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THEME MUSIC

Hello, and welcome to the

first edition of The Drum, I'm

Steve Cannane. Coming up -

Kevin for UN, is this the former Prime Minister's former Prime Minister's xilt strategy? The text message Julia Gillard mistakenly sent

to Tony Abbott, and who's

shaping up as this election's

tonight Julian Morrow from 'The candidate from hell? Our panel

Chaser', Annabel Crabb from ABC

online and blogger and 'Daily Telegraph' columnist Tim Blair. Tim, a couple of years ago you

made a bold prediction about ABC News

ABC News 24? First time I've

been wrong. that with Tim's other been wrong. We're stashing

predictions! Apologies. We

bring you on our first show in

the first week of what some

commentators have dubbed "the Seinfeld Election" where

nothing much really happens.

Today there wasn't much

campaigning for a good

the two leaders putting politics aside to funeral of an Australian politics aside to attend the

soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Annabel Crabb is there more of

nothing going on in this campaign than campaign than previously? Yeah,

it is not your imagination.

Did you notice today hasn't

been all that different from the other the other days they have been

doing something? The odd thing

in this campaign is both protagonists are running a

pretty kind of cautious

campaign, getting rid of

anything they suspect people

might not like and getting rid of

of the policies that might otherwise distinguish them from

each other. So Tony Abbott's

like "You don't like "You don't like WorkChoices? Bang, it's gone,

no more WorkChoices" Julia

Gillard is clooefg closer and closer to the Government's line on asylum closer to the former Howard

seekers that they were so opposed to at the time. So in

the end all you've got left is kind of a personality dispute.

wing nut, and that's it. Tim, You've got the blood nut or the

is that the way you see it, a lot of cautious and nothingness? The nothingness? The last nothing election was about climate

change, we're not hearing about

that now. Possibly it wasn't

that big of a deal in the first

place. Just a theory. Now

we've got this amazing immigration debate or population debate rather, population debate rather, in

which Julia Gillard as Peter

Archer pointed out in 'The Herald' this morning Julia

about population, except what about Gillard is prepared to talk

causes causes it. Are you glad 'The

Chaser' is not on this week, you might be short of material? Every week is a

positive week. I think one of the interesting things about the campaign in its early stages is stages is because so much money spending has been spent in the stimulus

spending there's less spending there's less to go has been spent in the

spending there's less to go around so the

around so there was around so the last election

there was billions every minute

amount you couldn't keep up with the around so the last election

there was billions every

amount of promising. Where has amount of promising. Where

all all that money gone? We used to

have so much of all that money gone? We used to

have so much of it? It seemed all that money gone? We

have so much of it? It seemed

to be a positive for the

Government, the stimulus spending was good economic don't think that's being management they claim, and I

contested at the moment but management they claim, and I contested at the moment

it's not producing positives in

it's not contested at the moment but the campaign at the

the campaign at the moment,

which means that there's very the campaign at the moment,

few promises and they just which means that few promises and

don't have... really, Barnaby few promises and they just Joyce is the

can Joyce is the only person that

can give us $1 billion, Joyce is don't have... really, Barnaby

can give us $1 billion, it's Joyce is the only person that

not politics as we can give us $1 billion, it's it. Julia Gillard not politics as we know

it. Julia Gillard has copped a

caning about her lack caning about her lack of

caning about her substance over the

debate and her old mate Mark substance debate and her substance over the population

Latham hasn't either. If it's not an Latham hasn't held back

immigration immigration debate it's no

debate and it's a fraud, an either. If it's not an immigration debate and it's a

attempt to conpeople in western

Sydney she's going to do attempt to conpeople in western Sydney she's going to do

something about congestion and I think some smarty in the

Labor Party has worked out if something about

I think some

we say "We're indicating we're Labor Party has worked out we say "We're

not really in favour of big

not really in favour of big population" that's a proxy

saying, population" that's a proxy for

saying, " Although we're not in population" that's a

favour of those population" that's a proxy for favour of

favour of those refugees". Tim, saying, " Although we're not

is Mark Latham is Mark Latham right? I haven't

seen him that angry seen him that angry since is Mark Latham right? I haven't

someone someone tried to take a

someone tried to photograph of someone tried to take a

Hungry Jack's. He's definitely

right, it is a faked-up right, it scenario.

hear the scenario. It's interesting to

scenario. It's interesting hear the strident approach hear Gillard is taking combined with Gillard is a visit taking candidates from western Gillard is taking combined with western Sydney all the way a visit taking candidates western Sydney all the way to

Darwin to examine the influx of

evil and then up to the point Darwin to examine the influx of

to it comes to "What

evil and then up to the to it comes to "What are you going to do about immigration

or birth to it comes to "What are you or birth rates?" Silence. Julia

Silence. Julia Gillard before

this was not known for Silence. Julia Gillard before this was not known for making speeches about overpopulation,

is this something that's this was not known for making speeches is this something that's come

out of NSW ALP head office? Focus driven out of NSW Focus driven about the seats western Sydney? It does Focus driven about the

western Sydney? It does seem to

be. You would have to say out of western Sydney? It does seem to be. of all the electoral strategies

to choose, the of all the electoral

to choose, the play sheet of the NSW to

the NSW Government doesn't seem like to choose, the play sheet of like a formula for success at

the moment, but that seems to be the way Federal like a formula for success at be the way Federal politics is be the way Federal politics is heading. the moment, but that seems to

heading. It's like a

provincial campaign talking about heading. It's like about the amount of traffic on the roads and the about the amount the roads and the small things that really... I mean, they're hard the roads and the small things that hard to swallow that really... I mean, they're hard to swallow when they're talked about at a State level.

Even if sums, $200 million

Even if sums, $200 million for rehabilitating whatever. $15

million the day before

That's State level spending. Eddie Maguire gives away more than that. spending. Eddie away more than that. He's got more money than

away more than that. He's got more money than that! We're hiding it well. Annabel, hiding it well. Annabel, the

idea that somehow idea that somehow immigration

is going to hiding it well. Annabel, the idea is going to halt is ludicrous,

isn't it? We've idea that somehow immigration isn't it? We've got a resources is going to halt is ludicrous, isn't it? We've got a resources boom, we need Labor for boom, we need Labor for that and also an boom, we

and also an ageing population and also

and we need Labor to pay for

the health care and for the and we need Labor to pay the health care and for the pensions for babyboomers the health care and for pensions for babyboomers about

to the health care and for the pensions

to retire? Well, that's true pensions for babyboomers about to and this debate is

to retire? Well, that's and this debate is kind of

bizarre. It's bizarre Julia and this debate is kind of Gillard's having the debate about bizarre. It's bizarre Julia

about population but it's not Gillard's having the debate about population but it's not

about immigration or about immigration or birth, the two about immigration

two known ways of two known ways of increasing population. two known population. There's a third

way! You've just got way! it. Breeding an army it. Breeding an army of clones, that's what's going it. Breeding an army that's what's going on. This that's that's what's going on. This

is about trying is about trying to soothe overpopulated overpopulated stressed areas like western Sydney and I mean,

if you have any doubt at all

about exactly what message Julia Gillard is trying to

transmit, have a look at who she took on the boat she took on the boat with her

when she went she took on the when she went punting around Darwin when she Darwin harbour last week.

when she went punting around Darwin harbour last week. She

had David Darwin harbour last week. had David Bradbury from the

seat of Lindsay, which tells you all that you need you all that you need to

know. If a tactic works and she doesn't solve know. If a doesn't solve the congestion issue, which is doesn't solve the congestion issue, which is unlikely, what's going to happen what's going to happen next election? Immigration figures

will always go up and down regardless of the debate we're

having about immigration. In

2001, it was about 2001, it was about immigration, 2001, it

2001, it was about it was about boat people and it was

yet the Howard Government it was about boat people yet the Howard Government

elevated immigration levels

higher than its elevated immigration higher than its predecessors

anyway because as you said anyway anyway because as you said before, Australia needs particularly particularly business immigration. I before, Australia needs immigration. I mean, we encourage business immigration. particularly business encourage business migrants. I

suspect this is encourage business migrants. suspect this is restricted to

this campaign. Julia Gillard's trying to suspect this is restricted to this trying to get out a message.

What we learn from the campaign trying to get out a message. What we learn from the campaign

she's running you think is What we learn from the campaign she's running you think is a whole lot more she's running you whole lot more about what she thinks or head she's running you think is a whole

thinks or head office thinks whole lot more about what she her problems are than what

solutions are likely to be. Tim, are solutions are be. Tim, are you surprised the Coalition have talked about capping Coalition have talked capping immigration as well given they're traditionally on

the side of business and given business is crying out for more the side of business

labour? There's a whole half of the country Australia underpopulated if

anything. You've got a

situation, again it's anything. You've got a situation, again it's me-too-ism where the previous government the Howard

Government situation, again it's me-too-ism Government got all government the Howard Government got all too me-too-ish about climate

change. It's the issue de Government got all too me-too-ish change. It's the issue de jour

and they're jumping on it. This is a change. It's the issue de jour and

This is a current problem in

politics. Everyone worried they're politics.

they're going to miss out on politics. Everyone worried they're going to miss out on something. You have to miss they're going to out on some voters. Some people won't vote for out on people won't vote for you, it seems they people out on some voters. Some seems they get obsessive people won't vote for you, it seems they get obsessive about it. And the centre keeps it. And the it. And the centre keeps widening, the marginal ones the widening, widening, the marginal ones the voters you don't want are pushed to the widening, the marginal ones the pushed to the fringes. It's a

bigger risk for the Government actually

pushed to the fringes. It's a actually because Julia Gillard

is trying to set a new tone for her Government of three weeks campaigning on her

insubstantial record on that time, campaigning on her

time, and the reality is time, and the reality is that

time, and the reality the cut-through thought about

the Labor the Labor campaign at the moment is that the cut-through thought about

moment is that it's pure catch moment is the Labor campaign at the moment is that it's pure catch phrase, nothing else and phrase, nothing else and the substantial policy moment is that it's pure catch phrase, substantial policy ideas that

spring to phrase, nothing else and the substantial spring to mind are on the other

side of politics. $1.5 billion on mental

side of politics. on mental health, or a more

on mental health, or a more generous paid maternity leave scheme. This weird situation

where the big policy scheme. This weird where the big policy ideas are coming from where the coming from the other side of

the chamber. Tony Abbott spent coming from the other side of the chamber. Tony Abbott spent

much of this week talking about much of much of this week talking about

things he didn't want to talk about things he about like WorkChoices, now

he's shifting focus back to debt and deficit, how is Tony he's shifting focus debt and deficit, how is Tony

Abbott travelling? A greater Abbott variety of variety shows than Abbott travelling? A Julia Gillard, and that's to variety of variety shows Julia Gillard, and that's to be Julia Gillard, Julia Gillard, and that's to be

commended. I think he's nailed the poodle commended. I

the poodle vote by the way

after last night. I think going on Red Faces is a after last night. I think going

on Red Faces is a brave tactic

given the track record of Red on Red Faces is a brave

Faces and black faces in recent Faces and black Faces and black faces in recent times. Let's look at what Tony

Abbott did on Red Faces last night and Abbott did on Red

night and also the applause he

got from the crowd. We do have the Opposition Leader, Tony

Abbott! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE (Crowd boos)

Julian, a little underwhelming Julian, a underwhelming that response, is it worry underwhelming that response, is it worry for your self-esteem when the it worry for your when the crowd when the crowd applauds Daryl

Somers and boos you? The way when the crowd applauds Daryl Somers and boos you? The way he

crashed onto the set it was

like he'd run down from Sydney

like he'd run down from Sydney himself and had finished an

ultra marathon. He has done a

himself and had finished an

bit of running. Every press

function he arrives at he's at

full speed. It was Howard

wasn't it, in 1996... Fell off

the stairs? Maybe he's trying

to get forward momentum, moving

forward... He actually to get forward momentum, moving forward... He actually is moving forward. There's an

difference between moving forward. difference between running for office and moving forward. There's an office and just

office and just running! We've difference between running for office and just running! We've been discussing debates been discussing debates where

there should be one of office and just running! We've been there should be one of them,

two of them. What triathalon? Surely there must

be space in our political debate. Tim, how be space in our political debate. Tim, how have you seen his first week? Largely debate. Tim, how have you seen his first week? Largely through the prism of 'Hey Hey It's Saturday', a defining moment.

It's incredible to think It's incredible to think when that show It's incredible that show first aired Tony

Abbott was four years away from that show first aired Tony Abbott was four years away from being Abbott was four years

being old enough to

being old enough to vote! Poor

Ozzie, the guy whose arm Ozzie, the guy whose arm is up is in

is in his 80. Where are our little little blue cards? We've got the is in his 80. Where are our little got the collision with

'Masterchef' little little blue cards? We've 'Masterchef' narrowly avoided.

That was the peak of negotiation. Annabel, how was

Tony Abbott's first Tony Abbott's first week?

Michael Kroeger on 'Lateline' said he's Michael said he's glad WorkChoices came

up in the first week

up in the first week and we can up in the first week

move onto other issues, is that

likely to happen? Snchts likely to happen? Snchts if that's the best that's the best thing Michael

Kroeger can think of to say Kroeger

then that question is answered. Kroeger can think of to then that question is answered. Michael then that question is answered. Michael is a professional optimist and if his answer is optimist and if his

"It's so dreadful we're it's the furtherest week away "It's so dreadful we're glad

from polling day". Was from polling day". Was it that

from polling day". Was it that bad? It was pretty bad.

Abbott has bad? It was pretty bad. Tony

Abbott has this truth parrot bad? It was

that sits on his shoulder.

that sits on his shoulder. His difficulty as a politician is that sits on his shoulder. difficulty as a

that he generally wants to tell

the truth. It's him the truth. It's difficult for that he generally wants

the truth.

him to say this stuff about him to say this stuff

him to say WorkChoices being dead

WorkChoices being dead and

such buried. He thinks it wasn't

such a bad program. such a bad program. He argued buried. He thinks it

such a bad program. He argued about it. About aspects

about it. About aspects of it.

This is the thing, like

WorkChoices the phrase has

taken on the mantra of all the

bad bits about it and

bad bits about it and he can't

disassociate those things so bad bits about it disassociate

disassociate those things so he bad bits about it and he can't

can't make an r argument about

can't make the good can't make an r argument about

the good bits of WorkChoices

being worth dusting off,

and Julia Gillard in particular because frankly the Labor Party

over the last three to four years have made an absolutely rock solid campaign based on rock solid campaign based demonising that rock solid campaign based on

demonising that phrase and rock solid campaign based on

that's his entire difficulty. He can't actually move into that's his entire difficulty. grey

grey areas at all, or detail on this thing. He just has stab WorkChoices this thing. He just has to

stab WorkChoices every day and, this thing.

of course, whenever he does he's back on the

about WorkChoices which is he's back on the telly talking

about WorkChoices which is not

where he wants to be. That is a

problem, given he wants to problem, given he wants portray himself as a

politician, but he is saying portray himself as a conviction

he's not acting portray himself as a conviction politician,

at least on industrial he's politician, but he is saying at he's not acting for three years

relations laws? What Annabel relations laws? What Annabel relations

says is says is right, there's this

awful tension. One interview he was awful tension. One radio

awful tension. interview he was asked yet again about WorkChoices and he interview he awful tension. One radio

responded "I can't say with a

total iron clad guarantee some tiny aspect might not

tiny aspect might not come

true" , the truth parrot is an

aggressive bird. The obsession about

true" , the truth parrot is an about WorkChoices, it's way aggressive bird. The

beyond where the thing was when beyond where the thing was

it was let it was let go. Nowadays if you

were to poll 10 people in were to poll 10 people in the

street about the name of the

East German Secret Police were street about were to poll 10 people in the East German Secret Police

they would East German Secret Police were WorkChoices, a symbol they would tell you

WorkChoices, a symbol for all

evil. Everyone said the GST evil. Everyone said the GST WorkChoices, a symbol for all

Howard pushed that was electoral death and John evil. Everyone said the was electoral death

through? Exactly, that's one thing. I actually

was an interesting tactic from thing. I actually thought it through? Exactly, that's

Tony

was thing. I actually thought it Tony Abbott

was an interesting tactic from in the campaign Tony Abbott to come out early

in the campaign and say "I in the campaign and say not change in the campaign and say "I will

not change the law at all" , making the best of a not change the law at all"

making the making the best of a bad thing.

making the best of a bad thing. The strange thing was they

the way they managed the media seemed to be so ham fisted in

the way they managed the media about it the day

when they were getting about it the day afterwards

changed the questions about whether they

changed the regulations or not. when they about it the day afterwards

A scare campaign based on WorkChoices coming back A scare campaign based on exactly a surprise from the WorkChoices coming back was not

like they Government and it just seemed

Government and it just like they had an interesting

like they had an interesting political tactic that they executed extremely

poorly. You're watching The Drum on ABC News 24 and possibly the best front page Drum on ABC News possibly the best front page

Julia Gillard will Drum on ABC News 24 and possibly the Julia Gillard will wake up to Julia Gillard this campaign

this campaign comes courtesy of Sydney's 'Daily Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph'

today. The 'Tele' tells us today. today. The 'Tele' tells

Kevin Rudd is lining up a job at the United

at the United Nations in adviser role on climate change. at the United Nations in an

Should

Should UN staffers be

Should UN staffers concerned? Snchts I think Kevin

should. It's him that

generally gets it in the back.

generally gets it in the back. The attraction for the UN -

The attraction for the it's a matter of

it's a matter of history, he's

always been pulled towards Manhattan and this ridiculous building - always been pulled towards building - it's building - it's utterly incomprehensible. Actually go to the UN building and walk

inside. It hasn't to the UN inside. It hasn't been

upgraded since about 1972. You expect upgraded since about 1972. expect the Brady Bunch to greet

you. Do you think he should be

in it for the soft in it

furnishing. 'Kev-UN', as

they're calling they're calling him online. He

they're calling him online. should be pursuing other

options. It's got me bewildered. Annabel, a

development today where one spokesman has said "Kevin interested in a job spokesman has said "Kevin is development today where

interested in a job over there, spokesman has

interested in a job over there, interested in

interested in a job over there, but it wasn't

but it wasn't mean that he

would move to New York or be a minister either" would move minister either" ? I'm sure they're consensus of pointing that out. Apparently they're consensus of pointing that out. Apparently he received a

received a call, from that out. Apparently received a call, from that photograph it could received a

photograph it could be on his

watch phone, pictured watch phone, pictured here talking to Ban Ki-moon.

Apparently he's been approached talking to Ban Apparently he's been approached

to work on Apparently he's

to work on some consultancy

group. There are plenty of

to work on some consultancy group. There are plenty of part-time gigs available at the UN and this would be advising on something UN and this would on something or other. Look,

I'm sure he would be free for on something or other. Look,

those calls. If I'm sure he would those calls. If he can do those calls. If he can do it while he's in Parliament and

particularly while he's still a

minister, I'm sure he'd be up particularly while he's still minister, I'm sure he'd be up for it.

minister, I'm sure for it. The most for for it. The most amazing thing

about Kevin Rudd's process of

leaving power is the extent to which he wants to remain

engaged. We're not used to which he wants to remain engaged. We're not used to

leaders doing this. engaged. We're not leaders doing this. He really does want to be on the frontbench. He

leaders doing this. He really frontbench. He really does

want to... I mean, I want to... I mean, I suspect be Foreign Affairs Minister. want to... I Foreign Affairs Minister. This

is very hard to manage because

most leaders just take their is very hard to manage because

bat and ball and off they

bat and ball and off they

trot. You get the sense of trot. You get the sense of all places the UN is his natural habitat? A places the UN is his natural habitat? A terrible thing to say! He could fill that

building with say! He could fill building with syllables alone.

The amazing thing and the building with syllables alone. news for the Labor Party is the revelation this revelation revelation this talked-of position is part-time. I think Kevin would not ordinarily position is part-time. I think Kevin would not ordinarily get character prempss from character prempss from the Labor caucus, Kevin would not ordinarily get character Labor caucus, but I think they'd be queueing up to give one

one for a full-time position and I think they'd be queueing up to give and I think it's fascinating. I think Rudd one for a full-time

I think Rudd is still in shock. I think the and I think it's fascinating. I think the whole kind of

saying he was going to run I think the whole kind saying he was going to run and that he saying he was going that he still wanted and

Cabinet position is saying he was going to run and that Cabinet position is because he was so taken that he still wanted and Cabinet

was so taken by surprise by it

and he doesn't know any other way. He's been and he doesn't know any way. He's been immediately getting back way. He's been getting back to work which getting back to work which is,

of course, what he's famous

manically to do. The of course, what he's manically to do. The idea he

will continue in a job where will continue in a he's clearly not wanted and

for a man take on another part-time job

take on another for a man not

workload problems, is for a man not known for

crazy. Was there any evidence

workload problems, is

of that beach holiday? You know

goes what happens when Kevin Rudd what happens when

of that beach holiday? You know goes goes on holiday, usually

goes on holiday, usually a

30,000-40,000 essay on some 30,000-40,000 essay major international issue pops

into the intray. He spent most goes into the of his holiday travelling into the intray. He spent most of his holiday travelling to

New York to talk to of his holiday travelling New York to talk to the American administration. New York American administration. I mean... talk about New York to talk to the mean... talk about moving forward. This guy is a moving

forward. mean... talk about moving forward machine.

forward machine. He's kind of

like a shark. He has no

like a shark. He have to ability to come to rest. You

have to hack his fins off to

make him stop. I'm sure been considered. make him stop. I'm sure that's

make him stop. I'm sure been considered. Troubled been been considered. Troubled

Labor leaders shouldn't go to

Labor leaders shouldn't beach holidays. They tend

beach holidays. come back with the beach holidays. They tend to

come back with the worst hair

cuts and as we saw with Mark

cuts and as we saw with Mark Latham, bad temper

tantrums. How many Labor

leaders are there around at the

moment? They're all fighting...

moment? They're all and they're going to be

and they're going to be in one

room at the Labor launch... and they're going to be in room at the Labor maybe not Mark room at the maybe not Mark Latham? I'm calling maybe room at the Labor launch... calling for the UN to be brought in to solve those

calling for the disputes! It's time to brought in to solve those

scrutinise scrutinise one of the opinion

writers from The Drum scrutinise one of the opinion

writers from The Drum website.

from the Institute of Public Meet our next guest Chris Berg

Affairs says the Opposition could go a hell could Affairs says the Opposition further when it could go a hell of a lot

further when it comes to spending further spending cuts and Chris Berg

joins us from our spending cuts and Chris joins us from our Melbourne

studio.

studio. Hi, Chris. Hi, how are you. Annabel with the first

question tonight. Before we get into you. Annabel with the first question Before we get into the specifics of your recommendations I want your view on Before we get into the specifics of

view on this. I reckon this

whole faddishness of whole faddishness belts in election whole faddishness of tightening

belts in election campaigns,

kind of dates back to the last kind of dates election

kind of dates back to the last Kevin Rudd stood election campaign when famously

Kevin Rudd stood up in front of

his fellow travellers and said

his fellow travellers and said "This reckless spending must

stop" , now it's much more "This reckless spending must

fashionable to spend less in

fashionable to spend less in

do you think this is a election campaigns than more -

permanent thing? I really hope

it's a permanent thing, I can't

imagine it is. We've got a

huge history of growing

government and growing spending huge history of and adding new programs and

that sort of stuff. The

interesting thing, interesting thing, though,

about the comparison

about the

Rudd's campaign and the Abbott

campaign is that Kevin Rudd

wanted to spend less because it

seemed like Howard was spending too

too much. Tony Abbott wants to spend seemed like Howard was spend less because

spend less because they literally too much. Tony Abbott

literally have to spend spend less because literally have to spend less.

Kevin Rudd has actually spent

all the money. At least John Kevin Rudd has actually spent

Howard had left a surplus, as

big a spender as John Howard

was. big a spender as John

was. Abbott and Gillard really

at the moment have no choice but to was. Abbott and but to cut. Chris, it's a great list in the but to cut. Chris, it's

list in the article you've

written for The Drum today of things that should be pared back. written for The Drum today back. What do you think about

offshore things that should be pared offshore processing? I know back. What do you think about offshore processing? I know a study done into offshore processing? I

study done into the Pacific solution a few study done into the solution a few years back by solution a few solution a few years back by Oxfam suggested each asylum seeker processed Oxfam

seeker processed on Nauru cost $500,000 each, do you consider that an area of $500,000 each, that an area of waste? I think

that's a really that an area that's a really concerning issue, but that an area of waste? I think issue, but the issue of offshore processing isn't about

the money. We're talking about a serious a serious humanitarian issues, we're talking about serious policy questions. I think how

much it costs, it's a B issue

or a C issue or a D issue. I

don't think it should be really

what we're focusing on. If we

want to talk about offshore processing we have to decide whether it's

want to talk about whether it's a good idea or not

and we can start cutting whether it's a good and we can start cutting corners and trying and we can corners and trying to save money on soap and corners and and we can start cutting money on soap and all that sort money corners and trying to save money on soap and all that sort of stuff. Tim of stuff. Tim Blair? You mentioned 65 businesses

that took money to upgrade to more environmentally-friendly machinery, that took money to upgrade to more machinery, can you supply me

with a list so I can machinery, can you supply me with a list so I can dodge around

around them? Or at least ask around

for your money back. around them? Or at least for your money back. 65 is for your money back. 65 is an extraordinary small amount and the idea behind the retooling for climate change program which gave the 65 businesses

their better air conditioners

and all that sort of stuff, that's absurd. They're not going and all that sort of going to save the climate by paying off a company going to save the climate paying off a company of lucky paying off companies. This shows some of paying off a company of companies. This shows some of the absurdities about some of the environmental regulations

the environmental regulations and subsidies that the absurdities about some of and subsidies that have built up

up under the Rudd Government

and you have to be honest, up under the Rudd Government and you have to be honest, under the Howard Government as well. Julian?

The figure that caught me The figure that caught me in your article is the huge amount the Opposition The figure that caught me in your the Opposition is claiming is

going to be spent on Australia

trying to get a going to be spent on Australia

trying to get a seat at the UN Security Council, in Security Council, in the level of billions. trying to get a seat at the UN of billions. I know it takes of billions. I know it takes a

lot of money of billions. I know it lot of money to convince people

that Kevin Rudd is an appealing lot of money to convince people

option, but can that that Kevin Rudd is an appealing

option, but can that figure be

in any way credible? Do you

think the Opposition's costings

of those savings should think the Opposition's of those savings should be queried? It's actually $5.7 million... I've done million... I've done a

Barnaby. It's $5.7 million and

I still think that's a huge amount Barnaby. It's $5.7 million and amount of money considering the I still think that's a huge amount of money considering the

alternative uses. You know you could amount of money considering the alternative

could buy half a covered area for a school for that sort of could buy half a covered money. Why aren't

money. Why aren't we focusing

money. on that? Chris, money. Why aren't we focusing on that? Chris, you've tackled

the sacred cow of the bid for the FIFA World Cup, why do you

think that's a waste of money? Oh well I think that's a waste

money? Oh well I really don't

want to make any friends,

money? Oh well I really don't

that's why I nominated that

one. You've made one, I'm against the one. You've against the game. There's an underground of us opponents of against the game. There's underground of us opponents of the FIFA World Cup. I the FIFA World Cup. I think

the FIFA World Cup bid is yet another white

the FIFA World Cup bid is another white elephant that's

going to be a hugely expensive

going to be a hugely expensive thing. another white elephant that's

thing. It's going to make going to be a hugely expensive thing. It's going to make us feel really good thing. It's going feel really good about ourselves until thing. It's going to make us feel ourselves until Australia loses

in the third round or something

like that. If it has in the third round or like that. If it has to come out it's going

like that. If it out it's going to cost $2.9

billion is one estimate. These

things never make their money

back. I think it's a huge

waste and Tony Abbott should be back. I think it's a huge waste and Tony Abbott should be

running far away from possible. As long as possible. As long as the money is spent on

is spent on video referees. And vuvuzelas! Chris Berg, thanks for joining us. My thanks for thanks for joining us. My

pleasure. Annabel you wrote a

piece on The Drum with an pleasure. Annabel you wrote a piece on The Drum with an intriguing insight into intriguing insight into the friendship between Julia

Gillard and Tony Abbott and a friendship between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott and a particular text message that

Julia Gillard sent particular text Julia Gillard sent to Tony Abbott and didn't want him Julia Gillard Abbott and

get? The two of them do have a

kind of a get? The two of them do

kind of a secret admiration,

not so secret admiration. If

you want to freak not so secret

you want to freak yourself out

Google " Gillard and Abbott flirting" and it'll

Google " Gillard and flirting" and it'll take you

to a YouTube video of them

joshing with each other. Lovely. They've always got

joshing with each other. Lovely. They've always got along well and there's an interesting little story from along well and there's interesting little story from

the 2004, before the election campaign when Tony Abbott campaign when Tony Abbott was Health Minister and Julia Gillard was the Shadow Health Health Minister and Julia Gillard was the Shadow Health Minister. She was trying to nut out what Minister. She was trying nut out what became

nut out what became Medicare

Gold and she sent a text message she thought Gold and she sent a message she thought to a mate

of hers one night and it was message she thought to a mate like "This of hers one night and it like "This thing is doing my

head in, I don't get head in, I don't get health policy" head in, I

policy" and realised later she'd head in, I don't get health policy" she'd sent it to Abbott. Rather nasty she'd sent it

Rather nasty blunder under the Rather Rather nasty blunder under the

circumstances. Look Rather nasty blunder circumstances. Look what she

did was interesting. She her staff organised for her her staff organised for her to

go on a remote radio station her staff organised for her to and do

and do an interview where she go on a remote radio and do an interview where she

threw in some remark about how threw threw in some remark about how

she'd jokingly sent a text and she'd jokingly she'd jokingly sent a text and that's how she inoculated herself in case Tony Abbott

decided to use it against her.

I use the anecdote because I've

called her a political killing machine before and I I use the anecdote because I've called her machine before and I think this

is an example of how called her a political killing

is an example of how she thinks is is an example of how she thinks

ahead. She wasn't taking any

chances of that accident being used ahead. She wasn't taking any used against her and chances of that accident being used against her and so she went to quite extreme lengths

went to quite extreme lengths to inoculate went to quite extreme to inoculate herself. Is that a

concern that it shows that she

was admitting she was not across her was admitting she across her portfolio and

finding it difficult? I think

finding it difficult? I

it was a throw-away. The text it was a throw-away. it was a throw-away. The text message as far as I'm aware didn't say "I'm

didn't say "I'm throwing it all

in". What about the issue in". What about the issue that

she was willing didn't say "I'm throwing it all in". What

she was willing to manipulate a media interview? Of course, yeah. she was willing to manipulate

yeah. This was in advance of the next step of the next step of it which was to mislead the next step

to mislead Parliament, was it

not, if Abbott brought this up she would say "Oh not, if Abbott brought this up she would say "Oh no, it was a

joke". The idea was joke". The idea was she would hold up the transcript joke". The hold up the transcript and say "Here's hold up joke". The idea was she would "Here's where I've talked about hold up the transcript and say "Here's where I've talked about it". It's never the crime, it's the cover-up, this it". It's never the crime, it's the cover-up, this is the cover-up, this the cover-up, this is Watergate. Do you Watergate. Do you think she'd be in trouble with

be in trouble with Parliament? Why didn't he try

to go public? Was Parliament? Why didn't he try to go public? Was he she on to go public? Was he regional radio within an hour? I don't to go public? Was he she on hour? I don't think he registered regional radio within an

registered it. I asked him and hour? I don't think he registered it. I asked him and he couldn't remember receiving it. It was part of the

late-night booty texting it. It was part of the late-night booty texting between the two! Tim, you between the two! Tim, you have a problem with a problem with this, don't you? I do between the two! Tim, you have a problem

you? I do think it's a bit you? I do think it's a bit of

an issue, because Annabel sort of glossed over, an issue, because Annabel sort of glossed over, it actually is

of glossed over, it actually is a bit more serious of glossed over, it actually is a bit more serious than that.

She's made an error, a bit more serious than that. She's made an error, covered it She's made an up, doing this radio interview

up, doing this in which she gave an in which she gave an inaccurate

impression it had been a text

message all along and lined up

in that way that was in that way that misleading. The misleading of Parliament would be about her

intent in sending the text

message. Wow, that is intent in sending the message. Wow, that is a pretty fine line to

fine line to draw. I've seen Parliament misled fine line to draw. Parliament misled much more

a-Greigously on much more major

issues than that. If she's prepared to do that over prepared to do that over a text

message, let's hope we never go

to war with this woman in control. Jules, what's

take? I'm not at all troubled as Tim seems to be. Any politician who found themselves as Tim politician who found themselves in a situation as Tim seems to be. Any politician who in a situation like this would in a

wrack their brains as quickly

as possible to come up with a covering strategy.

covering strategy. And then

lie about it lie about it in Parliament? Well, I don't Parliament? Well, I don't think

she did in Parliament. The

idea she had a plan to lie

about it is far-fetched. It's idea she had a plan to lie not cover-up 101. about it is far-fetched. not cover-up 101. I give her full marks not cover-up full marks for ingenuity I

think, good forward planning.

think, good forward planning.

Moving forward. I've had my

say. Let's move on. Let's move on and talk some of on and talk some of the candidate who is refuse to stay on candidate who is on message. Back

on message. Back in 1993 Paul

Keating labelled Labor's man in

the seat of Gilmore Peter Knott the candidate from hell after

he took the Prime Minister into the candidate from hell he took the Prime Minister into a cake shot where the owner backed and

a cake shot backed and Coalition's backed and Coalition's tax

plan. When they didn't have bread, plan. When they didn't

bread, let them eat cake, not

even she said "Let them eat bread, let them eat cake, not even cake with a even she said "Let them cake with a 15%

cake with a 15% GST". I'd like

to relieve a few more people to to relieve a few more people to

relieve my situation with my to relieve a few more relieve my situation with my family. That's where relieve my

family. That's where that term

" the candidate from hell" came across.

family. That's where that term came across. There was " the candidate from hell" came across. There was another

term that Paul Keating used to

describe Peter Knott, but I can't term that Paul Keating used can't say that one.

describe Peter Knott, can't say that one. Who's everyone's favourite candidate can't say that one.

from hell so far? Often for the

real juice in this area real juice in this area you've got to go to

real juice got to go to Tasmania and this campaign is no got to campaign is no exception. The seat got to go to Tasmania and this

seat of Flinders, rather confusingly has seat of

confusingly has a candidate for The seat of Flinders, rather confusingly

The Greens called Bob Brown, confusingly has a candidate for The Greens called Bob Brown,

not the Bob Brown, a different The Greens called Bob not the Bob Brown, a different guy. Now that's a difficulty already in my opinion, already in my opinion, but this

guy apparently this week already in my opinion, but this

guy apparently this week told a local paper that guy apparently this week told a local paper that the 9/11 Commission was not conclusive on whether Commission was on whether al-Qaeda was

responsible. It's really a matter of time responsible. It's

matter of time usually until matter of matter of time usually until

somebody brings up 9/11 in the process in the local campaign. A burning issue in

A burning issue in Tasmania. He's been properly

distanced, I think, by the real Bob Tasmania. He's been properly

Bob Brown. He's come out and

said "I was speaking Bob Brown. He's come said "I was speaking as an

individual only Bob Brown. He's come out and said "I individual only and regret my said "I was speaking as an individual comment" , someone from comment" , someone from Greens' head office has asked him head office apologise? Apparently, he

wasn't speaking as the real Bob Brown. Imagine wasn't speaking as the real Brown. Imagine the torment Brown. Imagine the torment of

having someone from Greens'

head office coming down on having someone from Greens' head office coming down on you. Not quite Sussex Street. No more head office coming down on you. Not Street. No more wheatgrass for

Street. No more wheatgrass for you! Julian Morrow, do you

you! Julian you! Julian Morrow, do you have

any nominations for the

candidates from hell so any nominations candidates from hell so

far? Can I send a candidates from far? Can I send a note of

sympathy for sympathy for obscure candidates. The reality sympathy

far? Can I send a note of candidates. The reality is the

campaigns are so centrally

controlled they're essentially campaigns are so centrally controlled they're essentially prevented from saying anything

prevented prevented from saying anything substantive and spend substantive and spend their

whole time being hounded by the

media for a whole time substantive and spend their media for a potential slip-up.

It's a difficult thing to

have. We kind of do like

have. We have. We kind of do like this. It's basically trying this. It's basically trying to shoot fish in a have. We kind of do like this. It's shoot fish in a barrel. this. It's basically trying to shoot fish in a barrel. My

fish in this barrel is Mark fish

fish in this barrel is Mark Banwell from fish in this barrel Banwell from Ballarat who wins the Year 9 Banwell from Ballarat who wins the Year 9 debating award the Year 9 debating award for bringing up Hitler in bringing up Hitler in the campaign.

bringing up campaign. He described the Building the Education

Revolution campaign. He Revolution campaign as Revolution campaign as a holocaust which was campaign. He described the Building the Education holocaust which was deemed Revolution campaign as insensitive and I'm quite an expert in these issues. Once

again, has been asked to expert in these issues. Once

again, has been asked to apologise? He has, I think has again, has been asked

done so, I'm not sure whether the

the difference between a done so, I'm not sure

holocaust and the holocaust is the difference between holocaust and the holocaust is much of a defence to holocaust and much of a defence to be mounting. No matter how mounting. No matter how bad

the Building the Education Revolution was I can see a mounting. No matter how bad the Building the Education Revolution was I can see a distinction. Tim Revolution was I can see a distinction. Tim Blair, your nomination? The former Prime

Minister's nephew Van Thanh is Minister's the candidate in my home the candidate in my home town of Werribee the candidate in

of Werribee the seat of Lalor

held by Julia Gillard. He's representing

representing the Revolution Socialist Party. He's bound to

be causing trouble down there.

Julia Gillard dropped in on Werribee last Friday. This Julia Gillard dropped Werribee last Friday. This is

probably the fastest visit ever probably - nine minutes. probably the fastest visit - nine minutes. It was timed

by somebody, they got the by somebody, they got the stop watches by somebody, they got

watches out. What was Van doing? watches out. doing? Snchts he's watches out. What was Van doing? Snchts he's a

revolutionary socialist, it revolutionary socialist, it was

midday, still doing? Snchts he's a revolutionary

midday, still asleep. Do we

know where he's distributing midday, still asleep. Do we

preferences? No, I've got to find out more preferences? No, I've got to find out more about the

Revolution Socialist Party.

It's different to the socialist

party. He's both a former Prime Minister and

party. He's both Prime Minister and a former nephew the way he's going at

the moment. An honorary nephew the way the moment. An honorary mention

for Adrian Schonfelder who said Tony Abbott's conservative religious views for Adrian Schonfelder who religious views were influencing influencing people to take their own lives religious views were influencing their own lives and he influencing people to take their own lives and he has

apologised, as well. That's

all for apologised, as well. all for our first

all for our first edition of

The Drum. You can check out the website The Drum. You can check out the website at abc.net.au/thedrum. Our panelists today have panelists today have been Tim

Blair, columnist with Blair, columnist with the 'Daily Telegraph', you panelists today have been Tim

Blair, columnist with the

'Daily Telegraph', you can make

a comment on Tim's blog. If you're lucky. Be the

first! Respond to comments about fearless prediction that

the ABC News 24 channel would never happen. Annabel

never happen. Annabel Crabb

writing for ABC News online and Julian Morrow

Canberra!'. Back next

Wednesday. I'm disappointed, I

thought this went for 24 hours this this discussion. We're out

early! Join us at the pub for

the other 23.5. It's a 24-hour news network. Another fearless

prediction. Good luck, Tim.

This Program Is Captioned

Live. Good evening. I'm Scott

Bevan. On tonight's program -

Fiji's defiant leader hits back as the row widens over the

expelled Australian diplomats, Commodore Frank Bainimarama

tells the aksz his relationship

with Australia is going from bad

bad to worse. You're watching 'The World'.

Not really good right now.

Very strained. In fact, it's going worse. And the military

leader had a direct message for

his biggest critics. We'll

bring you a rare one-on-one

interview. Also tonight - as

Australia interview. Also tonight - as fallen soldier, we'll cross fallen soldier, we'll cross

live to Afghanistan to ask: how

long should coalition troops stay? I'm Zoe Daniel on the Thai Burma border where Thai Burma border where Burmese

workers are being deported to

face extortion, assault and conscription. And the conscription. And the right

stuff, but is it the right

time? Astronauts train for the final final flights before

final flights before the shuttle's controversially

retired. We've been given retired. We've been given rare access to training.

Those stories shortly, but

first, let's bring you up to

date with tonight's developing

story. The ABC can reveal

serious concerns about the way

the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd administered national

security. Our political editor

Chris Uhlmann is in Canberra. Chris, what's been

Chris, what's been the response

so far? Well, Scott, so far,

Julie Bishop's on to this. She

is the Deputy Leader of the

Opposition as you can imagine

she's leading the charge as I

said. She says that this shows

that the government has a

cavalier approach to the key National Security Committee of

Cabinet, the most important

committee of government. She

said Kevin Rudd showed he

couldn't be bothered to

couldn't be bothered to a attend. She said it shows Julia

Gillard didn't have the moral

courage or the gumption to pull

Kevin Rudd into line. I

understand you have some

details about an details about an important announcement tomorrow? Yes, the

opposition will be wanting to talk about national security

tomorrow. The government wants

to talk about climate change. Julia Gillard's going to make a major announcement on the

government's response to that.

We've been expecting it for some

some time. She will be

revealing that she will

announce a committee of scientists

scientists to set up and advise

the government and also that

that will be paired what's

being called a citizens'

assembly. That's a group of 100

to 200 volunteer who is will gauge the feeling of the

community and its attitude

towards putting a price on

carbon. Of course the

government does remain

committed to using a market mechanism to put a price on

carbon. Plit To the situation in

in Fiji now, and in Fiji now, and the Pacific nation's military leader nation's military leader says

his relationship with the Australian Government is

getting worse. In a rare one-on-one interview, Frank

Bainimarama told the ABC he's

been unfairly condemned for been unfairly condemned for expelling a second Australian diplomat. His interview shortly

but first this report from

Phillipa McDonald in Natadola.

Fiji wants to tell the world and particularly Australia that expelling a it's still a force to be

it's still a force to be reckoned with in the South Pacific. Pacific. Fiji's interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was

to have assumed the leadership

of the influential Melanesian

Spearhead Group today. But the group led by group led by Vanuatu cancelled

its annual meeting because of

Fiji's slow progress towards

democracy. It's a snub

Commodore Bainimarama still

blames on Australia.

blames on Australia. It's not really good right now. Very

strained. In fact, it's gotten worse. And he shrugged off

criticism of his expulsion of a

second Australian diplomat in

eight months. I don't know why

it's a big deal. She's gone

back to Australia and she's

going to receive accolades from the Foreign Affairs Minister. Fiji's interim Prime Minister

says he's determined to have

his country's neighbours see him in a

him in a more positive light,

so he's pushed ahead with

today's meeting today's meeting of Pacific island leaders. Hopefully the

opportunity to engage on this

occasion will maybe lead

pathways where we have not been

able to make any pathways in

the past. There are some high

profile absences here, but Fiji

is keen to stress that the

President of Kiribati is here,

along with the Prime Ministers

of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu's

Foreign Minister. Pro-democracy

groups remain hopeful that

Commodore Bainimarama will

fulfil his promise to hold

elections in four years. Until

then, Fiji will remain diplomatically isolated. Phillipa McDonald was

granted a rare one-on-one

interview with Commodore Bainimarama where he Bainimarama where he was critical of Australia's

involvement in Pacific

affairs. Thanks for joining

News 24. Your critics see you

as a military dictator who has

a very tight grip on Fijian society.

society. What are you really like? I don't know how like? I don't know how to

answer that. But I'm lost for words.

words. You can see me sitting

here. And not in the military

garb that the Australian and

New Zealand press always put on

TV and papers. I only go up to

the camp every now and then. I leave the military to leave the military to my Chief

of Staff to run. But of Staff to run. But the military

military dictator, the title

came in 2006 because of what we

did. But I kept saying, Phillipa, that unfortunately

for us here, the military is

the only entity that could

bring about the changes that we

need to do. Military in Fiji is

not like military in some African States.

African States. Where it's done

for power, but not only power,

the abuse of power. This is

totally opposite. In December it will be four years since you

as military leader overthrew a

democratically elected

government. How have you

changed Fiji? We have - in fact

we've come through a lot of reforms. We've done a lot of

reforms that have never been done. We've talked about reforms that have never been talked about and accepted. We've done all those. We've

removed some of the issues that have held us back, that has not

opened the Fijian society to

changes and reforms. We've done

that over the last four years.

And people will tell you in

Fiji that that has happened. We're talking about

We're talking about land reforms. We're talking reforms. We're talking about

land reform. We're talking about our economy. We're talking about corruption. The international community has

been very critical of your

media decree. Particularly on

the restrictions on reporting

and now the ban on foreign

ownership. You've also got

emergency laws in place. Why do

emergency laws in place. Why do

you need them? We need them,

Phillipa, to bring about the

changes. We have to have those

laws in place to bring about

the reform that we have. If we

don't have them, we will never

get these reforms in place this is get these reforms