A gentle hand is needed when handling a macaroon.
Press too hard and the small French pastry may crack.
“They are very delicate, aren’t they?” Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked as he smashed a lid on a pink macaroon while campaigning in Townsville.
“Be careful when you put it down,” a chef offered as Morrison tried to take two.
We can only assume he was talking about the macaroon and not the French president.
How did Morrison end up in a French bakery and play with macarons so soon after his stoush with Emmanuel Macron defies belief.
You can imagine this will show up in the performance review of his advancement.
While he may have been there to talk about jobs and an economy rebounding from its first recession in three decades, it undoubtedly reminds people of the French president’s assassination of Morrison – that he’s a liar who misled a key Australian ally.
Looking for a mate in the Pacific
Australia really needs a friend in the Pacific right now.
Even if the prime minister wanted to call the French president, whose country has more than a million citizens in the region, it’s unclear how prepared he would be to champion Australia’s cause given recent events.
The current situation reminds us how quickly political fortunes can change.
Just weeks ago, Morrison was desperate for an election over China and national security.
He would never have expected to find himself in a battle with an emboldened Labor opposition eager to exploit China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands.
Morrison, Labor insists, is a man who dropped the ball protecting Australia’s interests.
Foreign Secretary Marise Payne – often dubbed in defense and diplomacy circles as more interested in Paris than the Pacific – had to admit she hadn’t been to the Solomon Islands since 2019, fueling more these attacks.
If there’s one thing Labor supporters like to see, it’s Morrison getting pounded, especially on issues once seen as a Coalition strength.
It’s supercharged when it comes from Labor sweetheart Penny Wong, who is leading the Solomons charge with Anthony Albanese in her COVID isolation.
Morrison sought to diminish Labour’s talk of the Pacific, saying: “I sent the AFP, Labor wants to send the ABC in regards to their Pacific solution.” (A success at Labor wanting to give more funding to the ABC to strengthen coverage in the region.)
The day before, his Minister of Defense had pushed the rhetoric to 15, comparing China to Nazi Germany.
“Their response seems to be more chest-wise,” Wong said.
“There’s no point hitting your chest if you’re beaten in the fist.”
Foreign workers to Australia
After being (deliberately) vague for weeks now, Albanese used an op-ed in The Australian newspaper to confirm the town’s worst secret – foreign doctors and nurses would be needed to meet Labour’s health pledges.
The opposition has given itself just over a year to get a registered nurse in every 24-hour aged care facility.
Labor sources do not hide the fact that the party has been deliberately coy about the pledge and deny it is a rollback, as the Coalition claims, on what the party has previously said .
Ideally for Labor, the problem with a backflip is that you end up facing the same direction you started.
The job was always going to need foreign workers to honor the commitment, so to confirm that is to say the obvious hemorrhage.
So why was Labor so timid? At least two reasons. The ALP is a party of trade unions, which generally hate the idea of foreign workers coming to take up jobs that their members might otherwise have.
The policy is also likely to make waves in the Sunshine State, where the likes of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party will seek to capitalize on the comments, taking a nuanced argument and exaggerating it into an instrument. brutal politics, alleging that Labor will open the floodgates of workers for all industries.
It’s no wonder Albanese confirmed the workers in writing from his COVID isolation, instead of his own mouth in front of national media.
The climate returns to the countryside
Political doublespeak is certainly not left out when it comes to election campaigns.
Enter the National Championships at Queensland’s central headquarters in Flynn.
With the incumbent Nat retiring, Labor will hope the seat is ideal, having seen its vote plummet in the region three years ago.
Flynn’s Coalition candidate Colin Boyce, clearly keen to appeal to miners in the resource-rich region, insisted the government‘s plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 was ‘flexible’ and left a lot of “wiggle room”.
But it didn’t take long for the Prime Minister, campaigning further north in Queensland, to have to shoot down comments from his candidates, insisting net zero by 2050 was “our absolute policy”.
Further south, in the NSW Hunter Valley, Labor was carrying out its own climate clarification.
The Coalition is eager to win at least one of the three seats Labor holds in the region.
Among those in his sights is Labor leader Pat Conroy, who insisted last week that no coal mines would be affected by Labor’s climate policies.
Under Labor Party plans (based on a scheme first introduced by Tony Abbott), polluters will have to keep their emissions below a set level and will have to buy offsets if they exceed it.
While the coal mines will be affected by Labor Party policy, the party insists it will make the necessary adjustments to remain competitive in international markets.
In the face of today’s questions, Conroy’s language was more nuanced, insisting that no coal mine would close sooner because of Labor Party politics
Affected — yes, closed — no, the party now concedes.
Have a good day
ABC cameraman Matt Roberts, a Walkley Award-winning photographer, has better vision than an eagle.
As a high-visibility-clad Morrison toured a factory, Roberts timed a sign that read, “If you mess up, fess up.”
It didn’t last long and a worker rushed to cover it with a high visibility vest in time for the prime minister to walk past.
Labor could only have dreamed that he would have walked past before he was covered.
Morrison rolled up his sleeves and tried his hand at rolling croissants.
An unsteady hand, added to a hot piece, left a lot to be desired. You can only hope that a customer was never charged for what resulted.
“I’ve never done this before,” Morrison said, stating the obvious.
To paraphrase Macron, I don’t think the Prime Minister has bad croissant rolling technique, I know.
What to watch out for tomorrow
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its latest inflation figures tomorrow, while ensuring the cost of living is front and center in the election.
A dramatic jump could well force the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates at its meeting on the eve of the May 21 election.
Ask John Howard how damaging an election rate hike can be.
Morrison hopes this election will be more like 2001 – when national security fears kept the Coalition in power – than his ousting from power in 2007.
Catch up on today’s stories