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Barrie Cassidy and Jonathan Green are wrong and this is why . . .

Abbott’s main argument against those in his party who want him out is that to get rid of him now would be to return ‘to repeat the chaos and instability of the Labor years’.  This is understandable; after all, what else has he got going for him?

My question is, rather, why do elements of the mainstream media buy into this narrative?

Even commentators who are not nominally part of the right-wing commentariat, such as Jonathan Green and Barrie Cassidy, are basing a large part of their argument about how Abbott got there in the first place on the electorate’s haste to be rid of the Gillard/Rudd governments. Cassidy could be channelling  Abbott when he talks about ‘the failed, disunited and chaotic Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments’; he says there was ‘a six or seven year period of dysfunctional and chaotic governments’. Green says Labor was ‘a government we had come to hate’.

Sure. Labor lost the 2013 election, 46.51% to 53.49% on a two party preferred basis. So I’m not sure who the ‘we’ is that Green is talking about. Some of us, certainly. But others of us both valued what Labor had achieved, and feared – rightly as it turned out – what an Abbott government was capable of.

It would be foolish of me to dispute the impact of the changes in leadership, the public backstabbing, the vengeful backgrounding of journalists and the mistakes in policy and its implementation made by these governments. Possibly it was Rudd’s back-down on climate policy which most undermined his public authority. The governments were certainly spooked by Abbott’s relentless negativity, rarely seeming able to get clear air to promote a more positive agenda. And there were disastrous policy failings, such as that on asylum seekers.

On the other hand, much of this was blown out of all proportion by the Opposition and the media. Why is a minority government that has the support of independents illegitimate? Will this be the case if the LNP scrapes into minority government in Queensland? Does anyone really think there are no factions in the Liberal Party? Or that they aren’t crucial in deciding who leads the party? Why is only the negative side of the Rudd government’s insulation scheme ever mentioned? Even Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission didn’t manage to blame Rudd for the deaths of the four workers whose unscrupulous bosses abused this program. Yet you’d think Rudd went out and murdered them himself from the press treatment it received. And why is so little credit ever given to the Labor government for the stimulus package that saved Australia from the worst of the GFC? Instead, there has been a relentless and damaging talking down of the economy.

So did these failed and chaotic governments really not achieve anything? I’ll just list some of what they did achieve, as Cassidy and Green, and no doubt others, seem to have forgotten about these. The fact that some powerful vested interests didn’t like them doesn’t make them any less important reforms. The fact that some of them were used against the Labor government doesn’t make them wrong either. Nor does the fact that Abbott has repealed or undermined many of them. It’s impossible to say which if any of these policies those who voted against Labor were rejecting, but aren’t government supposed to act in the national interest regardless of popularity? Labor governments:

  • Saved Australia from the worst effects of the GFC
  • Put a price on carbon, which resulted in a decrease in carbon emissions.
  • Began implementing the Gonski reforms to base educational funding on need
  • Began building a world class NBN
  • Introduced a mining tax to share the benefits of the resources boom more fairly
  • Introduced paid parental leave
  • Supported an increase in the minimum wage – modest, but still an increase
  • Introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Achieved the Tasmanian forest deal
  • Achieved plain cigarette packaging
  • Won a seat on the Security Council to give Australia a stronger international voice

Why are Cassidy and Green and their ilk ignoring these positive achievements? (It’s OK Barrie I don’t really hate you. I just think you should know better.)

My guess is that it is only by portraying the Labor governments as incompetent and hated that they can excuse their own failure to look properly at Tony Abbott and his policies, and to publicise what they would have found if they looked at all.

It’s true that Abbott made himself a small target. But there were still things you could have analysed. Did you ever look in detail at Direct Action and how it might work? Did you ever wonder in print whether a price on carbon was a good thing? Did you ever suggest that it would be wise to look more closely at the effectiveness of an NBN based on fibre to the node – and therefore on Telstra’s aging copper network? Did you ever question the inequality of Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme? Did you ever consider what would be lost if the mining tax was repealed? Was government debt really a problem in Australia?

And even if Abbott’s agenda was relatively limited, couldn’t you have probed a bit deeper into his political agenda? He laid it out for you in Battlelines. Small government, trickle-down economics, culture wars and social conservatism. It was all there for you.

Maybe a bit more work from journalists on sites like The Drum wouldn’t have made any difference, given the torrent of anti-Labor venom pouring out of the Murdoch press. Maybe the disunity and policy mis-steps of the Labor government would have led to an election loss anyway. But what I find hard to understand is the wilful denigration of Labor’s achievements, a perversion of the narrative if ever there was one.

While I’m on the subject, please don’t go on making the same mistake over and over again. Apparently, according to Green, Labor still can’t do anything right. Bill Shorten is ‘carping’ in opposing not just the destruction of Labor’s achievements but also the demolition of Medicare, cuts to funding for health and education, the farce of Direct Action etc etc. And for Cassidy, ‘Malcolm Turnbull is immune; above it all’. Really Barrie? He’s voted for every piece of the Liberal agenda so far. How about you start reporting facts not fantasy?

32 comments

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  1. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Barry Cassidy is nothing but a LNP man now through and through. People rejected Labor through Media and Media. Though Rudd caused lots of problems, so did the faceless men who some are still in Opposition and Should have been kicked out. Labor Government was doing really great, though people listened to Abbott and Media who got into their psyche.
    Most now realise how stupid Abbott really is and how LNP frontbench is still all in the 50s. How sad for all of us as Abbott government are not doing anything much except to hurt Australian people and act like naughty little childrenas their Mantra is constantly “But Labor did it or It is Labors fault”..

  2. John Fraser

    <

    Dear Kay,

    Slowly the worm is turning and with Abbott's assistance Aussies are looking back with reverence and awe.

    Quite often the media is irrelevant because they have to sell their product to the lowest common denominator.

    "Don't write crap" …. former Prime Minister Julia Gillard advised them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nv-E7vEY0o

  3. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Journalism these days is 90% opinion ans 10% fact.

  4. Phi

    This is what I so like about independent media – thorough, detailed and critical journalism. To Messrs Green and Cassidy – good night gentlemen!!

    Enjoyed a surf through the Gillard youtube – she had a way with words and delivery that makes Abbott look like the rank amateur that he is.

    You can judge the character of a politician by the direction they take after leaving parliament – Gillard stands above most in this regard.

    We shall see with Abbott but you can bet it won’t be of benefit to anyone but himself.

  5. diannaart

    It rankles with me also that not much is being said about the LNP’s failure to get much work done, just as much as Labor’s achievement is not given much in comparison.

    However, with all respect to a brave Julia Gillard who managed, despite Rudd’s white-anting – to get through a lot of vital policy – much of which the LNP has managed to trash. However, my point is – Labor achieved this by working with the Greens, with the Independents – seems to me Labor supporters are as blind to this as are the LNP to the idea of collaborative work.

    Yes, Labor did well under horrible circumstances – with the help of others – just sayin’

  6. stephentardrew

    Kaye:

    Great bit of psychological analysis. I was wondering when they would start pointing the bone to save them from their own ineptitude.

    They know very well they look like fawning fools sucked in by the a compulsive lying narcissist.

    Dissonance sets in as they try to justify their obvious foolish behavior as doyens of unthinking complicity in ruination of this countries economy and moral standing.

    Well done boys and girls a big nasty fail for the journalistic fools of the century.

    ABC Chris Ullman today. Tony Abbott is really a nice bloke!

    WTF are you doing to our ABC you fawning fool.

    The guy is a lying misogynist and intellectually challenged retard.

    The rats are clawing off a sinking ship with their tails between their legs, bellies scraping on the ground, pointing and yelling look over there.

    Too late dummies.

  7. eli nes

    Kay they are fitting the facts to public opinion and are quite disingenuous in their selection of labor’s failings and deselection of achievement but the ABC, especially insiders, were not fair to gillard over her 3 years.
    During that time abbutt worked sunrise and today every day with a negative lie about gillard and murdoch the papers, through thomson, slipper and pickering and her ‘barren atheism living with a ‘poof’ TV series. Three years of constant negative carping on every channel at every interview giving the same anti-gillard answers to every question. Gillard choosing to take the punches and not to attack abbutt character faults, left her unable to establish any credibility or gain a platform for her many successes (true the lemon on 7 and richo on 9 were a millstone on pollday). Yet despite that constant negativity and even with a hung parliament it was only in the last 3 months that abbutt was preferred over gillard. The demise of gillard was her failing to keep ahead of abbutt and that hinged on the frontline where abbutt gave his great unwashed slogans that were easy to remember and lies but gillard left us to our own resources and we failed with ruddm fitzgibbon , richo, abc 24 sunrise and today all reflecting rupert’s papers. Now labor is repeating the mistake and voters are looking at what abbutt says he has done as gospel, they still believe his slogans. Even your little list on the windows of labor offices for all to see even 3 little negatives for us to repeat?
    Chinese can buy any Australian business up to a $billion without Gov approval and bring unlimited number of chinese workers in.
    Taken billions from Australian workers and outsourced to spain, korea and japan
    said he would make no deal yet joined with the greens to borrow $!00billion
    All from an economy in crisis???
    I shake my dumb arse in frustration at not being able to shift his ‘truth’

  8. Heather

    Thanks Kay. Great writing. It was a relief to read. Too many MSM journos can drive one crazy. Even 7.30 tonight had me coming away so annoyed that they had condemned our previous Labor Govts. so badly. They were actually very good govts. and as you pointed out, were flat out having a good go at explaining things before they were trashed. We can thank Tony Abbott for driving all that trashing. He seems to be able to do nothing else, even in govt. It is true they could have fought against him more strongly. Tony Windsor had a good go. However it looked like the bullies did win, and that is a hard lesson for Aussies to learn.

    I do believe all the negative aggression Abbott had served up to her, is coming home to roost. It is not going to be pretty. Brace ourselves, and just hope it will all be over very soon. Otherwise this country is sadly doomed.

  9. paul walter

    I cant find much to quarrel with, with Kay Rollinson’s reasoning eiither.

    And like her, I think that brainwashing or virual lobotomising by neoliberals and hard conservatives, both of themselves and the country, in the very face of logic and fact, reason and reality,, does not really prevent this country from eventually facing a real crisis, for living in an exogenously imposed Cuckoo’s Nest dreamworld.

  10. Nato

    “why do elements of the mainstream media buy into this narrative?”

    Think “Hollywood for ugly people”. eg It was a number of years until Brangelina was a suitable subsitute for Bennifer. Some fans are still dirty on the break-up.

    Some fans still think Howard was our best PM.
    Some fans still think Whitlam was our best PM.
    Some fans still think Keating was our best PM.
    Some fans still think Hawke was our best PM.
    Some fans still think Menzies was our best PM.

    Abbot replaced Rudd replaced Gillard replace Rudd replaced Howard replaced… as the contemporary Prime Ministerial standard. Give the msm a chance to catch up.

  11. Dimmy

    And why are the Coalition allowed to get away with :
    * Every family is $550 a year better off courtesy of getting rid of Carbon Pricing (Frydenberg ,today ,Abbott ad nauseum)
    * The Labour Party left us with 300,000 million dollars of debt ( Barnaby Joyce at every utterance) “Send him to Greece as an Accountant”
    * Hockey’s statement (yesterday) for Australians to get their Credit Cards out and spend. So much for prudency

    Then why are the “Govt” spinners not held to account by the media . ie 7.30 Report, Press COnferences , Doorstops etc. Because it is LIES

  12. Aaron Press

    The royal commission into child sex abuse alone was the greatest achievement I think. So many governments wouldn’t go near it. To me this will be Julia Gillards legacy. Julia achieved a lot in her time it’s a an absolute disgrace that the LNP are tearing it all down out of spite.

  13. paul walter

    Dimmy, wonderful example of what you are talking about came with tonight’s Drum, which did a nasty snow job boostering the Coalition and then avoided so many other issues for more mossie bashing.

  14. Kerri

    Well said Kay Rollison! It’s about time the media started reporting fact not opinion!

  15. Graham Houghton

    Because the Gargoyle and his army of trolls are not governing for Australia, or Australians; they’re setting the stage, as are the other neocon governments of the world, for the TPP and its brethren. This is seriously serious and it’s happening before our very eyes. For humanity’s sake, wake up.

  16. Jexpat

    ” …why do elements of the mainstream media buy into this narrative?”

    The simple and unescapable answer is that too many are by in large lazy to take the time (sometimes 30 seconds) to fact check what they see on social media, too fearful of their own jobs to buck the perception of what a senior editor or owner wants to hear (yet ever eager to wrap themselves in ‘the flag’ without putting their lives on the line like say, a Peter Greste) and have little worry about with lying- or repeating lies uncritically that are told to them.

    What’s worse is the pawning off and celebration of innumeracy and the lack (and even resistance to and resentment of) of any broader knowledge . One “expert” however quack, whack and dishonest they might be, is equal to any other- irrespective of the record.

    Hence we as readers get Lord Monkton- or Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy pushed on us (sometimes through push polls) saying absurd things, or in the latter’s case, passing out brown paper bags full of money.

    Possibly to the journos themselves.

    It’s a systematic problem- a problem with the profession itself, and one which has a deleterious impact on society at large.

  17. amacwardle

    A well written piece. Thank you Kay. I am waiting for the day when Julia Gillard gets widespread credit, although I suspect that she has well and truly moved on. It is interesting and annoying how superficial mantra can so easily slip into becoming accepted wisdom. The lack of questioning from rusted on Liberal voters I can understand. Our better journalists should lift their game. It is a bit like the whole ‘debt’ furphy. Mention it enough and it is accepted wisdom.

  18. thevenerable1

    Excellent article. I’m with you, Kay, absolutely. Your supposition regarding their reasons for so pathetic a journalistic attitude is mine. So it must be right. [grin]

  19. John Lord

    A record so easily forgotten.

  20. Hotspringer

    Truly spoken. And to John Lord, Julia is not forgotten and neither will be A bott, though for totally different reasons.

  21. Douglas Evans

    I respect Kaye Rollinson’s views which are normally carefully argued. On this one I’m afraid I’m not quite with her. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government did implement some useful policy changes (albeit they sometimes needed considerable pressure to be applied from the cross benches on a minority government to get them there). So a tick for that. Their achievements occurred in the context of difficult circumstances, both external (GFC) and internal (factional warfare and personal hatred trumping all else). So a tick for that also. Of course governments are there to implement useful changes. We should expect that of them. That is a large part of what they are elected to do. It is a measure of the current state of politics in this country that people find it relevant to compile lists to show that this (or any government) actually did something useful while in power. We all know, but perhaps choose to overlook, that the problem with Rudd-Gillard-Rudd, the reason that they/it will be remembered, is not that it did some useful things under often difficult circumstances but that, month in month out, it continually laid bare the corrupt stupidity that characterizes the Party’s inner workings.

    By the end Australians very reasonably were sick of this and wanted it all to go away. If Attila the Hun had been the opposition leader they would still have been swept into power. Also progressives should not forget the less than savoury things that Rudd-Gillard-Rudd stood for. Shameful, ham-fisted, outrageously expensive asylum seeker policies. Tax policies that promoted the unabated growth of economic inequality in the lucky country. They should not forget the ridiculous manner in which certain policy initiatives were pursued – rushing to the media to announce changes before discussions had even been commenced with other involved parties.

    Cassidy and Green are progressives, veterans who see both the good and the bad in governments. They do not overlook the dark side. I believe Cassidy, an old Labor man from way back, was appalled by the damage to the larger Labor cause wrought by the shenanigans of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd and has not forgiven it for this. I’m with Cassidy I can see the positives but have not forgotten the negatives.

  22. diannaart

    @Douglas Evans

    Thank you – we need to keep perspective in these highly manipulative times – we have literally at our finger tips the greatest communication abilities so far in our history – as the old saw goes “with great power comes great responsibility”. We are not helping our country by only seeing what we want to see – like right-wingers. Labor has, until further change, moved to the right of politics – hence we wound up with a Liberal Party that thought it had no where else to go except towards fascism.

    I repeat, Labor cannot redeem itself alone – it requires the aid of other progressive parties and individuals. When I or others criticism Labor – this is valid and reasonable; we want a Labor which is truly a party for all. Now is not a time to revert to dividing the world into black and white – we already have enough people who do that.

  23. Ishe B

    I can’t help seeing the clash of the great archetypes of Cassandra and Apollo in both politics and media right now. Glad it’s finally coming to the surface to be seen. Having known the playbook for 12 years in my own family, it seems the personal is truly political now. For those unfamiliar with the Apollo archetype, it’s well defined here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra_%28metaphor%29. Those currently identifying with the Cassandra Syndrome, we know there’s nothing seemingly outwardly wrong, yet certainly there’s a hell of a lot ‘not quite right’ either. The electorate knows this, and so does discerning media (Rupert not included).

  24. Sri Juanita Hardy (@Pikiran2ku)

    Excellent article, Kay – thoughtful, perceptive and displaying a far better understanding of the Australian voter than most journalists seem capable of. I share your frustration with the unquestioning, lemming-like acquiescence so many journalists and even academics display with the shallow, inaccurate assessments of ALP achievements. I suspect that too many journalists are really not up for the jobs they’ve been given – would be better suited as gossip columnists than serious political reporters and commentators. But having landed these jobs they’ve then gone on to reduce the public’s interest and understanding to their own superficial level. For example, the current LNP leadership issue has been reduced to something resembling a sporting contest, the only question of interest being who’s in the ring and who will win? I’d appreciate some intelligent and informed analysis of the reasons why the LNP has found itself in this position and of the internal fissures that it is exposing. We hear a great deal about the divisions within the ALP but very little about the factions and differing views within the Coalition. There is the Liberal/National dichotomy for a start – each group sometimes representing very different viewpoints. But most commentators glibly run the term LNP or Coaliton off their tongues as if it were all one party (this is particularly galling when they’re actually pontificating about the problems of minority government!) And it seems to me that the LNP is currently controlled by a group which is far too right-wing to be acceptable to the general Australian electorate. The only way they can achieve election is to hide their true beliefs and lie about their agenda – which is exactly what they did before the last election. And now they are facing the consequences. The electorate is not necessarily more volatile (another one of those unquestioned cliches), they simply don’t like being lied to. But any LNP leader will be subject to the pressure applied by the coaliton’s extreme right-wing and even a moderate like Turnbull will not be able to overturn their agenda. The LNP will have to resolve this inner conflict – either be honest about their agenda and see what happens electorally, or throw out the extremists and return to the values they once held. Tea Party politics may work in the USA but Australia has a different history, a more egalitarian history, and even though we’ve moved away from that somewhat it doesn’t seem that the Australian public is prepared to abandon those values altogether. I’d dearly love to hear some analysts and mainstream journalists deal with this issue and its implications for the LNP. And encourage readers to think about the direction they want this country to go in.

  25. Peter Anson

    “And even if Abbott’s agenda was relatively limited, couldn’t you have probed a bit deeper into his political agenda?”
    They don’t know how to go a bit deeper. And they’re lazy.Their hatred of the last Labor Government is bound up with the middle aged misogynist, white men in suits. They identify with Abbott.

  26. Ernie McDodd

    @ Douglas Evans – Thank you for injecting some balance into these comments.

    Most of the comments here are from ideologically motivated apologists. Nowhere do I see mention of the origins of offshore refugee processing or Labor’s playing the cruel game of fear escalation with Abbott. Labor’s inconsistent, feeble attempts at domestic climate change mitigation measures were an absolute disgrace.

    The Gillard/Rudd internal party debacles were about self preservation of sitting Labor members and as such, highly censurable.

    Seeing people here list “the great achievements” of Gillard/Rudd is a pathetic reverberation of Abbott’s current parroting of his three three word slogans propaganda as proof of the LNP’s success. In hindsight, neither govt will be rated as great or outstanding – they simply don’t deserve that mantle. They were/are both exceedingly weak, albeit for a suite of different reasons.

    The reality is that if the Gillard/Rudd term had represented a watershed of vision, quality policy development and implementation, the spin and negativity of Abbott and media sycophants would not have gained traction.

  27. diannaart

    “Thank you for injecting some balance into these comments”

    You’re welcome, Ernie

  28. Robert W Gough

    You are right, Kaye! It is great to hear someone who has insight into what really happened during the Rudd and Gillard governments and I appreciate your criticism of Green and Cassidy. When Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Bishop, Kormann, and now even Turnbull continue to repeat the line about how wonderful and united the Abbott team is, all journalists need to be better prepared for the trash that comes from the poiticians’ mouths. I become so bored with hearing this trash repeated that I just have to change channels. Whatever happened to Sarah Ferguson. She is the only journalist that was able to cut across the garbage and get the politicians to answer her questions or show them up as the frauds that they are.

    It is my opinion that many voters to their shame also hate the way Gillard spoke through her nose. They didn’t like her “dinky diiiiye” Australian accent, although the content of her message and argument was so much more intelligent than Abbott’s speaking capacity ever was.

    It makes me wonder, though, why good, intelligent politicians like Gillard retire once they loose the prime ministers job. Why not go into Opposition and make a comeback. Their skill and ability is much needed in our country, especially in times like these when the country has a bunch of amateurs at the helm.

    .

  29. Cate Penman

    Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution forbids members of parliament holding dual citizenship. This being the case, despite frequent consistent calls for the media to demand that Abbott provide evidence that he has relinquished his UK citizenship, no journalist has followed this query up. Were Abbott not able to provide this evidence, he would be required to resign not only the leadership but also his seat in parliament. Win-win for everyone – not messy, but would not provide days of column inches and hours of broadcasting.

  30. Jack

    If Rudd had been able to “suck it up” and accept defeat (he is a Meglomaniac), Gillard could have got on with the job and instituted the Labor agenda. We would have all been better off and the country in a better economic state instead of this turmoil. I have business that has been running gangbusters for the past 5 years with incredible growth until the May budget when it plunged into a trough of unknown depth. We are struggling to ride out the storm and hoping for something to get things going again or we go under!

  31. Robert W Gough

    Ernie McDodd, please don’t compare the achievements of the Labor Gillard government to that of the Abbott conservatives. There is a huge difference.

    Politics is the art of the possible. The minority Labor Gillard government was required to govern with the support of independents and at the same time it had to withstand an onslaught of the the most vilest of proportions from the biggest ratbag and opportunist in the history of Australian politics. Perhaps if the ratbag had not used the boat refugees to create a political hot potato, Labor may not have gone down the road it did with offshore processing. Yes, Labor needed to be strong and provide better leadership and policy regarding this unpopular matter at the time when Gillard and Rudd were in power. They allowed the ratbag to be perceived as “the good guy” which was unforgivable.

    Those of us who have sufficient nouse to see what Abbott was really like could foresee what he would be like in government. Since he was sworn in, he has achieved nothing. He has not even been able to get his first budget passed by the Senate. Everything he has done has harmed the Australian economy, destroyed our reputation in the eyes of the world community, threatened the environment by reversing good legislation which was difficult and almost impossible to have passed in the first place. At the same time, he holds Australia back from progressing into the real world of the 21st century.

    Read through the Gillard and even Rudd achievements again and see if you can truly compare them with what Abbott has so ignominiously done.

    Whose side are you on, Ernie? I am a Green but I can identify with Chiefly’s pursuit and struggle towards the “light on the hill”. Join a side which you believe will make a difference for Australia and make ensure that Party has the policy that you believe is right.. Don’t sit on the fence!

  32. Ernie McDodd

    @ RW Gough I will vote for a political party that clearly enunciates a progressive, equitable, environmentally sound vision for the future of my country.

    Politics is indeed the art of the possible. Ergo, successful govt requires making a desirable vision possible. To cry foul over a lack of parliamentary support for policy propositions during Rudd/Gillard is adopting the same weak excuses that Abbott is currently mouthing.

    To look back fondly at Rudd/Gillard as some sort of Camelot denies actuality. The Labor Party was populist, gutless, riven with self-interest and highly ineffectual to the point of irrelevance. Carbon trading and the mining tax were just two of the key initiatives that they squibbed on. And let’s not forget the inhumane race to the bottom on refugee management.

    The party machine was also populated with gross opportunists that spawned and favoured the likes of invertebrate benthic feeders such as Obeid. The fundamental changes suggested by Senator Faulkner (a man of great intellect and true integrity) to address the factional nepotism and corruption of the machine were doggedly resisted and rejected by the Party.

    It is useful to recall that Abbott didn’t win the last election, the Labor Party lost it. He was supposedly “unelectable”. Labor handed him power on a silver platter.

    Now we have Bill (MIA) Shorten reprising Abbott with his dopey “zingers”. He is a low profile chimera, espousing no vision for the future. What concrete changes with regards to internal party mechanisms or strategic policy have we seen through an objective, critical performance assessment by Labor? None. Like Abbott, they remain totally ideologically reactionary.

    Patting politicians on the head and saying “There, there. It’s OK. We was robbed!” because they inhabit the same ideological tribe is just blind denial. I refuse to sing the praises of Labor just because they are the default ideological choice. There is no fence to sit on until Labor grows a spine, becomes relevant and defines one.

    Finally, I was not comparing the policies of Rudd/Gillard and Abbott, merely pointing out the ludicrousness of the “we done good” mantras when referring to two hopelessly dysfunctionally meandering, ineffective govts.

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