local member campaigning locally was said to be disturbing ‘Labor strategists’. Or something. Surprising, really, they didn’t see it coming.

Oh, and Julia Gillard is still in favour of kids doing trades, as she was yesterday, but also today fending off questions about Kevin Rudd.

Come to think of it, the ABC news was much of the same. But with added pontificating.

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Posted in federal election 2010, media
36 comments on “The view from Channel Nine II
  1. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Or something. Surprising, really, they didn’t see it coming’

    I’m sure they did – Rudd’s office pre-briefing the media about his schedule today was possibly the bit that gave it away. Odd that he thought it necessary, but there you are.

  2. Patricia WA says:

    Geoff, I had a knee jerk reaction like yours about Rudd’s office advising the media of his schedule. But on second thoughts decided that would, or should, be routine for any office of a campaigning pollie locally or elsewhere. A great deal of malice aforethought has been attributed to Rudd by journos who couldn’t get a comment from him except that he was focussing on his local electorate. Natural enough since he isn’t a minister. If he did otherwise that would create waves too.

  3. kimberella says:

    The point I was making, Geoff, was that it was surprising that the ALP ‘strategists’ were surprised that Rudd would make his whereabouts known. In his defence, my understanding is that journos have basically been staking him out/stalking him, so I don’t think it’s necessarily to be interpreted as a publicity seeking exercise.

    The media certainly have an interest in talking about him, and that was plain as day on SBS news, where the whole theme was ‘former leaders overshadowing the campaign’ – they thoughtfully ran a profile on Wentworth to make their point, in the absence of any vision of Malcolm.

  4. DC says:

    Just a small correction – Faith Lutheran College is located at Victoria Point – well outside of the Petrie electorate (Victoria Point is south-east – Petrie is north-east).

  5. kimberella says:

    DC, that’s my bad. I meant to write Grace Lutheran College, which is in Petrie. I’ll fix the post.

  6. DC says:

    Geoff – why shouldn’t Rudd’s office pre-brief the media?

    There has been great interest from the media for the past few weeks whether he would actually be campaigning.

    In fact, the LNP actually got rid of their original candidate in the seat of Griffith and replaced him with another candidate because they thought Rudd wouldn’t re-contest his seat.

    The pre-brief to the media was as much a one figured salute to the LNP as anything else.

  7. paul walter says:

    Rudd out on the hustings, campaigning?
    Sounds like a teamman, to me.
    At this stage any election win will be his to claim and share. Its very hard not to applaud the man’s dignity and his affirmation of Labor, despite his own rough treatment.

  8. DC says:

    Hi Kim, another small correction – Tony Abbott announced his new “policy” (and I do use that term loosely) at Faith Lutheran College (Victoria Point).

  9. kimberella says:

    Hey, thanks, DC – tying myself in knots here. I’ll fix again!

    That’s interesting, though, because that means it’s in Bowman – which is a Liberal ultra-marginal.

  10. kimberella says:

    Its very hard not to applaud the man’s dignity and his affirmation of Labor, despite his own rough treatment.

    Well said, paul.

  11. hannah's dad says:

    I helped in a federal campaign in’07 and days [at least] before the candidate was due to arrive at a place all media and any other persons or organizations potentially interested were informed either by e-mail or by phone or both and then visit details eg time, venue and purpose, were confirmed on the day itself.

    Standard operating procedure.

  12. DC says:

    Kim, Judging from the ABC Website, Bowman should be interesting to watch.

  13. mick says:

    This article on the ABC news about Rudd’s visit to Coorparoo State School is truly bizarre. It seems he really pissed off the journos by being a team player and not commenting outside his brief?

    Very odd. What did they expect? That he’d diss Gillard and the rest of the ALP mid-campaign?

  14. Labor Outsider says:

    Extending the rebate to private schools is clever politics (regardless of what you think of the idea itself)…

  15. tssk says:

    What the media wanted was some sort of Latham style outburst.

    Bad luck chaps. They only come about once in a blue moon.

  16. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Extending the rebate to private schools is clever politics

    How so, LO?

  17. Ken Lovell says:

    Rudd did a wonderful job of demonstrating the pointlessness of the contemporary MSM. Annie Guest’s ‘how dare he get us all to a school and not say anything newsworthy’ story is priceless. It provides wonderful insight into the nature of the relationship between politicians and journalists: the former prepare tasty morsels for the latter, who follow like sheep to collect the story du jour.

    Guest’s wounded sense of entitlement is truly funny. Why said Rudd has no sense of humour?

  18. ” Labor Outsider

    Extending the rebate to private schools is clever politics (regardless of what you think of the idea itself)…”

    Interesting.

    The ALPs uniform allowance is a bit limiting in that uniforms are not necessarily a recurring expense. There is usually a large initial outlay, and once purchased, they should last a few years without replacement. I have a kid starting high school next year and will spend oodles to kit him out in Jan – too early for me to feel any gain from the policy, and not particularly helpful in 2012 either.

    I wonder if the lag in introduction will negate any win the policy aims to gain?

  19. baraholka1 says:

    Speaking of Channel 9, just watched Hey Hey It’s Saturday with T. Abbott as guest judge, where, given the opportunity to be himself he exuded the vivacity of a telephone box and the mental agility of a curtain rod.

    He behaved like he only barely knew where he was and what he was supposed to be doing, frequently failing to respond to comments, falling back on a forced vacant smile to cover his obvious internal self-conscious panic.

    No wonder he only wants to be quoted when reading from a script, he can’t function without one.

    Gillard would have been relaxed, Rudd would have been funny, even the blancmange for brains J. Hockey would have at least prepared a few ready lines in advance. Abbott just appeared to be doing an impression of a deaf mute 90 year old on afternoon release from Nursing Home.

    Did anyone see George Mega’s comments in the SMH re: Abbott and Asylum seekers? Apparently on the two occasions that Tones has gone full bore on the Xenophobia his personal approval rating has dived.

    I would like to believe that means that humanity towards Asylum Seekers would be a vote winner but can’t square it with the parties’ desperate love letters to Sydney’s West.

  20. DC says:

    Mick, definitely an interesting article. The Courier-Mail was reporting that Kevin Rudd refused to answer any questions from the media, and would only take questions from 9 year olds –
    Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd doesn’t take questions on campaign trail
    .

    Funnily enough, while accusing him of not answering questions, they printed a question he answered.

    I’m still scratching my head about that one.

    Even the TV reporters showed him answering questions.

  21. kimberella says:

    There was a piece on the ABC last week by some reporter about how boring it was to sit outside Rudd’s hotel in New York waiting for something to happen.

    Poor petal.

    What the media wanted was some sort of Latham style outburst.

    Latham himself was shown on the SBS News (who, as I said, really played up the ‘former leaders’ angle more than 9 or the ABC) being interviewed by Sky and saying he feared Rudd would be a loose cannon. No one observed the irony.

    I think just reporting an election is now too boring for the media.

    We’ve gone from “Abbott’s missteps” to “former leaders overshadow campaign” in what, five days?

    It’s really getting ridiculously surreal.

  22. kimberella says:

    Bowman should be interesting to watch.

    Yes, indeed, DC. The fact that Abbott’s campaigning there no doubt indicates the seat is under threat from Labor.

  23. Labor Outsider says:

    How so? Just over a third of Australian students attend private schools. The proportion is higher in Sydney. Growth in enrollment in cheaper (relative to Kings/Riverviews) independent schools in marginal electorates has been particularly rapid over the past two decades. Many other parents would like to send their kids to private schools but cannot afford to. The rebate will be appealing to this demographic. The rebate will not appeal to staunch defenders of the public school system (the policy is introducing vouchers by stealth), but IMHO that demographic is less likely to be a swinging voter in marginal electorates. The policy also gives the Coalition a positive (in the sense of not being a rejection of a Labor policy) selling point in a policy area Labor traditionally has an advantage. It is an attempt to create a wedge between Labor and certain aspirational voters. It would have helped if the Coalition had managed to get their costings right. But it is certainly more “revolutionary” than most of Labor’s education platform, in that if implemented, it will further stimulate demand for private schooling and could pave the way for a more generous voucher system in time.

    The above should not be considered an endorsement of the policy.

  24. Chris says:

    sublime cowgirl said:

    The ALPs uniform allowance is a bit limiting in that uniforms are not necessarily a recurring expense. There is usually a large initial outlay, and once purchased, they should last a few years without replacement.

    You can rollover expenses to the following year if you exceed the benefit limit. Although only to the following year, not any further. So they have thought about that a bit.

  25. When thats a bit more sensible.

    Or perhaps the policy is really just a job creation strategy for redundant green loans assessors who’ll be redirected to piece-working in uniform manufacturing sweatshops 😉

  26. Terangeree says:

    What a surprise. A backbench MHR (and my local MHR, in fact) conducts a backbencher’s election campaign.

    By the way, the suburb’s correct spelling is “Coorparoo”, not ‘coorpooroo”.

  27. paul walter says:

    Kim, thanks for kind words earlier,
    No rancour in this, a lovely Sir Humphrey Appleby explanation of what the “insider” approach might be to this, as a saccarine coated pork barrel for the outer mortgage belt, from LO (I think!)/
    Finally, god help us, I shouldn’t weigh into telly journos, but they really belong as seperate subspecies of (in)humanity, some of them.

  28. CMMC says:

    It’s the vuvuzela method of journalism. Loud, dense and irrelevant.

  29. akn says:

    Rudd is showing real steel here. I wouldn’t wright him off as yesterday’s leader.

  30. Jacques de Molay says:

    ‘TONY Abbott has been forced to rebuke the Liberal candidate for Ballarat after he compared the Government’s Building the Education Revolution scheme to a holocaust.’

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/liberal-candidate-rebuked-by-tony-abbott-over-holocaust-jibe/story-e6frf7l6-1225895337410

  31. DC: thanks for the Courier Mail link. The depressing thing is their comments. Do they have a spitefulness quota to fulfill?

  32. Sam says:

    Early in 2007 Rudd said he wanted to mess with Howard’s mind. He did, spectacularly. Now he’s messing with the minds of the media and, to a lesser extent, with the minds of his perceived enemies in the party.

    What we’re viewing is another episode of Revenge of the Nerd.

  33. Pavlov's Cat says:

    LO, thanks for that. I suppose I was underestimating the extent to which state education was white-anted during the Howard years, and assuming that the vast majority of private-school parents would already be voting conservative anyway.

  34. pablo says:

    Classic photo in the SMH showing Rudd’s LNP opponent standing hesitantly a few metres from Rudd sitting alone at a campaign table. She (allegedly) didn’t get to ‘shake Rudd’s hand’ because of Rudd minders, but you can forget all that media argy bargy – the photo alone is a beaut.

  35. “LO, thanks for that. I suppose I was underestimating the extent to which state education was white-anted during the Howard years, and assuming that the vast majority of private-school parents would already be voting conservative anyway.”

    PC My partner and I are state school kids. When we moved to this suburb we started them in the local state school near our house which is white middle class with v high academic standards. One of my kids was particularly bright but we soon shifted them to a local catholic school with a lower academic quality because we valued more highly its community spirit and emphasis on social justice and equity.

    On finishing primary we tried our daughter at the local state high school where she had fabulous teachers and v high academic standards. However….she also had to sit in class with an anglo ‘Jonah Takaluka’ who continually told teachers to f… off in class etc etc, and, well, lets just say there were a lot of social dramas that prob. weren’t developmentally helpful for her at that time.

    So……guess what? She is now in a Lutheran school that we can barely afford, but then again, we couldnt afford to leave here where she was, so there you go.

    And nope, no McMansion – just a fibro post-war currently packed to the rafters with 3 homestay students from China.

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