Studies in political failure
It appears likely that Peter Garrett has survived the pathetic attack from the Opposition. Abbott needed to demonstrate forensic detail in cataloguing the failures of the home insulation scheme: to do so would have shown that he was as hungry and determined as his fans say he is. It would also have demonstrated that the public service is sick of Rudd. The fact that the Coalition haven't maintained any relationships with any public servants since Godwin Grech, and that the public service aren't reaching out to the Opposition, are two dogs that aren't barking: both these factors need to change if there is to be a change of government.
Abbott could have landed a real blow on the government, particularly given Rudd's weak roots in the ALP organisation, by pointing out the unwitting bankruptcy of the unions in not proving their worth to inexperienced workers by being in their workplaces. He coulda/shoulda made more of Troy Buswell's gift that the Feds leant on state regulators to go easy on installers. Yes, it has come to this: here lies Tony Abbott, a man with less political acumen than Troy Buswell (and a similarly creepy sex obsession).
Abbott demonstrates the failure of opposing for the sake of opposing: you can see him coming and if you can withstand the initial flurry, you know he will tire eventually. He is like a dog chasing a car: there might be a bit of sound and fury and the driver may be disconcerted at first, but you can't really believe that the dog will somehow displace the driver from the car and operate it better than the incumbent.
For all Abbott's feebleness, Garrett looks like a beaten man. Beyond the election he's likely to pack in parliament and go back to doing the odd Oils gig for Good Causes. Garrett's federal electorate of Kingsford Smith includes most/all of Keneally's state electorate: given that her career in State politics will be over in April 2011, and given that both Lionel Bowen and Laurie Brereton crawled from the wreckage of State Labor governments to take that seat, you'd have to bet on Keneally being the next MHR for Kingsford Smith. Labor have dropped her in it so deep that it's the least they could do.
Not that she'd go far - NSW Labor will be so on the nose and is well represented in the ministry already, thanks all the same. She'll arrive just as a Victorian leftwinger takes more and more power over the government, and will be in competition with long-suffering members of the Class of '07 for ministerial vacancies that Keneally has clearly come to see as her right. Watch for a "Don't you know who I am?" moment from someone who sees herself as an overachiever but who is already out of her depth, at forty.
Speaking of being out of one's depth, Gordon Brown looks like Britain's Nixon. Those shits who clung to his coat-tails have no right to complain, they stuck by Brown and covered up for him and the inevitable happened. Thankfully Britain does not have the clout that the US had under Nixon otherwise there'd be real trouble.