Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Losing the economic debate but keeping Wayne

Treasurer Wayne Swan can be forgiven for thinking that there is no justice in politics. Here he is, the man who acted so promptly and correctly to keep Australia free from the ravages of the international financial crisis, finding himself in the position where the mob are judging his opponents, who opposed much of his stimulus measures, as better economic managers. This morning’s Newspoll judgment surely is harsh but that makes it no less troubling for Labor. The figures purporting to show that the Coalition has turned a one-point deficit on its handling of the economy into a 12-point lead, 47% to 35%, will give the Coalition great heart and spur it on to keep talking about the evils of the Budget deficit. Clearly, Swan failed to explain well enough how vital his spending plans were to keeping people in jobs and the Australian economy growing. That his party acknowledges that failure is now seen every day as the junior Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen is trotted out to handle media questioning on many of the economic issues. At least Swannie can console himself that his leader is sticking by him. Julia Gillard said this morning that Swan, as her deputy, is the only frontbencher guaranteed his job if Labor wins the election. But then again, perhaps that statement was made for the simple reason that Queenslanders are annoyed enough with having lost a Prime Minister without having to worry about losing a Treasurer as well.
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