May 17, 2013

Kid gloves

12 May 2013: Laurie Oakes, questioning Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan about his fifth budget:

"You said (last year) for example, 'the deficit years of the global recession are behind us, the surplus years are here', now, that'll have people laughing in the aisles..."

"So, are you going to get up tomorrow and start your speech saying 'Ladies and gentlemen, circumstances can change, so what I say tonight should be taken with a grain of salt?'."

"Now, another part of your speech that reads like stand-up comedy from last year, you're boasting about spreading the benefits of the mining boom via your mining tax. That tax produced no money... "

"You would argue the fact that last year's budget is now a nonsense when you look at it in retrospect, it's not evidence of government incompetence?"

"Climate change Minister Greg Combet is quoted today as saying Labor people should be confident of victory in the election. What's he been smoking? Have you been smoking the same thing?"

One Treasurer in search of a new job.

One journalist still doing his job.


  1. I still miss Kerry O'Brien, Kath, so the likes of Leigh Sales, no matter how good, was never going to do it for me, but then I watched her - so much hyperventilating about what a crack-shot interviewer she is, fearlessly tearing apart all and sundry - what a huge fucking disappointment. Bit like seeing an over-wrought Hollywood blockbuster and realising that you'll never get those hours back.

    I watched Sales interviewing Costello a few weeks ago, about the now dropped Gillard gov't proposal to increase the tax on superannuation payments. Costello stepped Sales through the simple concepts of people earning their income, earning THEIR superannuation, paying tax as it went in, paying tax on earnings, and being able to forgo any claim on a gov't pension, for those who have enough to rely on their super - he spelt it out for any simpleton. He even went to the trouble of explaining that those with the highest super savings were those earning high incomes, and were already, therefore, paying higher taxes during their working lives.

    You think people should be taxed three times on their superannuation? He put to Sales. Why? He wondered. It would be fairer. She bleated. To be fair to everyone. She bleated a few times. They looked at each other, blankly. Both nonplussed by the stupidity of the other.

    Sales is no O'Brien, and she's no Laurie Oakes either.

    Where the hell is the next generation of serious political journalists, Kath? It's a worry.