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Live. Good morning. Welcome to

'Insiders'. Julia Gillard and

Tony Abbott were worlds apart

this week as they each took to

the road. The Prime Minister

went on an extensive tour for the royal wedding. The Opposition Leader, by way of

contrast, soaked up some of his

favourite domestic issues on

Christmas Island and in whie

wall a and Alice Springs. Christmas Island and in whie

It's good to be here in

Christmas Island with my

friends. I'm here in Beijing

on my first visit to China as

Prime Minister. I think it's very

very important leaders familiarise themselves very important that senior

as far as they can with the

situation on the ground. We

haven't been here very long.

Christmas Island has been Plainly, the situation here on

extremely difficult. The relationship with China is in good shape. The government

should be in control of what's happening in Australia and on

our borders. I did have the opportunity

opportunity to raise with Premier Wen issues associated

with Australia's concerns with human rights. main issue that she should be human rights. I think that the

raising with the Chinese is the

carbon tax. If anybody raises

it with me, I'd be very pleased

to explain to them the Government's policies and plans

in relation to carbon pricing.

What Julia Gillard should be

working out whilst she's in

China is how wrong her China is how wrong her policies

here at One steel, here in are. G'day. It's good

Whyalla. Having a good time?

Having a wonderful time,

thanks. Whyalla will be wiped

off the map by Julia Gillard's

carbon tax. Of course we're

attending the royal wedding, so

that will be really exciting.

The challenge is to Julia Gillard come to Whyalla, come

here to One steel and front the

workers in this plant. We have

a plane to catch. Thank you

very much. It's good to be

here in Alice Springs. Welcome to London. disappointed that the Prime to London. Thank you. I'm

Minister hasn't come with me.

Welcome. Thank you. It's

great to have Julia Gillard, Australia's Prime Minister, here at number 10 here at number 10 Downing

Street. I think it's very

important that we get a

happening, particularly in personal feel for what's

remote Australia. I had the

opportunity today to meet with

Prime Minister Cameron and

those sorts of things. The

relationship between Britain

and Australia is strong and gets stronger all

gets stronger all the time. That's boring. serious side to the trip. I'm

not here to make a party

political broadcast today or to

engage in cheap shot against the Prime Minister. Excited?

Yes, I am. I am excited, two young

young people in love and it's

going to be such an occasion.

As long as I've been in the

parliament, I've tried to have

a personal engagement with Aboriginal people and

Aboriginal issues. Are you going to

going to wear a hat? I will

have something on my head, yes.

The hat, it looked like a

satellite dish. Was there something that had blown

against her head and she

couldn't get it off. Second

biggest question of the day,

what's Tim wearing? A suit. I

just want to do what I can from

Opposition to bring about beneficial change. Ultimately I

people will judge me on what I

get done, not what I'm wearing

while I do it. Thank you so

much. Thanks so much. Thank you. Thanks a lot. Why would

Lindsay Tanner, former Finance Minister say it's all about

entertainment and has little

complex for complex social

issues. We'll ask him that

this morning. First what are the Sunday papers reporting

around the country, silly question really. Gerard

Henderson, two days on, the royal wedding is still selling lots of newspapers. I'm a Republican, There's a great deal of this is fair reporting.

interest in this, it was a

great occasion. I had to go

out on Friday night. I watched

the replay, it was a fine

event. You had a royal couple

who, unlike 30 years ago,

clearly like one another. He

said to her she was beautiful.

She said to him are you happy? It was a nice occasion. I

think there's a lot of public interest, there's a lot of

reportage in the media. If I

page one were an editor, I'd write it on

page one and run it for

days Into the too many

Republicans would watch it live

went out and then watched the replay. Very important historical event in Westminster Abbey and all the historic

symbols around for those of us

brought up Catholics, even a

portrait of our lady of

perpetual Succour within the

Abbey. I thought that was a

great show too. I think it's

mean and trivial and a bit juvenile for those people in

Australia and elsewhere who want to ridicule this function. Other weddings aren't ridiculed.

functions are ridiculed, so a

Christian wedding in

Westminster Abbey should be

respected, even if you are a Republican. To say that it's mean and trivial to mean and trivial to criticise

it or to find that perhaps it

doesn't suit people in

Australia to ief watch or to

become swept up in the whole

glamour and occasion and pomp

of it, I don't think that that

can be classed as mean or

trivial. I think that there is

absolutely no relevance to our

lives, Australian lives, and if

you like to watch a big party, fine, good, but in terms of

saying that this has any

importance to Australia at all,

I don't think it does. Plenty of people lapped it up. Just

the figures in, 7 million

people watched it on Australian television, more than watched the opening and the opening and closing ceremony of the Sydney

application. I can't wait to

see what the Republicans do

when we have a rub in

Australia. What's the main President of Australia? How

can they compete with the pomp

and ceremony, it was an amazing

spectacle. 31 years ago I

staged a sit-in in my room, having a party watching black

and white television, 10

minutes in, I thought it's dull

here. After the revolution, it

was all a bit dreary. The

Pope's visit to Australia,

recent Pope's visit to Australia, was hugely successful, a lot of people

liked it, liked watching it,

including a lot of young

Australians. You'll see with

the Royal wedding as lot of young people liked it.

Some of the baby boomers and

older, may be a bit cynical

about it, a lot of young

Australians liked it. If they

can put on a show like that with new attractive people,

what hope have the Republicans

got in the short term? I guess

the difference is with the President, he'd be elected -

he, she. Kerri-Anne, this morning speculation about what

the Queen might have said to

Julia Gillard. In a blog

independent Australia, the quon has made

Australian Republic would in no

way impair the relationship

enjoyed between the two

countries and has stayed basically get on written by Tess

Lawrence. Doesn't she say she

wouldn't be offended if

Australia became a Republic

whilst she was still alive? Absolutely. She doesn't want

to be seen as having to die to be seen as having to die off

before such a thing became

possible. This is something

that they have said for a long

time, the monarchy. They've said it right back to when I

recall writing the stuff back

changed their position. It's

just that there's no political leadership in Australia to take

this forward. Is this a sentiment, Gerard, do you

think, that the Queen would

want Julia Gillard to pass on to the country? I think the

position of the Palace had

previously been attributed to

Prince Charles. The position

of the palace was always we

should do what we want to do.

I think that report would be inaccurate to the extent inaccurate to the extent that

the Queen would be advocating

this. What the Queen would be

saying if you want to do it, go

ahead and do it. Whether that

needs to be passed on, I think it's

it's fairly widely known. But

Australia. There was a serious

report some years ago, about 20

years ago, the Queen was upset

when New Zealand looked like

they were going alone, I think

she thought that New Zealanders would have a different attitude

to the monarchy than

Australians. I think it is

expected that one day Australia

might become a Republic and

certainly the royal family doesn't want to stand in the

way of that. But that's going

to be difficult to achieve, but

certainly in the lifetime of

the current monarch. Chris,

Julia Gillard has written or

perhaps dictated, I own account of the own day She's dick taited it --

story of two young people in

love. Despite the

the whole day managed to have an intimate feel. It's their

story. Just a story told in a

different way to a wedding in a suburban backyard. When you look at

look at the pictures, it's like

my wedding. I think the

family portrait sums it um.

The thing that we want to know

are the things we couldn't see

and the things that happened

behind the scenes. about the drinks, she talks

about the speeches. Prince

Charles spoke and then Prince William spoke. There was

teasing in the father and son

kind of way, as you do at suburban backyard. Prince William teasing Charles for

being an old bloke and Prince

Charles giving a speech about

how one day you're running

around after the children,

feeding them and looking after

them. Then the next thing you

know they're adults. Will he

be able to find them at the

other end of the palace? How

often do you think Prince

William fed the children? Then

he said he was sure their

they'll be feeding him and

looking after him. That will

happen too. That sounds like a

suburban wedding, actually. It

does, actually, usually after

too many drinks,

the point you're not supposed

to talk about what goes on in

these dinners, that that's

against protocol. Maybe she

hadn't been briefed. Maybe she

didn't care. Maybe she is a Republican, maybe she will push

it forward. That's Sunday

papers. Lindsay Tanner is

about to join us. He says in

the new book side-show syndrome is turning Australian democracy

into a sham.

the big top, who are the

clowns? There is a message in

this bottle. You did well,

John. SONG: # Let me entertain

you, let me entertain you # I'm

no longer trash. no longer trash. I'm cash.

He's all tip and no iceberg.

Member for North Sydney will

resume his seat. resume his seat. Merry

Christmas. All the best of the

season. Merry Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho. Lindsay Tanner, good

morning. Who are you saying

has dumbed down democracy? The

only thing missing from that

was my fer formance on the

Footy Show. This is what my book book is all about. The question you have to ask is why

politicians are behaving like

that, far more than they did

perhaps 20 or 30 years ago.

The answer is that gets media

coverage. If the media portrayed politics entertainment, don't be

surprised if politicians start

behaving like entertainers, in

order to get coverage. Media coverage is the oxygen of

politics. If you don't get you don't exist. If you have to behave like that to get coverage, you do. The media

made me do it is the

explanation. Politicians play

role, they have choices, but

the media set the ground rules. One of the lamest excuses that

I've got, and I've heard it

before in response to my criticisms of the media, is

we're the messenger, don't

shoot the messer jer. The

media create the message. They

decide whether I or somebody

like me gets access to the

media, what they portray, what

I've said gets put there.

Whether it's distorted or not

or whether or not I get

to play by their rules, and all politicians know this and

that's why you get that kind of

behaviour. But it's one thing to say you need to be part of It's another to look like a

clown. True. But if the

alternative is no-one knows you

exist, you've got no choice.

You have to play by those

rules, because the one thing

that will guarantee that you

will not succeed as a

politician is nobody ever

having heard of you. So if the rules of

rules of the game are put on a

funny hat, dance the Macarena,

put on a tu tu in order to get

coverage, that's what people do. I get the feeling these

days politicians prefer to go

on the light entertainment programs, they knock the to get on those programs, and

harder these days to get people

on serious programs. The

reason they do that is because

of the fact that serious

content is slowly draining out

of media coverage. There are

islands of good coverage, of

which ABC is one, but it's not

subject to the same commercial pressures as the commercial

media. The reason that

politicians try to get on those because half the population is getting not much else in terms

of content about them. So

they've got to go where the people are because the means of

getting a serious message

has shrunk back to, in effect,

a minority set of outlets that

really broadcast and publish to

a minority audience. Maybe, but they also avoid the

interrogation if they go on to

those programs, rather than the

more serious programs. There's

a very good reason for that,

that is they have no confidence

what they say will not misrepresented. It's already

happened to me with respect to

this book only in the past week

or so, that what happens is

that most media outlets now

routinely distort routinely distort and

manipulate content to beat it

within an inch of its life into

something that is totally

unrepresentative fz what was

said or what was meant in order

to make it entertaining and stimulating and titillating.

So politicians are naturally

nervous about how they're going

to be portrayed. That's why

you get spin. That's where you get spin. That's where

spin came from. That's why you

get people with scripts, that's why sounding like robots. They're

defending themselves. I wonder,

though, whether most

politicians go on to these

programs to sort of try to turn

a boat or do they do it just to

raise their own raise their own profiles? All

of the above. Politics depend

s on publicity. When you've

got a democracy, when you've

got compulsory voting, the key

to getting support is people

knowing who you are and having

some sense of what you're

about. That's why politicians

are always desperate to get

into the media. The problem is

that the ground rules have changing for some time, getting

less and less serious, more and

more distorted, more and more

focused on entertainment focused on entertainment and

the end result is politicians

have responded to that, just as

when you change the football rules, players

they play. Yes, but if we get a

little nostalgic for the moment, I recall times

ministers would never ministers would never speak outside portfolio

responsibilities. Now they do

on anything and everything and

they become commentators and

analysts, more than

politicianance. That's a fair

comment. One of the reasons is

they get rewarded for by extra publicity and become personalitieses, like Barnaby

Joyce, for example, and whatever internal damage they may suffer as a result of it falls into falls into the shade. It's nowhere near as significant. In other words, the equation's

a positive one for them. You

make yourself a high-profile

personality and that media

coverage and popular

recognition will drive your

career and the question of

whether or not you're playing

by internal party rules doesn't

matter that much. I wonder if

it is a positive. There was a

time when you clearly knew who

the Minister for Minister for trade, Minister

for security. They seem to

have lost that credibility.

You don't identify them

naturally with who they are.

It's certainly not a positive for serious democracy. That in

a sense is the point of my

book, that the seriousness and

the connection between the ordinary citizen and what's

going on in the political

process, actual decisions,

actual issues, is draining

away. It's definitely not a

positive for a functioning

democracy. We're heading towards a world where the question of who governs

Australia is going to be determined

what Tony Abbott looks like in

speedos or whether Julia Gillard cried after the Queensland

Queensland floods. Both of

which have absolutely nothing to do with the big decisions,

big challenges, the issues, the

strategies that ultimately are what politicians are there

what politicians are there

for. Why, though, aren't senior

people resisting this more

often. When you were in the ministry,

ministry, you would be taken

out of Caucus and given talking

points for the day. They could

be across any issue, unrelated

to finance, and you took on

the spruiker for the day.

Look, some people obviously

play by these rules more than others. So there is some

degree of variety. But

ultimately everybody is subject

to the same pressures. I don't

claim to be pure. I played by

those rules. I tried to push

back a bit. Maybe I could have

done more. But everybody

ultimately is in the game of getting forward. Politicians

are exactly like everybody

else. They try to do things

that will get rewarded and they

try to avoid doing things that

will get punished. When all

the signals say play the clown, be flamboyant and don't say anything that can be misrepresented,

misrepresented, look like

you're doing something and

don't offend anybody who

matters, well, guess what, they respond to

play by those rules. I don't claim to have been different from claim to have been any different from others. When you

say one of the mantras is don't

offend anybody who matters,

Graham Richardson says the

opposite, right now this

Government is offending just about everybody. Look, well,

in a macro sense, that's possibly right, but I mean in a

specific sense of what you say

and how you say it, so that

with sets of issues, the first

thing you have to think about

is how do I be careful about

what I say so that nothing here

is going to have media the following day with Tanner

attack s pharmacists or "Tanner

attacks golf club members", or

whatever. Obviously policy decisions invariably upset

people. Often you're

confronted with decisions which

will upset someone no matter

which way you go. I'm trying to say the way presentation occurs and it is affecting

decision-making is very much driven by avoiding offending

people. The key reason is that

those with grievances get their grievances massively magnified, distorted, built up out of all

proportion to the merit and proportion to the merit and the content of those grievances because that sells newspapers

and wins ratings and it impacts

on the way politics works. This

idea that you have to win the

micro argument every day, and

that's why you have a team of

people who get up before dawn and put together a kind of

strategy for the day, that's

relatively new. That's not the way that John Howard operated.

drifted into that zone in the

latter part of his career, but certainly you're right, it's

relatively new. You could

argue that it's self-defeating and I'm the problem I'm identifying is

a bit cyclical, so that we're

starting to see maybe some

early signs of a bit of

pushback. But that politics of

the moment, as I call it, I

think is dreadful because what

it means is that - Didn't

Kevin Rudd invent that? No, I

don't think he did. I think

it's been around for longer

than that. I think it's just

something that's been mounting

and mounting and mounting it's very much a product of

digital media, internet, pay

TV, the emergence of a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week instan seven-days-a-week instan tanus news cycle, which means you're always always under intense pressure

and siege and you have no

alternative but to focus

intently on today's micro - It

seems the 2007 election, when

John Howard was still Prime Minister, you had big issues,

you talk about this in the

book, WorkChoices, Iraq and

issues like that. Then you get

to 2010 and where did all the

and marketing? I think it's

true to say it's got worse. I

don't think it's something that

has just emerged recently.

These problems are time

immoral. They've been in politics forever. I'm

suggesting they've got a lot

worse. I think really over the

past decade or so you can't pinpoint a specific point and

say this is where the flick got

switched from serious. But the

problem has got a lot worse.

Although I think possibly

you'll see pushback from consumer demand, I think the

big increase in the Green vote


much reflective of a revolt by educated politically aware

voters against this whole

exercise. Where it's going to head I'm not head I'm not sure. If you could

identify a moment, it might

have been during the election

campaign when standing up for

Australia and moving forward.

They were dreadful. They were

totally inane. I think that's

probably, in a sense, a low

light that really does

illustrate the problem. Now,

election slogans, if you go

back over the decades, have

often been rather uned vying,

but these two

They were absolutely content free, bland, meaningless. So I

think they really punctuate

this problem. You write about

the removal of Kevin Rudd and

you said that had some very

powerful echos of the sideshow

syndrome. How so? I compare

it with the period in 1995

under Paul Keating. I was a

backbencher in my first time.

93, 94, we had a glorious

victory in '93, we were walking on water for the next couple of

years. The Libs had all kinds

of problems, we were in a very

of '94. Similar, I think, to where the Rudd Government had

been in 08 and 09, even though

you had the global financial

crisis, politically the Government was in a very strong

position. Then it all went bad

fairly quickly. The difference

was that in 1995 there was

nothing other than the most

vague rumblings in the media

and in the Caucus about the

prospect of Paul Keating being

knocked off and it was

basically not an issue, whereas

Kevin Rudd had a period of two

or three months of declining polls, the Government in

trouble and things getting politically. So why is that? There are all kinds There are all kinds of

reasons. I won't ventilate the

reasons why those occurred. The key difference is that

people clearly in the Caucus

made a judgment that the

intensity of the media and the siege that was inevitably being laid to the Government by

Government by the media was such that it could not be

resisted. That didn't have to

do with Kevin Rudd's autocratic

style? Exactly the style? Exactly the same accusation could be made

against pork in 1995. You had

similar circumstances in the

content of the political different is now you've got

Kevin Rudd being sacked. We

have had eight opposition

leaders in a decade in this

country. Why do you reckon that's happened. It's because

every time you get an Opposition Leader who doesn't

immediately star in the polls,

they're instantly under siege

and then you get the drip and

then you get people in the media and inevitably dissidents

in their own party nauing away,

end result there's another

change of leader. Why is that happening. These days if a

leader is in trouble there's no

patience for them. Why is that happening?

media don't want to talk about issues, they

issues, they want a sporting

contest and the media now need

somebody - The media didn't

talk up the Kevin Rudd change,

it came out of a clear blue

sky. I don't think that's absolutely correct. But I'm

just making a general point

here and that is that anybody

who's in the slightest trouble

is always going to have that

massively magnified and the end

result of that is it becomes a

self-fulfilling policy.

Leaders do not get an opportunity to recover once

they're in trouble. If that's

the case, Julia Gillard is in

trouble by any measure. Where

is the patience going to come from? I won't comment on

contemporary politics. Oo im'

no the setting myself up as a commentator. You're sending out

an ominous message. It disturbs me. The thing makes disturbs me. The thing that

makes me unhappy is I see my

craft being trashed and your

craft being trashed, so that

the serious quality journalism,

which Australia still has some

examples of and which we've had

outstanding examples of, I see as

as a dwindling part of the picture. That's bad for

democracy. It means you end up with fewer and fewer people in the wider community having a

connection with what's going on connection with what's going on

and with decision-making and

that means that the notion

you've got some real democracy occurring is being eroded. I

think that's a big problem. You

left parliament distressed with

the system. Did you also

appreciate it was going to be

very hard to win your seat

against the Greens? I thought

I'd win, although I did have

research done at the end of 2009

2009 which showed that I was

certainly in for a big fight

and I thought I would win in

retrospect, I emphasise

I was wrong. Kath Botel ran a great xyn, but she was beaten

by more than 5%, inevitably as

a long-standing incumbent with high high profile, I think I would have done better but still lost

the seat. Did you leave with

ambitions unrealised Not in a

specific sense. I got into

politics wanting to be a senior

Minister in a Labor Government

and with a view that anything

beyond that would be fantastic

and obviously I always tried to

do my best. I aspired to the

top. But recognising that very much governed by luck and

serendipity and circumstance

and things that you can't

control. Now, I'm comfortable

with where the world sort of

finished and I'm

with where I'm now at and where

I'm heading and also of course

looking back on my political

career. Looking back, often

Julia Gillard was an internal

rival for you when she rose to

the top? Was that personally

difficult? Not at all, because

again it's - these are swings

and round-abouts in these

things. It could have been the conservatives kinds of things, it could have been Tony Abbott being Prime

Minister. So no matter what

sort of competition you've had

with individuals, you know,

I've been competing with Kevin Rudd at times. If Wayne Swan

is always that intense personal competition at the top of

politics. It's in the nature

of the game. The real test of

people is how they behave when

they have to work together. I

think the thing that should be

great credit should be given to

all the players, and apologies

for patting myself on the back,

but it now doesn't matter, I'm

not in the game, nobody has to vote of four people - Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan, Julia Gillard,

myself - were entrusted with

the nitty-gritty of managing

Australia through the global financial crisis in unprecedented circumstances and, notwithstanding you had all kinds of historical

rivalries and competition

between those people, not just

scrula and myself, Kevin, Wayne, others across each

other, they worked very professionally together, and

that's the real test of politicians. Thanks for coming

in. Thank you very much. Set off

off a long overdue debate no

doubt. Now on with the


We've had lots of We've had lots of celebrity sightings here in London for

the wedding, but never expected

to find Kevin Rudd wandering by

here. Guess who was there. What are you doing in London?

Are you here for the wedding?

No, I'm not. I'm here for the

... I'm here for the meetings of the British Foreign

Minister, I had today, Middle

East, Libya, Syria. It

reminded me of that scene in Muriel's wedding when the

mistress of Bill Hunter walks

into the Chinese restaurant and

Bill Hunter says "Deidre chambers, what a coincidence!

" I'm heading out to Ramallah.

We're going to give you a

wedding quiz. I'm going to fail it. Which of the

following people are not

invited to Beckham - The extent to which

Abu and Benjamin Netanyahu have

the royal wedding going on in

background, I'll let you pose

that question to yourself. EnI

jo the wedding. Hoo

Prince William struck me as a

very decent bloke. All the

best to the happy couple.

While I'm here, I'll make a

speech on China. The origin of

Costello performance there,

which is missed, was he which is missed, was he was actually talking about when Kevin Rudd

into Brian Bourke at a

restaurant in Perth. But it

was far more applicable to this

occasion, I would have thought.

Yes, wonderful seeing Kevin bob up in the old show. Wayne

Swan on 'Meet The Press' this

morning was asked obviously about

about the budget. He gave away more about I think fundamental

stat than any budget bottom line,

probably more important than

whether in a deficit or surplus. Here's Wayne Swan on

'Meet The Press'. What I can

say about the budget is that we

will see the creation of an

addition al 500,000 jobs in the

next couple of years, with an

unemployment rate coming down

to 4.5%. I make that point

about jobs because that is absolutely fundamental to the

piece of - peace of mind and living standards of average

Australian families. Secure employment is the first responsibility of a Federal Government, central emphasis of this

budget. Chris, I would suggest

the central emphasis of the message that's going to go on

for months and months is secure employment.

Jobs is a big thing, particularly with the carbon

tax. He rushed that message

out. It was the answer to the first question, he couldn't

wait to get out 500,000 of jobs

over the next couple of years. The Government is clearly feeling nervous about the way

the carbon tax is playing out.

This is a hard sell, the

budget. They have to say,

"Look, the budget deficit for

this year we said and for next year will

be bigger than we said, but

we'll be back in surplus by the following year, which is following year, which is what we promised." That is

credible, given the amount of

money that will flow into money that will flow into the economy. The Opposition just

has to say don't look at what

they say will happen, look at

what is actually happening now.

Once again, there will be a

credibility gap for the Government. It's unusual, isn't

it, to put out such a

fundamental figure this far

out. It is unusual. These

things are always very tightly

managed. This is an illustration of the way politics works these days that

it didn't used to work quite so

tightly as this. It gives aly

to what Lindsay was saying,

although he has valid about the interaction of

politics,. Now he has been

particularly under this Labor

Government, the budget is so

tightly managed in a media

sense that the drip-feed of

these things, particularly to

the weekend papers or on

programs like this and on the

other channel, it's all scripted. Not least announcements. They're announcements. It's about

getting good news out and then

they'll push out a bit of bad

news next week and then a bit

of good news. Also a reflection of the of the fact they're going

appalling in the opoltion.

They can't afford to stay at

the low rate much longer.

Newspoll out on Tuesday, maybe

they're trying to get a quick

fix. That's reasonable. I

don't know, I think the carbon

tax is a huge problem for them.

What I'm interested in what the

Treasurer said will primarily

he talks about 500,000 new jobs, that's good. Unemployment down to 4.5%,

that's good. But why are the long-term unemployed so large?

Why is this number so large?

Why are the welfare recipients

so large? so large? The answer is an

issue that neither the

Treasurer nor the Prime

Minister - she spoke well at

the Sydney Institute about this

issue, but didn't address the

issue that perhaps the unfair dismissal

dismissal laws are a huge

disincentive to small business

to employ younger people,

poorly educated people, in the

suburbs and regional centres.

Until the Government addresses

that issue, and until Tony

Abbott and the Opposition also addresses that

which would be terrific - Tony

Abbott can't because he says it

won't. He says he won't. I

think he needs to. think he needs to. It's

terrific to have it at this

level, but the long-term

unemployed is very large and

very serious. 200,000 people

have been unemployed now for

two years or more. This is a

huge problem. In the inner

cities among professional

educated people there is

virtually full employment. virtually full employment. But

in the outer suburbs of the

cities and regional centres,

away from the mining away from the mining areas, there's significant

unemployment amongst youth and poorly educated Australians and no-one is addressing it. Again

this is an issue that goes way back. I remember in Paul

Keating's day, the long-term unemployed was a significant

problem. Paul Keating came off

the back of

Yes. We didn't have a big

recession. We didn't go into

recession. Unemployment never

got much above 6%. Paul

Keating had unemployment at over

over 10%, as John Howard did in

the early 80s. It's not

comparable. We have a huge

rise in long-term unemployment

without having experienced a

recession or unemployment at

levels of 10% or more. This is unprecedented. But the traditional misery index,

figures like interest rates,

inflation, unemployment, all at

reasonable levels. The economy

is doing very well. Yes.

That's probably the message

they're trying to emphasise,

understand I build. The

inflation figure that came out this week on the face of it

didn't look too good, but a lot

was due to seasonal factors, particularly disasters over the summer. That's right. What

matters in the end is what

people are feeling. Everywhere

you go and talk to any

politicians coming back from

electorates to Canberra,

they'll tell you the one thing

people are talking about is

cost of living. One of the fears

would be that would also would be that would also help to drive inflation as well. This Government has a

particularly difficult time.

I'll give you a nightmare

scenario. What if the dollar

went back to 80 cents went back to 80 cents and Australians started paying

above $2 a litre for petrol,

what would Julia Gillard talk

about then? That's not beyond

the realms of - don't forget,

rewind all the way back to

2007, economy was going well

then. Kitchen table economics,

we can do something about the way you're living your lives, we can affect fuel watch, have grocery watch. People

People might recall that none

of those things came to pass.

It's one in a long line of promises that were made and then e then e evaporated. We'll talk

about the contrasting weeks for

the two leaders and Julia

Gillard of course went off to

Asia and to London and Tony Abbott went to Christmas

Island, Whyalla and you were

there with him in Alice

Springs, Chris. We'll talk

about the trip first of all.

Gerard, I think the headline I

saw was she got a pass her performance in most of those countries. I think it's

a bit ungracious. She did well

in Japan, did very well in

South Africa, very well in

South Africa I thought --

Korea and in China. She ran

the normal Government line

about importance of China to us

but indicated also we're

important to China, often forgotten, and she raised, quietly, the issue of human rights in China. That's

important. I thought she did

well in all the trip. I think at the moment because the Government is going badly in

the polls, there is a lot of unfair criticism of Julia

Gillard. There is some legitimate grounds, but much of the other

criticism on foreign policy and

on personal appearance, in my

view, is grossly unfair and completely unwarranted. She

had a

week. The question in the long

run will be whether it matters,

going first to Japan, important

thing. Remember Kevin Rudd

couldn't wait to get to China. Bendigo down to the

tsunami area, he criticised

again for her hair in a

disaster zone, it was crazy.

Yes. I don't know why anybody

would even bother. It an inane and insensitive

comment. Also, she's the first Australian Prime Minister by

visiting the site to recognise

the importance of the battle of

Kapyong in the where the Australian Army, plus the Canadians and the New

Zealanders, played a very

important role in breaking a Chinese, North Korean advance

which would have gone into

Seoul at least. That was a very important battle, very often unrecognised. Other Prime Ministers have spoken

about it. Julia Gillard went

there with some return diggers.

I think that was a fine gesture and much appreciated Koreans. In the mean time, Tony Abbott made Abbott made all those domestic

visits, he was in Christmas Island, on Christmas Island,

when a couple of things

happened. I think the collapse

of the East Timor option occurred finally, and there

were protests, Villawood, which

have now ended this morning, as

I j understand it, protests

there, Chris Bowen had to come

up with a temporary protection

visa sort of fallback

situation. The Government is

bleeding to death on this. It

is absolutely pois nuz. other thing too, Barry, for

those people pushing the cause

of people held in detention, they are doing them no favours

by encouraging some of this

behaviour. That's not true of

all of these groups. Those images of the images of the people on top of

that centre, while it burned,

went down enormously badly.

I've done a little polling of some of the members around

electorates, this is raised by people unprompted. It's really, really grating with

them. What did you make of the

Government's respond, Gerard?

I don't know what they can do.

They're talking about there will crimes have been committed, if police lay charges, governments

obviously don't lay charges.

But I don't know what else they

can do. They now have close to 7,000 people in detention.

Now, in the whole of the Fraser Government

Government - this is often

forgotten - the number of

people who came unlawfully was

2,000 over seven years.

They've got now 7,000 at one

time. The problem with East

Timor has come up, which is

always going to be the problem. The reluctance of the East

Timorese Government was the

concern that if we built a

detention centre in East Timor,

the people outside of it, the people outside of it, the

East Timorese would say, why are

are these people in why do they have better conditions than we have outside. That was never going

to fly. The Government won't

talk about Nauru, which I think

they probably should talk about

Nauru, but they won't. So

they're caught. I also noticed

- I agree with what Chris said

about the advocates, but I also

noticed that some of the -

those academics and lawyers, barristers equated John Howard with

fascism over the way he handled detainees, and I'm sympathetic

to asylum seekers, those people

have gone remarkably

silent. But surely the

Government's woes in this area

are somewhat of their own

making also. They have not had any

any real consistent line

through the Kevin Rudd and then

the Julia Gillard-led regimes.

The processing or the

moratorium on processing of applications

applications from Afghanistan

clogged the system. The number

of people that were held in

detention since that moratorium

was placed on the was placed on the processing of

those people, you know,

accelerated. You go one way or

the other, you either argue

strenuously from the beginning

and try to put the thing into perspective perspective and perspective and tell people

that you're overreacting to all

of this, but they tend to try

to meet the opposition halfway.

They're walking both sides of

a difficult - They do on so

many issues. They're trying to play left on both sides on this. The

problem for them with Villawood

is it's a metaphor for that

stuff. People on the roof that

won't come down and you can't

make come down while the centre burns, it burns, it says powerlessness

and policy failure. Yep. We

move on, Tony Abbott moved on

to Whyalla. This is where I

have a problem with the remark

he made a little earlier. I'm

not out there trying to take

cheap shots, but here he is in

Whyalla. Whyalla will be wiped

off the map by Julia Gillard's

carbon tax. Whyalla risks becoming a ghost town, an

economic wasteland, if this

carbon tax goes ahead. What did

that do for land values in

Whyalla? Well, I mean, it may not be a cheap political not be a cheap political shot,

but certainly a political shot It's just not true,

surely. It's not true.

Everywhere he went was

deliberate and very well

planned. His big problem in

the long run is overreach on

this stuff. The Government

believes it has one thing on

its time, which is this is not going going to fall apart with the

independents, they have time. If

If they can get carbon tax in with the sky isn't falling in and

Whyalla doesn't close, Tony

Abbott will be pinged for norm

us overreach. People also have

to be listening to the Government. They're losing

argument either way. It's hard

to find an economist or major

company that supports the Opposition's position. On the

other hand, you get the

impression that all the major

companies are against the

Government's policy when in

fact they're trying to finetune

it to suit their own purposes.

Here's Tony Windsor expressing

frustration with I think BHP in

this case. I'm getting a sick of some of the industry groups saying, when questioned, that we

that we believe we should be

doing something, then you ask

them what should we do if the Government has it wrong, they

go to water. My challenge is

for those industries put up or

shut up. Come up with something something that's better. Is

that a fair comment? It's not

a fair comment, unless Tony Windsor tells us his own position. He's very equivocal

on that. There's another point

in this. From Southbank in

Melbourne or Ultimo in Sydney

these companies look like the

big polluters. If you're in

If you have a wife and couple

of kid or husband and a couple

of kids in Whyalla, One steel

looks like a big employer, not a big polluter. The support

for carbon tax is primarily coming from well-educated

Australians in the inner cities. Companies now

resisting it are doing the

right things because they have an obligation to their

shareholders. As I understand

the business community, which

is divided, what those who

support a carbon tax are worried about the present

proposal is that they don't see

why we should go out in of the rest of the world. A very legitimate position would

be to say Australia is a good

international citizen, when

America moves and Canada moves

and China and India, and China and India, we'll move too. Isn't that built in the

policy in longer term It's not.

I think Tony Windsor has a

point. Everyone at the

starting points is we should

have a carbon tax, everyone says it to the Government, not

this one, we should have a

carbon price, not that one.

Interesting what you had to say

too the mining industry is starting another advertising campaign

campaign from families in

This is our, ads

on television as well. A very

positive message, not having a

go at the Government. Apolitical, Apolitical, Barrie, I've been

told. I was told to say that

with a straight face. I find

that difficult to do. Let's move on

move on to Alice Springs now, intervention was the issue

picked up. What were your impressions after spending a

few days there, Chris? There

is no doubt there were two

clear messages that came out, something had to be done after

the children of the sacred

report came out, what should be

that, and the real issue is

that because it was imposed, it

didn't ever garner the goodwill

of the people it was designed

to help and won't endure

because of that. So there is real issue there. But clearly

the effort is needed. But the other thing that comes through

very clearly is that Aboriginal

- if you think federal politics

is bad, Aboriginal politics is

more fractured and more

poisonous than anything in federal politics. Is that an

urban rural divide No. It was

clear when we were there that

there are very strong views

against in central Australia. It's not just urban

Aboriginals, leaders versus

central Australians. There is

also within the NT Government -

it's not just an issue that's dividing the people themselves,

the communities that are

affected by it. And it divide

s politicians and policy makers

not only in the NT, but across

Australia. This is a highly

controversial decision that was

taken but it's an issue that has

and just trying to get it right

and how do you do that is

something that is bedevilling

at a federal and NT Government level. How level. How much of a divide is

there between the major parties

it then? Tony Abbott is saying

that he wants some sort of

bipartisan approach on this, he'd like Julia Gillard to

travel with him, or perhaps the other way aurnd, to some of

these areas. Is that a genuine

thing on his part? I think

he's genuine. I think Jenny

Macklin is genuine as well.

They're facing an enormous problem which a lot of Australians don't want Australians don't want to talk about. It doesn't Aborigines, it affects the

whole of the country. Alcohol

abuse is a screaming problem in

Australia, causing depression, suicide, murder, aggression, tam family have in parts of the NT is just

this. Why are Aboriginal people not working, chris

pointed out on 7.30 report, you

have Africans working in Alice

springs, backpackers, but not

the local indigenous population. The answer is

because many of them are drunk

most of the time. This is also

true of white Australians other Australians. It's an

extra important there. How do

you a I dress alcoholism and

how do you stop alcoholics

drinking, it's a massive

problem. We talk a lot about smoking and environmental

pollution, but alcohol is the

principal social problem in

Australia, as in Australia, as in many other

western countries For decades

politicians have talked about

this. What happened was there

was a time when Aborigines

weren't allowed to drink. Then

we centsalised the industrial

relations system, threw them

off the camps and settlements.

They ended up in the urban centres at the time when the alcohol bans we turned a group of

hard-working Aborigines who ran

cattle stations and worked hard

and were very fit - for all the best of the motives, we turned

them into a group of many of

them, not all of them, a group

of alcoholics who had all the

other reasons then. As Noel

Pearson has said, we want to

get back to where we were in

the mid-60s, where the Aborigines worked, worked well,

didn't always work for top pay,

they were happier and healthier

than now. They worked for

for pay. Some worked for pay

and some worked for keep. But

when this system was

centsalised, the missionaries and others and others went to the industrial tribunal and said,

If you do this, this is what will happen, they'll go on

welfare, alcohol," that's

exactly what happened. One

last thing, it always sounds

paternalistic, the end point of

welfare has to be work surely. Sometimes you wonder when you

hear the debate some of the

people who work in the welfare industry think anyone should exit the exit the welfare system.

Surely whatever Australia Australian, if you can work,

you can work, you should be encouraged coming up. Frustration coming up. Frustration among

some politicians this week

about not being able to break

through because of the Royal

wedding. The Government leaked

a story to the 'Financial

Review', front page new, the

deficit would be larger than

expected. Joe Hockey was particularly frustrated about

that and a whole range of other

things, I think. Here he is.

They take out the garbage

normally at 4 o'clock on a

Friday, but they've the front page of a national

paper today because they know

there is a media obsession and

a community interest in the

royal wedding. But this is outrageous behaviour, quite

serious ly it is frustrating

that my children are going to

inherit a country being

influenced by this mob of

idiots. There you go, Joe

Hockey, you broke through the

royal wedding. More with our

panel shortly, Danny Wellbeck,

Chris Uhlmann and Gerard

Henderson, but now here's Mike

I'm Mike Bowers, talking pictures this morning with John

Kudelka, cartoonist for News

Limited. It seems that the

first bloke is causing a little

confusion in Chinese circles because they're not quite sure what to call him. He's

creating fuss all around the

world, I think, they're not

quite sure how to deal with a

non-married partner. I think

it's great. Mark Knight has

done a beautiful China panda

with Julia at the table, Chinese Government welcomes Gillard, official banquet,

there's an enormous panda bear

chowing down on Australian coal

iron ore, gas and oil and Julia

has a bowel in front of her

with bon ap tyt. with bon ap tyt. She doesn't

want to be too convincing about

telling Chinese to stop burning

coal. Let's face it, it's not

going to go down well. This straight-armed laughing, what

do you think is going on?

Soo I think someone has mentioned human rights.

Everyone is having a good old

laugh about it. Heard the one

about stern Hu being innocent?

looks like Labor is seeking temporary protection

themselves. You definitely got

the impression Mr Bowen wasn't

totally committed to this new direction on temporary protection visas

wherever the wind blows and

we're not sure where the wind

is blowing from in this

particular cartoon. David Rowe

has nuded him up, stuck him on

the top of a wind vein and

called it Bowen in the wind.

Exactly, he loves to nude up a

politician, doesn't he? The

inside of his head must be a terrifying chris Bowen taking on more than

one of the attributes of Tony

Abbott in the budgie smugglers.

He doesn't look quite as good

in the in the smugglers. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen talks

tough on refugees. Tony Abbott

must have thought all his

Christmas Islands had come at

once, he was with all the AFP boys training with him. I'm

out of Christmas Island, got

commandos. Something disturbing

about the prickly - it's almost

- you draw Abbott like he has a

cactus for a body. Really sharp hairs on him. Friend of

mine tried him as a pluck

monkey. He's here to help, him

and Scott. Matches, lighters, kerosene kerosene . Finally, this

picture from the Melbourne Age

of Kevin Rudd when he was at

Villers-Bretonneux for the

Anzac Day service. He's

flipping the bunny ears to this

poor kid. I wouldn't be doing things behind people's

backs Great pleasure having you

on. Thank you very much for

taking the time this

morning It's been a

pleasure. I'll let you do honours Bring it home

Baza. Thanks, guys. Further on

the Lindsay Tanner theme now, and probably just to bring home the point that the point that it's not unique to Australia and United States

Barack Obama called a news conference to virtually table his birth certificate his birth certificate under

pressure from Donald Trump to

do so to prove he was in fact

born in the United States and eligible to be President,

therefore. All of the major

networks broke into that,

Chris, and he made the point he talking about national

security. No, it it goes some

way to what Lindsay has to say.

There's a big discussion to

have on that. Carnival basher, his description of his description of Donald

Trump. There's a really

interesting argument to be had

in what Lindsay has so say,

which came first, the chicken

or the egg. I think a lot of

this was driven by some of the politicians and their focus

groups and trying to manipulate

the media. Longer argument to

have. Whether they needed to

sign up to the extent they have

also. Where's leadership?

Let's talk about the leadership of politicians and let's

about the fact that for the

last five or 10 years that he's talking about the politicians

themselves have increased their media and media and image makers on their staff to a huge extents

compared to what it used to be.

Their bureaucracies of the

ministers are full of enormous

propaganda units. So this is

not something - it's a really

interesting argument to have.

It's a fascinating one, too,

because there are a lot of good

points he has to make and valid

ones about us as a

But at the same time he's

scplyt ly squibbing his own

responsibility on this stuff. The error Barack Obama made he should have should have put it out

earlier He put it on the

internet, it wouldn't go away.

It was the short version he

put out. He thought that

should satisfy whatever they

call themselves. He's also

pointing out the people are

crazy to the rest of the

America, this is how mad these

people are. Trying to pull

Donald Truch up in his tracks.

He went a long way