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Day to Day Politics: 6 Goals down with a quarter to play, ‘Shorten stars’.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

The polls may show the sides 50/50 going into the last quarter but the bookies are still betting on a Coalition win.

If you follow Aussie rules you would know the importance of the three-quarter time speech. The sort that inspires an effort of intestinal fortitude, or raw courage of the Ron Barassi sort. Or the famous John Kennedy “don’t think, don’t hope, do” that got the Hawk’s over the line in 1975.

It was by accident that I turned on the television last Sunday. I’d intended doing something else to break the monotony of writing a daily political post. Then I thought “no, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t”.

As I watched Bill Shorten deliver his party’s campaign launch speech I became somewhat aroused. Perhaps I should have used the word inspired in case you take that the wrong way. I began to think just how far Bill Shorten has modernised the Labor Party.

Since being elected as leader he has quietly gone about restoring some of Labor’s traditional ideology with a more modern touch. Far less importance on Unions and a concentration on fairness and traditional left values like inequality.

I also reflected on the fact that there were countless people, including many who support this blog, even some writers who expressed the view that Shorten wasn’t up to it.

I was one who questioned his charismatic suitability while at the same time suggesting he was a policy wanker. And its fair to say that he has vastly improved his media presentation and he, unlike Abbott, has made the most of his term as Opposition Leader with well thought through policy that even has an element of risk attached. He knew the value of a preseason.

His campaign launch was excellent. As I have said before, he will never have the flare of a Whitlam, Keating or Hawke but he did show that he has some fire in the belly.

“We can win this election if we give it every ounce of our energy.”

“Mr Turnbull says he’s got this in the bag. He claims he’s already won it,” Shorten observed at the outset. “I say to him: ‘Never underestimate Labor. You ain’t seen anything yet!”

For those with a long memory it was reminiscent of that old firebrand from the Kangaroos, Alan Killigrew who could get his players to walk on hot coals for the cause.

The hall was alive with true believers. Not just those for who it was obligatory but believers who saw that the party was in with a chance and that they had found a leader who could make it possible.

The atmosphere in the room was one of taking it up to the other side. Of playing the final quarter on Labor’s terms. Kicking the ball long with attacking play. Bill was on a roll. Keating sat with an impassioned look shaking Bob’s hand. All had been forgiven for the cause.

b2

Gillard’s face lit up with the mention of Gonski and Bob could hardly contain his emotions when Shorten spoke with compassion about Medicare.

“Men and women of Australia” were alive with the possibility of a victory that would require guts and determination.

I recalled the old boxing phrase “champions get up when the can’t”.

Shorten’s voice rose and fell to the dictates of victory. He was not only appealing to the team but was urging on, not just the party faithful , but the hangers on who’s support would be needed for a victory. Those interested in jobs, infrastructure and health.

Throughout the finals campaign Turnbull has played with a negative small target game plan and Bill wanted to take the game up to him with the future of Medicare, schools and Labor’s new plan to boost jobs through a small business tax cut.

b1

The final stanza would be contested between two vastly different teams. One interested in serving those that have whereas Bill said his team would play their hearts out for those who have not. He said the leadership team had identified matters that would give them the edge over their opponents. Things like giving youth suicide and mental health the national priority they deserve.

Even those who doubted his ability to get the team over the line must now concede that he has conducted a remarkable campaign with the whole team behind him. He has held his nerve throughout. As the Vice-Captain said:

“I have watched Bill get clobbered from every angle: the media, the opposition.”

“They have all done their worst, but he endured, he held his nerve.”

All in all his three-quarter speech was inspirational. “So new Labor”. Based on form the favourites don’t deserve to win but who knows in a two-horse race.

My thought for the day.

“Be generous with your praise and considerate with your criticism”.

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31 comments

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  1. Eve

    I think Turnball is a bully based on his appearance on Q&A . Just the same as what Eddie Maguire was doing to Carolyn Wilson.Though we know bullies are usually cowards too.

  2. Terry2

    Eve, Living in Far North Queensland I don’t know much about Eddie McGuire beyond his role on a rather tired quiz show : I’ve never heard of the journalist Carolyn Wilson either.
    But, I understand what has occurred and I am immediately reminded of Alan Jones’ comments about putting our Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a Chaff bag, taking her out to sea and drowning her – obviously Roger Rogerson and his mates have set a dodgy precedent in New South Wales.

    My question is, what sanctions or penalties did Alan Jones suffer as a result of his misogynistic comments about our Prime Minister ?

  3. Bob Yates

    I know a drummer from a famous and financially successful Oz band who was also a boarder at Sydney Grammar when Turnbull was there. Turnbull was ‘Head Boy’ of the school and my friend tells a number of illuminating anecdotes of the period. Basically that he was on the side of the teachers and lorded it over the rest of the students. One time he discovered a Playboy magazine in my drummer friends locker and confiscated it. Decades later when they met at a function circa early this century, drummer mentions they were at school together. Turnbull literally looks askance at drummer with a “good heavens, the man’s just a rock drummer and talking to me as an equal” look on his face. To jog Turnbull’s memory drummer grins and tells him that he’s the guy that he confiscated the Playboy from. Turnbull snorts and says “bout time you got over that,” turns and walks off.

  4. Wayne Carey

    It was ’71, 75 was the year of the Roo

  5. helvityni

    I don’t think Turnbull inspired anyone with his performance last night on Q&A. Good questions from audience, and lacklustre answers form Mal. He waffled and Jones allowed it, plenty of Shorten this, Rudd that, and Julia was not forgotten either. He’s been there already ten months, Abbott a bit longer, but it was still all ‘Labor’s fault’….how tedious ,how un-statesman like…

    He got a little bit excited when he talked about building a fence or doing something at the Gap to prevent people from suiciding..

    What a heartless answer to the Iranian refugee’s question. He rattled on and on about people smugglers, yet no empathy for this poor suffering man…

    Give me Bill any time.

  6. Michael Taylor

    I’m with you, John. A year ago I was screaming for Shorten to ‘stand up’ (a football term). He was coming across as limp, a ‘me too’. Now he’s kicking goals.

  7. paul walter

    Wayne Carey is right. They were the only VFL club to have Cable, which was an advance on teams like Collingwood.

    Which reminds me…Eddie Maguire, anyone?

  8. stephentardrew

    I was one of them John however I do have strong reservations about policy though he is outperforming my expectations. We still need something akin to Sanders in Australia to shake the status quo. The fact that they still support economic rationalism and supply side economics, though in a revised form, simply pushes the progressive agenda to one side. The consequences for the poor and marginalised is more of the same with a little fairer distribution of wealth thought the inequality remains glaring. All in all he is performing above expectations however the needed reforms still wallow in an some alternative reality though the empirical evidence is clear.

  9. Kaye Lee

    I agree Bill and the team are doing well.

    If I was him, when I won government I would immediately take a quarter of the $400 billion budgeted for defence materiel over the next twenty years, reinstate the $80 billion cut from hospitals and education over the next ten years, increase welfare payments by $50 a week (cost of about $2 billion a year), and increase foreign aid.

    I would use the revenue raised by changing the negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions to build affordable housing and infrastructure including a real NBN – do it once, do it right, do it with fibre.

    If they say we must live within our means, we can’t afford to spend hundreds of billions on equipment that will be primarily only ever be used in war games at the expense of the well-being of our society.

  10. townsvilleblog

    Terry2, I’m also from N.Q and Jones received no penalty, as McGuire won’t either. Shorten has really surprised me on the campaign trail, he has been articulate and on message, I didn’t see Q&A last night, did anyone ask him a difficult question like when will his govt make the corporations pay the $8 bn they got away with last financial year, and if so how did he answer the question?

  11. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, as usual I agree with your sentiments, we must increase foreign aid to limit the amount of refugees coming to Australia. We will continue to take refugees from refugee camps, but as Europe is discovering now, unplanned immigration cannot be catered for, and there is a backlash against Islamic immigration as it is.

  12. Freethinker

    Last night Q&A was a pathetic performance by a PM that IMHO is burned out for changing himself to please the right faction in his party.
    It make me wonder if he is performing in the same weak manner in the important party meetings.
    When Tony Jones asked: “One word answer. Did you say that to Cory Bernardi?”
    Turnbull: responded in a very weak manner: mmm I’ve said… yes … I’ve had …mm … I’ve had firm discussions with a number of colleagues, yes.”
    IMHO he is not a leader.

    Bill have proven a complete impression by many of us going for what we believe that was a leader without “fire in the belly” to one that managed to unite the party with the purpose to win.
    This election it is hard to predict, specially with what happens in the last Qld state election.
    IMO the government will return with a weak majority and even more hard to deal senate.
    I hope that I am wrong.

  13. Terry2

    Freethinker

    I believe that our democracy works much better when we have a minority government who have to negotiate and convince the independents and opposition on their policy positions : the Gillard government was a productive administration despite the constant spoiling tactics of Abbott.

    Turnbull says that if we don’t give his coalition a majority in both Houses it will be chaos : well, he would say that wouldn’t he ?

  14. Freethinker

    I agree with you Terry, and I vote for different parties in the HoR and in the Senate for that reason among others.
    Gillard showed political maturity, something that the current mob does not have

  15. Jaquix

    In my experience “charisma” is an overrated quality, and mostly exhibited by narcissistic people. Not always, but very often. That is Malcolm. His “You are a good spokesperson for the ALP” to Tony Jones, shows what a mean and nasty individual that he is. He has got away with “charm” all his life, but politics needs more than charm, and the trajectory of his “popularity” rating, shows that its not working with the electorate. Roy Morgan have him facing a 21.5% swing against him in Wentworth! In fact, facing possible defeat. That would have him turfed out, even if his dinosaur colleagues scrape over the line. Sounds too good to be true, but I will indulge myself with a rich coating of gloat, should it happen. For someone who has wanted this job all his life, he has done nothing with the opportunity, and no hard work at all. Nine months of dithering and inaction. On the other hand, Bill Shorten and his team have been beavering away for the 3 years in opposition, and are running a tight, informed and intelligent team with policies covering every aspect of Australian life. Should the Coalition scrape back in, it looks like the Senate will be no more friendly towards them as before, and so we would be in for 3 years like the last wasted ones, of pretty much no action except holding back the worst of the excesses they would inflict on us, if they could.

  16. Jack Russell

    I thought Turnbull was asked tough questions, some of them hostile (which surprised me) and he answered none of them clearly or concisely – he was mostly incoherent, then reverting to Liberal dogma, seeming to not grasp the context of the question, and struggled with empathy.

    Overall, a collection of comments seemingly from “The Little Book Of Liberal Phrases For All Occasions”.

    Viewer tweet comments were unusually few – I suspect it was more to do with censoring than lack of viewer interest or technical issues. The majority of those that were allowed were not so Liberal-friendly – most likely the least controversial, at a guess.

    More than usual camera panning of the audience as well, and I saw mostly disbelief, disgust, contempt, confusion and anger.

    Utimately, for me, it was a poor performance by a man clearly unfit to govern, leading a political party that is also clearly unfit to govern.

  17. Jaquix

    Thank you Jack Russell for the review, youve saved me from having to watch the program which I recorded. Interesting that so few tweets! That could only be due to censorship and the fact that there were so few, if any, praising the Turnbull performance.

  18. Jack Russell

    Glad I’ve saved you some angst Jaquix. ?

    In addition, it also appeared that Tony Jones is still working hard to impress the management of their IPA/ABC during his extended probation period of proving his loyalty to the neo-conservative cause.

  19. Tess

    I think Turnball still has the emotion capacity of a child. And to be honest I think he is as nasty as Abbott.

  20. cartoonmick

    I think you’re right John, the final quarter may very well be the decider. But, unlike the AFL where a team adds to its score to win, I think one team will reduce its score and allow the other mob to win by default.

    So, it’s just a matter of which lot make the least mistakes. With such a close score, it won’t take much of a stuff-up to lose.

    Both sides have a history of stuff-ups but I feel the Coalition will give away more free kicks in this final quarter, and let Labor win with a goal on the final siren.

    But, anything could happen and probably will, as portrayed in this cartoon . . . .

    Editorial / Political

    Cheers
    Mick

  21. lawrencewinder

    I’ve never seen such confusion about a result… it’s a knife-edge and if Labor play their cards right about Liarbril corruption, money- laundering and their other bent practices in these last few days they could well blow the ruling rabble away.

  22. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, on affordable housing – the only thing which will make housing affordable is by providing competition. You will notice that whenever a development gets passed by a local Council and the blocks are very tiny/apartments minuscule that it’s done via the worthy goal of ‘affordable housing’. But are these houses/apartments actually affordable or are they an excuse by developers to maximise their profits? Almost always these are only minimally more affordable but a hell of a lot more profitable for developers and RE agents. Whenever I see such developments I think of the old phrase once seen on shonky subdivisions: Creating the slums of the future..today.

    Solution, and the only one I can see is do away with negative gearing (churning) of existing properties, new properties only thereby increasing the housing stock, thereby increasing competition and encouragement for developers to ‘do better’. Then if one really wanted to get serious, governments State and Federal could start trying to replenish the decimated stock of public housing. If low income earners can get into public housing, this provides a huge incentive for builders and developers to truly get into ‘affordable housing’. There is no competition at present, public housing would provide such competition.

  23. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree Labor is putting in a solid performance with a set of strong policies, which they have smartly revealed to the public as a mark of respect and a contrast to the LNP’s poor performance.

    Like everyone on the anti-LNP side of politics, I am willing the 50-50 poll to be accurate because it will be the end of this bunch of fools in the LNP government, who are hell-bent on ruining Australia and the environment.

    I am also barracking for a minority Labor Government because Labor will need its friends in the Greens, Progressives and Independents to create good legislation and a political landscape that meets the needs of a diverse society.

    This is an exciting time to work our way towards an open, flourishing, kinder society: the total opposite to the current neoliberalism that is no longer acceptable.

  24. jimhaz

    Eve,

    [Just the same as what Eddie Maguire was doing to Carolyn Wilson]

    “Caroline Wilson, I’ll put in the 10 grand straight away, make it 20, and if she stays under, 50.”

    Nothing like Alan Jones. Massive political correctness storm in a teacup. Wilson is a rather sour, snarly person and such people attract nasty comments and so they should.

    She throws stones as well.

    Caroline Wilson’s Pathetic Apology
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6vFBSrSizM

  25. Jaquix

    Newspoll has a 3% margin of error, I believe, so could well be well off thevmark. Plus 3 other polls last week had it 51-49 – in Labor’s favour. Selectivec reporting by the media I fear, featuring the one that suits their purpose.

  26. paul walter

    Some of you need to understand Melbourne and its aussie rules culture: football in Melbourne IS culture.

    Eddie’s team Collingwood is a big club with big expectations that has crashed to the lower half of the ladder during his time as president . People are now howling for explanations.

    Caroline Wilson is a footy writer, which in this scenario means a scribe or priestess. Eddie, boxed in after another poor peformance from the team, has fastened on the idea that Wilson, who probably had a shot at their poor preformances in the Age, can be seen as promising scapegoat in order to get the heat off himself, a bit like blaming the umps, but remember, under Melbourne circumstances Wilson enjoys little short of oracular status.

    Eddie is a media noise machine concerned also with keeping his high profile for personal reasons you can guess at but Eddie would have survived a sledge on the Pythia, Wilson, but for the following:

    You see, he looked incredibly uncomfortable issuing his pitiful apology this morning because Collingwood’s sponsor, Holden has reacted angrily also for obvious image reasons and that means a threat to Collingwood’s finances that it can’t afford, so I suspect he has been frogmarched at gunpoint to a presser and that sorry subsequent performance.

    In the end it is the case of big business interests being relegated in the interests of even bigger business…The overmighty Eddie has had a fall, although his thick hide will protect him from some of the consequences.

  27. @RosemaryJ36

    I am a great believer in social justice and my friends are mainly of similar outlook. Nearly all do not trust Shorten after he was responsible for the unseating of two PMs which has been seen as the start of his own seeking the job.

  28. wam

    A golfer on the table behind said, loud enough for me to hear, that labor’s ads were so negative they will never get my vote. I nearly choked on my beer. This man was an abbottian and would struggle to vote for christ if he stood for labor.
    There may be time for billy to do a palazczuc, lord

    wow jimhaz 6 years ago she trashes brayshaw and her appearance still sticks. Eddies first apology was insincere and pathetic. The sponsor and his board reacted and what a change.
    Whoever wrote the speech deserves great praise because it addressed the issue and was terrific.

    ps carolyn has been the footie writer for the age for 17 years so is entitled to have few friends at the president level.for her comments but she shouldn’t have to put up with the anti-women behaviour at the top.
    Hopefully collingwood through the new eddie, netball and women’s footie, will lead the afl into the era of no racism, sexism.
    pps drivel rosemary, turnball stabbed to win for himself. shorten rid labor of an egomaniac lemon and couldn’t stick with gillard against the rabbott and rupert resigning to the pressure of them and the labor wimps.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Now that wam has reminded me of Reptilian Rupe’s stranglehold on the throat of the MSM and how it portrays Australian democracy, I want the New Government to clean out the reptile’s media licences.

    Labor needs to prioritise this fundamental issue from Day 1 of government with its allies in the ALLiance.

  30. paul walter

    It also indicates the expertise of msm in the processes of reinforcement of cultural elements; reification and commodification. It is a simulacra of Frank Hardy’s world in a post industrial era.

    ReWam, the Carringbush have always been bluster y and cock sure after their legendary golden era nearly a century ago.

    They have alsobeen in trouble for racism, the most singular example being about twenty years ago when a top Aboriginal footy player from St Kilda, a fine player who’s name I forget for the mo when the crowd jeered this player off after a match winnig performance from him.

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