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Dutton derailed his party early but there are more disasters ahead

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Each morning of the 2007 campaign, I would walk 15 minutes in mild spring weather to campaign headquarters. Once there, I would put on a jumper. Then I’d put on a heavy coat. Then I’d wrap a scarf around my neck. That month Labor won a national election – but nobody could figure out how to turn up the temperature in the media office.

Illustration: Jim PavlidisCredit:

Campaigns are like that – there are always a thousand things going wrong below stairs. Printers break down just before a press conference. Someone belatedly realises an event has been scheduled at Disaster Cove. Everything – messages, travel, policies – is always being changed at the last minute. Anyone who pretends otherwise is in the middle of a campaign – afterwards they’ll tell you the truth.


Usually, in opposition, you’re always busy because there are so few of you – everyone has to do a bit of everything. In government, you’re always busy because there’s so much to do. But in a campaign, your purpose narrows, and jobs become more specialised. And so despite the chaotic undercurrent, the workload can be oddly stop-start.

Today’s media cycle means lulls are not as common as they were – and this nasty, nervous campaign threatens to shrink their number further. Four candidates have gone already. For the second campaign in a row, Peter........

© Brisbane Times