The seven-minute itch
If I were running a mainstream news outlet I'd sack this journalist who sent this in.
It's the equivalent of putting your feet up on the desk, shouting "I'm booooooooored! Bored bored bored bored bored!", and throwing paper aeroplanes until your boss hauls you in for counselling.
Annabel's job involves hanging out with politicians in the faint hope that they might say something interesting (look how long Oakes andd Grattan have been at it and wonder if this is a worthwhile way to spend your life). If we're going to have this system whereby people outside the Parliamentary press gallery decide who's going to be the government, they'd better be scintillating enough to hold Annabel's attention.
So far, it seems, Kevin Rudd isn't cutting it. Now that John Howard, he's laugh-a-minute. And Simon Crean, always an interesting turn of phrase. And Kim Beazley, so dreamy.
If your criteria of an effective government is silver-tonged oratory and "exotic treats", then maybe you should develop an ability to analyse policy just to while away the hours. Instead of treating taxpayers seeking effective public services like children at Christmastime, why not consider what needs people have and how effectively the various parties address those needs. Give it a go - if it's late on Thursday and the editor is demanding a column, you could rattle off something you've been researching and mulling over for a while, rather than effete drivel about how bored you are and how awful it is to consider that covering politics involves more than just hanging around Canberra hoping that some tightly-controlled media statement may reveal something of interest to those who read newspapers (rather than just those who write for them).
Having paid once for the Mersey Hospital in Devonport through the orthodox states grants system, we can only imagine what the Treasurer must think of the PM's brilliant idea to pay for it all over again, this time directly.
Really? Can't you interview him, or something? Go on, you're obviously so bored that you may as well play journalist for a while.
Incidentally, the idea of running hospitals with funding plumbed directly from the Federal Government, but spent by a local community group, is not new.
It's exactly what the Australian Democrats proposed in April 2000, as the brainchild of the then leader Meg Lees, who formulated the plan after two gruelling years of policy research.
It's exactly what the Commonwealth used to do with Repat Hospitals, like Concord in Sydney and Greenslopes in Brisbane, before running hospitals got too hard and they shunted them off to the states. If research is too "gruelling" for you, try something else - press gallery journalism isn't your thing, clearly.
Update 14 Aug: Crabb Drivel Shock