Squiz Today / 09 May 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 9 May
STUFF UPS AND CHANGE UPS – CANBERRA’S BACK IN SESSION
We have two examples from yesterday in politics to offer you:
1) A new Labor ad has been pulled from circulation as Labor leader Bill Shorten called “fair cop” over its lack of diversity (which is a nice way of responding to accusations of racism). Labor was trying to spruik its commitment to “build Australian first, buy Australian first and employ Australians first”. But what went to air in Queensland on Sunday night has been dubbed the ‘white ad’ due to the featured group of mainly blonde citizens. Reports this morning suggest Shorten's office gave it to Channel Nine as an exclusive as questions about how it all came to be are asked by senior Labor figures, particularly from one-time leadership rival Anthony Albanese.
2) Former Labor leader Mark Latham has found a new political home in the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems have one serving senator - David Leyonhjelm. Latham yesterday took to Facebook to declare his new affiliation, saying he agrees with 80-90% of their policy platform. Labor's response? They have imposed a lifetime ban on Latham rejoining the ALP.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
For some time the focus has been on the strategy and tactics of the Liberals. However, the 'white ad' episode demonstrates that Labor is not immune from making its own missteps. Malcolm Turnbull's leadership has also been under intense pressure with former PM Tony Abbott chiming in from the backbench. Albanese's quick and loud condemnation of the ad certainly raised some eyebrows re Shorten's leadership. And Latham’s shunning of the party he led to an election just further underlines that Labor too has problems with former leaders (just in case you forgot about the Rudd and Gillard episode).
Well, it’s budget day! Can we get an "oh yeah"? No, didn’t think so. What goes down over the next few weeks will be largely dictated by what is unveiled by Treasurer Scott Morrison at 7.30pm tonight. Labor clearly isn’t stepping back from its 'Australian workers first' campaign, so we can assume they will attempt to frame the debate in those terms. And then there’s Latham. He’s not going away, and in fact, expect talk of a comeback. Seriously. It will be fascinating to see how his relationship with Leyonhjelm unfolds, he's no shrinking violet either.
SQUIZ THE REST
WHAT TO DO WITH THE CHILD OF A TERRORIST?
Anyone who has seen the pictures over the last week of Australian Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf’s children in Syria would have had the same question – what has that experience done to those kids? Yesterday’s image of a smiling young child next to a body of a man who had been crucified was horrendous. The children’s grandmother has been trying to get them back to Australia for some time. Yesterday PM Malcolm Turnbull was asked if he would allow the kids to come back, he said he would if they were Australian citizens, but they would be watched closely by our security agencies. What else could they do?
MYER HIT BY STINGING REVIEW
Everyone has their critics. For Myer yesterday it was Credit Suisse's Grant Saligari via a note to investors outlining his downbeat opinion of the retailer's future. The note pointed out the challenges with new international entrants (Amazon, TK Maxx) and current service issues, including taking a week to fulfil online orders. The only ray of sunshine he had was the hope of increased consumer spending and/or Solomon Lew’s recent acquisition of 11% of Myer, which might lead to a takeover and a new direction. Myer's share price was down 9% yesterday. They will get their say when they release their third quarter sales numbers on Thursday.
GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REVIEW OF BANKING
In the face of ongoing pressure from Labor, the Greens and senate crossbenchers to launch a Royal Commission into Australia's banks, the Treasurer Scott Morrison yesterday announced another review - this time by the Productivity Commission into the sector's competitiveness. Those who want a Royal Commission say there needs to be an inquiry with coercive powers to uncover misconduct. But Morrison says the actions taken by the government are immediate and direct, ensuring the banks operate effectively. New Banking Association chief (and former banana-bending premier) Anna Bligh said the PC review added to the 15 government or regulatory inquiries already under way. That’s a lot of inquiries, even we would run out of questions at that rate.
VALE LOU RICHARDS
Revered AFL identity Lou Richards died yesterday aged 94yo. An icon of the game, he played 250 games for Collingwood. He captained the Magpies between 1952 and 1955 and led them to a premiership in 1953. Following his playing career, he was an original cross-platform media performer working across newspapers, radio, and TV with Channel Nine’s World of Sport and the Footy Show. Nicknamed ‘Louie the Lip’ for his forthright and humorous media commentary, he was a much loved Melbourne institution.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.30pm - Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the 2017 Federal Budget, Canberra
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, March
Ben McCormack, former A Current Affair reporter, faces court in Sydney over child pornography charges
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