Crikey editorial slams Howard, Rudd over Aboriginal intervention

The best summary of the cynicism and nastiness of John Howard’s War on Indigenous Unpleasantness I’ve seen so far is the Crikey editorial today, written by Sydney journalist Alex Mitchell:

This is the last throw of the dice for John Howard. He is doing one big favour for the mining industry which he has faithfully served in public life for the past 30 years by rolling back Aboriginal ownership of their tribal lands. Cynically, cruelly but utterly predictably, he’s doing it under the hypocritical colours of humanitarianism. (Very similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq sold as “spreading democracy”)… He is being aided and abetted by Kevin Rudd’s craven behaviour… Rudd has vacated leadership on the tragic issue of rescuing Aboriginal communities and given Howard the opportunity to play his sickening Father of the Nation role. Paul Keating, you were right about the Rudd team of fixers, hucksters, flyweights and spineless opportunists.

That’s just a taste. The full version is well worth it.

Ruddslide? Don’t count your chickens just yet

This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald predicted that the forthcoming federal election will be a landslide for the ALP’s Kevin Rudd. But this graph — showing the pattern of Labor’s two-party preferred poll results leading up to the last elections — suggests that it might be too early to claim that.

Graph of ALP two-party preferred opinion poll results

According to the oz politics blog, the source of this graph:

Headlines proclaiming that Howard’s spoiling strategy had failed are a little premature. Howard is playing a medium term game. It is the standard two pronged game: pander to the punters and slam the opposition at every possible turn. The effectiveness of Howard’s medium term strategy cannot be judged after a few short weeks. If previous election years are any guide, It was not until the middle of the year that a recovery trend (from Howard’s perspective) was evident. Howard only achieved positive polling territory from the middle to late in the third quarter of the year.

Only time will tell…