Australian political journalists are desperately searching for new metaphors and clichés to describe the Labor Federal Government.
A Train wreck and Slow motion car crash are already well worn, but now Driving itself over the political cliff is gaining momentum.
Hacking International Limited’s Andrew Joyce told us ‘I’m going for: The ALP is putting a plastic bag over its head or Doing a Mel Gibson. Either way, they want to self-harm.’
He adds ‘Some journos are just lazy and go for ones like Shooting itself in the foot or Tripping up over its own two feet. But if we’re gonna avoid real public policy debate and focus instead on this leadership pantomime, we may as well be creative in our bias.’
‘And anyway, judging by the polls the voters have already decided to turf out the government like a dark, old banana, so anything the ALP does before the election is just shifting around deck chairs on the Titanic.’
Others disagree. Gavin Meades at Sydney’s Daily Redtop believes there’s plenty more mileage in this narrative. ‘Labor has closed the garage door and is starting the engine while quietly sitting in the vehicle, which is a Ford. That story’s header we chose was: PM chokes on her own hot air. Now that’s journalism.’
But perhaps in the end, Labor is leading the media in a merry dance of duplicity. Because if Rudd knocks Gillard aside now and then loses the election, Labor will be rid of both politicians and can step down off the stage and be in the audience for a change, occasionally booing and yelling out You’re rubbish to a new government.