Why are the journalists clapping Howard's speech at key clap points? Aren't they supposed to be objective and wait until then end and ask actual questions? I bet it was the News Ltd crowd.
UPDATE: Hilarious. They just cut to Janette Howard who has this rictus like grin on her face. Her eyes flicked towards the camera to check it was still there and for her corpse smile to be maintained. She did it about three or four times.
UPDATE 2: Howard keeps Paper-Scissors-Rocking again - these inexplicable fist pumps without a sense of rhythm.
UPDATE 3: Howard is now bleating on that the ALP's dense policy forecast is nothing but slogans. He's complaining how the ALP only just posted their policies for treasury checking. Which is ironic since the Libs did the exact same thing in the '96 election when they were in opposition. Some more lies about the ALP broadband policy ('won't be active until 2014!'). Here we go on Labor's IR policies. "It's all bad". He is claiming his proudest moment in government is his low unemployment rate (and its because of WorkChoices apparently).
Some key whining as follows;
Hundreds of young people have enthused about their job/employment prospects.
Rudd hasn't said anything about reducing unemployment" (he has, it's called skilling the country).
Rudd will damage small business! Dreaded unfair dismissal laws will be back! Unions back in the workplace! Think of the miners! (Too much wrong with that to even bother)
Here comes the interest rates line. "Ours is half that of their 89 peak! (ignore the fact it takes seven years average salary to pay off a house than five years when Labor was in)."
"Rudd voted against the health rebate, GST, etc ergo not an economic conservative!" (WTF? Conservatives are people against change; this is all change stuff)
"Politics is more than a slogan!" (We decide who comes to this country and the manner in which their arrival is distorted within the press)
"Unions!" (apparently the former union officials still worship their dark masters and we will be sacrificed on the altar of Marxism).
"It would be the ALP in full power across the country! Nochecks and balances!" (yes ... because you didn't do anything to checks and balances by altering FOI in your favour, covering up government policies in embroyo, passing intelligence information to pet journalists, and gutting the senate's ability to oversight the executive".
"Best years ahead but only under us!"
(Cue sycophantic clapping).
Jim Middleton: Lib funds used for that Muslim pamphlet? How about the Greenway incident?
Howard: I don't believe public funds were used, and I condemn it. He actually said he doesn't believe the ALP believes the stuff that was on it (all power to him).
Karen Middleton: On about the pamphlet. People want Howard to do some things differently. Will you?
Howard: Country in the right direction (polling tells me so). The ALP agree with me unless the unions say so! My pitch is you want right direction don't change government. Take the Aboriginal intervention. We couldn't have done that three years ago and we took advantage of today to do it. (now he's going on about recognition of first ozzers again - won't apologise but we will admit they were here first before we destroyed their culture).
Someone on the Flyer:
Howard: I didn't know anything about it (I believe him on that)
Phil Corey, SMH: Said you would be leader while in best interests in party. Still agree you did the right thing?
Howard: Yes (cue clapping).
(Missed stuff due to phone call)
Howard: Got the balance right on IR, nothing further coming (yeah right)
Some reporter: You want to be around for the referendum thing in 18 months? Is this realistic given your party might want you to go before then.
Reporter: What about transition?
Howard: If we are re-elected, and we will be I believe, there will be a transition well into next term. Don't know when. But plenty of time for Peter to get the house in order. Howard claims he is now being candid on this issue (unlike all the other hundreds of times he wasn't). Bringing up state premiers going without telling people (yes, state ALP = federal ALP). Please we all know Howard had to say it or Costello would have fucked off to the back bench.
Tingue: Are you satisfied the Lindsay candidate had nothing to do with it? What about mandates?
Howard: I won't consider being defeated so no response. I am confident candidate had no prior knowledge. Nor Miss Kelly.
Herald Sun: Does being a new grand dad giving him a perspective on climate change. Are you concerned what will happen to him?
Howard: My grandson talks about greenhouse gases all the time (ha ha ha). Wanking on about being a granddad and life continuity. Of the future. Loving families (quick, get me a baby to maul stat). I think we have to do something about CC that's measures and applied. We all have to play our part. Some lies about ALP embracing the Liberal policy on CC. Again, deliberate falsehood spreading. See! They agree with me! No difference between us now!
(Missed a bunch of stuff)
Michelle Grattan: Back on pamphlet. RE Risk on Rudd government. How important national security is. Is Rudd risky on NS?
Howard: Don't visit upon the candidate the errors of her husband. Something about husbands and wives being independent from each other. Not sure where he's going with this at all. Rudd will be a big risk to the economy. Huge risk! Rudd more restrained than Latham on NS, not saying a lot however. Rudd on Iraq - Rudd is hedging his beats. If post invasion had been good Rudd would have morphed into a supporter. He would have likely supported the WMD thing (?) I think some in Labor hates the US alliance and hates ASIO.
(Missed some stuff)
Howard: I have the longest PM/Treasurer partnership in the history of Oz. Intimately involved in economics. Yes we have had disagreements in our sexless marriage but there's a broad continuity of themes we agree on. Different style yes, but broadly we agree on stuff. Something about Hawke/Keating had similar relationship. Costello and I have different views on the Republic. There will be subtle nuanced difference between our two PMships. But broadly, we're like this (twins fingers). We believe in IR, lower tax, balanced budgets, social security of welfare to work, globalisation, best hope for Aboriginals to be mainstream community members, US alliance and maintaining strong Defence spending etc etc etc. We agree more than we disagree being the basic thrust of his response.
AAP: What steps have you taken there won't be a repeat of the pamphlet in other places? How much responsibility do you take as leader?
Howard: I ordered discipline against these people and quickly. Within 24 hours! Nothing to do with it, I condemn it, right response etc.
Canberra Times: Labor promised to double the efficiency dividend (Howard: Don't believe it - cue laughter).
Howard: We proposed a dividend. Theirs is a gimmick. Ours isn't. Ours is solid and large. If ALP forms government then the public servant unions would never carry it out (bullshit - the ALP are gunning for all the political appointees Howard bought in).
ABC: Interest rate lows. Voters will have that in mind. You said sorry and then didn't.
Howard: Didn't like the rate went up. But always lower under me than Labor (Can't prove a negative but doesn't change the fact he will keep saying it).
Reporter: If you're rejected does that mean the people reject your changes?
Howard: I am not going to answer any question that infers we will lose. Because we won't. We're awesome. People don't want change in direction of Oz. Happy with fundamentals. Disagree with some minor stuff. I accept that. This is not an angry campaign and its not dirty (apart from all the dirty shit we've pulled). It's not acrimonious (despite the fact 99% of our ads are attack ads distorting facts like interest rates and union participation). People's complaints are can't get enough staff (der, because you rode the education skilling system into the ground). We should preserve values of "old Australia" and be excited by "New Australia" (what does that even mean?)
Milne: There are people in Libs worth mining race relations for pol advantage. Will you step up to build bridges between Muslim Australians if re-elected?
Howard: I don't think racism is an attitude in the Liberal party, not reflected by our values (HA HA HA Mainstream values anyone?) We respect racial/cultural background. But they have to adhere to our values (which we determine). We must recog Islamic extremism manifests in terrorism (der). Terrorists distort Islam to their advantage (he's right). We must be careful not to blame all Muslims for it (exactly). I don't think the Lindsay incident is an indicator of racism in the Liberals (more excellent lies).
Reporter: Deals with States on Health/Water. Rudd says he can deal with States. How do you intend to do this? Won't you face log jams on dealing with States like you have done in the past?
Howard: Former premier Beattie emerged from COAG in 2006 said COAG rawked and how awesome they are. We've had a bad time with the states cause they've been planning for the fed election (which is ironic since that was the reason Abbott used for not dealing with the states). Bracks said he would bring Vic to the table. And he didn't bring Vic to the table cause they wanted to screw me over. Me?! The greatest PM in the history of this country. How dare they not back my 10 billion pulled out of my arse not tested by science or treasury water plan! You need checks and balances - if all ALP then no changes made! (in 69 the coalition had all governments in OZ BTW). It's good to have diff parties at different levels. Bad situation, boo, no checks and balances.
ABC News: Not healthy to have the same governments eh? You only face that cause state Libs are useless
Howard: My job is to govern well for everyone and I put that ahead of state Libs party changes. I have put that above partisan political advantage - we don't have a supreme executive.
(Missed some stuff due to phone call)
Howard: I suspect Costello will be elected unopposed. That's what I'm basing it on. Hey the UK Labour party had a known transition coming. That's like this. Therefore our deal is sweet and awesome. Nothing extraordinary about my soon to be heading off into the sunset half way through a term costing the people another 300k in by-election costs (though state ALP did that too it should be admitted). We have no pacts! (except for that pact we had that I broke). Anyway, in conclusion, I am awesome. And so is my government.
HM's reaction - what a self serving wank this was.