April 28, 2014 • 6:36 am
“I got to wondering why Andrew Neil’s (Spectator Australia) interview with Joe Hockey was a ‘break through’ moment. After all, he didn’t ask any particularly probing questions and he certainly didn’t get any revealing answers – the example given by Joe on the question about ‘entitlement’ was the school kids bonus.
What was unusual was that Hockey got placed in a forum where he was actually asked questions and was expected to answer, which obviously stunned him. I couldn’t think of a comparable situation involving Abbott or his Ministers where they actually have been grilled or even made themselves available to account for their leaks and spin.
The coalition strategy seems to be to leak and work in closely with News Corp, avoid interviews beyond those with friendly outlets where quite obviously the questions are scripted and whatever happens don’t appear on the ABC.”
Funnily enough Terry, I had been thinking about exactly the same things.
There were a couple of things to come out of the interview. Joe Hockey, for all his doom and gloom to local press, was forced to admit that we are actually in a very good position economically – not only that, we are vying for best in the world. Why the hang dog look for Australian audiences, replaced by a satisfied smirk internationally? Why are we even contemplating austerity measures? Why are you telling us we are in trouble when we so obviously are not?
- AAA credit rating
- Debt 23% of GDP
- Deficit 3% of GDP
- Growth of 3%
- 22 continuous years of growth
- Unemployment around 6%
- Strong currency
- Vast mineral resources
No other G20 country is anywhere near comparable.
Hockey says “we have dropped the ball”. I actually like sport but I am sick of hearing sporting analogies rather than factual statistics. From my spot in the grandstand, I look at the score board and see us so far in front that I am heading for the bar.
As you point out Terry, the only entitlement cuts that Joe could come up with were the Schoolkids Bonus and the Low Income Allowance – both of which hit the people who can least afford it, as will the $6 co-payment to see a doctor. All of a sudden the carbon tax and the mining tax don’t look so bad do they?
I too had been thinking when was the last time I heard Tony Abbott interviewed. If you don’t watch Andrew Bolt or Skynews or listen to 2GB then you only get controlled press conferences or cooking shows – very occasionally 5 minutes on the 7:30 report where they try to cram in prepared questions and don’t have time to follow up on anything. Actually I can’t remember the last time even that happened. Matthias Corman pops up everywhere and repeats his standard phrases over and over like a doll having its string pulled regardless of what he is asked.
It is somewhat off-putting to have a Prime Minister who refuses to face the people he represents. In fact it is way more than off-putting. The CEO has an obligation to face shareholders and answer their questions. To continue to avoid it is treating us with contemptuous dismissal and makes one wonder what he is afraid of.