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Albo Enters the Lion’s Den: The Sky Interview, Part One

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (Albo) has, for some reason, spoken to Sky so-called News. I want to do an analysis of both his remarks and the interview itself. I have dealt with every aspect of the interview except the last question on Mr. Albanese’s family life, which I consider irrelevant to political discourse. This post is a monster so I have broken it up into two (hopefully) manageable chunks.

Interview, Part One: Franking Credits and Negative Gearing

In case it was not clear, Sky so-called News conducted this interview. It started with the following horribly framed question

Let’s talk about some of the unpopular policies that Labor took to the election. Franking credits. Reform of that in any form? Dead, buried, cremated?

The policies of the Labor Party were unpopular, you say? Nice poisoning of the well from the start there. Mr. Albanese correctly noted that the next election is not for two years (at least) and that it is not the job of the opposition to produce policies now. He went on to say that Labor would not be taking the same policy to the next election. Asked if that meant he would ‘grandfather’ franking credits to existing shareholders, he simply restated his original position. Typical politician speak, but somewhat justified in light of the terrible and openly right-wing framing of the question.

The next question dealt with negative gearing. Albanese effectively batted it away by saying that policy is decided in the shadow cabinet and caucus rooms.

Interview, Part Two: Health and Education

The right-wing propaganda continued with the Health and Education question

Let’s talk then about these billions more for health and education. Because I guess that argument kind of didn’t work. Do you think that you will be moving away from that, ‘get the tax here, spend billions more on health and education’ type of policy?

The propaganda is strong in this one. The ‘argument kind of didn’t work’ because the media was quite openly partial towards the Liberal Party and against the Labor party. The COALition’s ‘campaign’ in the last election can be summed up, appropriately enough, in a three-word slogan: We’re Not Them. Also, what does ‘get the tax here’ mean? What an utterly stupid statement. Expenditure is a function of revenue. Anything that the government funds, including the private school funding on which the LNP are so keen, comes out of tax. It is not merely Labor policies that cost money, you Sky so-called News hack.

Albo quite rightly responded to the question ‘Would you envisage no new taxes, no increase in taxes, on the platform you run with?’ by saying

I don’t shy away from the fact that in a civilised society, you need taxation in order to fund schools, in order to fund hospitals

Amen. Taxation, unpopular as it is, and despite conservative propaganda to the contrary, is necessary to fund society. The hypocrisy of the conservative movement on tax is not difficult to see. They are quite willing to fund their priorities using tax, but anything that does not somehow benefit them or their corporate mates magically finds its way into the too-hard (or too hard to fund) basket. They are not anti-tax, they are anti-tax on them and their mates. Mr. Albanese is right and the tories’ petulant clinging to their ‘trickle-down’ lie delegitimises them as a governing party.

Interview, Part Three: The Economy and the False God Surplus

For the next question, it is worth quoting the exchange in full from Mr. Albanese’s website

CLENNELL: Do you believe in surpluses?

ALBANESE: I of course believe in surpluses, but over a period of time.

CLENNELL: Over a period of time, not every single year?

ALBANESE: Well, it depends on the circumstances. Were we right to respond to the Global Financial Crisis in the way that we did? Yes. Should there be a surplus this year? Yes. Had Labor been elected, would we be having a surplus? Yes, we would.

Incredible, is it not? The idolatry around the false god Surplus is beyond absurd. There should be a surplus ‘every single year’? Such blind adherence does not account for natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks or anything that requires a government to spend a dollar more than it takes in. Mr. Albanese’s response was nuanced when he said that circumstances should dictate whether a surplus is justified. He fell off the wagon a bit when he said that there should be a surplus this year: the conditions in the economy do not appear to justify that, Sir. Buying into the conservative framework does not serve your purpose, Mr. Albanese.

Interview, Part Four a): Climate Change 

The loaded and misleading questions continue with this gem

Okay, let’s talk about climate change. Now, Scott Morrison has a point doesn’t he, when he says that no matter what we do on our own emissions on this front, China will take up that slack in just a few days. I mean, if you believe climate change is a major cause of the bushfires, which you do, aren’t we in serious trouble, no matter what happens in domestic politics?

Is Scott Morrison not right when he says… – seriously. This is what passes for journalism? The bias of Sky so-called News is remarkable. Even if Mr. Albanese said that climate change ’caused’ the bushfires, which I seriously doubt, that is wrong. A cause is that which, in the absence of which, something would not occur. Essentially, the fires would not have happened were it not for climate change. Nobody appears to have said that. The right-wing noise machine made that up.

In addition, there is a difference between establishing conditions for something to be much worse than it would have been and causing the event. The fire season began earlier and was more destructive because of climate change – that is an aggravating factor, not a cause. Finally, the idea that Australia is such a relatively minor contributor to global emissions is seriously flawed, and a multi-pronged rebuttal can be found here.

Mr. Albanese’s response was to rightly criticise the government, specifically Angus Taylor, for being what he called ‘a handbrake’ on global climate action by his actions at the recent Madrid climate conference. According to Mr. Albanese, Taylor partnered with Saudi Arabia to argue for less action.

Interview, Part Four b): More Climate Change

The trained monkey then asked this whopper

Okay, fair enough. But what’s wrong with you just saying now, which you’ve been reluctant to do in recent days, ‘We are sticking to this 45 per cent reduction target by 2030’? Why are you afraid of endorsing that target that you took to the election?

Albanese’s response was quite good, complete with a humorous reference to Doctor Who

That was in 2015. That was a 2015 target established for 15 years’ time. Guess what, Andrew? There’s no Tardis. I can’t go back in time and say in 2022 our 15-year target will be very different, by the way, 15 years from 2022 is 2037, not 2030.

Albo is quite right: no TARDIS here. The question is also either intentionally misleading or just plain stupid: 45% reduction target from 2015, clown. Thanks to the last six years of tory government, Australia’s emissions have actually increased, so to meet the target set in 2015 would actually require a more aggressive policy than the ALP previously announced. Also, unlike the tories, Labor policy tends to adapt to circumstances rather than being taken as a holy writ to which reality must adapt. Counter-intuitive, I know.

More of Mr. Albanese and this trained monkey in Part Two

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32 comments

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  1. Aortic

    Mark Dreyfus.

  2. wam

    daniel albo pulling thorns out of smirko’s foot. isn’t that grate????
    ps
    dreyfus shouldm’t be allowed out after dark without a learned story.

  3. Lambchop Simnel

    What the article demonstrated is the intractable task ground down Labor, or any future progressive formation, faces in breaking the control of the oligarchy and its press and media over opinion, the dogmatic elite driven by its mulish pride; in being constitutionally unable to admit even the most forgivable mistake coupled with its mystical worship of profit and power as the only meaningful means by which to proceed with life.

    The bushfires and drought/water policy have exposed the utter futility and flight from reality to fantasy in this terribly limiting myopic vision, but the right has this cancerous grip on the mind of the nation as its masters of technique, quietly urged on by the equally soul less, unimaginative leaders of other locations of oligarchy, lack any clue as to why they are doing what they are doing; both oligarchs and technicians.

    The sheer idiocy and unrelatedness to reality of their ideology shine through in the desolate denial ridden quality of their so called questions, framed more as reinforcing propaganda to suppress actual discussion and cognition.

    It really is Heart of Darkness stuff, this era.

  4. New England Cocky

    Uhm … what is Sky News?

    Remember Rupert Murdoch’s direction to journalists at The Australian before the 1975 post-Dismissal election; “I don’t care what you write about [name], make them look bad”.

    This is too easily done by unthinking MSM journalists now infesting the pages and airwaves of the MSM, and it has a slowly debilitating effect on the equally unthinking population of Australian voters. Executives of the foreign owned multinational corporations are unlikely to watch the MSM because they already know the details of government policies before they are publicly announced.

    So why do politicians appear on Sky channel programmes?

  5. Stephen Tardrew

    Oh hell not the surplus bogey again and more neoliberal garbage. Labor never learn from progressive heterodox economists who have a much more empirically based foundation to economics.

    The surplus is necessary when there is a shrinking economy and a lack of growth. Too much growth and over productivity and a surplus is valid. Right now it is a noose around Labor’s neck.

    They seem incapable of being a true progressive party challenging the status quo for the good of the country. The Labor wet rag continues with its worn out neoliberal platitudes.

    I know all the Labor apologist will come out bleating at me however this is insanity writ large as they actually encourage boom/bust cycles.

  6. Spindoctor

    The Labor strategy is go on Sky and argue hard for good, honest implementable costed policies despite the inherent biased interviewer and loaded questions.. Bill Shorten tried to side step the MSM and despite over 80 public meetings couldn’t get the voter awareness he needed to counter the very successful long running Murdoch KillBill game plan and win government. So Albo has to beard the dragon by going into the den and try to show up the stupidity of the right wing dogma based questions. He has been remarkably constrained which shows strategists advising him to look and behave like an alternative leader where Scummo and his rabble have and continue to comprehensibly fail. It means he has to get into the Murdick sewer but hopefully logic and commonsense argument will get through over the smear and bias and (possibly) show up to even rusted on audiences that Sky presenters are the simpering IPA Lunatic Nitwit Plunderer tools they are.

  7. Kaye Lee

    None of the news/opinion/rubbish shows on Sky attract anywhere near the audience that Insiders does and you have to get up early on a Sunday to watch it.

    Is it worth courting the few thousand that choose to watch shit like Credlin and Bolt and Jones and Kenny and Murray?

    The headline from the interview is “Albanese brands Labor’s election emissions target a ‘mistake’. ”

    To my mind, that is about the worst timing you could get for that discussion. The people are ready for more action on climate change and Albo chooses now to go on Sky and say we got it wrong?????

    Whatever happened to seize the day, play to your strength, or even, yanno, put the best interests of the world before political posturing?

  8. Terence Mills

    Insiders with Barrie Cassidy before the unusually long Christmas break was attracting 588,000 contrasted with Bolt, Murray and co who at best can attract 60,000 and that includes their FTA through WIN as well as Pay TV.

  9. Matters Not

    Winning elections is usually at the margins – hence the pursuit of the tiny (but crucial) numbers that watch Sky. Albo will leave no stone unturned as he seeks electoral treasure (as though he’s being advised by the Oracle of Delphi.) Even if it becomes a race to the bottom, Albo will be there because Labor supporters desperately want (and need) a winner. So Whatever it takes.

    Be prepared to hold your nose remembering that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  10. carole Hayes

    Mr Anthony Albanese. Stop with all the weasel words. We get enough of that from the government. We, the people are not prepared to wait until the next election to hear your proposals for climate change. We have had a wake up call. Make use of it. Come up with some good strategies because god help us we need them. Here’s your chance to force the government to steal any good ideas you have because they have none of their own. Getting the right outcome is the most important goal now. I await your plans for conservation of habitat and rebuilding the population of native animals NOW. People can and will help themselves and each other, whereas our unique wildlife depends on us. Stop all land clearing in Labor states and pressure the Liberals at COAG to do the same. We are running out of time.

  11. Trevor

    Extinction is forever
    Australia burns
    The Oceans choke on human detritus

    Business as usual, bashing blacks and coloured folks
    Business as usual, hip pocket politics
    Business as usual, its a Green conspiracy

    The LNP are a pestilence upon Australia
    Democracy Australian style presently means blind allegiance to Murdoch vitriol
    The youth are always the future

    There are two types of Australians, those who think the Govt will, and those that think.
    When the Oceans die, human die
    Extinction Rebellion.

  12. Pete Petrass

    “Albo is quite right: no TARDIS here. The question is also either intentionally misleading or just plain stupid: 45% reduction target from 2015, clown. Thanks to the last six years of tory government, Australia’s emissions have actually increased, so to meet the target set in 2015 would actually require a more aggressive policy than the ALP previously announced.”
    Perhaps Albo should have pointed out the fact that nobody could now aspire to the 45% reduction because (under Lieberal governments) emissions had been increasing for the past six years.

  13. pierre wilkinson

    what seems to be forgotten in all the sad post mortems is that Labor and the Greens actually got over half the vote with their policies: if not for a splurge of cash from palmer in queensland and a continuous barrage of misinformation and disinformation from the murdochracy, ably enabled by a compliant ABC, Labor would have won the last election

  14. carole Hayes

    So true. Labor seems to have forgotten just how close the result was in spite of the LNP LIES and Clive Palmer’s millions.

  15. Andrew Eves

    I dont buy into the doom and gloom and of predictions of climate change being the scource of all our woes since the inception of the planet it has had considerable periods of climate change from ice ages to global warming we are in a period of global warming but as for all these dire predictitions about rising sea levels etc its just not true sea levels have not changed since before the 1940s Antarctica is actually growing in size yes the temp has gone up approx 1 degree in the past 100 years or so is this due to human s and or emissions the science is still out on that one but the politicization of climate change does nothing for science in general Science is A political and theres is not any iota of truth scientifically that we are all doomed within 50years

  16. Kaye Lee

    ” sea levels have not changed since before the 1940s”

    That is not true.

    Sea Level
    LATEST MEASUREMENT: September 2019
    96 (± 4) mm since 1993 from satellites

    RATE OF CHANGE
    ^ 3.3millimeters per year

    https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

  17. Michael Taylor

    Our doom and gloom is justified.

  18. Kaye Lee

    I would rather listen to all the experts too Michael. I’m kinda funny like that.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, it’s bewildering how some people look upon the likes of Craig Kelly, Andrew Bolt or Pauline Hanson as “experts” on matters relating to the climate.

  20. LambsFry Simplex.

    At least we wont have to travel so far to the beach.

    Why, it looks like the beach is coming to us.

  21. DrakeN

    LambsFry – it looks like a reversal of the mountain not coming to Mohammet.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Actually, with storm surge the way it is, you are more likely to get a cliff than a beach.

  23. DrakeN

    Michael T, never has the epithet “sheeple” been better exemplified than the current acceptance of unqualified global heating by so much of the hoi polloi.

    My old mate Idis Perr has gone into vitual reclusion, both physically and on the interwebs – and, if it were not for the level of sanity displayed here, and a select few other sites such as AI and The Conversation, by the greater majority of the contributors I too might be in need of intensive mental succour.

  24. DrakeN

    Those expensive waterfront residences are beginning to look like a bit of a sunken asset the way that things are going.

  25. corvusboreus

    Andrew Eves,
    ‘Sea levels have not changed since before the 1940s’
    Are you a deliberate liar or just an ignorantly anti-scientific loud mouth?
    Maybe you should try a basic fact check on wiki-phuqqen-pedia before opening your upper-anus.

  26. corvusboreus

    You see, Andrew , scientists have been taking empirical measurements from solid Oceanside benchmarks for over a century, and these have consistently shown ever-increasing rates of general sea level rise over the 20th to early 21st century, including data from periods long before human influence on the planetary climate was an accepted scientific paradigm.
    So says every credible oceanographic institute and advisory body on the planet, from NASA and the Royal Academy of Science through to the Australian dept of the environment.
    So, do you somehow know better than all the world’s qualified oceanographers, or are you just blowing some vapid fumes out of your arse?

  27. LambsFry Simplex.

    corvusboreus, you know, they will always say stuff like that, till beyond the end of time.

    What psychological need does it fulfil?

  28. Roswell

    It’s called denial, LambsFry. They thrive on it. It soothes their fears.

  29. corvusboreus

    Lambsfry,
    I don’t care if it springs from intellectual indolence, amoral dishonesty or mental illness, I am utterly sick of people concocting or regurgitating blatant bullshit then calling it scientific fact.
    The (national and global) figures on sea rise are both publicly available and overwhelmingly accepted within the realms of peer-reviewed science and the relevant advisory bodies.
    If Andrew Eves is, for whatever reason, incapable or unwilling to undertake even the most basic fact-checking before choosing to make such baldly false claims, then he deserves neither tolerance nor pity.

  30. LambsFry Simplex.

    Thanks both. A bit sad though.

    A fair practitioner of the vice over many years, so can hardly point the finger.

    They won’t feel good when they wake up one day, “morning after” if it finally arrives.

    corvus boreus, it does involve being caught out, the paddy is being chucked. the blame game instigated and the defiance is almost amusing. Gee it is hard to break through to them.

    We could tell them we know what it is like to be wrong, hey shucks it can get better off a low base once a cornered person can no longer hide from the fact that the show is over.

    Yes, almost forgot about Andrew, I hope he lives long enough for the day to come when he wakes up sorely embarrassed with himself, realising how he wasted the time of people who might have liked him under different circumstances.

    It can be sad to look back at friends you lost on earlier years, there is a price topay, but I suppose that’s their business, only think of all the kids to inherit our fuck up.

  31. LambsFry Simplex.

    Here we go, they are called AGAIN, this time by one of Capitalism’s finest sons:

    Malcolm Turnbull calls out Scott Morrison for “misleading the nation” (BBC) and
    Trump as “the worlds leading climate denier”(Guardian).

    And how long can it go on before the flimsy antic of having the AG or some other tame lackey investigate caught out colleagues and even himself, before even the pub rest kicks on?

    Wtf is wrong with Australians??

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