A little noticed happening occurred two weeks ago, but it was an incredibly instructive insight into the Rudd Government that is in power in Canberra.
On May 25 Health Minister Nicola Roxon held a news conference, shortly after so too did the ACT’s Health Minister Katy Gallagher – both convened the media to talk about swine flu.
The Federal Minister’s briefing was to inform Australians of the latest developments with the outbreak of this new type of influenza, but she failed to do it fully.
In delivering a wrap up of the numbers of infected people across the nation, Nicola Roxon failed to mention that the nation’s capital had recorded its first confirmed case of the virus.
She knew of that development having spoken with her ACT counterpart the night before, but avoided passing on that information the next morning so that Ms Gallagher could make the announcement before her local media.
The swine flu has not proven to be the dangerous and virulent threat that health authorities initially feared, but if this were a major pandemic Ms Roxon’s behaviour would be a colossal breach of trust with the Australian people; reliant as they are and would be on her for the latest, accurate information.
It shows how far this government will go to “spin” events for their political benefit.
A Federal Health Minister prepared to be less than frank with the nation over a serious health threat in order to give a local colleague a “media opportunity” – playing politics with a possible flu pandemic.
It is symptomatic of this Government as The Australian revealed on Saturday. Departments with scores of communications staff to keep control of the Government’s image, massage its message.
But one message is starting to take root – Kevin Rudd is all about spin – there is very little substance behind the man who is leading this nation into its deepest ever level of debt.
Interested to hear your spin on Kev – the Hollowman of Australian politics. Catch you at 9am on Wednesday.