Things have descended into a bit of “show and tell” this week in the engine room of democracy.
Earlier on in the week, we had Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, holding up laminated pictures of tractors and diggers ostensibly to demonstrate that tangible work was indeed being carried out on the infrastructure spending that the Government has allocated as part of its nation building strategy.
Mr Rudd pointed out, much to the chagrin of the Opposition, that while the Opposition were determined to oppose much of this expenditure in Parliament, local members of the Liberal party were quite happy to be photographed on-site where the on the ground developments were taking place.
Happy snaps of Liberal members attending launch projects were presented by Mr Rudd which sent the Opposition into a frenzy of howls of derision, clearly miffed at being unequivocally caught out.
There are around 35,000 of these building projects across the country, so this show-and-tell thing could go on for a while.
Wads of “evidence” of these tangible projects were waved in the air by Mr Rudd, while the Opposition became increasingly frustrated with the whole idea that they were beginning to look obstructionist and immature.
Nevertheless, and not to be outdone, Joe Hockey also turned up to school with his show and tell homework, being an oversized laminated “Ruddbank credit card,” and then later in the week a multiple page chart, held loosely together with sticky tape apparently illustrating the level of Government debt that is expected in the years ahead.
Despite claiming that Mr Rudd was playing with “silly props, and all sorts of antics which were quite demeaning of the office of Prime Minister,” Julie Bishop was quite happy to assist the not-so-avuncular Joe Hockey unfold his own “silly props.”
Eventually the Speaker decided he’d had enough and objected.
“Outrageous!” screamed an apoplectic Joe Hockey.
The Speaker signalled that posters on their own were acceptable, but posters taped together were not.
So a rather large pair of orange scissors was found and given to Big Joe, who, somewhat deflated (metaphorically speaking), set about hacking up his homework, while muttering something about economic incompetence and bitter and twisted old Speakers.
The Opposition is also hell bent on continuing its losing streak to nothing by focusing on another subject that no one else really gives a toss about.
That being the appointment or non-appointment of some guy called Hugh Borrowman who could or couldn’t be the ambassador to Berlin because he could or couldn’t speak German.
Who cares? The Liberal party apparently.
So much so, that when the PM was asked about this appointment, or non-appointment as the case may be, it compelled the Liberal leader for Bowman, Andrew Laming to yell out “You’re a bottom dweller..!!”
The relevance of the remark clearly lost on everyone else in the room.
Curiously the Opposition refuse to be drawn on precisely what figure the deficit ought to be, despite their relentless criticism of the Government’s spending.
Could it be that they’re bereft of any original thought, and have just returned to their traditional playground of fear and smear? It certainly looks like it.