Rudd and Wayne Swan played into Turnbull’s hands when they botched the post-Budget sales pitch through an apparent reluctance to use the figures - a deficit of $57.6 billion and debt peaking at more than $300 billion.
“Apparent” reluctance? Judge how merely “apparent” it was in this interview and this. Yet Oakes insists:
But those pundits who put this down to misguided “spin” are off the mark. It is the result of old-fashioned, unadulterated incompetence.The advice of the spin-doctors - accepted by the Prime Minister and the Treasurer - was that the Government should embrace the numbers, not run away from them.Swan did not leave the deficit figure out of his Budget speech deliberately. It was supposed to be there. Stuff-up, not spin, was the explanation.
Really? Then how odd it was that this “stuff up’’ was repeated in Swan’s Budget speech to the National Press Club, where once again the only figure he failed to give was for the deficit. And that in later interviews he baulked again and again at giving the figure. Can Oakes seriously claim this was not spin, but a mere oversight?
And when Rudd kept saying that the debt would peak at “around 300” - without using the words “dollar” or “billion” - it was not a cunning ploy to avoid giving the Liberals a line they could use in their election commercials.The PM is simply a sucker for jargon. Saying “300” instead of “300 billion dollars” is Treasury-speak. Having sat around with Treasury boffins for weeks preparing the Budget, Rudd started talking like them.
And if you believe that, Oakes has another line to sell you - that the Opposition is bungling by linking the wild spending of Rudd to that of Gough Whitlam:
Whitlam, Labor’s 92-year-old folk hero is such a loveable, great-grandfatherly figure these days, and his period in office was so long ago, that using him to frighten the horses just doesn’t work.
What on earth has got into Oakes?
This is something I've noticed about Oakes for some time, not that he's alone in this, that is, this tendency to make Labor's excuses for it.
Everything becomes okay about Joel Fitzgibbon's relationship with a Chinese woman with connections to the Chinese regime and military, who made gifts to him and paid for several trips to China, and the Opposition rank hypocrits, because a single photo of her with John Howard is dredged up from years gone by.
But how many trips did she pay for for Howard? Any gifts given? Was it any different to the thousands of people who have their one-off photos taken with the prime minister at hundreds of functions in a year?
The photo was meaningless in relation to questions of Fitzgibbon's actions or judgement and the Opposition's questioning of them, but you wouldn't have thought so watching our journalistic elite at work