Date: May 15 2012
How on earth does Julia Gillard drag herself from her bed every morning, knowing full well that the day ahead brings nothing more than the relentless abuse she's put up with since her first day in the job?
Never an acknowledgement of her government's competency on the policy front, just day after day of the media filled with crisis and scandal about issues which, if the truth be known, have little relevance to our individual and collective good.
There's no doubt this government has demonstrated bewildering ineptitude in managing the politics and that their current predicament is largely down to this.
However, it's also apparent that they have been caught in the middle of a media feeding frenzy, with the Murdoch shark pack in particular, determined to tear them to pieces. Even those sections of the media which can usually be relied on to provide more critical and informative reporting appear to have succumbed to the lure of blood in the water and are happy to facilitate Abbott's unimpeded transition to The Lodge. Take Jack Waterford (''Time to imagine Abbott as PM'', Forum, May 12, p1) in which he noted, ''Abbott has no need to seek any particular mandate, other than to be different to Gillard. No parsing, counting, measuring or weighing of specific policies or particular sums will be able to resist his momentum''.
Now, one might (with some justification) consider this a statement of the bleeding obvious but, Jack, I don't buy your paper to read statements of the bleeding obvious. I don't want or expect unquestioning coverage of Abbott's ridicule of the forecast $1.5 billion budget surplus when on the best information currently available, his starting point is a $70 billion deficit! I want some answers about what Abbott's got planned for us, Jack, and I expect you and your colleagues to ask the right questions and keep asking them until we get the answers.
Rob Gardiner, Burra, NSW
The Federal Opposition is cynically employing one of the most successful propaganda techniques: construct a very big lie and keep repeating it until a gullible electorate and a compliant, conservative media accept it as a true-ism. This time around the lie is not ''the Jews are our misfortune''. It's ''this is the worst federal government in Australian history''.
The real achievements of the Gillard government, under very difficult circumstances, are buried under this avalanche of mendacity and manipulation.
One can only hope that the electorate will objectively compare Labor's real successes with the Coalition's policy-free zone.
Steve Ellis, Hackett
I am utterly confused by John Warhurst's piece (''Dour Swan holds up his end'', 10 May, p19) since it is not clear which end Swan is holding up. The 2012 budget is unbelievably ho hum, and if Professor Warhurst is of the opinion that it sets out a blueprint for the next 12 months, or contains a formula for the future, I think that calls for a re-think.
The budget is significant, not for what it delivers but for what it does not. For instance, where is the commitment to infrastructure development, which I think is probably the most important omission.
Redistributing wealth does not, at least so far as I am aware, contribute to economic growth, but certainly infrastructure growth does.
Can Professor Warhurst also explain what benefits there are in compensating coal miners, then taxing those same miners with a carbon tax?
I think Professor Warhurst's slip is showing if he thinks his piece is anywhere near convincing, particularly as this relates to the adequacies of Mr Swan.
John Fuhrman, Kambah
The article ''No sale: units reaching saturation point'' (May 14, p1) concluded that ACT developers simply don't want to build any more flats.
But when we have something to sell, like a car, and we offer it to the market at a price, and it doesn't sell, we conclude that the market is saying our price is unrealistic. So we cut the price to meet the market.
But rules are apparently different for a rapacious monopolist like the ACT government's Land Development Agency. They don't cut their offer price on land for units back towards what it actually cost them to develop. They're not interested in finding market prices at which developers can keep building, make modest money and provide employment in Canberra's looming downturn. If the LDA's monopoly reserve prices aren't met, they just take their bat and ball and go home.
A.J. Missingham, Red Hill
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