I've had some discussions with Andrew Wilkie, we will have some more discussions in the future and it's not my intention to engage in running commentary in any way while those discussions are happening.Somehow, the author of the article interpreted this to mean
JULIA Gillard has backed away from her promise to introduce a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for poker machines.Sadly, he was not alone.
A fairly complete list of the some of the ridiculous speculations masquerading as news can be found here.
Wilkie finally got to front the cameras to explain exactly where they were at. Apparently, the deal was still on, although not concluded, and negotiations were advancing. Of course, this meant that the headlines the next morning could reflect this?
There is no pokies deal, Wilkie saysNow, while the story itself is accurate enough it's claim that no deal has been formalised, considering that for an entire week the the press has been running the line that the Government has back-flipped on the deal with Wilkie, even though Wilkie denies this, to run a headline declaring 'no deal' is truly deceptive.
Unfortunately, for Gillard, there really is a no win for her in this that I can see.
If the PM were to break the deal with Wilkie, then she deserves all of the contempt she gets.
If the PM strikes a compromise that Wilkie agrees to, it will obviously still be portrayed as a betrayal of trust, even should Wilkie agree to it in hte hopes of actually passing the legislation.
If the PM were to come out with exactly the same deal as put forward after the election, it will obviously be thanks to media pressure, and, the PM basically buying the vote of Wilkie.
In another interesting piece of news, it appears that the figures put forward by the clubs for the cost of introducing this reform may well have been overblown, by a factor of about 10. Apparently, the clubs don't see a little quibble over some dollars as a real issue. (couldn't find the link to their statement, but will update once I do). In other words, it appears that, for them, lying (from them at least) is not really a problem that should hinder 'debate'
UPDATED 20 Jan 2012
"We can quibble over whether it's going to be $3 billion, a little bit more or little bit less," Clubs Australia President Anthony Ball told ABC Radio.Yes, why 'quibble' over rubbery figures It's not like it's real money anyway, unlike the savings of those getting fleeced by these clubs.