Mar 122008

A serious question, reader. Why does the Murdoch Media pay Dennis Shanahan?

It certainly can’t be for his insightful commentary, because I’m yet to read anything of his which is in the least insightful, thoughtful, or even moderately considered. Today’s ‘blog’ in the Oz is yet another example of hindsight journalism.
Of course, there’s the doomsaying undercurrent aimed directly at denigrating anything and everything the current government undertakes. Our Dennis is even an economics guru, if the text of his tirade is to be taken at face value.

“Kevin Rudd has caved in on payments to carers and seniors, turning what was going to be a budget saving in the fight against inflation and profligate spending into an entrenched cost.”

Considered reason just doesn’t make an appearance in the entire piece. Neither does any pretence at non-partisan commentary.

“For his part, the Leader of the Opposition was able to focus on an issue that embarrassed the Government and displayed his own “compassion”. He’s had a victory, too.”

He has, Dennis??? I’ve not seen, heard or read of any ‘victory’ by Brendan Nelson over this budgetary issue.
Let’s be honest for a moment, and forget all about partisan ideology as a tool of trade for journalists, even in their ‘blogs’. Budget leaks are nothing new. Howard and Costello did it every year for eleven years, so why should Labor following the same vein be considered anything untoward? It’s not. It’s political game playing and sounding out the electorate ahead of genuine budget pronouncements on the night. I’d also wager the idea of cutting into carers bonus payments was floated as a means of testing the resolve of the coalition opposition. Consider for a moment the attacks from Tanner on the opposition yesterday during QT, pointing out the wording used by the coalition during last years appropriation debates. There was no guarantee that Howardian largesse would continue to extend to carers when push came to shove. They knew the economy was turning, but also knew they faced electoral defeat if the greater populace weren’t lubricated.
Budget leaks are designed to one thing and one thing only. Test the depth of the electorate water. Are the people happy? Are they so happy they’ll let us get away with this? If so, we’ll do it, if not, we won’t. It’s that simple. There’s no political mileage in this latest ploy for either side of politics, despite what the fervently conservative in the MSM might like to have us believe.

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