Greg Sheridan agrees that Kevin Rudd’s decision to throw out an Israeli diplomat smacks of the cheapest and nasiest kind of spin:
This is a government obsessed with the management of the daily media cycle… ButÂ it is very low-grade behaviour to ruin a key relationship such as that with Israel for domestic political advantage.
Sheridan doesn’t mention another factor I think is crucial toÂ understanding this wild and damaging overreaction – Rudd’s desperate desire to woo Muslim nations in his campaign for a UN Security Council seat. About which, this latest news of Rudd-bestowed but taxpayer-funded junkets:
This week, for example, (Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith) was allowed to host the opening of the Botswana High Commission. In Canberra. On Africa Day. You might think nobody would turn up for that, but you’d be wrong.Â The Australian government flew journalists in from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe for the event (curiously, not from Botswana). Such was the enthusiasm of Smith’s department for this event, they called it “Batswana” in the media release. We suppose he corrected this in the speech, which basically was aimed at getting Australia a seat on the UN Security Council but dressed up as concern for Africans.
Barrie Cassidy holds a liar to account for deciding to spend $38 million on taxpayer-funded ads arguing for his super profits tax:
In opposition, in an interview with Kerry O’Brien (video here), Kevin Rudd promised he would ban all publicly funded advertising within three months of an election – “unless explicitly agreed between the leader of the government and the leader of the opposition.
- Rudd backflips again: steals your money to pay for Labor ads
- A Tax Office insider says he’s sick of the spin
Tom Ormonde is astonished that more Australians don’t protest at the Rudd Government’s earlier taxpayer-funded campaign ads:
For those of you who haven’t seen the first ad (and that in itself would take some doing), it is a slick little production promoting the government’s revamp of the health system. The ad is interesting for all the wrong reasons – first, forÂ the almost complete absence of information that the public actually needs to know and, second, for the thinly disguised party-political messages in the voice-over.
How can you sleep when the beds are burning?
It seems that Kevin Rudd’s free pink batts – meant to cut emissions – have started yet another fire:
The Rudd Government lies to justify breaking a promise to ban taxpayer-funded political advertising:
The Rudd Government is being accused of orchestrating a propaganda campaign after it bent its advertising rules to spend almost $40million of taxpayers’ money promoting its proposed mining tax…
The Rudd Government recently changed guidelines to ensure campaign funds were individually vetted by an independent panel of public servants but a government can skip this measure by claiming a national emergency, extreme urgency or other compelling reasons.
Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig granted the exemption for the new government ads after being told by Treasurer Wayne Swan about an ‘’active campaign’’ against the proposed resources super profits tax.
Note well that excuse – that the Government needed to rush out this taxpayer-funded propaganda to counter the mining industry’s advertising campaign against its super tax:
Ludwig: ‘‘I note and accept the Treasurer’s advice that there is an active campaign of misinformation about the proposed changes and that Australians are concerned about how these changes will affect them. I further note and accept the Treasurer’s advice that, as tax reform involves changes to the value of some capital assets, they impact on financial markets.
‘‘Given that co-ordinated misinformation about the changes is currently being promulgated in paid advertising, I accept the need for extremely urgent action to ensure the Australian community receive accurate advice about the nature and effect of the changes.’’
But an insider and blog reader nails the lie:
The pitching agencies were originally briefed a little over three weeks ago. It would have taken at least a week of decision making before the agencies were briefed.
So how many ads did the mining council have running a month ago? None that I can recall. So while Swan and Rudd claim their campaign is a response to the “national emergency” caused by the “disinformation” in the mining council ads, they had given the go-ahead to the campaign before a single mining council ad had run.