This is Australia. Today.
Of course, if you’ve been paying attention to political news today, the annexing of the mainland and the horrendous conditions at Nauru were all forgotten as we got to the important story of the day: Julia Gillard’s time at Slater & Gordon and the AWU “slush fund” scandal.
Oh wait, haven’t we already had this exhaustively covered? Didn’t Gillard do a knock down drag-out press conference on this back in August? Oh but there’s new information, or there’s another bleat from the same players. Who knows?
Peter Hartcher said on this afternoon’s Hack that the very thing that made the allegations worth investigating was Gillard’s press conference to “put it to bed”… It’s a kind of odd circular logic: “We’ll keep asking you questions about this until you answer them, and when you answer them, you give the issue validity and thus there are questions to be answered”. Bernard Keane’s excellent piece on the perpetual motion machine of press gallery circle jerking sums up this logic very well.
And that’s not even getting into Mark-Baker-level crazy.
Julie Bishop’s narrowing of the target to simple questions of judgement as a human being even if laws were not broken seems to be the slimmest of margins to call a political opponent on, and one that you’d think her leader would not be so keen on.
But at the end of the day, Gillard probably is best to follow Hartcher’s skewed logic: she should probably just shut about it. Echoing Bishop’s conspiracy theories back to her in Question Time will probably do more than opening the doors for another hour or so press conference.
If Credlin and Bishop are going to continue hanging around with that comically large folder, that argument is probably going to look pretty solid.