Hmmmmm . . .

Not a great first innings from the Coalition. Even partisan supporters probably flinch from time to time as fresh details of the latest lurch emerge. Early days, mind you. As I recall, the Howard government looked something of a rabble at this stage as well.

The own goals have been impressive. Abbott playing the hard man with Indonesia after the phone tapping details emerged was downright bizarre in the wake of that early goodwill trip bearing assorted apologies. Couldn’t he see he’d eventually have to play nice? After all, who’s the supplicant in this relationship just now. As for Pyne, could he have set his sights on a quick slot in the Guinness book of records . . . most egregious unforced error with backflip, perhaps? All very strange.

First impressions aren’t easy to change. It can be done but there’s little sign of any overarching intelligent plan to do so. I’m far from ready to consign them to the clunkers pile, but a betting man would want attractive odds just now before handing over any cash.

Laura Tingle did a nice little tour d’horizon of the Coalition’s travails in yesterday’s AFR. It can’t have made for happy reading.

But like climate policy, the Coalition has taken us back to year zero on this debate, without having ever proposed any serious alternative model. Notably, Pyne kept making assertions about what “The Left” – that is, evil people who disagree with him – might want from education.

Educating our kids is more complicated than ideological divides that make student politics look sophisticated. But based on both the Coalition’s education policy void, and slapstick political execution, that is all we are going to get.

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