Mr Beazley had not read the article but, having made sallies recently at the federal Industry Minister, also an Ian Macfarlane, assumed this was who was being referred to. He said:
'It's all very well for people who are well-off to go around lecturing middle Australia on their need to pay more money'.His office later explained he had not heard the question and was in fact referring to the Industry Minister the Treasurer, Peter Costello was quick off the mark.
'They are paying through the nose at the moment ... now Macfarlane can do something about that and instead of telling Australian people they ought to pay more he ought to do his job'.
'For Mr Beazley to go out and gratuitously insult him because he does not even know his name is just another indication Mr Beazley understands precious little about economics'.The last part of this makes little sense but his point about the insult is spot on. Presumably economist MacFarlane is a reasonably wealthy man so does this criticism in fact apply to him even if it was misdirected?
Poor old Kim has made more than a few gaffes lately . It is surprising that before he makes public statements on events of the day without using the press-cutting service he presumably has delivered. His verbal exchange with Wilson Tuckey a few days ago on the steps of Parliament House left neither man with a lot of credit. But, as PM Howard so pithily observed, Tuckey isn't selling himself as a potential PM while Beazley is. I cannot imagine John Howard being involved in this type of altercation or making the stupid gaffes.