NEWS AND VIEWS
Friday, 24 August 2007
Stealing the Abbott's Cassock
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing called its report tabled in the Parliament last December " The Blame Game: Report on the inquiry into health funding " and Kevin Rudd has clearly read it. Ending the blame game has entered his every day lexicon and much of the material in the Labor health policy he unveiled yesterday comes from the committee report.
Given that the Committee was chaired by the Liberal Member for Fairfax Alexander Somlyay it will be difficult for Health Minister Tony Abbott to be too critical of the Rudd proposals. Difficult too because the inspiration for the findings was a speech Mr Abbott himself delivered to the Centre for Independent Studies policy makers forum on 20 September 2006. The Committee used an extract from that speech at the very beginning of the Overview of its report:
The sentiment that will surely haunt the Government in reacting to the Rudd Labor plan for aggressively trying to stop the blame game is that Mr Abbott quite recently broke off negotiations with State Health Ministers about new funding arrangements for public hospitals. The States wanted to know what funds they will have when the current Federal-State agreement ends next 30 June but Mr Abbott fobbed them off with the excuse that the more important thing for him to do with his time was to try and win the next election.
A Hawke's Eye View on the Form
Speaking with what he describes as "a certain amount of authority, from my own personal history in such matters", my old boss and former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke thinks Kevin Rudd's night on the tiles in New York "made it easier for a lot of punters to identify with Kevin." Not a normal form guide comment but elections are no ordinary race meeting and punting PMs are a rarity in the straight laced environment of today's Parliament House.
Bob has picked up his pen to play form analyst on the website of the Darwin based bookmaker SportsBet where he will give us a weekly update "to help you make an honest quid by investing on the result of the up coming election." His opinion number one is pointing the punters towards taking the $1.53 for a $1 being offered by his mate Matt Tripp.