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I like your passengers comments. Small business has suffered badly since last September and some people are on their last legs. This, in my view, is a combination of the stimulus having had its run through the system and rising interest rates.
As to when the good times will arrive, that is out of any governments reach; ultimately the banks are the ones getting the ball rolling, and they are still not lending for big business projects. Also interbank lending has collapsed since the Greek disaster, so we have to wait for the world to improve before there will be dollars in the streets.

As to Tony being a risk to the economy, what a toss. The economy is out of pollies control, when it goes up they claim its their achievement, when it goes down its someone else's fault.
The only risk I see in Tony, despite his rather quirky image that doesn't appeal to some voters, is that he is a master politician. He and Howard and Menzies are in it for the game and how to play it, tacticians that will try every trick in the book to achieve their aim.
This may be true of a lot of elected members, but some are more fanatical then others in this approach.

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