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Good morning. The Deputy Prime

Minister says she's concerned about

the industrial dispute between the

Fairfax media group and its staff.

Last week, the company said it would

sack more than 500 workers. Julia

Gillard says both sides should focus

on holding talks in good faith. We

want to see quality and diversity,

certainly the Fairfax newspapers

part of our quality and diversity certainly the Fairfax newspapers are

system, and this is of concern to

me. Rescue efforts are

in India's flood-ravaged Bihar state me. Rescue efforts are intensifying

as officials warn the flooding is

spreading to new areas. Helicopters

are dropping food to those stranded

after the Kosi river burst its banks

and submerged all roads leading to

the region. So far more than a

million people have been left

homeless and hundreds have been

killed. Americans are scrambling to

flee New Orleans with Hurricane

Gustav on track to hit the Gulf

tomorrow. Thousands are lining up Gustav on track to hit the Gulf coast

outside bus and train terminals to

evacuate the low-lying city.

Forecasters say Gustav is just short

of becoming a top scale category-5

storm. More news at 11, now it's "

"Insiders" with Barrie Cassidy. storm. More news at 11, now it's CC

Good morning and welcome

to Insiders - . After an 8-week lay off Brendan

Nelson's opposition finally

had a shot at the Parliament

and the questions with not so

much about policy but the

economy. It is down to basics

like rising prices Why are

the election of the Rudd Australians worse off since

Minister take any Government and does the Prime

responsibility for it? Why

has business confidence in

Government policies collapsed

since the election of the

Rudd Government? Why is

the cost of petrol and

groceries increased since the

Rudd Government came to

office? That approach was

understandable. If not that

what? Tackle Government for

taking welfare away from Pa

yedgets are yents who do not

Coalition wanted to do that. send kids to school. The

Tackle them over the schools

initiative? In the

Opposition says that is their

policy so the idea of a

watchdog in the bidding

industry and Pacific Islands?

On so many fronts it seems

the Government cannot boy an

average with the the

Opposition. Why is that so?

What is the Kevin Rudd agenda

all about? We will ask the

panel and try to find out well. Why the endorsement of what Tony Abbott is up to as

Peter Costello's leadership

credentials. Tony Abbott is

our program guest. Before that it is all happening in

the US. The Democrats

convention is done and this

week with it is the

Republicans turn, John McCain

has surprised everybody by

naming the Governor of Alaska

as his running mate. Michael

Good morning, Sarah Palin,

why so? Well, she brings some youth and vigour to a

72-year-old Republican, a campaign headed by a

sometimes old and

bad-tempered 72-year-old but

tame it can be said thunder

cuts the key theme of John

McCain's campaign which is

that Barack Obama is too

young and too in experienced

to be president. Sarah Palin

has a thinner resume than

Barack Obama, she is three

years younger than him, she

has been the Governor of

Alaska for two years. Her most high-profile job was the

mayor of a small town but she

is pro-life, pro-gun, a

Christian which place well

the Conservatives who have

long been sceptical about

John McCain's credentials in

that air and she is a woman.

John McCain hopes she will

attract female voters. He has

been polling fairly poorly

among whip in rent months and

he hopes she will pick up

some of the Democratic women

kisses and the singing in who despite all the hugs and

Denver last week are still

very unhappy that Hillary

Clinton is not on the

Democratic ticket. He is a

point Sarah Palin herself has

been very happy to drive

home. Hillary left 18

million cracks in the highest

hardest glass ceiling in

America but it turns tout

women of America are not

shatter that glass ceiling finished yesterday and we can

once and for all Now I was there to see

Sarah Palin give that speech.

It was a very, very

impressive performance. Can I

see how she can connect to

the American heartland. In

the manner that George Bush

did in the two elections he

fought but it remains to be

seen how well she stands up

in the crucible of presidential politics. What

sort of a standard do you

think the Democrats set for

the Republicans? A pretty

week. In fact Barack Obama high standard going into this

said an impossibly high bar

for John McCain with his

Hollywood style 80,000 seat spectacular on the closing

night of the convention. John

McCain does not do that, no

stadiums, he does not like

giving big speeches. He is

more comfortable in the town

hall meetings where he can

interact with the the

audience. His task is to sell

his life story which is just

Obama's. The five and a half as compelling as Barack

years he spent in a north

Vietnam camp. Washington's

issues, finance reform and

immigration. The biggest

challenge that John McCain

faces this week is to put as

much daylight as possible

between himself and the kornt

act pants of the White House.

George Bush is said to give

the open night speech here on

Monday. That is up in the air

and may be cancelled given a fairly big hurricane in the

Gulf Coast but if George Bush

speaks expected to see him

shunted out of town quickly.

The last thing the John

McCain campaign want the see is John McCain sharing a

stage with George Bush and a

picture frame with the

President because George Bush

is still very much electoral

poison. What else can we

expect? We have had one

surprise after the other?

Any this week? I think the

surprise will be if John

McCain gives a speech as good

as Barack Obama's but I any we will be sadly

disappointed. Our North

America correspondent. Tony

Abbott shortly but we will

look at the papers around the

country with the help of the

country. Karen Middleton, two

polls in Western Australia and they say different

things They do. The election

in Western Australia next weekend to keep life

interesting. A poll in the

sun day Times which involved 800 respondent which is

bigger than the other which tips a Coalition Victoria

tri51 to ALP 49 T Sunday age

poll suggests it is ALP54 and

Coalition 46 and showing a

swing back the Labor so

people are suggesting it is

possible the Coalition could

take Government in WA. They

certainly gave Labor a scare

in the Northern Territory

recently so sit could be

close. Make of that what you

will. Andrew Bolt more

details on Peter Costello's

book? $55 a copy which

seems it will be - that is a very big ask. I would have thought to justify that kind

of price it would have to be

as racey as Mark Latham's

memoirs but I do not really

see that. More serious than

that! They are printing

50,000 copies much has he got

a bombshell in there we have

not been told about? Because

if there is it will be that

he will be leaving politics.

With Latham's book it was

20,000? I stand to be

checked but I thought it sold 50,000 in the end. I don't

think political books sell in

this country. For a run like

that there has to be

something that they think is

in there that is specially interesting that bee could

not predict now. He has had

a pretty good PR campaign. The publishers

suggest he may go off on a

six-week book tour which is

not somebody would do if they

have other ambitions in

politics I know you think that is an indication he will

quit but if he is going to run it has to be next year. He has the fill the rest of

the year in somehow. Why not

a six-week tour. In NSW

another development in the

power privatisation crisis

and Mike Baird Barrie

O'Farrell's energy spokesman

supports Morris Iemma He is

regarded as a leadership

prospect so he has broken

ranks and says that Morris Iemma's plan the private privatise history in NSW has merit which will split the Conservatives. The Iemma

Government is against the

wall and Barrie O'Farrell has

managed to make himself the

issue. Good one. A Federal

madam managed to screw up in

Iraq Yes, Peter Slipper went

over on the HMAS Stewart and

made a few indiscreet phone

calls via satellite and

managed to give away key

operational details of the ship's manoeuvre and central command from the Navy intercepted the calls and as

a result a plan boarding of a

tanker had to be

abandoned. Somebody has

dobbed on him! That is the

sun day papers. Our program

guest. On Friday Tony Abbott

set the hares running when he wrote Peter Costello is the

best as yet for the Liberal

Party. While Peter Costello

is still in the Parliament

and you have a leader then it

is not very hell be full to be saying that he and not Brendan Nelson is your

party's best political as

yet Barrie, I was writing a

piece for Quadrant about how

good was John Howard and I

was important to address the

issue of whether John Howard

mishandled his deputy which

is an accusation often made

and it was that context I was

writing T piece will be

published tomorrow if anyone

is interested. I make the point, Barrie, my interest is in having the best possible

team for the Liberal Party to

contest the next election and

plainly Peter Costello is a very superior political

talent and I would like him

to be part of that team. But

you say that and you say that

he is clearly the best ?peckt

as leader. You seem to have

set off some of the

back-benchers who are saying they would like Peter

Costello to leave the party.

That cannot be helpful to Brendan Nelson I think

Brendan Nelson is doing a terrific job under difficult

circumstances. I think that

the question-marks that are

now very much hanging over

the Rudd Government are due

in large measure to Brendan

Nelson's tenacity and political savvy so Brendan

Nelson is doing a very good

job but as Brendan says it

would be good if Peter stays

in the Parliament. Stays in

the Parliament and is

available for higher duties

because of his record, of his

ability and of his standing. But what is the

point in makeing those statements if Peter Costello

is going to leave the

parliament anyway? Well, I

hope he does not. It is

obviously up to him

ultimately to decide what he

will do but I hope he does not leave the Parliament and

I hope he is available for

higher duties. Some of your colleagues have said privately during this week

you have had quite a week,

you praised Malcolm Turnbull

on four corners, you back

Peter Costello and Brendan

Nelson and you left your own options open? You are a little confused! Barrie, I

like to speak well of my

colleagues. I like to put the

best possible gloss on

things. It is inconceivable

though that after 8 months of

Peter Costello has not made

up his mind, he knows what he

is going to do in his own

mind? I think that for all

sorts of understandable

reasons Peter was feeling

very down and disillusioned after the election, that was

the last time he told us what

he was going to do. I guess

until he make as different

statement that statement

stands but I cannot say what

is going through Peter's

head. All can I hope is that

he is recovering his

enthusiasm for politics and

his will to power. Let's put

him out of the equation from

a moment. Back in December

did you pick the best

available candidate? I

think we did. That Brendan Nelson is the best of the rest t? Well, we made a

choice then, it was a tough

choice, it was a close

choice. And I think that

Brendan has done a very good

job under difficult

circumstances. As I said the

fact that people are now

coming to the view that Rudd

is all spin and no substance

is largely due to Brendan's

good work. Do not

underestimate this man. You

say that and you keep hearing Rudd is disappointing some of

the people who has voted him

but he has not suffered in

the polls, not one bit. Why

is that? Because the vast

majority of the public do not

yet focus on Federal politics

but in the one instance they

did the Gippsland by-election

there was actually a

significant swing against the

Government, a historic swing

against the Government. The

last similar swing gains at

new Government was in the

Whitlam era and I do not think Whitlam is a parallel

that Kevin Rudd would like to

follow. Just recently you

spent three weeks living and

working in a relatively

remote Aboriginal community.

What as the impression you

came away with? I suppose

the impression Barrie is that

the problems that Australia

faces trying to tackle the

indicators of indigenous

disadvantage are very, very

serious, they are deep-seat ed, they are cultural and I

think it will be decades

rather than years the make a

serious difference. Now we

must make the effort. The

longer and the harder the

task the more urgent the

start but nevertheless we

cannot expect to make-over

night change here. That is

the big message that I took

away from far North

Queensland. What was your

feeling? One of despair that

this is a huge task ahead for

the Government? No. It is

as big as any challenge we

face as a nation, obviously.

But there are a lot of very

good people who are

dedicating the best part of

their lives to it. The work

of Noel Pearson is truly

inspirational. I think Warren

Mundine is a new generation of indigenous leaders determined to make a

difference. I think we

starting to get away from the victim mentality which

blighted the issue for a few

generations. There is general

goodwill from the Australian community towards indigenous

people but there is ha lot to

work on and I is a hell of a

big job and it will take

decades rather than years to

fix. Do you think the

Mundines and the Pearsons are

winning the arguments? They

are winning the arguments.

Whether they are getting the numbers is another story but

I've taken the view that if

you have good arguments

eventually the numbers will

come. The intervention and

the indigenous doctors said

they like the extra police,

the teachers and attention all this has brought to the

issue but they are worried

about the health aspect. They

like existing good practice

as it is practised all over

us and they think it would

have been better to go that

way. Yeah. That is what

happened. There was initially some thought of sending

medical teams into uncover

cases of sexual abuse and we

quickly realised last year

that that was not what a

medical team was there for.

If in the course of normal

medical treatment some

evidence eye merged of

something more sinister then there are other authorities

who are called into do other

investigations but yes, health teams are there to

treat indigenous people's

health not to be forensic

investigators. Is it

important as the intervention

process procedures that the

Aboriginal people themselves

do not feel that they are

losing this sense of

responsibility and power and

their own sense of culture?

It is absolutely important

that they don't but they have

also got to remember that

they are Australians and this

is going to be a partnership.

I mean there was a time a

couple of generations back, Barrie, when the rest of us

rather looked down on

Aboriginal people. Then there

was a time for most of the

last couple of generations

when I think we romanticised

Aboriginal people. Aboriginal

people are not so different

to us. We all have to go

forward together and I think

there is a important role for

white fellas to work with

Aboriginal people and that is

what the intervention is all about. It is not washing our

hands of Aboriginal people,

it is working with them for a

better Australia. In NSW

Barrie O'Farrell, was he

right to oppose the power

privatisation? Look, he is

his own man T NSW party are

their own people. I have to

say I support privatisation

in principle. I guess I

probably would have been working to bring it about in practice but the main problem with privatisation was not

Barrie O'Farrell, the problem

was that Morris Iemma could

not persuade his own party

and rightly or wrongly Barrie

O'Farrell stood up for the

NSW public who do not trust

this Government to privatise

the power assets, certainly

not when there is all the

uncertainty about the impact

of Kevin Rudd's climate

change policy on the price of those assets. It is true he did stand up for the knew few public, if you read the polls that is what they want. But

in the eyes of the business

community his leadership has

been weakened? In the end

it is the public that vote

not the business community

but the real problem with the

privatisation of NSW power

assets is Kevin Rudd. It is

impossible to sell the things

without knowing what the

impact of Kevin Rudd's

policies will be on their

operations in the future. Really the NSW lay bore party

A, could not agree and the

Federal Labor Party B, could

not tell people what the

ultimate price impact was

going to be. So I think power

privatisation or the lack

there of is a Labor problem.

If I can take you around the

world I'm sure you try to

have a look at the Democrats convention during the week.

What is your impression so

far of Barack Obama? Oh, he

sounds terrific but I do not

know what is really there. Look, you know, we heard a

lot of talk about the 18

million cracks in the glass

ceiling. It seems the me John

McCain has smashed through it

with one swoop so I think

that this election will be a

much more interesting one and

a much closer one than some

people have assumed up until

now. What did you make of

Bill Clinton's speech when he said America's position in

the world had been weakened

among other things because

there had been too much

Uni-lateralism and not enough cooperation. If he is tapping

into that it was not a sentiment shared by John Howard? I think the

invasion of Iraq was right. I

do not say it has not had

some very, very difficult - a

very, very different

aftermath Barrie but I think Iraq is on the road, a

difficult road, to becoming

something of a pluralist

society a bit more like

Jordan, a bit less like Syria

and I think that is progress.

It might not be terrific

progress but in the Middle

East something as modest as

that is real progress and I

suspect history will be much

kinder to George Bush than

his contempt bey critics. Yet Bill Clinton says the rest of

the world is more impressed

about the example of our

power than the power of our

example? Is the sort of

glib frasz Americans go in

for but in the end hot was

the world,t was American,

Britain and Australia in my

opinion the three most

important countries in the

world, what were those

countries going to do about

Saddam Hussein? And frankly,

the alternative to what George Bush and Blair and

Howard courageously did was to do nothing effect of thely

to sort of sit there, impose

sanctions which in the end

impacted much more on the

Iraqi people than on the

Iraqi dictator. Now it has

not been easy but nothing

worthwhile is easy and as I

said, I'm confident that something better will come

out of Iraq and I think we

are on the high road towards that now. We have been around the globe. We will finish up in Western Australia. How important is it for the

Liberal Party to win that

state election? Well, look,

it would be a massive

inspiration to all of us if

we could win. It really

would. I think that the West

helped us in Canberra back on

24 November and I hope they

can encourage us next

weekend. Tony Abbott thank

you for your time this

morning Thank you, Barrie.

I feel that we have seen the

resources boom in the private

sector go absolutely berserk

but I feel that our resources

boom should have been helped

rebuild our infrastructure,

eg, hospitals. The Labor

Government has put in plays a

few things that brots brots brots

Tried? They have created the railway line from Perth

to Mandura so they have

connected all through there

Blue but who got that

started? It is finished

now Some people may betray

Alan Carpenter to being

arrogant but no-one gets to

that position of power in

Government anywhere in the

world without being arrogant.

It is part of the play.

Given the issues surrounding

the Opposition at the moment

with Troy Buswell he is probably sitting back thinking he has it in the

bag Troy Buswell should have

stood down at the start of

the situation. Someone to

come in and try to take over

from that. Colin Barnett has

had to deal with that in the

background as well. I think

the chair sniffing incident

has been washed away. Troy

Buswell has gone and we are not going to... They made a

song about it! I think Brian

Burke did damage the Labor

Party. He has had his finger

in the pot when it comes to

damaging the Liberal Party as

well because him alone with

Noel Chriton-Brown have

definitely, you know, had

their lobbying finger in and

yeah, both parties have their

Skeltons in the closet I

feel this election will be a

lot closer now than it would

have been 4 months ago.

Generally people stick with

what they know but it has

happened before where people

have done a major change just

to experience something

different but I think in this

situation although it will be close. I don't think Liberal

Party will get in this time

If there would be any change

it would be seeing some

Greens in power. People will

probably go along with the

devil they know. In WA we

had a look at the polls. Most

of the analysis out of WA

Karen and you once worked for

the West Australian you take

a close interest T analysis

seems to be a narrow Labor

victory by five seats or

perhaps an unlikely win for

the Liberals That is the way

it looks. We talked about the divergent polls, I think

people are swinging. Tony

Abbott made the point last

year's federal election was

strong for the Coalition in WA and I think that the Coalition with a new leader

now has resurrected itself a

bit. They have seen Colin

Barnett before. In a sense

that works, he is somebody

film and not the craziness of

the last three years but in

the end the Coalition has got

close in other jurisdictions

and not quite got there.

Maybe it is too late for them

with this change of

leader. Given the Labor

dominance something has to

give eventually. You would think Western Australia is a

good lays to start given the result from the last federal

election I think Alan Carpenter find himself in John Howard's position remarkably enough. He is presiding over a state that

on the face of it is in boom

times and yet the West

Australians feel they are

carrying the entire country

on their back through the

resources boom but they have

not seen the dividend. House

prices have gone through the

roof. The Alan Carpenter

Government has not spent

money on infrastructure and

education but it has all this

revenue They are reaching

for Federal issues too in this campaign. We saw this week all the West Australian

Coalition MPs do a news

conference hammering the fact

that Woodside confirmed

potentially gas praises would

rise in WA as a result of the

tax changes being argued bin

the Senate. If the Liberals

were better prepared would it

be theirs for taking? I

think so. I think they had a

problem with Troy Buswell

that went on far, far, far

too long and it is damaging

them. They did not put it to one side by making him shad oh Treasurer Exactly. I think the odds are for Labor

to be re-elected but if there

is a Liberal win I think it

will be very, very powerful.

It will energise the Liberals

federally and hit Kevin Rudd

hard because he has had this

by-election loss for Gippsland. Buy Brendan Nelson

some more time maybe! I

don't think that. But the

other thing it will do, it

will legitimise the idea that a established political identity can be shot into the

job last minute and still win

which is a Peter Costello

scenario so I think it will

be a real hand grenade in

Kevin Rudd's pocket. There

is what is known as the

toggle vote evidence in John

Howard's years where people

like to balance up the State

and Federal regimes so I

think there will be a swing back. Howard thought it was

2 per cent or 3 per cent gain

to him and I think no doubt

that will play into it but at

this stage let's be honest I

think that the Labor Party is

still slated to win but if

they lose the ramifications

will be profound. Colin

Barnett has been in for only

few weeks but he put one

thing into the public If I'm

Premier I will not allow

Kevin Rudd and the Canberra

bureaucrats to close schools

in Australia. Does that suggest Kevin Rudd has a

window of opportunity with Labor premiers around the country to get this done?

It depends how he goes about

it. If this education

extension of his education revolution disappears into

the bowels of COAG I do not

think he has got a

opportunity. In fact I think

he has absolutely got to pick

a fight with the Australian Education Union and the constituencies and keep the

issue up in lights but if it

gets lost in the process.

Blue here is the key - Kevin

Rudd has actually produced a

plan for the reform of schools. I support it completely. A conservative

thing, I think it is great.

Glad the hear that! The

point is it is conservative

thinking for a long time. But

here is the key - if it was

that easy to do it would have

been done already because

Labor controls every state

Labor governments control

every single school in the

country. Every single state

school But state Labor

governments are not going to

do something that would help

a Federal Liberal government

were they? Beyond that they are not going to do something

that puts them into a might

with teaching unions. They

might. Let's hear from a few

Premiers. Alan Carpenter and

John Brumby from Victoria.

You have to be very careful

before you venture down the

path way of sacking

principals and teachers At the end of the day if they are determined to push these things through I guess they

will. John Brumby's view is

if they are insistent they

will They can't. If the

Premiers give it the tick

they will Two things - They

were unequivocal The states

will go for the half million

dollars that Kevin Rudd and

Julia Gillard are putting on

the table for each school that needs the assistance.

They will take that money an

probably do what they did and

cherry pick. Find a way to

a avoid the sackings and the

closures But the bottom line

is Kevin Rudd has done a

great plan for reorganising

state schools but he does not

control a single school, hire a single principal, he cannot close a single under-performing school, he cannot issue a single report

card. It is all in the hands

of someone else You also

have to understand how

powerful those public sector

white collar unions are at a

state level and how important

they are to state Labor governments If he wins

fantastic. What you say is right Andrew but he is

prepared to try to persuade

them. Alan Carpenter is

worried about the prospect of

sacking teachers and if you

are going to go down that

track you need the be precise about the benchmarks and I'm

not sure they were this week

I agree. They have refined the previous Government'ses

the at bit. They talked about

report cards, all schools

against all schools, now they

say they need like with like

They have always said that

Karen But you still have the

problem of taking into

consideration the background

of the kids, there are other

factors at play in the way a

school her forms and how do

you judge? They are onto

that. The other question is,

is this really a revolution,

this question at the National

Press Club during the week

Mr Rudd how is it a education

revolution when you are

following the policies to

threaten funding unless

states produce principal pay,

autonomy, comparisons not considering the fact that you

are talking about docking

payments to families. If they

were such great ideas at the

time why did Labor at every level to oppose it? What

would be revolutionary is for

somebody to do this rather

than talk about it. A

cracking question And he

didn't like it! I find it

interesting that Kevin Rudd

under pressure to show he is

a man who does stuff and does

not talk about it reaches

into John Howard's bottom

drawer and picks out the most

conservative policy on

education they can find to be

implemented by the states.

There was a element of "Look over here unquote for a moment. What he is faced with

at the moment with the Parliament sitting and for

the for seeable future is

getting bogged down in the

politics of the Senate, a

fight with the Coalition and

the minor parties, I think

wanted to have something to

talk about other than that.

This was pitched as a forward

look to the end of the year a

look at the landscape if you

like, pulled together

relatively at the last minute

then we told it is only about

education, don't worry about

the forward landscape. I

think the Coalition rightly

in the Parliament this week went hard on the economy and there is a pretty good argument that when people are starting to get worried about

their hip pocket and their

jobs and that sort of thing

it is not necessarily

strategically drefr to be

talking about something else,

even if it affects everybody

because kids are going to

school. It looked like they

were trying to avoid talking

about the economy and later in the week I think Kevin

Rudd changed tack a bit and

started the talk more about

the economy But that was a

mistake, Karen, because he has such a record now. I

think he will have trouble

shaking it of having a great

idea and you never hear of it

again. Like Asia. It has to

be part of a consistent

thoroughly felt theme.

Kevin Rudd, wasn't that the

man who hit the ground

reviewing? Our regular

analyst political commentator

with the 'The Australian'

Paul Kelly. How big a call do

you think this is on Kevin Rudd's part for education? A big call a test for Kevin Rudd, he has put his own authority on the line. There

is no question about that.

What he says is that he can

carry and persuade the Labor

states and this will not be

easy. It does go to Kevin

Rudd's authority and there is

a risk for Kevin Rudd that

his thoirts being eroded even

though his standing in the

country is strong T budget is

being undermined in the Senate. The business

community is critical of the

ETS and he is running into

problems with his agenda with the states so he needs to be careful of his authority and

he needs some wins. What

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

are on about here is

improving the lot of the

bottom 20 per cent of school

leavers. What they want the

try to do here is offer the states a grand bargain.

Though are saying "Listen we

will give you extra funds

provided you come clean on

school accountability and

individual school

performance" and there is a

tremendous ideological opposition to this from the

teacher un Johns. Julia Gillard's response is clear.

She just says failure

concealed means that failure

is never addressed. The problem for Kevin Rudd here

is that he does not run the

schools, he does not employ

the teachers. The

Commonwealth Government is at

arms removed from this. John

Howard tried this. He could

not succeed. Rudd has got a

lot more at stake here than

John Howard. Rudd is in the

early-stage of his Prime Ministership dealing with Labor governments. He has the

prevail here. If he does not

his authority will be

undermined further. It is

hard to focus entirely on

domestic politics when it is

all happening in the US but

Kevin Rudd too would be

keeping a close eye on events

over there He certainly is.

He is watching this US

election very carefully. He

has great hopes for this

American election. He believes this is one of the

more important elections in

terms of the impact on

Australia. Rudd's ambition is to establish a close personal and political relationship

with the new president

whether it is Barack Obama or

John McCain. He has had

contact with the both of

them. He is confident he can do this. As far as Australia

is concerned the big issue

will be the attitude this a

new president brings to East

Asia. Rudd as an American

ally, as a China expert will

be trying to establish

himself as a trusted confidante and advisor to the new president on Asian policy and China policy in particular. Beyond that what

he wants the see from the new

president is a greater

commitment and more effective

commitment to global

leadership, particularly

global economic and trade

leadership and multithat list

many. Rudd is very committed

to nuclear nonproliferation

act are action and he would

like to do that with the new president. Given the

different attitudes that

certainly Barack Obama but

John McCain as well has with George Bush, whoever wins

could help him out on some

other fairly big domestic

issue he is grappling with as

well? Absolutely, Barrie T

bottom line and the

politicians cannot say this -

what they want to see out of

this new president is a

restoration of American

standing and authority and

popularity in the world. As

an American ally that is what

Kevin Rudd wants to see. He

has been able to finesse Bush so far but he want a new president with a fresh mandate. Obama or McCain

restore American authority.

That is very much in his

interests and Australia's

interests. One issue in

particular is critical for Rudd, that is climate change.

He has introduced an ETS in

2010. What he wants the see

if the new president is a

commitment to action on

climate change F that

happens, and I'm not

convinceside it will, but if

that does happen that will

change the global politics on

climate change, that is what Australia needs, it is what Kevin Rudd in particular needs. Paul thank you very

much. In the US the

Republicans are furious with

NBC because they ran

strangely enough under the

Breaking News ticker on the

screen across the screen "How

many houses does Sarah Palin

add to the Republican ticket?

". Very funny but what do you

think? A good choice for

this reason - the last soccer

mum candidate was Bill

Clinton and I think she is the soccer mum candidate and she is on the Republican

ticket, very smart What a

fascinating person, she

shoots, fishes, goes hunting.

She has five children. She

looks like the kind of

American that most voting

Americans would go for

however you want the slice

that one. Barack Obama

represents the urban elites,

she is the anti dote Pick up

something that Michael Roland

said when you spoke to him

earlier, he said it actually

under cuts John McCain's

argument that Barack Obama is

unqualified. I think that is

absolutely wrong. In a sense,

because while she was a mayor

of a small town that already

was more executive experience

than Obama has ever had in

his life and she is running

for vice-president plus she

is a government demor of a US

state and Obama has run

nothing. It is still a

perception. I think the Republicans have to deal with because she is aality

president and she has to

persuade the country she is

capable of running the White

House and Governor of Alaska

run in for vice president has

in fine nightly more

executive experience than the

bloke running for President

of the Democrats which will

underscore the attack on

Barack Obama. The other

point is John McCain's age.

I agree The vice president

is a heart bet away but in

this case it could be a shaky

heart I think she is actually unqualified to be the next president and in a

sense this is a pick from a candidate to win an election

not to help him run a

country. But that only

underscores how qualified is

Obama the run the place?

That makes it hard for the

Democrats the mount that

argument because they say she

is only running for vice president. Our own Parliament

now. The issue I raised

earlier that Kevin Rudd is developing all of these

issues, there is a lot

disquiet on his own backbench

and certainly within the union movement. There was a

left-wing UK politician in

town during the week and he

stayed Tony Blair drew

distance between himself and

the unions to gain broader

appeal in the UK which was a

mistake because it has cost

Gordon Brown. I would have

thought Gordon Brown is

Gordon Brown's problem and

not that. Is that what Rudd

is doing? Happily enough

bidding a bit of distance

with the unions? He is on

several issues including the welfare reforms, withdrawing

well far for truancy. The

attack on the Australian

Education Union via did

education revolution. So he

is picking fights. The ABCC

The Australian building and

construction commission, the

CEMFU want to take Rudded are

on through the caucus. I do

not know if it is deliberate

but it suggest tots me that

Kevin Rudd has never been of

the Labor Party or the union movement. He talks about himself being at the

reforming centre and I think

you are looking at a

detribalised Prime Minister.

The arguments he is picking

he should. Any self-respecting... Bob Hawke

too. On the right wing of

the Labor Party The

militant construction unions

Bob Hawke would have taken

them on, the education

unions, they are troglodytes

in the way of progress. There

is a whole lot of pent-up

dissatisfaction from Kevin

Rudd hidden by the fact that

the Liberal Party is not

elect table at the

moment. There was a lot on

his speech at the Press Club

build as a milestone speech

but it is like reading a

strans script into the

record, not a lot of passion

Especially when we saw Barack

Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jo Biden, it was like a set of

instruction for an Ikea

do-it-yourself kit. That

proposition was put to Julia

Gillard I think nature of

American politicless have

more glitz than ours, that is

a difference between our

important - we are more

laconic, Rudd outlines his

vision for the future which

he did today. A good speech

engages, it motivates yet Kevin Rudd does not seem to be aiming for that The grand

reTory call speech plays well

to a base, particularly

left-wing base but I do not

know fit translates. Whitlam

did it and Keating did it but

either in doing so made the

grand speech a staple of

Australian politics, politicians got scared of

standing too up themselves.

I do not think it has to be a

grand rhetorical speech. It

was a catalogue of what he did in the last nine months but it did not look ahead

except go into the education

issue It plays the Rudd

about the nerd policy, you

can trust me to be as dry as

dust! That could work. I

thought he would need passion

to prosecute a policy like

this because it is so

important, so central the his survival and I think Julia

Gillard is doing that much

better If you can not

diffuse some rhetoric into depicting children as the

hope of the country what can

you at the flourish to? It

adds weight to the fact that

it was thrown together at the

last minute and not planned

well in advance. Let's tell

get a grip of where we are

with the Peter Costello saga.

Tony Abbott wrote that undeniably the Liberal Party's best as yet, you have

to understand the context of

that. But Peter Costello I

thought handled that rather deftly at his tribute function on Friday night

Nobody ever objects when

people say nice thing about

them and so it is very nice

of Tony to say nice things

about me and I appreciate

very much. He is an old

friend of mine and I thank

him and I return the

compliment. He is a great man

too. So "He is a great man

too"! Julie Bishop as a

result of what Tony Abbott

wrote went on ABC local radio

in Melbourne. I presume she still want the he main down

the track Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, and had

this to say Last year when

Peter had a opportunity to take leadership of the

Liberal Party he said he

would be retiring. Brendan

put his hand up and was

elected the leader. Tony can write tributes to Peter

Costello which is appropriate

but the reality is Peter

Costello said he did not want

to stand. Brendan did and he

was elected. Is she saying there "Peter Costello, you

had your chance"? No, I think Tony Abbott made a

mistake. He like the idea of

being the party intellectual

and he is very good at it but

that got the better of him.

They are pleading for Peter

Costello to stay in lead,

putting his future in hands F

he quits it looks like they

will have to be settling for

second-pest and they will be

destroyed them. Have to cool

it down because they do not

want to put the party hostage to one bloke but he should

not be running for the Ljiljana until next year and

The phones are running

hot all week. As a front

bencher pointed out he

supported six candidates for

the leadership this week and

they do not understand the

strategy behind it. Some

people were furious on

Friday. Think Tony Abbott

would have got some interested messages. They need a bit of clarity, enter

Brendan Nelson. Well, look,

it is a Blackhawk! The guys

are doing a training exercise! Peter has made his

decision he did not seek the leadership of the party and

as I've saidly be very happy

if he chains his mind. That

is his best business. If he

changes his mind about

seeking the leadership of the

party. What he was talking

about was changing his mind in the Parliament. A case of Blackhawk down I think!

Even though that was a

mis-speak and ignore it in a

sense it underscores the

theme that Peter Costello has

destroyed the leadership of

Brendan Nelson. If he now

spern the leadership next

year then they will destroy

this Liberal Party too and

they will leave the party in

disgrace What should be

weighing on Peter Costello's

mine that is the person

enhanced if he does not take the leadership is John Howard. He will be elevated

and his judgement of Peter

Costello as a bloke who did

not have what it took will be

reinforced. All of this as I

pointed out in the interview

with Tony Abbott has

emboldened the backbenchers

inform say publically what

they have been saying

privately. Peter Slipper is

one example I would like Peter Costello to come back,

he would be a great leader,

Prime Minister and has a

incredible capacity the make

a tremendous contribution towards a very positive future for this nation. Bligh blue that is what I'm talking

about, this is stupid, just

shut up. It is not logical

for Bren. Saying "I do hope

Peter comes back". What job

will they do? If he comes

back to the front bench the

only job he will do is

Brendan Nelson's job. In the meantime Julia Gillard and

others are having a lot of

fun. Here is an example When

I looked at that web site, Mr

Speaker, I find the motto of

Melbourne University Press is

'books with spine'. Mr

Speaker, 'books with spine'

from a politician without

one. Of course I'm sure that

this book with the very soft

spine or perhaps without the

spine at all, will be the

subject of much discussion at

tomorrow night's es the ty moanal dinner for the Member

for Higgins. Of course on the

question of reading, there

will be what's on the printed

menu! Prawns for entree, no

spines there. Chicken for

main course? Mr Speaker, a

good thought, and of course

jelly for desert. What else!

Making it all too easy.

Think that will disappear T

minute he announces that all

disappears T other thing about that is that it shows Julia Gillard is the real cut

and thrust rapier of the

Labor Party in Question Time.

It is not Wayne Swan and it

is certainly not Kevin

Rudd. State election in

Western Australia and the

Federal by-elections in south

us and NSW. Lyont bookmakers

say the independent will win

so a new debate the future of

the National Party. Barnaby

Joyce makes this contribution

on landline, you can catch the full interview at midday. Here is part of it I know it

is part of getting to a

critical level which the

National Party in its current

guise could, you know, could

be about to disappear, but it

really worries me when people

clap and cheer and with glee

say "This will be a great

outcome for Australia"

because what will you replace

it with? That is landline

at midday. But more with

Karen Middleton, Glenn Milne and Andrew Bolt but first here is Mike Bowers and

'Talking Pictures'. I'm Mike

Bowers and I think I'm still

pictorial editor with the

side si.d I'm 'Talking

Pictures' this morning with

Bruce Petty who is probably

still employed by the age

age, do you still have a job

there? I'm not sure but we

will see in due time no

doubt. A bit of a roulette

wheel at the moment. A

mystery. Anyway we will just

plug on. We always have the

ABC I suppose T cauldron was

hardly cold in Beijing when

all the oh limp ians gathered at Sydney to welcome Kevin

Rudd back into the country

Yes a brush with gold here.

It is just so Brendan isn't

it, the athletes "Here, be my

camera boy" There has to be

a narrative behind that. You

wouldn't want to know. It

must be hard. Now you are

Opposition Leader, I want the picture with the Prime

Minister. I bet this was no

reciprocation here. I would

not have thought there would

have been a great exchange, no. It is not a bad job, is it, you get do kiss tall big stars. There you go. Champ

Johns! This lovely Mark

night has picked up on the

fact t the Mead a saying

quotes quotes is this our

limb limb team coming home?

Unquote quotes quotes no new

sent force ariefg in can bra

to vote on his legislation

unquote. The balance of

power gone, familiar

we are going to have to

learn to spell words like

Xenophon, have you drawn him

yet? Not yet. And Spooner,

the big bear coming home

Expecting a golden brush with

champions and you get

that. The big bear hug. Run

us through yours here "It's

not easy being green" It

looks like an exception game

if you steal sugar and cement

playing cards but his big

hand is going to go overseas

if he does not get the right

answer from the trading

system which I called carbon

poker. I mean it will be a

bit of a gamble I

think. Costello made a return

to Parliament Stokeing

speculation that he is either

boasting book sales or making a returner. He reminded me of

two dogs having a sniff of

each other's butts Whatever

they does there will be

turbulence. Good for

cartoonists but bad for the

nation. You would have a lot

of money to hear what they

are saying there It would

not be a huge exchange, no

dynamic interest. And another

day and Peter Costello

displays the qualities that

to members of the Liberal seem to make him so appealing

Party. Indecisions,

indecisions! That is funny.

That is good. Kevin Rudd says

that there is an education

revolution but the Opposition

claims it is just going full

circle back the Howard days

of their policies Sean Leahy

has picked up on this nicely

which brings me to our new

education policy - if

students get poor results

they can blame the previous year's teacher. The Howard

Government document the end was blaming the Hawke

Government so it has a fair

bit of longevity Yes,

retrospective is the go if

you can't think of anything

particularly, no. And David

Rowe, "Julia we have satisfy

problem in 5/6F"! That looks

like what will happen. And

Rowe version, except you

would not get it as

interesting as that, the I would think. As always, a image, just lists and numbers

great pleasure talking to you

and we hopefully will both

have jobs next week

Hopefully. Thank you Mike. Brendan Nelson provided

more material yesterday. He

spent 12 hours in the cabin

of a truck driving from

Melbourne to Dubbo to

experience life of a truckie

and had this to say Once we

get the Slim Dusty going we

will be right. I have got

Rolfe Harris Slim Does aand

Jimmy Barnes! If you were to

lose your position in the

Liberal Party is truck

driving a possible career?

Well, I will be leading the

Liberal Party through to the

next federal election. I will

lead the Opposition and I can

assure you apart in enjoying leadership of the Liberal

Party I certainly enjoy

sitting up the front in a

double B listening to Slim

Dusty and talking to

Rod. There is no lack of

policy And you have to give

him credit His colleagues

say the same, he has taken a

lot of clobber and he get

up. He is polite, of aible

The Democratic convention was

on but you may have missed

John McCain on the Jay Leno program. Keep in mind Jay Leno is shortly about to

heave the network. Here is

John McCain. You have been asking about who I want to be as my running mate. Wouldn't you don't know what party it be good to have a person

they are with, they have no

political principles

whatsoever, they may need a

job about that time

(laughter) who could I be

referring to? As much as I

would like to I can make more

during the week in Vegas!

That is where John McCain

cannot be underestimated. He

predictions in a moment. A Final observations and has quite a sense of humour.

few firstly - the first is

from Sarah Hanson Young the

new Senator There is nothing

Australians cannot do when we

are not working together. I

will let you reflect on that

for a moment. An on very

separation to the Barack

Obamas. Who names their kid

Barack Obama U is one thing

if your name was Obama Smith,

but it is a killer. That is

observation and predictions? not going to work! F Final

I was going to take that as

something that struck me from

the '7.30 Report' when Kevin

Rudd appeared on Australia is

not an island. If he is

trying to justify that and we talking about the economy and

are to isolated we know what

he meant but breaking news,

Australia is not an

island. Barrie Obama puts me

Peter Costello and I would at the tribute dinner for in mind of Gary Evans! I was

have the say it was one of

the more bizarre things. He

walked out still a

backbencher after a thumping

for leadership. Kevin Rudd

has to change to win, on

education reform he has to talk about it every day from

a week, a week, a week just

like scroud did instead of

this one policy today,

another next week. Hes to

change his whole approach to how he handles the media

cycle. Peter Garrett took a

pro-uranium situation which

prompted "Peter Garrett every

appearance a sell-out" in the

Age. Interest rates will come

down, RossGarnaut with the

climate change, a new chief

justice and a new Governor

General. That is it. I will

This week - cooking with

coal seam gas, we'll talk with

Queensland Gas Company Richard

Cottee. GPT boss Nic Lyons

tells us about his efforts to

sell assets and repay debt

despite falling property

values. And well a check the

economy's pulse.

CC In first person, making

the travel business go a long

way. Travel can be a volatile

industry. Over the last 10

years there has been a lot of

external shocks that have

impacked on the business.