It’s been a year of big political fights: about the future of the world; about the future of the nation; and then some that seem to be akin to war over a barren piece of rock in the middle of the Atlantic.
If carbon tax has been the battle for the planet and the mining tax the battle for the nation; then the fight over bringing the budget into surplus could well be the Gillard Government’s Falklands War.
Because while Tony Abbott huffs and puffs and Wayne Swan blows back over who has the littlest one, the presence of a budget deficit in 2012-13 is regarded as a matter of little consequence to most Australians.
Amidst the industrial carnage wrought by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce last week was a brief glimpse of what survival for the Gillard Government might look like.
It would start with a corporate leader arrogantly putting his commercial interests ahead of the national interest, to the cheers of his fellow CEOs.
It would move into a debate about whether loyal Australian workers had a right to expect any sort of say in the way their workplace was run; or whether they should be forced to cop whatever the latest management team cooked up.
It would give voice to the federal front bench, for once united on a matter of principle they truly believed in, providing a platform to speak up for the values of their movement.
And it would end with the Federal Opposition, stripped of any pretence of policy, in a tangle over the WorkChoices bogey, simply barracking for the big end of town because that is what they are conditioned to do.
The sad irony for a government struggling for love is that the disputed use of a credit card to fill the emotional void of person or persons unnamed now threatens to end its rule prematurely.
But the bittersweet truth for the Gillard Government is that, while they are being absolutely smashed politically, the bulk of their policies actually have broad public support.
This week’s Essential Report shows that, save asylum seekers and climate change, just about everything the Government has done since the last election and is planning to do is, if it maintains power, backed by the electorate.
Subscribe to the Unspun
- 6.30 with George Negus
- Canberra Report
- EMC International
- Essential Report
- Keep our Cops
- Network Ten
- Sky News
- social media
- The Drum
- The Punch
- Web and Design