You might think that this would be rather an easy week the Labor Party in Australia. The Liberal Party has left Tony Abbott in charge, as prime minister, but he obviously is not particularly popular with the public, and although he survived a spill motion, as they call it, it was hardly a resounding victory.
So all the Labor party really needed to do was to sit tight.
But Tony has a friend on Labor’s front bench, and her name is Tanya Plibersek. This has been a week when the news has been full of Greece’s economic woes. It is a really, really bad week for the Labor Party to be drawing attention to its apparent inability to exercise fiscal responsibility. Everybody knows that if any government carries on, year after year, running a deficit, then eventually it will end up bringing economic ruin. Australia is much better financial shape than Greece, but nevertheless, even this government has failed to cut enough expenditure to get back into surplus .
So what does Tanya do? She gets up on her hind legs in parliament and complains about the liberal government cutting expenditure! No big harm done, you might think. The chamber was almost deserted; no-one much was listening. But then she goes and puts a video of herself on Facebook!
Tony Abbott is not particularly popular, but at least the public understands that he is less irresponsible than the Labor Party when it comes to uncontrolled public expenditure. Obviously it would be nice if there were a lot more money to spend. But no one in their right mind wants Australia to end up like Greece!
Tanya may well have let him off the hook, at any rate for the time being. At least, she will have given him cause to breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend.