Greetings to all from somewhere in outback Western Australia. There is a bandicoot sitting outside our motel room craving attention (and apples) so we have named him Phil. Seeing a bandicoot was a first for us and a first too (surprisingly) for our WA hosts.
Some observations from afar and not so afar. A political truism. When the Opposition starts framing the political debate then the Government is in deep stuk. So it is here with the Carbon Tax debate. The Opposition is making all the running and the Government is going south in the polls having just achieved their worst result in sixteen years. Gillard must be beside herself seeing a major Labour aligned Union threatening to pull the plug if just one Union job in the mining industry is lost ... and this from a Prime Minister who campaigned on the promise of 'No Carbon Tax by any Government that I lead'.
And to compound Gillard's problems Kevin Rudd has now opened up a 10% lead over her in the preferred PM stakes.
And I must say it brings joy to the heart to see the Greens, having nailed Gillard to the wall over the Carbon Tax, wrecked by dissension over the NSW Greens decision to support the Greens controlled Marikville City Council in its decision to institute a Council boycott of all Israeli goods as a show of solidarity for the Palestinian cause.
With the Federal Greens Leader Bob Brown labelling the decision as unwise it was fascinating to watch the NSW Greens Senator elect tie herself in knots attempting to argue the decision should not be seen as anti Israel but rather pro Palestine.
Local Government does not have a mandate to make foreign policy decisions. That is the preserve of central Government.
The fleeting news over here was the comment that if the Aust Labor Party had problems then that was nothing compared to the state of the Labour Party in NZ. The 30% lead by National over Labour comes at no surprise so I won't comment on that. But the results achieved by the minor parties do deserve comment.
ACT. I note with some satisfaction that their result, if repeated, and provided they win Epsom, will see them with a minimum of two seats post the election. That is good news. National needs responsible allies and ACT, less the Douglas faction, is just such a Party.
Winston First. Isn't it great that with the slump by Labour their voters have resisted the temptation to go with Winston. Goes to prove that some erstwhile Labour votes are exhibiting a modicum of sense. Psycho Milt will be disappointed.
The Maori Party. The Maori Party has problems. The Hone fuelled grievance and handout mode that exists in Maoridom may well see the Maori Party become bit players going forward and Labour come through the middle in the Maori seats. Sad because Labour has treated their members as pet poodles and voting fodder. Maori had their big chance under MMP and they may have blown it.
Two parties that won't be there post the election are United Future and the Progressives. Parliament will be the better for that. Wasted spaces.
The Greens ... nuff said
Bill English: Oh lord, give me surplus. But not yet.
43 minutes ago