If you squinted, it looked vast – thousands packed into the room, around an enormous rotunda of a stage. Glasses on, those crowds were, in fact, the riot of polka dots covering Brisbane Convention Centre’s carpet. And the stage was far from intimidating. In fact, the setting was rather natty – cosy, even. The Albo-Rudd waltz stepped in time for the ALP’s stirring, if late, campaign launch. Statesmen past and present watched on as the comeback kid danced on his tiptoes, his trusty sidekick doing what he does best and getting the party started. A few seats down from Bob Hawke and Blanche D’Alpuget, Paul Keating looked more moved than his usual stolid self – a positive nod to Kevin Rudd or nostalgia over what could have been, we’re not sure. In a campaign that has, at times, felt less real than a Madame Tussauds gallery, a drop of emotion was only too welcome. Being Greens
About 1000 kilometres down the road, in Sydney’s Metro Theatre, a colourful crowd had a rather different take on the Rudd oeuvre, not to mention the gloss of political spectacle. As Cate Faehrmann, the Greens’ senate hopeful, declared the PM ‘‘opportunistic’’ and his opponent simply a climate change sceptic at the Greens NSW campaign launch, a woman knitted under railings wound with sprawling green vines and triangular placards waved alongside rainbow banners. Graffiti tags looked down onto the well-worn stage as supporters drank from reusable thermos. And, at the precise moment the national anthem drew ploddingly to its close in Brisbane, Christine Milne was hitting her stride. She may see Rudd as a disappointment, but she was united with him on one point: Tony Abbott, the looming ‘‘spectre’’. ‘‘We have six days to make sure we have a real Abbott-proof fence,’’ came the cry. Ditto to blocking a Senate seat for Pauline Hanson or the Shooters and Fishers Party. From the depths of the nightclub into the sun, the mixed procession marched behind a marriage equality banner – though not before a group shot of its 48 lower house candidates. ‘‘How about the tall ones stand at the back?’’ came a shout. ‘‘There are none, they’re all equal,’’ was the reply. And the Greens … and reds, yellows, oranges and blues … went wild. Palmer united
Over to – indulge us – CD’s Sky News debut. Who did we follow onto Janine Perrett’s Saturday Live armchairs but Clive Palmer himself. Now, this is a man who, let’s face it, is never going to PM. But what he lacks in statesmanliness, he makes up for in realness. The man is so genuine he teeters into absurdity with frightening regularity. Palmer was accompanied by a handful of security personnel, and, we are happy to report, was on his best behaviour after twerking last week. Whether he thought the now infamous on-air jiggle (my eyes!) would have the same effect as Bill Clinton’s Arsenio Hall sax solo moment, we don’t know, but we humbly suggest it may have backfired if so. Sweet revenge
‘‘Australia Needs Tony’’ whispered The Sunday Telegraph’s 3 million point headline. The jury’s still out, however, on which will keep the voters awake at night – the look in Abbott’s eyes in the accompanying image or the sugar hit from the parody front cover that soon did the rounds. A giant Tony the Tiger, of Frosties fame, with the same catchline attached and a ‘‘they’re greeeeat!’’ sweetener. Irony was not in short supply as #australianeedstony trended on Twitter for much of the day.Bad signs
Turf wars are heating up on the campaign beat. We’ve heard of defaced posters, stolen posters and even posters plonked on top of the competition (we’re looking at you, two Chris Bowen worker bees, who placed Labor posters over Liberal posters near Wetherill Park). Now it’s pollies v councils as whispers of a showdown between John Alexander’s Ryde campaign office and local council rangers over illegal signs emerged. Just five days to go.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.