Friends, you know that I don’t place too much stock in opinion polls, I’m here busily delivering our first term agenda for all Australians, not trying to win a popularity contest. So today’s Newspoll figures really aren’t something that are taking up too much of my focus, if anything they’re more a measure of how our opposition is travelling, not the Night watchman, the News Ltd press machine.
For all the talk of a free and independent press that we like to have in a country like Australia the fact is that we have neither. Journos are desperate to be insiders in the political process so every one of them has their own cause or politician to push, News Ltd are the worst offenders, while constantly claiming that there is no editorial interference. That said, anyone who needs to be told what Rupert thinks before they write an article won’t go far in the organisation.
So today while the Night watchman languishes on a still pathetic ten per cent preferred PM figure, expect to see News Ltd hacks patting themselves on the back for their stellar efforts in putting a dent in my governments enormous popularity. You don’t need to go much further than The Australian’s chief cheerleader Dennis Shanahan to find evidence of how they deliberately distorted the truth to see what sort of effect they could have on Newspoll
After The Australian reported plans to scrap the $1600 carers’ bonus, Mr Rudd’s guarantee that “no one will be worse off” stopped the outcry and he was forced to say they would be entrenched in the budget.
Did the partisan hacks at the Australian catch us unawares? Yes they did. Do we regret the effect that their lies had on our relationship with the Australian public? Of course we do. Do we have a plan to deal with this next time? We certainly hope so.