A more even result in the town hall meeting in Brisbane tonight. Tony Abbott got a few more nasty, even arrogantly abusive, questions from the audience including at least one from a Labor plant, reading out almost word for word Labor’s attack line of today. Another gleefully recounted the sneering dismissal of Abbott made by the permanently embittered John Hewson, who should be hounded out of any Liberal gathering. Nevertheless, Abbott again kept his equanimity, other than to denounce as “lies” Labor’s advertising. But in summing up at the end, he cracked a little, noting that some in the room clearly didn’t like him but he would fight until the election. He made none of his campaigning points, finishing lamely. But until then he was good, and effective.
Julia Gillard didn’t repeat the mistake she made at Rooty Hill, and this time addressed the crowd from the floor. She even worked the room heavily before going on stage. She tried to moderate that lecturing tone, and holding the mic cut down on those exaggerated hand movements. No gaffes, just as there were none from Abbott. But while she’s better at spinning than Abbott, she’s more transparent in dodging questions - and she had some to dodge, not least a question twice asked and not answered about when she last spoke to Kevin Rudd. Some five questions where thrown at her about her knifing of Rudd, including a zinger about how she, as one of the “gang of four” running the country with Rudd, could sack him for going off the rails, then praise him as a man of “great achievements”, and still dodge responsibilty for disasters she must have been party to.
So evens, or a narrow win to Abbott. But even a draw helps him. Odd, how Gillard struggles more with voters than with reporters.
I was suprised at the sheer number of young women, and the high proportion of teachers and students who were chosen to ask questions. Yes, I agree, the majority of the questions were very hostile…
There was one woman who started pulling some really odd faces during Tony Abbott’s response - not a good look and very disrespectful to him. I noted that one lady who asked a question of Tony Abbott and who said she was a small business owner, wore a white t-shirt with the slogan ‘Make Poverty History’ on the back. Independant and swinging I don’t think so - more likely an activist
Notice that not a single person asked Gillard about global warming? The “greatest moral and economic challenge of our times” has become ho hum.