The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Day 10 – Interest Rates – the New Tampa?

The AgeNapoleon Bonaparte may well have said “There are two levers for moving men – interest [rates] and fear.” With Day 10 dominated by debate about the latest inflation figures and a widely tipped interest rate rise Team Howard are doing their best to frighten the punters with the narrative that a Rudd Labor government would cause a recession in the Australian Economy, because Interest Rates will always be lower under a Coalition Government.

In delaying the election, many in the Commentariat opined that Team Howard were taking a huge risk of having an interest rate rise during the campaign. But maybe the Machiavellian Team Howard strategists wanted this all along as it would provide the basis for a familiar and proven scare campaign, tying in nicely with the notion that a union dominated Labor government would fuel wage rise driven inflation, further interest rate rises and the destruction of the world as we know it. Desperate tactics to be sure, but worth a try if you are on a hiding to nothing, and it just might work if the electorate doesn’t think too deeply about it – given that the current inflation is being caused by capacity constraints exacerbated by Howard’s strategy of underfunding public spending to generate excessive surpluses to be used in tax cuts and pork-barreling election campaigns.

The headline inflation figure is apparently very low, but hardly credible to anyone who frequents a supermarket on a regular basis (where prices rise before your eyes on a weekly basis) or pays regular household bills such as car insurance. The falling cost of imported goods (including oil) is keeping the CPI figures low, while the cost of household bills is escalating every which way.

Meanwhile, election spending in marginal seats continues at a pace sufficient to embarrass a drunken sailor. The message from Team Howard may well be that although we may be causing inflation and interest rate rises, it would only be worse under Labor. A risky strategy to be sure, but it does play to Howard’s proven strength as a fear-monger.

So how will Team Howard’s old tricks play out against the turning tide in the Australian political landscape? Young Peregrine displays insight beyond his years in Battle of the ages, with his analysis that Rudd is the New Menzies, drawing support from the forgotten people (working families) as Howard is wedged by his own undying commitment to a neo-liberal market fundamentalism which chains all aspects of life to the economy.

Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop found herself in an awkward position today when she arrived at a Queensland school which was not expecting her. No-one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. Classic.

Despite the anxiety over inflation and interest rate rises, the debate is back with Team Howard, so for no other reason they get the day’s point.

Cross posted at Blogotariat.

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Filed under: Federal Election 2007, Politics

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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