Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, August 08, 2004
A CLEVER LASS, this Julia Gillard. But is the Government as stupid as she seems to think?

As Labor's health spokesperson, Gillard has the task of making legislative sense, if any is available, out of her leader's politics over the cost of pharmaceuticals falling under our PBS.

Gillard has said, on Auntie's radio news yesterday, that she is happy for the Howard Government to draft the amendment. Let's not play politics, is Julia's appeal.

Spare me from trying to find a law that will do what my leader wants to be seen to be doing, is the sub-text of her statement.

It might occur to government Ministers that if they do what Gillard wants, Latham will reserve the right to find it defective. After all, he represents the people, while the Government represents the drug companies, according to Mark Latham's nuanced analysis.

Two stunts from one item of business! Gillard must think Christmas is coming before the election.

Labor has already decided that, whatever its amendment to the Trade Agreement legislation is, there will be fines of "tens of millions" attached, although an Australian pharmaceuetical company has said it sees no problem with the Agreement.

But then, companies just want to make money and jobs. How narrow is that.

And just to prove how unpolitical he is, Latham has now stated that John Howard couldn't "lie straight in bed".
I guess Latham thinks that's the kind of analysis that makes Michael Moore rich and popular, so it might just make Mark Latham Prime Minister.