Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election 2010: Desperate Gillard lies under pressure

Prime Minister Gillard's final press conference of the election campaign has drawn little attention but is worth noting. The best report on Gillard's outrageous scare-mongering is, oddly, in The Age:

If proof were needed that Julia Gillard is getting rattled about the possibility she could be in opposition tomorrow, her last media conference before polling day provided it.

It was, it turned out, one of the shortest media conferences of the five-week campaign.

The reason? The media turned nasty, accusing the PM of becoming so desperate she had deliberately ''verballed'' her opponent, Tony Abbott.

Ms Gillard's press secretary became so alarmed that by questions seven and eight he was calling ''Last question''. By question 10, Ms Gillard's most disastrous performance of the entire campaign was over.

Standing before the cameras at the unfortunately named Confoil food packaging factory in western Sydney, Ms Gillard launched into her now-familiar line that there was a ''real risk'' Australia could wake up tomorrow and find itself with a PM named Tony Abbott. He would, she recited, rip apart everything from the health system to the schools and apprenticeships and put an end to the national broadband network.

And then she lifted her rhetoric to new heights about her contention that Mr Abbott had a secret plan to reintroduce WorkChoices. Why, she said, he would introduce WorkChoices ''by Monday''.

The press contingent was unimpressed:

''Prime Minister, what does it say about your level of confidence in your positive plan for the future that you've just outlined that you've spent the day wandering around verbalising Tony Abbott?'' she was asked.

The PM returned to the safety of re-outlining her plan for the future and utterly avoiding the question, to protests from the media.

She was then asked whether she was embarking on a fear campaign because she was panicking about the polls.

It got worse. Before long, a reporter demanded to know whether the claim that WorkChoices would be back on Monday was ''an outright lie''.

The press conference was apparently streamed by ABC News 24 yet a clip of less than less than two minutes, in which Gillard ominously asserts that an Abbott victory on Saturday will result in a return of Work Choices on Monday, is all that's available. Nah, the ABC isn't taking sides.


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