There are two areas of public policy which conservative parties are usually held to do better than the social democratic side of politics. These are the economy and national security. The Liberal-National Party Coalition under Prime Minister John Howard is suffering from its implementation of draconian wages policies, an integral part of the economy. Now, in to-day's The Age, the Coalition's management of security issues and even Howard's reputed personal rapport with servicemen and women is called into question.
While 77% of Australians were supporting the Prime Minister on "border security" and the children overboard affair in the lead up to and at the 2001 Federal election, the 77% were actually supporting the oppression of sailors who didn't sign up to be cruel and heartless to women and children while being forced to be away from their wives, partners and children for unhealthily long periods of service.
So where are the 77% now? The polls favouring Labor seem likely to be garnering a host of the "border security" proponents of 2001. But then Labor itself under the slack leadership of Kim Beazley was in there supporting the government too. This is why Miss Eagle is insistent on knowing the quality and firmness of Kevin Rudd's backbone. X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, PET scans, lumbar punctures - but give us something Kevin!
Because you see, dear Reader, Kevin is right behind the Prime Minister on the Haneef Affair - every bit as much as Beazley was behind Howard on the children overboard affair. And look where that is going and what a laughing stock that is making of our national security and the powers the Federal Government has taken to itself. National security - heading downward. Mos Australian's wages - heading downward. Roosting chickens are in the offing for John Howard and the wood is on Maxine McKew to defeat him in his seat of Bennelong. It's your national duty, Maxine. National security and the economy depend upon it.
But, Maxine, can you ask Kevin to show us the colour of his money?