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64 responses to “The Treasurers’ debate”

  1. tssk

    George Mega gave a bit of a kicking to the Coalition on the weekend on the Insiders saying (if my meory was correct) that some of their figures would be laughed at by a first year economic student.

    Be interesting to see if those figures are followed up today.

    Wayne Swan is no fool but the danger here is the more animated Hocky might beat Swan media wise by being more animated.

  2. Mr Denmore

    Swan would do well to present the Coalition’s “hairy chestedness” on fiscal policy as a threat to the recovery.

    The RBA’s quarterly monetary policy statement, released on Friday, includes this line under risks to the domestic economic outlook:

    The main downside risk on the domestic front is
    that the forecast pick-up in private demand occurs
    more slowly than expected and does not fully
    offset the contraction in public investment that
    will be occurring over the next few quarters. The
    maximum effect of all the fiscal measures (including
    the cash payments) on the growth rate of output is
    estimated to have occurred around mid 2009 with
    the maximum effect on the level of output in early
    2010, so fiscal policy will be subtracting from growth
    in the period ahead.

    In other words, the fiscal stimulus has provided the economy needed support during a time of softer private demand. If you dismantle the support too quickly, the foundations of future growth become shakier.

    Neither major party shows signs of being willing to highlight these risks and what they would do about them. And that reflects the stupidity of the media-driven public debate, which focuses on surpluses as a good in themselves.

  3. Fran Barlow

    Mark posted:

    I think the reality of the Coalition’s position is to introduce swinging [swingeing] cuts

    That’s better.

  4. Brian

    Mark, the last I heard (from the Fin Review last week) was that the Coalition were claiming $24.7bn of saving, but I think that was on the current account. I think the $47bn figure may still be there, but the rest is the capital account.

    The benchmark is the Treasury forecasts out to 2013-14 on the Labor Government’s figures, which include $10.5bn revenue from the mining tax and $2bn saved on the indexation of the private health insurance rebate.

    Hence the Libs have to put in as an election promise a $2bn spend on health insurance and really should put in a $10.5bn grant to miners. Yet they’ve counted the $10.5bn as a saving. So the saving should really be $14.2bn rather than $24.7.

    I’m not sure how Swan is counting things, but I heard him say that the LNP’s extra spending was now up to $26bn, and he will claim that the LNP’s promise to get the budget into the black as soon as Labor does is shot.

    Here’s a post at Meganomics which might help with what George M was going on about.

    In the context of the debate there is zero chance that we’ll be able to make sense of all this.

  5. Terry

    Mark

    You need a TiVo box, unless you get a FOXTEL subscription with an IQ box.

    This could be a good outcome for Labor. They can simultaneuously play up the line that Coalition promises are largely uncosted and the PPL promise becomes vaguer with every iteration, while asking where the cuts are coming from and what effect they will have.

    Interesting to note that in the UK Labour’s support has gone up by 10 per cent on its May 2010 election level, despite the fact that it still has no leader.

  6. Mark

    @4 – Fran, “swinging” is an acceptable variant, and I’ve been inclined to use it since journos started mispronouncing “swingeing” to rhyme with “bingeing”.

    @6 – Terry, I’ve got one of those Telstra thingies, free with my new phone, but I haven’t taken it out of the box yet!

    Also, UK Labour has in effect 4 leaders – maybe that’s a good sign for Australian Labor with 2! 😉

  7. Mr Denmore

    Swan should also highlight the productivity-enhancing investment in infrastructure, funded in part by the mining rent tax. The Coalition, in contrast, sits on surpluses until such time as they can find a use for them buying off one constituency or another.

  8. Brian

    NewsRadio will probably take the debate in full.

    BTW, Hockey was already saying late last week that when they do their audit of the state of affairs, things might turn out worse than they’ve been led to believe, so this may affect their ability to deliver their promises.

    He’s signalling a ‘Beazley black hole’ redux and a return to core and non-core promises.

    Then they can go ahead and just cut whatever they like and claim it was someone else’s fault

  9. Mr Denmore

    Slightly off topic, but regarding the Coalition’s promised big public service spending cuts, I hear campaigning in Eden Monaro (Canberra on the sea) and the famed bellwether NSW marginal, isn’t going that well for local candidate David Gazard.

  10. tssk

    To further support Brian’s hypothesis see the Tories in the UK where a lot of people who voted Tory have been somewhat shocked at the cuts now taking place.

  11. Mark

    That point about cuts is one I made in the linked post last week.

  12. Baraholka

    Hockey is not a great thinker and drowns in detail. Swan should be able to skewer him with some thoughtful preparation:

    From the ABC’s 2007 Election Website:

    Hockey rose to the Ministry after the 1998 election. Appointed Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, He had a couple of difficult periods filling in as acting Treasurer, in particular having problems explaining the detail of how the GST would be applied…. After the 2001 election, Hockey was demoted to Minister for Small Business and Tourism….

    Abbott has no interest in Economics and is innumerate on the subject according to Costello/Hewson.

    Hockey has proven he cannot handle the job of Treasurer and is only now Shadow Treasurer because of massive talent deficit on the Lib. team.

    Their spending agenda (can’t really call that disjointed morass a set of policies) for this election is uncosted and risible according to the serious economic commentators in the media.

    ALP has to do better on scoring hits in this srea. John Howard’s piccy in the SMH today was that of a winner. I reckon their private polling is telling a good story.

  13. wilful

    To further support Brian’s hypothesis see the Tories in the UK where a lot of people who voted Tory have been somewhat shocked at the cuts now taking place.

    Though those people were deluding themselves, tssk. Anyone, even from Australia, who paid the vaguest attention to the UK’s finances knew that drastic action was called for and anticipated.

    It ‘s a bit like people (still!) complaining about the Australian Democrats passage of the GST legislation – which was the policy they took to the election!

  14. TerjeP

    Tssk – the fiscal case for spending cuts in the UK was much stronger that in Australia. I think the Australian government should be cutting spending but not because the government books need balancing. In Australia we should be shrinking the size of government simply because it is the right thing to do in economic and social terms. I fully expect the conservatives, if they win, to spend lots just like Howard did.

  15. Terry

    Terje, if only the argument was being put that way by the Shadow Treasurer, then Labor would be a shoo-in.

  16. Maurice White

    All parties dont have a policy on oral heath particularly prevention of tooth decay our most common disease affecting 11 million Australians each year.

  17. Harrington

    @1 – Yet speaking on channel 10 earlier today, Andrew Robb said that the Coalition had submitted more policy proposals for costings than the Labor Party. This comment went unchallenged by the interviewer. Comments like this need to be critiqued!

  18. Geoff Robinson

    Apart from employment holding up the economy is pretty flat small businesses are struggling and many are concerned that with the winding back of stimulus demand will further weaken.

  19. Brian

    Harrington @ 18, according to the list I saw last week some of the LNP’s individual promises are bigger than all of Labor’s put together.

    The problem is that the LNP formally has until next Monday, I think, to get them in. They promised about 10 days earlier, but I think never intended to honour that.

    Finance and Treasury will take a few days to reply. Then if anyone understands what comes out there will be claim and counter claim with some very large numbers, which will leave almost everyone in the country confused and inclined to believe what ever they want to believe. The system doesn’t work.

  20. akn

    TerjeP:

    In Australia we should be shrinking the size of government simply because it is the right thing to do in economic and social terms.

    Please provide as full an account as you can of what sort of society this advice would produce. Light entertainment is always welcome.

  21. adrian

    Yes, but some entertainment is lighter than others.

  22. Fran Barlow

    [email protected] said:

    @4 – Fran, “swinging” is an acceptable variant and I’ve been inclined to use it since journos started mispronouncing “swingeing” to rhyme with “bingeing”.

    I’ve diminishing respect for journos, but in this case, the journos are right. It comes from the now archaic swinge which literally meant to attack violently, deliver repeated blows (upon someone or something) but was used metaphorically as below:

    As the Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang notes, now archaic variants included swynge and even swindge and swindjing meaning to copulate (circa 1620-70). That most pedantic of English fuddy-duddies, Dryden in 1668, who uttered it to mean castigate. He also used the spelling you suggest in a variation swingingly as follows: I have sinned swingingly against my vows (1672). These are variants of swinge however.

    Notable though is the use in Scotland of the term swinger (a rogue or scoundrel) listed as pronounced swindjer (16C-18C).

    {/pedant}

  23. Phoebe

    Hockey doesn’t need intellectual (or even moral) suppleness. A three year old could drive a truck through Swan’s budget.

  24. akn

    Well, yes Adrian. Barnaby Joyce is my chosen rib buster of the moment. I love the way he goes red in theface and starts to foam at the corners of his mouth just before his mind totally loses control and words quite randomly start spilling out in an unmediated stream of sub-consciousness. Given that socialisation for civilisation is a necessary part of acquiring fully human consciousness and given that TerjeP is apparently a fully fledged Hobbesian I am of the mind that he is highly likely to be not quite human and therefore likely as well to produce a text based account of his views analagous to what Barnaby produces. But we’ll wait and see what happens.

  25. Baraholka

    On Hockey’s inability to handle the job of Treasurer:

    His Minsiterial demotion in 2001 came after he had made a series of minor gaffes on the GST while Acting Treasurer:

    He was confused on and could not explain the GST effect on a bottle of Coke and reversed himself on the rounding-up rules for the GST which meant that the prices of some Goods and Services could increase by more than 10%. This called the entire inflationary impact of the GST into question and was an embarrassment for Costello/Howard.

    Compounding this he put out a press release claiming the ACCC would monitor ’rounding-up’ but the ACCC never received that advice, or at least hadn’t prior to the press release going out. Link and link again.

    More recently in 2009 he confused the Current Account Deficit with the Budhet Deficit.

    But all the above pales into significance with his deliberate misleading of the public in this campaign where he is claiming that Rudd/Gillard’s deficits are pushing interest rates up. He has descended to deliberate lies about his portfolio and is therefore unfit for office.

  26. Mr Denmore

    Yes, Terje, great idea to cut the size of government. What a useless leviathan the state is.

    Ideally, what we need in the real world is a large and unregulated financial sector that creates credit out of nothing and parcels up private sector debts into highly leveraged securities.

    Oh, hold on…

  27. Terry

    Swan performing well at NPC.

  28. wilful

    Terry, that’s your judgement.

    However, I don’t think that will be the views of the “professionals”.

    Particularly since they’ve already essentially written their reports, are basically there to check for any perceived clangers.

  29. Terry

    The “blame the meeja” crowd on this site need to take a cold shower. Next you’ll start fingering the CIA as being responsible for Labor’s poor campaign.

  30. Fran Barlow

    That sort of strawman is just plain silly Terry.

    While there can be little doubt that the ALP is an active player in the debased character of public discourse, the usages attending the production of media content are a key component.

  31. Terry

    Stamping your feet and shouting “Its not fair. its the media’s fault” is just adolescent rage. If Labor wins, people on this site will just forget about it, and it will be right wing blog sites carrying on about left wing bias at the ABC again. Its from the Bob Ellis playbook of political analysis.

  32. tssk

    Oh I agree to a point Terje. The UK had turned into a basket case.

    I would say that the Tories are using this though to push an ideological agenda, whether or not that’s a good thing I’ll leave it to the rest of you to decide.

    If the Coalition did Tory style cuts left right and centre I would imagine the Libertarians being quite happy.

    Less so if they go the John Howard route.

  33. tssk

    Off topic but responding to terry. I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand I see an anti ALP bias there and wonder if this is not the same sort of feeling Howard supporters would have felt circa 2000-2004 (before the media was tamed.)

    On the other hand I’m annoyed with this being less about conspiracy and more about laziness. I’m getting more and more frustrated at not being able to see what’s on offer from either the ALP or the Libs, it’s all about personality at the moment.

    If I end up voting Greens that will be why. At least I have an idea on their policies.

  34. Charlie

    Get rid of by-lines for journos and make them report the news.

  35. Fran Barlow

    Terry said:

    Stamping your feet and shouting “Its not fair. its the media’s fault” is just adolescent rage.

    And this is a facile strawman. Perhaps if I look hard enough, I will read someone qualifying for such a description, but you have to pitch against the more sober analysis here. This would not be a fair characterisation of, for example, the posts made here by “Mr Denmore”.

    There can be little doubt that the dominant media narratives are running against the ALP, which is not at all the same thing as claiming that some vast media conspiracy to elect a coalition government is in train.

    The ALP is in significant part, the architect of its troubles with the narrative, but the deskilling of journalism, changes in broader media practice, changes in the context within which mass media operates, the decline in the commercial viability of the mainstream commercial print and electronic broadcast media are all factors in shaping how news gets made, along with a number of other more explicitly political predisposing factors.

  36. Terry

    C’mon Fran, you would know that Humphrey McQueen proclaimed the Australian media in its entirety to be the handmaidens of bourgeois class rule back in 1977. There is not some mythical “Golden Age” of balanced media in Australia to which one can be nostalgic when comparing it to the present situation.

  37. Kim

    @37 – Terry, no there’s not, but it’s been documented on this site and elswhere that there used to be far more sophisticated reporting of policy issues during campaigns. I’m surprised that you, as a professional academic analyst of the media, would take an “eternal present” approach to assessing the media’s performance.

  38. Kim
  39. paul walter

    I’m sorry. I tried to watch it, and lasted all of forty seconds.
    That and Fran Barlow’s post, 23, have put the last nail in the coffin of a cold dreary day and its barely midday. The next worst was paying a late bill for bigpond over a bodgy phone.
    akn, thanx for dealing with Terje.
    acchh!
    doona dive time, methinks..

  40. Terry

    I’d identify three major changes in political reporting in Australia:

    1. The commercial TV networks are no longer interested in investing resources in it, taking the view that the “political junkies” watch the ABC or SKY News (and to a lesser extent SBS). Julia Gillard is 48 – almost all of the commercial TV politics reporters are older than her, which tells you soemthing about how interested they are in generational renewal in that area;

    2. We now live in a world of 24 hour news cycles, so there is a lot more randomness and “noise” then there was in the 1980s or 1990s.

    3. There is a proliferation of news and opinion sources, including not only this site and its peers, but also more open door policies at places like the ABC, where once the right to comment was jealously guarded by Paul Williams’ News & Current Affairs feifdom in Ultimo.

    None of which in themselves points to more right-wing bias in the Australian media now than in the past. I would say that Labour faced a far more hostile Australian media prior to Hawke, in a trajectory set in place by the “Wran ascendancy” in NSW.

    Part of the issue is that the people managing campaigns in the ALP now are not as good as their predecessors, while the Libs got better at it during the Howard years. The other point is that the Greens now present Labor with a more serious challenge on their left flank than was the case in the past.

  41. Kim

    Terry, thanks for that. Like you, I don’t necessarily think that the major problem is “right wing bias”, but the structural shifts in the media landscape, which you identify. That does have the result of focusing things on the trivial and the quotidian and the horse race to an even greater extent than was once the case.

    I’d also agree that the ALP campaign machine is not what it once was, and add that it’s been a long time since anyone ran an incumbent’s campaign federally on the Labor side – 1993.

  42. Mr Denmore

    Terry, I’m old enough to have begun my employment in journalism in the late 70s and escaped the industry within the past five years. So I have a reasonable handle on how practices have changed over the past three decades.

    Essentially, what we have seen in the past 10-15 years is a gradual reduction in professional standards, brought about principally by the pressures on the business model and increased focus on “shareholder value”.

    This has resulted in a cutting of corners. Reporting resources have been reduced, although not as dramatically as those in the sub-editorial field. The major dailies now largely operate with casual production staff, who to all intents and purposes are there as glorified spell-checkers and to ensure increasingly tight production deadlines are met. Investment, as it has occured, has principally in areas that reduce the scope for quality control.

    The upshot is that mid-level editorial management has been stripped of experience, such that the benefit of historical context is largely missing from news direction and decision-making. With fewer numbers and tighter deadlines, poor decisions are more easily made. And pressures from advertising through the ever thinner Chinese walls are felt much more directly than they were.

    Pressures on journalists have become unbearable at the same time as their wages and conditions have gone backwards. Inflation adjusted salaries, outside the realms of the highly paid ‘name’ columnists, have been in gradual decline for years. This has reduced the average age at which journalists quit the trade for better pay outside the media, usually in PR or corporate communications.

    Meanwhile, improvements in technology and the ability to publish anywhere, anytime have outpaced journalists’ ability to say something useful beyond what is available in prefabricated commentary from the spin machine. “Analysis”, such as it is, is usually half-arsed repetition of something read elsewhere. The sausage machine mentality, once only evident in the wire services, can now be seen everywhere.

    At the same time, competition from the internet intensifies. The easy availability of original source material on the web, plus the superior analysis on sites such as this from professional experts in all fields, starts to throw into question the very point of the media – at least if it continues in its present form.

    Of course, someone still has to break news. The problem is journalists spend most of their time these days twittering and facebooking and getting lost in the noise machine, so there seems little scope to do the sort of digging and delayed publication that breaking news requires. In any case, the low productivity of investigative journalism doesn’t keep the bean counters happy. (Recall that Fred Hilmer described his journalists at Fairfax as ‘content providers for an advertising platform’.)

    So in summary, I don’t think critics of the media here are setting their judgement against some half-remembered ‘golden age’ of great journalism. But my own experiences suggest standards indeed have declined. Horizons have gradually been shortened and resources depleted to the point where people are not really getting a good service from the Fourth Estate….or The Failed Estate as I have called it.

  43. Joe

    The other point [related to hostile media coverage?] is that the Greens now present Labor with a more serious challenge on their left flank than was the case in the past.

    Terry, what exactly are you implying here? ‘Right wing’ Labor sympathetic media is preferring the Liberal party because the Labor left and The Greens are slowly emerging a new symbiotic political force and “left wing” Labor sympathetic media is scared off by this (why?) and prefer not to report at all than mention The Greens’policy?

    Well, I remember actually reading the SMH back in the early 90s and it was quite good. In my opinion it’s absolute trash now. There are more examples.

  44. Joe

    Ah, Yes! Mr Denmore:

    Essentially, what we have seen in the past 10-15 years is a gradual reduction in professional standards, brought about principally by the pressures on the business model and increased focus on “shareholder value”.

    There is a rational explanation after all.

  45. tssk

    I’d also wax lyrical about the golden age of the ABC but…off topic.

    Can someone start a topic on the myth of media bias (and how if does exist it’s biased towards the left?) k thx bye!

  46. Mike Butler

    I just love “left leaning” websites! They always turn up some wonderful phraseology from my youth. How about “you would know that Humphrey McQueen proclaimed the Australian media in its entirety to be the handmaidens of bourgeois class rule back in 1977” from your correspondent Terry? “Handmaidens of bourgeois class rule” — haven’t heard that one in years! Karl Marx, eat your heart out! I am still trying to work out if Terry was serious or attempting some sort of humour. The fact is, folks, that this Rudd/Gillard Labour government is one of the most spectacularly incompetent managers of Australia we have seen since Gough. The risk is they might just fool enough voters to slither through for another three years!

  47. Terry

    My point is that if the polls were showing ALP 54-46 2PP, as was being anticipated at the beginning of this year (check your old blog posts on this), and if Julia Gillard was not being haunted by the ghosts of Rudd and Latham around the campaign trail, I very much doubt if the same “blame the meeja” impulse would be kicking in.

    People tend to complain about trivialisation of the news when it is reflecting badly on their side.

    There is also a shoot the messenger impulse on this site towards the dreaded MSM, best reflected in those calls for the ABC’s 24 hour news channel to be stopped because some commenters objected to Chris Uhlmann, as if that’s a basis for major media policy decisions.

  48. pablo

    Pure impression but I think Swann should have elevated himself with a cushion or something to try and equal the size differential between himself and Hockey. I almost thought Joe was standing such was the difference. But you can’t do anything about Hockey’s sly look when talking Coalition surplus figures. Quite unconvincing in a shadow treasurer.

  49. Tyro Rex

    Has noone got anything to say about the actual debate? I’m at work and couldn’t watch it.

    The Brisbane Times has a “gotcha” for Hockey:

    Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has contradicted his leader to the tune of $7 billion during today’s federal election economic debate with Treasurer Wayne Swan.

    Mr Hockey declared the coalition has announced $25.7 billion worth of spending measures during the campaign – just hours after Tony Abbott declared total spending would be under $18 billion.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-election/economy/hockeys-7b-contradiction-of-abbott-20100809-11syu.html

  50. David Irving (no relation)

    I think TerjeP would like Australia better if it resembled the Glibertarian Paradise of Somalia. (Cn’t find link at work.) Now that’s small government!

  51. akn

    Yes. Afghanistan doesn’t have much of a state to speak of either. Now there’s a country where people feel really free from many of the constraints that the state imposes – like the rule of law and terrible oppressions like the provision of education and water and sewage services. Talk about free.

  52. Terry

    I was Twittering on the debate, if we want to get back to it. I’d say its a game changer, to use a cliche. Swan came across very well, and has opened up an issue on different costings on Coalition promises between Abbott and Hockey. Combined with the new Labor ads showing Hewson and Costello dumping on Abbott’s economic knowledge – which Costello is concerned about, but notably not Hewson – the focus on the economy is working Labor’s way.

  53. Fran Barlow

    My take on Hockey …

    Why does he open his mouth?

  54. Tosca

    Joe Hockey concluded his debate with Wayne Swan today by calling for the replacement of the Labor Government with “a grown-up” government.

    See this picture of a ‘grown-up’ Shadow Treasurer. Can a fool change the colour of their tutu in government?

    http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2010/01/22/1225822/682025-joe-hockey.jpg

  55. Jacques de Molay

    For anyone that’s interested I posted this in the Election Roundtable thread:

    You should’ve seen the responses from both Barnaby “today I refuse to talk about finance” Joyce and Graeme “I’m not about to have a breakdown” Morris on PM Agenda this afternoon. David Speers grilled Joyce hard on Sloppy Joe’s gaffe and then Morris tried to say that Abbott never contradicted what Hockey had said until Speers went and brought up the exact quote Abbott made this morning, $18 billion vs $25 billion.

  56. Mike Butler

    I started out a member of the Left. Let’s face it, my Dad was a member of the Australian Workers Union in the Fifties and as the seed falls, the tree grows. After a wee while I realised that my Dad had sold out to the mediocrity that his union had led him to believe was his lot in life. How could a man with an IQ of 140+ believe he was destined to remain in the situation to which he had been born. He accepted all this left wing rubbish and died a poor (but respected) man. Successful business people respect their staff above all else. A good business person realizes that without the skills of the staff, he/she is nothing! The best possible business model is that of an entreprenuarial boss who is willing to risk his (or her) home and future to build a business that will survive and employ a lot of people. Unfortunately for all you socialists, the banks demand nothing less than total commitment. Without the risk takers, there will be no economy; there will be no social security; and there will be no Internet that allows you all to vent your spleen.

  57. Don Wigan

    #54. Yeah I was fascinated by Joe’s closing, Tosca. I especially liked his remark that Australia may yet get another GFC the way world economies are going. So we need responsible economic management.

    WTF? Who then does he think might be best equipped to handle it on current performance? It seemed to me like he might be advocating playing safe and sticking with Labor.

  58. Brian

    I thought Swan did well, but was disappointed that he seemed to rule out looking at the Henry report recommendations further. I was glad to see that Gillard specifically ruled that in when asked on Q&A tonight.

    Hockey did better than expected, but all the Coalition debaters I’ve heard in this campaign are rude, shout their opponents down and give the impression they’d say anything to make a point.

    That’s a totally unbiassed view, of course.

  59. Jacques de Molay

    Not sure if it’s on the ABC but the Communications Debate will be on Sky tomorrow (Tuesday) around midday moderated by David Speers and involving Stephen Conroy (Labor), Tony Smith (Coalition) & Scott Ludlam (Greens).

  60. Don Wigan

    Joe followed up interestingly today in response to the $800 million hole found by Treasury and mentioned by ABC radio, without checking with him. When asked if it was true, his response was,
    “How would I know?”

  61. hannah's dad

    Apparently, according to a sound bite I heard on radio National, Joe admitted, carelessly of course, that the COALition would have created a deficit if faced with the GFC.

    Now how did that slip through the ABC censors?
    because it totally undermines his COALition’s spin line.

    Silly person.

  62. Fran Barlow

    Hannah’s Dad …

    Equally silly, was that Sloppy Joe, responding to the claim that only 1% of their spend had been submitted for costing tried to verbal the ALP by saying it was only 1% of their promises, so he could ridicule them on the basis that they couldn’t possibly be offering 1600 promises.

    This (along with “we support the Charter of Blah Blah”) Blahwas effectively an attempt to run down the clock on Kelly’s very time-limited show by being non-responsive on the question of when they would submit their stuff for costing.

    Most unconvincing.

  63. jane

    Most unconvincing.

    Fran @63. I agree and wonder if poor old Sloppy is finding it increasingly difficult to convince himself that Smuggles is the Lieberal wunderkind he’s being made out to be? At times he seems completely disengaged with what’s going on around him.

    The MSM could have it all wrong, Kevin isn’t the bitter twisted one derailing his leader’s campaign, it’s bitter, twisted Joe derailing Smuggles. If Joe can’t have the glory, nobody can.