Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nelson's New Strategy : Silence

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson is still polling like Ivan Milat, despite the Rudd government providing a heaving banquet of opportunities (FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, Rudd's World Tour : Redux, the Carbon Tax) for him to publicly shred PM Rudd (or at least Treasurer Wayne Swan) and to mock the government's first eight months in office.

But almost every time Brendan Nelson opens his mouth and begins speaking to the media, he ends up saying something that further instills the irresistable desire in almost every Australia to hit the mute button, or to throw the radio out the window, or to crash the car because you haven't mastered the steering wheel volume controls yet and you'd rather take your chances sailing through a guard rail into a mist-filled valley than listen to Nelson talk about old people he's met who are so poor they can't afford hot water for their tea, thanks to Kevin Rudd, and have been reduced to sucking tea bags left to heat for a while in the sun.

So Brendan Nelson, according to news reports, has decided to adopt a new, highly experimental and rather thrilling strategy to win back public support and hold onto the job that Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Costello don't yet want :

We should all wish him the best of luck.

What awesomely surreal press conferences this could lead to.

Nelson steps forward, smiles and says nothing. The silent seconds tick by. A journalist jumps in, fires off her question, but Nelson doesn't reply. He just stands there. smiling. More questions come, still nothing from Nelson. The journalists confusion quickly turns to hostility as they realise Nelson is doing something they don't understand. It's too innovative. The questions and demands for him to say something, anything, only grow in number and volume the more Nelson says nothing.

When the journalists are exhausted, defeated, Nelson turns and walks away. Still smiling.

Suddenly Australia wants to know what this bizarre little man has to say for himself.

"What is he up to?" "Why won't he speak?" "What will he say when he does finally talk to us again?" "He still shits me, but I'm curious now he's clammed up, who is the man behind that smug grin?"

This could work for Nelson. Hell, why not? Nothing else has.