I was interested by an aspect of some of the coverage of the opening of Parliament on Lateline (not so much by Joe Hockey displaying the rather meagre results of his researches into John Curtin). It appeared to me that while Tony Abbott was orating on the necessity for a ferocious contest of ideas, or whatever the current euphemism for being an opportunistic wrecker is, the Labor benches sat and heard him in silence. By contrast, when Prime Minister Gillard was speaking, there was the usual roar of interjections from the Coalition benches.
Now, perhaps that’s a misleading impression, as all I saw were a few grabs on Lateline.
But it occurred to me that either way, it’s a good look for Labor. Abbott’s hectoring style was accentuated by the lack of noise from members opposite. What if the ALP decided to be on their absolute best behaviour throughout the session?
It would send quite an interesting message to the public on the tv news, I think, as well as throwing into confusion all the journos who delight in the “biffo”. It might be well within the ALP’s power to do a bit of New Paradigm-ing without the opposition, and to gain some political advantage from it.