« favourite tales | Main | leunig »

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I am with you on your thoughts on Shorten, Susoz. I think the media, ALP supporters etc are so desperate for a 'messiah' that anyone who has even 57 points out of the 100 points required is hailed as a possibility for 'the next Labor prime minister'.

(Did that make sense? Morning coffee's still brewing.)

Hmmm. I'm interested in people's views on Bill Shorten. He was at law school at the same time as me (and Oscar), although I can't say he was a friend of ours. Martin Pakula was also at law school at the same time as us. It is fascinating to see these people who we knew as students to be positioning themselves in the public arena and to hear the media speak of them in sentences including names like Crean, Beazley and even Hawke.

I didn't see Shorten on TV (I don't watch TV) but everything he said read very well on paper.

Lucinda, 'positioning' is the right word and although it may sound naive of me to object to that, something about that positioning makes me very wary.
I saw Shorten on 'Lateline' on Thursday night and couldn't help but notice that he had a facial tic. A sign of a man under stress, perhaps over-tired. Will he burn out before he even gets into politics?

Interesting, Susoz. I felt more that Shorten's position as the media face at Beaconsfield was a "happy accident" for him. He happened to be the person with the natural liaison skills at the time - Shorten giving the updates to the media meant that the mining experts and mine managers could concentrate on getting the job done.

He already had political aspirations, and he certainly won't have been unaware that this disaster has now given him a national profile that he didn't previously have, but I really didn't feel unduly cynical at how he handled it. And on Thursday night he probably still hadn't had his feet hit the ground after the rescue celebrations - no wonder he appeared overtired.

I'm suspending judgement until I see how he handles the increased public profile he now has - he may well yet turn out to be a jackass, but he just might be the sort of strong face that the Labor Party could really do with right now.

Today's ninemsn vote (obviously this link will only work today) is 'Should Bill Shorten be Labor leader? http://ninemsn.com.au/
This spins off the lead story in the Daily Telegraph, about the push for Shorten to enter politics sooner rather than later - a push coming from the NSW Labor Right. So the momentum grows but the more I see who's involved, the more sceptical I am (and a bit sorry for Shorten, who seems destined to live with expectations that he can singlehandedly recreate the glory days of Bob Hawke.)

I agree, Susoz. He's got strong political nous, but he's not the polymath that Hawke was and he hasn't been around long enough to have the network in place that Hawke had.

He's definitely talent that the ALP needs, but it's too soon to tout him as the next Labour PM. A someday PM quite possibly, but the next one?

Still, I'd pay to see a Shorten-Garrett tagteam taking on the Labour old boys.

The comments to this entry are closed.