Wayne Swan cleared his throat, looked up and started reading. Thirty minutes later he was done with the explanations and rationale. A few “hear hears” were uttered in an echo. He had just delivered his sixth budget – not to the nation, but to his subdued colleagues on the front and back benches of parliament.
Exactly 48 hours later Tony Abbott – resplendent in sombre suit, and now-familiar and reassuring light blue tie – stared directly into the camera and personally addressed the nation.