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A headline in Sunday’s Australian read: “PM buys time to sell budget”

Really, I thought to myself, or was it the fact that a Newspoll result was due to be published on Monday and would be sure to show the government behind yet again. It has now been 3 years since a Newspoll has had them in the lead.

Or is the real reason the Prime Minister didn’t visit the Governor General last weekend that a flaccid budget with an election announcement, followed by more bad polling, would not have been a self-confident look?

And so it came to pass that both the IPSOS 53/47 and Newspoll 52/48 showed Labor in an election-winning position.

So, had Morrison announced the election on Sunday it would have been followed by these polls on Monday and Essential on Tuesday?

As it stands he has another week to spend $600,000 a day on advertising and travel paid for out of the public purse and of course his daily ritual of calling the Opposition Leader a liar.

The other point that escapes most people is that with school holidays bleeding into Easter a fair portion of the population will be politically asleep.

The Poll Bludger had this to say:

Ordinarily I would point out that a two-point movement from Newspoll is a rare occurrence, which close observers of the polling industry suspect is down to Newspoll smoothing its numbers with some variety of rolling average, in which the results of the previous poll are combined with those of the latest.

The bookies have Labor’s odds at $1.16 and the LNP $5.00.

Of the budget, I can only say that other than the tax cuts that favoured higher paid workers I truly cannot remember, other than hearing the words “so tonight I can announce” so many times that my memory is greatly tested as to anything that stood out like the proverbial dog’s balls.

Yes, I do remember that after the budget the government decided that Newstart recipients and some other cohorts would also receive the Energy Supplement. All sorts of reasons have been suggested as to why they were left off but my own theory is that the opposition and the cross benches were prepared to put forward amendments that would see the government once again defeated on the floor of the house.

Actually, my memory is more conversant with what the budget didn’t deliver on.

Climate and energy, for example. The government seems to have abandoned any prospect of a policy on climate change.

Freydenberg raved on about a surplus that may or may not even eventuate as though the word had suddenly been rediscovered.

And it has only come about because of a collapsed tailing’s dam at a Brazilian iron ore mine that resulted also in the collapse of the mine’s output. In turn, it filled the Australian treasury vaults with rivers of gold.

Conversely, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made a bigger impact with his address in reply. It is a pity that hardly anyone ever watches a budget in reply speech. Had they, they would have witnessed a calm reasoned politician whose delivery has immensely improved.

He made it blatantly clear that philosophical differences now exist between the two parties in terms of both economic and social policy development for this election. Labor has chosen to build on the things that matter to communities like health and education.

He wants an old fashioned Labor Party that merges with the problems of a modern complex society. Including in economics.

His compassionate policy on cancer proves beyond doubt that a Shorten government will be one for the people.

“Cancer not only makes you sick it makes you poor.”

With the public craving authentic people Labor has to hope that eventually, the Shorten haters will come on board.

When Freydenberg delivered his budget he sounded like he was at the annual meeting of a large corporation reading its annual report.

And this is something that conservatives seem utterly incapable of grasping! We live in a society, not an economy.

The Clayton’s campaign has been running for months now. Ask yourself this: If the government won another term and the, for now, hidden infighting and disunity, were to erupt again, which it most certainly would, then a collapse of our already fragile democracy would be inevitable?

From the voters perspective, it would mean that they didn’t care if the Government was arguably Australia’s most cooked parliament in history.

According to Newspoll Labor will win 82 seats. According to the Fairfax poll, 87 seats. Assuming a uniform swing, 76 seats are needed for a majority government. Labor only needs a uniform swing of about 1% to win a majority government. The good news for Labor, however, is that re-distributions for the next election would appear to gift Labor with three extra seats.

At present the LNP has 73 seats to Labor’s 71, meaning they don’t have a buffer against losses.

A 3% swing to Labor would lead to senior ministers Peter Dutton and David Coleman losing their seats. However:

The most telling number in a recent Australian Electoral Study group is the closing of the gap between those who voted traditionally for the same party and those who considered voting for another party. That tally of rusted-on voters is down to 40 per cent from 63 per cent in 1987 and 72 per cent in 1967.

With the public utterly disgusted with the behaviour of our politicians, trust will play an important part in the election. They hunger for a civil debate around the issues and want rid of all the name-calling, the lies, half-truths and uncouth comments, the exaggeration and self-interest.

Morrison’s repetitively calling Shorten a liar is uncalled for and may have a negative response.

So Labor, honestly, they can lecture nobody about anything. Labor are about lies and higher taxes.

Initially, the most important thing in this election cycle is that this current rotten lot of LNP politicians are turfed out. Australia cannot afford another three years of instability, pointless drifting like a ship without a rudder, without leadership wrangles every few months. It has to end and it’s in the control of the voters to end it.

An observation

Current experience would suggest that the Australian people need to take more care when electing its leaders.

We need a government that respects the institutions and conventions of our parliament. We are in a period where the very institution of democracy itself is in such a precarious position that it could collapse under the weight of bad politicians and bad politics.

An observation

I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people would be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two. But they just might.

Political history around the world is recording a moment in time where terrifying events are taking place.

We have a self-absorbed narcissist in the White House and because of Brexit, the live action collapse of the British government is possible.

Shorten, although not popular, is a thinker on policy and a leader with 6 hard years under his belt. He affords us the opportunity to make over our democracy. Instil fairness into it and intercede in all the rorting and corruption that has taken place over the past 6 years.

The Abbott, Turnbull and Morisson governments have been a mixture of blind incompetence and outright greed, where simply doing the right thing by people became a step too far but advancing the lot of the wealthy and privileged was always a lightweight to lift.

An observation

Never in the history of this nation have the rich and the privileged been so openly brazen.

My thought for the day

The peoples of all the nations of the world increasingly seem to be having less to say about their own destiny.

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  1. whatever

    Do you want some ‘vernacular wisdom’? The LNP are just a bunch of SOOKS. Sore loser brats who ‘Trash the Joint’ when they lose.

  2. Terence Mills

    Q&A was unwatchable last night as Frydenberg followed the government script and said nothing and dodged questions.

    As Treasurer he should know or should have ensured his department briefed him on the cost of government advertising yet he claimed he didn’t know and that all would be revealed after the election.

    Even Tony Jones who frequently uses a verbal cattle-prod to get politicians to come clean was having immense difficulty in having this man answer question frankly and honestly.

  3. Alcibiades

    At present the LNP has 73 seats to Labor’s 71, meaning they don’t have a buffer against losses.

    Er, actually it is LNP 73 seats to Labor 72.

    As a result of the ~200,000 new & early enrollments just of youngins only onto the Electoral rolls just prior to & post the 2016 election & the ‘own goal’ of the Marriage Equality ‘Survey’, that translates to an absolute minimum of ~3+ seats to Labor. Or to put it another way a minimum ~0.7%+ swing even if everybody else voted the same as for 2016(Not gonna happen). These new & pre-enrollments are routinely not captured by pollsters or for that matter not commented on, considered or even remembered. Very odd.

    Hence in reality LNP 70- seats to Labor 75+ seats is ‘conservatively’ closer to the start point. With an embedded minimum swing of ~0.7%+ before considering under-represented polling.

    The riven incompetent Coalition must win ~6-7 seats minimum, whilst losing none nationwide to attain majority government. Labor … 1 seat. For a third term Federal government to win 6+ seats & lose none would truly be … miraculous.

    Because the seats in contention are limited to a relatively small subset of contestable seats, which now actively include traditionally ‘safe’ Blue Ribbon seats in VIC, NSW & WA, Labor could get over the line with a ‘smoothed’ National 2PP swing of only ~0.7%, whereas the swings in the contested seats would be dramatically higher.

    Duttons chances of retaining his seat are barely one in three and diminishing. Labor will probably secure ~90+ seats on the current under-represented polling which is inaccurately based on the then 2016 preference flows.

    Simply put, the Coalition lost 14 seats in 2016 and scraped over the line with one seat on a primary vote of ~42% against a 2PP swing to Labor of ~3%+. They have polled ~36-39% primary vote ever since. 51 lost Newspolls in a row. That will be further compounded by proportionally lower diminished preference flows. If they talk coal or Adani they may score a few votes in QLD, but their vote in VIC will be even more catastrophic & so on. Further cannabilisation of ~2-3 of Coalition seats is likely independents/minors.

    On current ‘conservative’ ~4.4%+ national 2PP swing (excluding ~0.7%+), that’s comprised of State swings of :
    QLD 7.1%
    NSW 3.9%
    VIC 1.2%+
    TAS 3.7%
    SA 3.4%
    WA 5.7%
    ACT 3.9%
    NT 0%

    As one wit on twitter put it :

    I’m spending my future tax cut in advance now, to buy not one, but two brickbats!

  4. Kaye Lee

    I enjoyed watching Josh squirming on q&a last night. The audience asked good questions. For example, the question about immigration which is much higher than the announced 160,000 cap. Josh brushed it off saying the 160,000 referred to permanent migration. Fair enough, but don’t temporary visa holders contribute to “congestion” since that was supposedly what it was all about? Good to see so many young people in the audience firing up.

  5. Bert

    Frydenberg, or as someone else on another site dubbed him “The Mogodon Moron” a legend in his own breakfast cereal.

  6. Keith

    Freydenberg did not come out of last nights Q&A well at all. I nearly decided not to watch, but Tony Jones prodding Freydenberg provided answers Freydenberg did not want to divulge. It was a train wreck for the LNP.
    In relation to Adani, the science says that no new coal mines should be developed. It is merely a charade the Minister reviewing the science. The Minister has a background in working in the mining industry.

  7. Diane Larsen

    Bert love your comment I could not bring myself to watch Q&A last night I value the health of my TV screen and thrown objects at Mr hypocrisy would not be good for my financial interests of replacing said screen

  8. Kronomex

    Looking at the photo of Scummo “bowling” made me think, He runs the country as well as he bowls so it’s no wonder we’re well and truly screwed. Then I realised that the ball would still have been on and upward trajectory over halfway down the pitch and the batter could have had a field day with hammering it straight back at Scummo’s head.

    “Approval was highest among Coalition voters: men (57%), voters aged over 55 (57%), and people with an annual household income of between $52,000 and $104,000 (58%).” What a great big non-surprise.

  9. RomeoCharlie29

    I too was unable to watch Fraudenberg. His answer to the first question an outright lie told me it was going to be an hour of more of the same. I wonder if our turn-offs will show up in the ratings figures. Crikey?

  10. Henry Rodrigues

    Josh the very ‘likeable’ young chap destined for greater things, as prophesied by the chief political editor of the Guardian the redoubtable Katherine Murphy, a while ago Following on her utter failure of judgement by endorsing of ‘nice’ Mr Turnbull as PM after he ousted ‘bad’ Mr Abbott, she will no doubt be hoping and betting, Josh ounces back. The point I make is that the Liberals are so devoid of suitable or credible talent, its frightening but satisfying. The uncritical and partial MSM is a major contributor to their dysfunctional performance

    Bring on the elections, SCUMMO !!!!!!!!

  11. whatever

    They are still playing the “University Student Council Takeover” game, the FarRight Liberal branch-stacking game that Tony Abbott played at Sydney Uni in the early 80’s. It still goes on at University campuses across the country, Wollongong Uni was the latest to witness it.
    And when they lose, they trash the joint like sooky brats.

  12. Bert

    Diane Larsen, get yourself a NERF gun or if you can’t come at that a frustration brick. You can fire/throw things at the tele with no damage and then get a bit of exercise retrieving the object, especially when it comes to the NERF darts. They end up in the most expected places.

  13. James O'Neill

    I agree that Shorten is putting some distance between his party and Morrison on domestic issues, but that is not true in foreign policy (a topic that barely gets a mention). Shorten has in effect said “more of the same”; i.e. mindless support for the US and its wars, Israel’s blatant illegality, and going out of our way to offend our major trading partner.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Listening to Coalition MPs is excruciating as they trot out the same lines over and over.

    “The last time the Labor Party had a surplus was 1989, Mr Speaker. I had long curly hair back then, Mr Speaker. That’s how long that was ago,” Morrison says.

    “I can confirm to the house the last time Labor delivered a surplus I had a mullet,” Frydenberg said in parliament, helpfully providing a photo of himself.

    I want to hear from Michaelia Cash….”Last time Labor had a surplus my hair looked exactly the same.”

  15. Aortic

    Hey Henry Rodrigues give the lady her proper name, if you take the time to mention her. It is KathArine Murphy, not Katherine.

  16. Alcibiades

    Karen Middleton (@KarenMMiddleton)

    BREAKING: Environment Minister Melissa Price has just announced she has given groundwater approvals for the Adani Carmichael mine, based on Geoscience Australia & CSIRO advice. But she says these do not constitute final approvals for the project. Qld Govt must sign off. #auspol

    11:23 9 April 2019

    Well, in ‘theory’ that may win some votes for the desperate QLD LNP Notionals, but it will definitely costs votes Australia wide, particularly in VIC. Wentworth & Warringah NSW ? Higgins & Kooyong in VIC ? LNP anti-corruption & Climate Change credibility ?

    Internal bullying, disunity, venality & absented leadership lives on in the desperate COALition. This ‘not yet’ election is going to be an LNP trainwreck … one blames Gina ‘$2 an hour’ Rhine-Heart & her pet Matteo Cannavan.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Environmental lawyers have already said James McGrath’s public bullying of the minister would be grounds for an appeal. I would also very much like to see the advice on which the minister is relying because the last I heard,

    “The CSIRO has found serious flaws in Adani’s key water management plan.

    The CSIRO also found that some of the data used by Adani in its plan was not verified.

    The CSIRO has told the federal environment department that Adani needs to do more work on its GDEMP and to verify its data.

    The ABC understands Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science (DES) wrote to Adani last week saying it will not look at the company’s GDEMP again until the concerns raised by the CSIRO are resolved.”

  18. guest

    A great big fuss about Shorten’s electric cars. The Coalition and its MSM propaganda unit should Google the banning of internal combustion engines by 2030. Precise details vary, but moves are afoot. It will be a great shock for the fossil fuel fanatics when they find out. Looking at you Nick Cater.

  19. Henry Rodrigues

    Aortic…… Have I stepped on some toes here?

  20. helvityni


    Only a petty pedant would worry about matters like ”’s KathArine Murphy, not Katherine.”….

    Only a couple people here get my gravatar right, I could not care less about its correct or wrong spelling……..

    We have bigger worries….sigh…

  21. Keith

    We certainly do have bigger worries now that Adani has been signed off Federally.
    A completely reckless, stupid, and catastrophic decision.
    Scientists have clearly stated that we should not be creating new coal mines.
    I think that DSM V should incorporate a new syndrome … Brain Deficit Syndrome.

  22. Henry Rodrigues

    helvityni………..Katharine, ketherine whatever………the point of my post seems to fly over, whizz past, slip under……. oh why bother, we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

    Could aortic be a secret admirer of faux journalism ?????

  23. Keith

    Trouble is already brewing between the Greens and Labor, the Greens scuttled a former policy, they need to do better than that this time. There is no doubt that the Greens do have a better policy, though they will not be governing Australia. We need a clear starting point in relation to climate change policy.

  24. Josephus

    What is a cooked parliament? What is meant by Israel’s blatant illegality? do you think the UN did not approve Israel ‘s birth ? do enlighten us!

  25. Alcibiades

    Have you heard of the illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan heights & their illegal military occupation ? The illegal annexation of the Lebanese Shebaa Farms & their illegal military occupation ? And now the intended illegal annexation, of the illegal Israeli settlements, of the illegal military occupation of the West Bank ?

    Would you by conscious selective omission be referring to UN Resolution 181, passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947 that called for the partition of Palestine into TWO Nation States, one Arab & one Jewish ? With the city of Jerusalem as a ‘separate entity’ to be governed by a special international regime ? Now effectively also illegally annexed & illegally militarily occupied ? What has Israel done to prevent the creation of the ‘other’ State since 1947 you appear to reference re Resolution 181, yet you use as justification for it’s existence ? Not nice to claim the selected bits of a UN Resolution, whilst dismissing the rest, let alone all the UN Resolutions that have followed it, hm ? It’s like having all the cake & eating it too, very naughty, what ?

  26. Phil.

    The only land Palestinian’s will get from Israel is the plot they bury them in. I just wish they would come out with the truth.

    One of Golda Meir’s quotes… ” There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”

    Iran will eventually get the bomb the only settlers then, will be cockroaches.

  27. TuffGuy

    Having just watched a hilarious video of Kristina Keneally sticking it to a number of LNP ministers, in particular Friedburgers, over their policy on EVs one would think Labor don’t really have to do much because the government will kick themselves out with their own complete and utter incompetence.
    But there are just too many stupid people out there who, when slapped in the face with a bunch of REAL statistics on the performance of the great economic managers, will still go out on May 18 or whenever and vote Lieberal. Even if they are amongst those being royally screwed by the government they will still vote for them. Stupid is as stupid does.
    We have just seen what stupid people did in NSW. I would like to see Shorten bring some of his talented women (like Keneally, Wong, Plibersek, Rowland, etc) to the front line, get them in the press talking about the incompetent government and such in a move I think will greatly impress voters.

  28. Lambert Simnel

    Sad to come here after reading in the Guardian that the government has slyly passed the Adani groundwater proposals, despite problems with the modelling.

    Is there anything more revolting than watching carpetbagger politicians duck and weave when it comes to the environment?

  29. andy56

    it truly is staggering to think the liberals are now proclaiming climate change is real yet with the same breath are encouraging another coal mine. Is there something about their brain structure that cant put 2 and 2 together? If you can acknowledge its happening, why the f*ck would you not want to try to stop it anyway possible ?
    As for electric cars, by 2030 you may not get a choice. If major manufactures are already looking at the end of ice cars, that lovely diesel guzzler wont be available anyway.
    If the happy clapper keeps this up till the election, nobody at all will take him seriously, its truly a chicken little episode in our midst.
    Bill should come out and say something ridiculous like hamburgers are no good and watch shouty take the bait, lol. Cause the more stupid his responses, the greater the fool he will look.

  30. Paul Davis

    Are you now the George Fishman of the internet?

  31. John lord

    Tuff Guy. What a put down.

  32. Lambert Simnel

    Just watching more of this Ute-Gate attack on new auto technologies on the Drum. This time The government hauled out its nastiest megaphone, Cash, to attack a sinister left plot to destroy grilfriend-bashing blokes V8 utes for politically correct electric dinky cars, but what appalled me was the savagery aimed at the public as propaganda became weaponised, as the given issue became a cover for demoralisation desensitising behaviour modification.

    We really have been arriving at a time where hate speech thinly disguised as discourse becomes the mode for fascism and the death of a thoughtful society.

  33. Paul Davis

    Really good point Lambert.

    Always worth the ticket price to see Cash in full flight, as long as you don’t sit too close to the stage or wear a raincoat …. love the theatrics with the build up to a popeyed spitting screechy crescendo. Yes, the queen of “demoralisation desensitising behaviour modification.” 🤤

  34. Lambert Simnel

    Paul Davis, it was awful. scene. Two amoral ssupposedly responsible, footloose and soulless individuals surrounded by lackeys, trying to dog-whistle people’s anxieties in the service of the creation of campaigning on a basis of non-rationality, de-issued and decoupled from fact.

    During the program, a clip of Peta Credlin bragging about the baselessness of Abbott’s attacks on Gillard emphasised the point, hinting at the role of technique.

    But where does this technically astute destruction of ordered discourse lead?

    Oddly enough, The Drum itself offered up two somewhat muted examples involving the Israeli election and soul relatives of Morrison in Netanyahu and Ganz against the backdrop of induced ramped up paranoia, followed by a truly evil segment involving Australian weapons sales to Saudi Arabia for use against civilians in that horrific civil war in Yemen tacitly endorsed by the West, as examples of the engineered death of logic and conscience in reality.

  35. John Lord

    I think the LNP are getting their exhausts in a knot over the future of electric cars.

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