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Printed: 02 April 2023 9:43 PM


01 Apr 2022 - Hedge Clippings |01 April 2022



Hedge Clippings | Friday, 01 April 2022


Today being April Fools Day, previously known as All Fools Day, it is fitting that yesterday was (assuming an election in May) the last sitting day of the current Parliament. Rather than try to come up with anything better, Hedge Clippings will defer to Phillip Coorey's column in today's AFR, who opened his piece with "If Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison are both to be believed, the federal election will not be a battle between two parties with competing visions, but a fight between two lots of clueless old farts."

Whilst Hedge Clippings is generally in agreement with the "clueless old farts" reference, the first issue we have is "are both to be believed". Since when did anyone believe anything that both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition say?  Or if it comes to that, given the level of cynicism currently prevailing, when did most people believe what either of them said? That's probably true irrespective if it's the PM or OL of the day, although it seems neither of the current incumbents are racing ahead in the polls.  In a two horse race, we suppose one of them has to win (or possibly one loses more than the other) - probably with the support of minority parties - although the thought of the likes of Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer holding the balance of power leaves a lot to be desired.

Hedge Clippings originally assumed that Albo was just keeping the seat warm until someone in the Labour party with ability and at least some personality (our bet being Tanya Plibersek) would take over, but lo and behold, he's still in the race. And it seems ScoMo has managed to alienate so many sections of the community over the past couple of years that no one's giving him much chance of pulling off another miracle, come from behind victory. Of course, to some people, NOTHING Scomo does deserves credit. Which is a shame, because on the two big picture items - COVID and the economy - one can argue he's done a pretty good job unless that is you're a Scomo hater.

Even if you're a ScoMo fan, it is difficult not to agree (again) with the AFR's post budget headline "Cash splash dash to the polls". Or to argue with the possibly cynical view that Albo's maintaining a small target by basically accepting everything in the Liberal budget, and just tacking on his own additional $2.5 billion cash splash on the politically sensitive aged care sector.

Maybe the incredible shrinking Clive Palmer's correct in saying never trust the two major parties again, although when it comes to the trustworthy meter, Clive leaves a little to be desired. Just remember the Queensland Nickel saga, and his elusive (and also shrinking) nephew, Clive Mensink who still seems reluctant to have his day in court.

So, if you're not already sick of politicians' promises, all or most of which you know will evaporate in the face of inflation, interest rates, or at the petrol pump, prepare yourself for six or seven weeks of full-on claims, counter claims and expensive advertising. 95% of which will be wasted given it's only the swinging voters (around 5%) who determine the outcome anyway.

On a different, and sadder note, Australia and the cricketing world paused this week to remember Shane Keith Warne. Even for those who might not be cricket fans, it was impossible not to admire his talent, exploits, and his charisma, as we watched or listened to the tributes from his father, brother, and three brave children. At 52, gone far too young, he will long be remembered.

Even ScoMo and Albo were in agreement on that.

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