Apr 162007

Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd and Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey have ended their weekly spot on Seven’s Sunrise morning program.

This occurrence was always a matter of time and timing. While both men were virtual no-bodies, no harm could be down by oozing a little bon-homie onto the ether once a week. However, now that Hockey holds arguably the most important and contentious portfolio within the federal government, and Rudd is Opposition Leader, neither bloke needs the angst of having a television chat fest drawing up their agendas.
Bannerman is both surprised and at the same time non-plussed that both men have opted out of Sunrise at the same time. Surely, there would have been some political capital in Hockey allowing Rudd to be the one to bail, as he was clearly forced to do. Both are honourable men when all’s said and done, and if the article is to be believed, long term friends, even if political and ideological opponents. This friendship and honour has undoubtedly played a part in both agreeing to pull the pin at the same time.
Howard will probably breathe a sigh of relief, even though Sunrise was a neat platform upon which to promote Workchoices. It’s evident though, through the Rudd-ANZAC Day Dawn Ceremony debacle that the television producers for Sunrise had been allowed to call the tune for long enough. Rudd got stung, so how long might it have been before Hockey was similarly compromised?
Bannerman noted Bob McMullan – remember him? Disgruntled Opposition backbencher – on Meet The Press yesterday as replying to Glenn Milne’s jibe about the ANZAC ceremony:

GLENN MILNE: Clearly on the basis of the polls Kevin Rudd is an asset for you. But how much damage do you think has been done this week by the transferring over the Anzac false dawn ceremony and particularly what does it say about Kevin Rudd’s management of his own office that he was so ignorant of what was going on?
BOB MCMULLAN: Well, I think the core thing is – your first part of the question – how much damage has it done to him? I suspect not a lot but you wouldn’t want to have any initial bad story repeating itself over and over again. But everybody knows that Anzac Day is very important to Australians. I’ve got the National War Memorial in my electorate. I go there every year to all the major events and the crowds get bigger every year. We all know that – nobody knows it more than Kevin – so he was never going to do anything that undermined Anzac Day. I think Australians sort of know that.

Bannerman would say that the message from the Parliamentary Labor Party was received loud and clear.

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