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Day to Day Politics: The Great Confession. “We are hopeless”.

Saturday 8 April 2017

“Three years of mistakes dented Libs”.

“The Coalition’s poor election result will be blamed on a failure by senior levels of the government over three years”.

“Post-mortem uncomfortable for all” says Simon Benson.

These words followed the headline in The Australian online newspaper. Nobody will be surprised at all. The polls reflect the ongoing insipid performance of the Coalition. No doubt the report into the performance of the Liberal party at the last election will leak more tasty morsels of embarrassment but these for words “Three years of mistakes” reveals their foolhardiness. The inconsistent in that statement is that it refers to the three years prior to the election. It speaks nothing of their ongoing failures.

“Jobs and Growth” had replaced “Stop the Boats” and despite its ineffectiveness and any explanation of how it works, remains so.

When I returned to The Australian online another headline had been posted:

“Libs split over exposing PM’s errors”.

“Senior party members worry that releasing a review of the 2016 election will further damage Malcolm Turnbull” wrote Joe Kelly.

The report released yesterday by former Trade Minister and Liberal Party director Andrew Robb, is believed to have found that the government was outgunned on the ground by Labor and progressive activist groups like Get Up, and failed to develop a strategy to neutralise or rebut key attack themes, such as the so-called “Mediscare” campaign.

Pre-empting that the report would be critical of him Tony Nutt resigned as federal director of the Liberal Party, saying it was time for renewal after 35 years of service.

The two headlines taken together and posted in what is nothing more than the official newsletter of the Liberal Party, for me is a confession of ineptitude of the highest order.

In case many of you are beginning to think that I’m sounding like a broken record allow me to quote Sean Kelly of The Monthly Today:

”According to sources familiar with the 2016 election campaign wash-up undertaken by Andrew Robb, the review finds the Liberals were outgunned on the ground by Labor and progressive activist groups, and failed to develop a strategy to neutralise or rebut key attack themes, like the so-called ‘Mediscare’ campaign. It criticises the lack of concrete policy sitting behind the Coalition’s ‘jobs and growth’ campaign slogan, and a lack of attention to defining political opponents…”

”Out of all those criticisms the one that jumps out at me is the lack of policy behind the “jobs and growth” slogan. This is part confirmation bias – I’ve made the point myself many times. Mostly though it is a huge slap at both Turnbull and Morrison. The fact that Labor can pick it up and use it indicates how important a point Robb must have felt it was. It can also be read as a clear direction to both the leadership and the cabinet about what can and must change right now. Policy is desperately needed. The company tax cuts are not enough.”

After the Coalition was elected it was obvious that the Government was flying blind under Abbott, MPs complained the central campaign message of jobs and growth was not cutting through but the mantra of ”Jobs and Growth” continues. With the budget only weeks away Scot Morrison, after telling the Banks to shut up about Marriage Equality is now imploring big business to shout to the rafters that the tax cuts will guarantee ‘’jobs and Growth.’’

Morrison was actually, even though cutting taxes was a government decision, needed to be making the case for business tax also. In other words they should be supporting the Government and be open about it.

They are, for obvious reasons reluctant to do so because there is no guarantee. If you have ever witnessed a chook having its head cut off and the frenzy that takes place after it, then you would have some idea of Morrison’s mindset at the moment.

In another confessional Peter Dutton admitted in an interview with Ray Hadley that the state of the Polls reflected the government’s performance. As is his want he blamed Labor for the Governments ills.

“Labor and Greens vote together to block legislation, it’s not an easy time to deal with the Senate or the debt that we’ve got, much easier if you’re spending money and making people happy.”

“But ultimately people recognise that yes they’ve made tough decisions but they’ve been for the right reason.”

Hadley noted that the Turnbull government has lost 10 Newspolls in a row and asked at what stage the prime minister would conclude he had ”better just pass the baton to someone else”.

”What happens after five more, he gets to 15 – does he say then enough is enough?” he asked, noting that Turnbull cited Tony Abbott’s loss in 30 consecutive polls as part of his justification to challenge for the leadership.”

Dutton replied: ”Well, Ray, that’s a fair point and Malcolm Turnbull wouldn’t step back from that point.”

”What we need to do is to turn polls around if that’s the measure we have to make tough decisions as the Howard government did, as the Abbott government did.”

Dutton argued that the government was not popular because it had to manage record debt levels in the budget and the Senate was made up of independents. Couldn’t he have taken it a step further by including a perception of incompetence and unfairness?

He didn’t elaborate on why the Coalition had doubled the debt.

”It’s easy to scare people in politics and Shorten has mastered it. And we have to expose it and if we do that and continue to do that in the run-up to the election then we will see the polls turn around.”

He is of course referring to “Mediscare” but Labor had enough evidence to make the claim credible. Turnbull conceded this point in his post-election analysis when he talked about Labor having “fertile ground in which that grotesque lie could be sown”.

He didn’t mention the Liberal’s long history of scare campaigns dating back to the 50s or how Abbott managed to scare people: ”Their coming to get you”. Nor did he mention how scary he was himself.

Labor will allow communists to take over Australia (1950 – 1972);

Labor will give unions too much power (1950-ongoing);

Labor will allow refugees to overrun Australia’s borders (2001-2014);

Labor plans to introduce a wealth tax (2001); and

Labor will introduce a great big tax on everything (2010 and 2013).

More recently, Electricity Bill, Climate tax and Border protection.

So leading up to what is clearly another important budget the Government has admitted that it has been a lousy one. They have made many errors both in leadership and policy.

The Governor of the Reserve bank has told them they are wrong on Negative Gearing and other matters and former Governor Bernie Fraser has done the same on abolishing Penalty Rates.

They have been told by treasury that there is little in return for the massive tax cuts for the big end of town. And yet all the policies put together by a born to rule government remain intact. The drip down hoax continues.

Could it be that they just need to listen. Or perhaps Turnbull, like Abbott, has a date in mind to reintroduce good government.

My thought for the day.

”I think we can often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see other ways of doing things”.

Please note: ‘Day to Day’ is taking a rest in the run up to Easter.



  1. Pilot

    Liberals are consummate LIARS, they always have been, always will be. They tie themselves in knots over them, they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.
    Why people believe these lying, mongrel bred scumbags is beyond me.

    Mediscare wasn’t a lie and they know it. They had medicare in their sights, the IPA has wanted it gone since its inception and the gutless libs were doing their best to get rid of it. They were caught out by truth and they could not counter it.

    Liberals care nothing for anyone except their top 1%, and that top 1% are a drain on our economy, hey horde, they scheme, they lie, they steal. They are an absolute disgrace!!!

    Only fools, morons, liars and idiots vote LNP. They are garbage!!!

  2. Peter F

    “The drip down hoax continues.” John, many men over 70 have an understanding of the ‘drip down’ effect, and how useless it can be, with little positive results.

  3. Keith

    Under Abbott often there were two stuff ups per week, there are at least fewer stuff ups now. The LNP are ideologically driven pushing the barrow of the IPA and big business.
    There were broken promises.
    Medicare is unsafe under the LNP.
    The LNP continued to push their zombie policies through being dressed up as an omnibus bill … a sneaky way to have nasty legislation passed.
    Australians like fairness; that has not been displayed in continual attacks on those who cannot defend themselves.
    The LNP blame the Senate for their trouble getting legislation through; Prime Minister Gillard had an equally difficult Senate; yet, Labor was able to communicate well with Senators.

    In relation to climate change the LNP is completely reckless, it is mind blowing stupidity to push for the development of the Carmichael coal mine ( include the Queensland government). Damage to the atmosphere, and high risk of stranded assets. Climate change kills people. Also, millions of people are killed by coal dust and emissions from power stations. It amounts to blood on hands, or possible profit.
    Families sustain huge damage to their possessions, communities are damaged through the breakdown of infra-structure; and ultimately insurance becomes prohibitively expensive by extreme events created through climate change.

    In relation to jobs and growth; politicians are never prodded hard enough to indicate how they will create more employment. It is a mere meaningless catch cry politicians use.

  4. Terry2

    I see that they are still going on about the so called Mediscare campaign : is this a from of
    reverse psychology ?

    The coalition continue their attack on Medicare, the medicare rebate to doctors remains frozen and the government have already banked the savings up to 2020. GP’s are increasing their co-payment for consultations and that was the coalition plan.

    If you remember, Labor originally froze the rebate in 2013, which were usually indexed on November 1 each year, and were set to be realigned with the financial year and indexed on July 1, effectively freezing the rebate for eight months to save an estimated $664 million over four years. The Coalition has continued to extend the freeze since then, with the latest being announced at the May 2016 federal budget, extending the freeze to 2020.

  5. helvityni

    We have all been horrified by the latest happenings in Syria, and Mal expressed his sadness especially regarding the children caught in this horror…
    I wondered where has his compassion been buried when it came to the suffering of asylum seekers, were they adults or children….

    Don’t ALL children matter….

  6. Klaus

    It doesn’t matter how long the LNP will be in power. The incompetence and ideological blindness not only keep them from performing way under par, but even to a level that endangers Australia’s reputation overseas, dismantles all social advances Australia has made, increases inequality dramatically to the point that Australians can’t afford basic services such as water and electricity and on and on.

    And Australia manages to vote them every time.

    These so called brilliant managers doubled the debt in an incredible short amount of time. But that was Labor and the poor voting, Australian public, who get a kick in the teeth from this government, keep voting them in.

    That baffles me no end.

  7. helvityni

    John Lord, enjoy your well-earned break, Happy Easter 🙂

  8. wam

    a lovely start to the day, lord. Have a great easter. I’ll just have to try to smile at the antics of septic donald and his Australians. Sounds like a new band? Our school holidays this week so we are in for the three Ps (the pictures, the park and the pool).

    Lived through your list. Sadly,.the european immigrants, their children and grandchildren are still reading murdoch, watching the morning shows, hearing the government noise and voting with the belief implanted by pig-iron bob.
    When you consider the 3 winners whitlam, hawke and the lemon then add, in a whisper the un-nameable woman(the best of them all) and then look at labor’s evatt caldwell, beazley crean and latham, where can you put shorten?

    ps stockholm, what will it take for women to decide that the men’s god is not theirs?

  9. Klaus

    Yes Terry2, the Coalition has continued the freeze and blames Labor for having started it. After all, all Labor’s fault.

  10. Jaquix

    There is so much wrong with the Liberal government it’s hard to know where to start. Their mindset is wrong. The Robb Review seems to have blamed senior government people. They will also blame Labor, as usual. In simple terms, everything they do involves the transfer of wealth upwards, instead of sharing around. Their time is up. They are damaging us all. Leaving a huge mopup job for the new government. Their self delusion monumental. They are indeed hopeless! All power to the people, and long live activist groups, who after all are only required when weak or incompetent or nasty governments are in power. Love the new 3 word slogan We are Hopeless!

  11. helvityni

    wam writes: ‘Sadly,.the european immigrants, their children and grandchildren are still reading Murdoch ‘

    From which European countries do these people originate, wam ???

  12. kerri

    Enjoy a well earned break and thanks again for your ongoing wisdom!

  13. Keitha Granville

    I am always heartened by your dailies John, at least there are still all those here on AIMN and its readers hoping for, pushing for and believing in change.
    (I have to be a grammar nazi – as is his “wont”( not want) he blamed Labor )

  14. Harquebus

    Physical realities are exposing the impossibility of the “jobs and growth” ideology which, Labor also promotes.
    There is no way at present that any government anywhere is going to solve any of our most serious problems. The madness is politically entrenched to the highest levels and on a global scale.

  15. Keith

    Enjoy your break John.
    Thanks for all the insights your provide on a daily basis.

  16. Graeme Henchel

    It was obvious that the coalition would be a disaster in office from the minute Abbott was elected opposition leader then prime minister. Abbott was elected primarily because of the Murdoch media and some key propagandists elsewhere in the media and the ABC although admittedly Rudd helped.
    During Abbott’s useless reign and Turnbull’s subsequent snake oil reign these same media apologists have boosted the coalition. 17/18 of mastheads endorsed the re-election of these shysters.
    The Murdoch empire including the “think tanks” such as the IPA is still the number one influence on Australian elections.

  17. Zathras

    Things will change when they start thinking about what is truly in the best interests of the people more than what’s best for the short-term political success of their Party.

    It’s as though just being in power is the end-game and all good things will inevitably trickle down to the masses from that notion alone.

    Unfortunately the system isn’t broken – it’s working the only way it can as long as the people keep tolerating it.

  18. Klaus


    Malcolm has only compassion for the job of being PM. He has no compassion about any children, save the ones in his family. He is a phoney and the public needs to absolutely stop giving him credit. That’s where the ratings come from. You just gave him credit for false pretensions.

    Ahh, but Malcolm is so good. No, he is not!!! He sacrifices Asylum Seekers and their children, as you pointed out.

    He crucifies Bill Shorten in malicious and personal attacks, for lacking of substance. This fraud needs to be called out. Malcolm is the only fraud around. Even his ministers are more honest (cough chuck) than him, because they do not pretend. Malcolm is the devil himself. Stop giving that idiot an inch.

    He managed to stupefy all Australia to not look into his tax matters on the Caymans. That is long forgotten. He is criminal, a tax fraud and preys on Australian people.

    Stop giving him any credit whatsoever. The media is already swooning that he swept a house in QLD to help the flood victims. Please give us all a break.

  19. Terry2

    Evidently the Robb report on the Liberal’s poor showing in the last election will not now be publicly released despite a prior undertaking to do so. It seems that the Liberals are content to allow leaks, innuendo and rumours to fill the vacuum.

    According to one leak, they consider that the slogan “Jobs and Growth” failed to grab the public’s imagination and convey the message that the coalition were really very, very good : it seems they consider that Trump like slogans of how great it’s going to be and how to make Australia great again would probably have worked out better for them. The only problem being that the era of Australia’s greatness coincided with the Hawke/Keating governments.

    One suggestion appears to be that they should have gone for a security scare – seriously – with sombre announcements, Border Force thugs in black uniforms and lots and lots of flags which would have alerted us to how superior the LNP was to anything Australia had previously seen.

    Or perhaps they should have taken a lead from Maxwell Smart : “if only they could have used their evil genius for niceness” !

    Look forward to hearing from you after Easter, John.

  20. Max Gross

    The dolts are in charge

  21. Gangey1959

    What a load of crap John
    “The Coalition’s poor election result will be blamed on a failure by senior levels of the government over three years”.
    Same as always, they will blame it on LABOR.
    I do believe that despite whatever scare tactics voldemurdoch and his media thugs throw up at us, they will still lose in 2019/20.
    Sucks to be them. HA effing HA
    @Keith. Of course not. They don’t do anything. They don’t even try.

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