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Always someone else to blame

By David Tyler

It was Getup; it was Labor’s lies about Medicare. It was the super changes. It was the electorate getting it wrong. It was a week of finding someone else to blame.

Liberal Party power broker, Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz is almost quick enough off the blocks to lead of the Coalition’s nation-wide chorus of denial, its political feature of the week, with his bizarre defence of his party over its election rout.

For Andrew Nikolic, the 10.6 % swing which lost him the marginal Bass to Labor’s Ross Hart resulted from a “dishonest, nasty, personal campaign.” That nicely clears up any confusion about the role of his refusal to talk with any but pro-Liberal voters.

Nikolic, former chair of the nation’s joint parliamentary committee on intelligence, accuses unions and Labor of deception “built around the core lie of Medicare privatisation.” He attacks GetUp! for peddling lies and frightening pensioners.

Yet GetUp! National director, Paul Oosting, says volunteers had communicated “clear facts about cuts to health education and renewable energy supported by Nikolic, whilst a funding crisis at Launceston General Hospital was of great concern to locals – as was the GP Medicare freeze which will price some families out of seeing a doctor.

The government’s nothing-to-see-here case was not helped, moreover, when Sussan Ley was put in witness protection for volunteering in May that she would lift the Medicare freeze but that she was blocked by departmental red tape.

Rumours abound that Ley will be relieved of her post with some suggesting that world’s best minister Greg Hunt, who has also been in witness protection during the campaign, will be an ideal Health minister given his outstanding success in environmental protection and his clean bill of health for the Great Barrier Reef.

One in twenty Australians already can’t afford to see a doctor. Yet the government’s extension of the Medicare freeze until 2020, means patients could face a $25 fee per consultation according to the AMA. No mention of a red tape problem.

Dotty Scott Morrison is also quick to claim that the government was robbed. “Beam me up Scotty” loves antics and theatrics and corny mock shock horror shows but he has failed at the main game. He has not got a handle on the Treasury portfolio.

There’s the trust issue for starters. His PM would not even trust him with the date of his own budget. Surely he will be relieved of the post after his shocking campaign in which he sacrificed any shred of credibility remaining to him with his war on business, his childish charts and his own black hole in Labor’s hole and other loopy stunts.

The reason, voters were dumb enough to be bluffed by Labor’s lies, he blusters Wednesday, was that the Coalition had run such a positive campaign.

Has he forgotten his own scaremongering; the Labor’s war on business scare, the certainty that Bill Shorten would run Australia like a union scare; the collapse of housing and even the stock market negative gearing scare, the soft on border security leading to chaos on our borders scare or Peter Dutton’s refugees taking Aussie jobs while simultaneously sponging up all our Centrelink scare?

Even his PM the day before is wearing what Barrie Cassidy calls his “shit-eating grin” and conceding that there was “fertile ground” for voters Medicare fears to grow. What he could say is that voters are intelligent enough to recognise the Coalition’s moves amount to establishing a two-tier privatised health system.

Part of the “fertile ground” for this campaign is that Australians have heard this promise before. Many recall John Howard’s undermining of Medicare by failing to allow funding to keep up with costs and population growth.

Many others would also remember Tony Abbott’s disastrous 2014 Budget promise of “no cuts to health” and how the Liberals tried to introduce a $7 GP tax and hike the price of prescriptions while ripping billions out of public hospitals.

And surely all would recall how Turnbull took the opportunity of his very first economic statement, the 2015 MYEFO, to cut even further than Abbott, slashing $650m from Medicare rebates for pathology and diagnostic imaging, cuts which Pathology Australia, the Diagnostic Imaging Association and others said would increase the price of vital tests and scans beyond affordable for some Australians.

Yet it is still a stretch to claim that Labor tricked electors into voting for it. Scruitneers and electoral officials reveal Medicare may have cost the Coalition votes, it seems from this stage of the vote count, but did not boost Labor’s vote, as it might if people had been conned into believing they needed to vote to “save Medicare”.

In the meantime, as vote counting continues its glacial pace in marginal lower house seats as well as the Senate, Tasmanians’ votes below the line on the ballot ticket for Labor’s popular Lisa Singh appear to be pushing her towards a senate seat.

Not only is Lisa popular, she, like Liberal Richard Colbeck, campaigned for a vote below the line, a trend which is likely to result in Eric Abetz, who easily accessed number one spot, receiving fewer votes than Colbeck, thereby signalling the end of party control over senate voting and some attenuation of Ubergruppenfuhrer Abetz’s authority over the Tasmanian Liberals.

The gobsmacked senator-elect is onto something, however with his suggestion that someone form a right wing GetUp, a theme also embraced by conservative party luminary Senator Cory Bernardi, who is once again said to be starting a group of right-thinking red-blooded Australians who aren’t already voting One Nation.

Cory’s new conservatives will nudge politics a little further to the right in response to the Liberals’ thrashing in the polls and the miraculous resurgence of One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, former guest of Her Majesty and latterly celebrity demagogue on the Today Show, clear signs to Eric Abetz and others that what voters are craving is another dollop of right wing nut-jobbery. A right wing GetUp would help, he reckons.

Yet there are a few hurdles ahead of Bernardi and Abetz starting with the support the conservative cause already enjoys from the odd powerful press baron, almost all mainstream media including the ABC and all our captains of industry and commerce, their supporters, the well-funded lobbyists, think tanks, foundations and institutes.

Also on the lucky Liberal list now are Chinese language voters who get all their news from WeChat, which hosted a non-scare campaign information service which explained for the non English reader Labor’s plans for boys to use girls’ toilets.

Voters in the Victorian seat of Chisholm in Melbourne’s East were also told by WeChat how Labor was going to open the gate to refugees who would take jobs. Labor was going to increase the refugee quota at the expense of Chinese migrants.

Chisholm records a first-preference swing of 4.2% to the Liberal candidate, Julie Banks, and 5.6% away from Labor which is so low as to use scare tactics.

The volunteer-run WeChat social media campaign was organised by Gladys Liu, the Liberal party communities engagement committee chairwoman for Victoria.

Apart from being superfluous, Eric and Cory’s concept of popular activists telephoning voters, for example, and canvassing votes on the basis that big business really needed a tax break or that pensioners needed further hurdles to jump to get their paltry allowances may need a little re-thinking.

Voters are more likely to paint their bodies blue and lie about naked in the street to be photographed, an event entirely of our time in the recent “Sea of Hull installation”, another of Spencer Tunick’s, true-blue artworks.

Yet Abetz is no lone wolf. His whingeing echoes his hapless Prime Minister’s petulant victory speech at the Wentworth hotel, such an ugly dummy spit that it even causes seasoned sourpuss Laurie Oakes’ some grief.

“It is the first time that I have seen a bloke that has won the election give a speech that saying we was robbed,” Oakes says on a Channel Nine chat show that also doubles as an election night special.

The “we was robbed” theme is continued at the end of the week by the dynamic Arthur Sinodinos who appears on ABC Insiders to demonstrate in person that his party has learned nothing, claiming the results as a mandate for tax reform.

Oddly, none of the journos present asks Arthur whether his memory has recovered enough for him to be able to assist ICAC in what he did in the 25 and 45 hours a year he spent working as a director for AWH 2008-11 to justify his $200,000 salary.

We were robbed. Not that the candidates were out of touch or that their policies were duds. All voters were offered the usual hollow slogan of jobs and growth with the promise of a tax cut for the top four per cent – surely an irresistible package. Plus extra stability.

Denial is capably assisted by scapegoating and blaming. Already recriminations are flowing thick and fast while Tony Abbott is getting fan mail on ABC from the likes of Andrew Probyn. Is a bit of factional sand-bagging already taking place?

The consensus on Sunday’s Insiders is that Abbott played a blinder of a campaign even helping out others such as poor George Christensen, one of the Liberals’ Lost Boys and deserves a Brownlow for best non-sniper on the field and that he cannot possibly be linked to the salvos of criticism which underminded his nemesis Turnbull from Sky media celebrity Peta Credlin. Nor will he in any way benefit.

Abbott does have a little jab at Malcolm on 2GB in yet another on-air rub down with Cronulla riot demi-urge Alan Jones. The big issues like budget repair, national security and border security, were underplayed in his opinion, aired for everyone’s benefit, along with a lot of Rugby playing analogies that leave no doubt that after a spell on the bench, Abbott is waiting to be picked again for the firsts.

Stop the press. Tosser Turnbull has claimed victory, Bill Shorten has conceded defeat.

It’s an odd speech about good government a phrase which recalls “good captain” Abbott who promised the same, not long before, he, too, got thrown out.

Tosser waffles about “building on the strength of our economy,” with a bit about how we get him wrong and how he is not an unduly sentimental fellow and how he was holding his grand-daughter when Bill Shorten rang him and sod the present it’s all about the future and our grandchildren. We are trustees for our future generations.

Has he been on the single malt again?

Perhaps Turnbull’s had a Damascene conversion. Perhaps he’s about to ring Birmingham and Sussan Ley. Tell them he’ll put back the $70 billion that his government ripped out of health and education.

Could someone get Greg Hunt on the phone? It is too late to ring Howard about getting the profits of the minerals boom back? A word with Keating about QANTAS and the Commonwealth bank, the infrastructure he sold off for a song?

There’s a bit about democracy too, just to keep the Mineral Council of Australia happy, not to mention the long list of lobbyists and powerful backers to appease.

Many of us remember what the Minerals Council of Australia did to subvert public discussion on the Mining Super Profits Tax. Or what Clubs Australia did to stymie gambling reform, or what Big Coal did to Emissions Trading Scheme; the Carbon Tax.

Now it’s all over bar the shouting. The blood-letting. The blaming. Will Turnbull be able to manage a slim majority and a cross bench of nine? He had the odd spot of bother with the last mob. And they had no Pauline Hanson. No Derryn Hinch.

How will he go with a leaner Liberal Party but a fatter right wing, a “broad church” with a rabble of conservatives pointing the finger at the Sinodinos faction of wets, circling cabinet positions and back-benchers bitching, ranting about their betrayal, now every one of them a king maker?

Whatever the outcome there’ll be someone else to blame.

A party room meeting is scheduled for Monday.

David Tyler blogs at http://urbanwronski.com. He is a regular writer for The Tasmanian Times and has had work published on Independent Australia.

23 comments

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  1. Fedup

    These Liberals could be in office for 20 years and it will always be Labour’s fault or someone else’s. They are nothing more than a lying bunch of politicians who the Australian public will find out very shortly. It will surely be along the lines “we didn’t want to do it but????” just wait and see.
    I don’t believe for one minute that Labour lied about Medicare or superannuation. Turnbull had no choice but to do a u turn on these issues or risk losing the election! F*ck I hate politics! You can’t trust anyone!

  2. Jaquix

    Agree – we was robbed! I believe that the word “Medicare” became a rallying cry for Labor voters, as shorthand for ALL the things the Libs were trying to tear down/weaken/impoverish in their 3 budgets. We really are up against 3 generations of brainwashing by Murdoch, to the extent that his propaganda has become embedded as facts in the minds of so many. I take hope that independent publishers like TheAIM and also GET-UP, are going to make a difference, and hope Bill Shorten is fair, but not too co-operative with them, in the next 3 years. We need to maintain the rage !

  3. Ross

    Malcolm Turnbull reminds me of the archetypal upper management/CEO bloke.
    The smiling assassin, the well fed, well dressed, well spoken strangely shiny faced inhabitant of that rarefied world. At the worker/management meetings you sit there silently applauding the performance, knowing full well the result is you bending over the barrel and taking it from behind sans lube.
    But what’s with the violent hand movements, the sharp downwards chopping motions, hands balled into fists, constantly moving. Definitely not in the CEO handbook of speech making.
    As Malcolm well knows CEO’s get boned by their own board when they don’t deliver.

  4. Gangey1959

    100% Jaquix. WE was robbed.
    I think we all knew it was going to be a close election, but fluck, how dumb are we. As a collective.
    In Victoria billy shortarse wasn’t helped by andrews’s bullshit carryon with the MFB/CFA, and turdbott jumped onto that bandwagon without a clue as to what was actually happening, but for people to actually believe his bullshit about medicare, and education, and all of the rest of their crap just had me confused.
    All we need now is a speech from them detailing the debt and deficit disaster that the lnp have inherited from the last government and everything will be just about perfect. I think it was moronscum who I heard 3 days before the election still blaming the alp for the lnp’s last 3 years of complete incompetence, so I expect more of the same to follow for another couple of terms yet.
    I only want 2 things.
    The full details of their “plan” now that they have gotten back into office, including a list of the people voldemurdoch and his minions consider capable of carrying out the various jobs, and the time and place that everyone considered incapable or unsuitable for public office will be thrown under the busses. I want to film it for posterity.
    When they do the same U Turn on their promises that little johhny did re the gst, and the failed paedophile did re Everything they are going to blame the preceding government and expect We the Voter to just swallow it for the next 3 years, so I hope the “Not the Government” side of Parliament is as obstructionist as possible, because that is the only hope Australia has. It will mean stagnating for another 3 years, but ANY part of the lnp/ipa agenda is far worse.
    And finally, in regards to the chinese vote in Chisolm. Box hill is NOW a horrible place. So is Glen Waverley. Australian’s are treated as if we are aliens who do not belong. So if the chinese don’t like it here, F*CK OFF BACK HOME, and take your bullshit driving and angry children with you. Don’t try and inflict the same crap that you have buggered off from onto a new country that you expect to be able to call home. (The boys couldn’t use the girl’s toilets even if they wanted to. The drug dealers won’t let them in.)
    @Ross. I think he’s trying to work out what is the best way to grip the back of a chair or the edge of a table for when they all line up to give him one, even if they leave him in the ”head” boy’s job.

  5. helvityni

    “But what’s with the violent hand movements, the sharp downwards chopping motions, hands balled into fists, constantly moving”.

    Ross, I too have wondered about those fists. There must be plenty of un-expressed anger behind that veneer of smiles. He’s angry that the ride has not been as smooth as he expected. Not too many agree with him about ‘the most exciting time to be Australian’ .

  6. JeffJL

    I am surprised that Turnbull’s lack of congratulations to the campaign of Labor in his victory speech has not been commented here.

  7. kerri

    And yet Turnbull declared before the election, in an act of unbridled self confidence, that his new cabinet would be much like his old one! Would we be right to assume, if it is not, that the right are twisting his arm yet again?
    There are a few he has to replace because they lost their seats but his hubris has caused him to, yet again, paint himself into a corner from which he can only emerge having lied about the cabinet!
    Will the media pick him up on this? Of course not!
    As I said before the election anyone who voted for Turnbull because of who he is, is a fool. Turnbull will always be pinned to the floor by the likes of Abetz, Bernardi, Christensen, Abbott, Dutton and all the quieter neo-cons.

  8. kizhmet

    JeffJL – Turnbull didn’t even thank his volunteers. I think it is fair to say the absence of commentary regarding Turnbull’s “lack of congratulations to the campaign of Labor” is far more of an indictment of his behaviour ‘-)

  9. helvityni

    JeffJL, he’s not a big enough man to congratulate his opponent.

    kerri, I heard the promise of ‘no changes’, and thought: yet another promise turning out to be a future lie.

  10. FedUp

    He’s a puppet. Incapable of thinking for himself. He may as well have a leash around his neck. He is being lead everywhere and told what to say and do. He won’t be around for long! And you think Pauline is bad? Huh! At least she can think for herself, not like this moron!

  11. Fedup

    He wasn’t told and shown how to say thank you! Simple! He wouldn’t know how!

  12. kerri

    Me too Helvityni. When will politicians learn to never say never?
    Gangey 1959
    did you miss the post by Rossleigh exposing that “handsoffthecfa.com” was registered by a Liberal party staffer and the address given is Liberal headquarters in Melbourne?? Malcolm did not just jump on the bandwagon with the cfa! He knew damn well what was happening and he helped create it! I had heard reports that many of the protesters were not CFA members.

    Did the Liberal CFA Lies lose the Labor Party Government?

    A Very Interesting Photo!

  13. DisablednDesperate

    As I have said I don’t know where those gap figures keep coming from. My GP who I have to see once a month went private. The gap was $33. That increased to $42 on the 1st of July. All but one of the GP’s at the clinic have gone private.

    I love the idea of a supposed right wing GetUp. I really don’t think they get the whole concept.

  14. Kronomex

    I see the post election selective amnesia has set in for the LNP. Either that or Sinodinositis has started speading. The rabid right wing has Turncoats nuts in a vice and will continue to tighten it until he makes a mistake (I still give him 8 months anyway) then it’s castrato time and he’s gone.

  15. Freethinker

    The Liberal party hard right faction have a plan B when Malcolm go, he will be replaced by Mike Baird moving to a safe federal seat.
    Then Mr Popular not only start the Medicare demolitions but also giving “incentives” to all the states to privatise the public hospitals.
    What worries me is that the damage to the health system will be very big and when the ALP will be in power it will come with the same excuse that come with the NBN in this election”the train have left the station” and will leave all as was left by the coalition.

  16. jim

    Turnbull uses a lot of energy being ready to grin whenever the camera shows up, Thats their big problem using up their very small brain cells trying to rubbish the Labor party or anyone else.
    Anyway Mr Bill Shorten is very pleased with the election result and it’s not fake smiles and grins for the cameras.
    Oh well the renewable energy sector (jobs and Growth) will still creep along although nothing like like it would’ve surged under the Labor party this is just one reason why I feel let down by my fellow Australian, again. Next time Vote Labor for a fairer society.

  17. diannaart

    Anyone have a list of the far-right nutters in the LNP lower house? Just curious to know if Turnbull has any supporters left from his Abbott coup. Maybe Turnbull can have little effigies made of his frenemies and a handy box of pins.

    @Gangey1959

    I have been shopping in Glen Waverley and Box Hill for many years – there has always been a high percentage of Asians (mostly Chinese, but not all) living there – this is not new.

    I have yet to be treated badly or with hostility by anyone there.

    As noted by author David Tyler The volunteer-run WeChat social media campaign was organised by Gladys Liu, the Liberal party communities engagement committee chairwoman for Victoria.

    This does not mean ALL Chinese are neo-cons who vote LNP.

    Nor does being a white male mean one is a racist or sexist.

    😉

  18. helvityni

    Knonomex, I like the term ‘ Sinodinositis’ , on another blog Arthur was named $inodino$, and Urban Wronski calls Mal, Tosser Turnbull. 🙂

  19. silkworm

    Can I have a reference on that WeChat scam about boys in girls’ toilets? I’d like to paste it on FB.

  20. Aortic

    Good government starts now? How many JobSen growths will be trotted out to placate the masses. Lambie, Katter and Hanson having critical says and Joyce trotting around the world as ambassador for arable land. Happy days, another wine dear if you will.

  21. mark

    The people have spoken,so good luck to them,they’ll need it.mark

  22. mark

    The conservatives have spoken in this election. They didnt like what happened to Abbott, they dont like Turnbull and the way he wants to pull the party to the left. They voted for independents and the Nationals. Turnbull is the problem as he was supposedly installed as PM because Abbott was down in the polls. Exactly what seats were saved by Turnbull? Abbott would have put up a better showing than him. Turnbull also blamed everyone for the failed republican movement . He just cant see how he could be wrong.

  23. 2353NM

    mark @ 6.06am. The ‘conservatives’ vote according to your definition above received slightly over 10% of the total vote. Demonstrably, the ‘conservatives’ number around 1.6 million of the 16 million Australians registered to vote.

    While you may have your beliefs – something like 90% of the voting population doesn’t agree with them. Like it or not you live in a society with that 14.4 million people who also have a voice and a choice – and they made that choice on 2 July.

    You are correct that Turnbull blamed everyone else for the failed republican vote as well – but the rest of your post is clearly wrong. Abbott was heading for a hiding. There was a poll just before the election that put an Abbott lead Coalition at somewhere around 45% to the ALP’s 55%

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