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Day to Day Politics: No doubt, Newspoll is correct.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Two or three times recently I have commented on the principle that in politics once you have dug yourself into a hole it’s extremely difficult to dig yourself out of it.

Monday’s Newspoll has Labor 6 points in front of the Coalition. It has been around that since the last election. There has been no budget bounce even though the Prime Minister, in the absence of any of his own, decided to adopt Labor’s policies in varying degrees.

The Coalition has led in only 3 of the last 27 polls.

So could it be that by the end of the year Malcolm Turnbull will have been replaced using the same criteria that he himself used to replace Abbott?

It is said in politics that a week is a long time, if so then a year must be an eternity. With this in mind, I was reading through what I had written 13 days out from the last election. It dealt with the state of the polls and how the mainstream media was all things Turnbull. As it turned out, the polls were correct. It was extremely close. Read what I wrote back then and gauge for yourself, given Monday’s 53/47 result if you think the Coalition can pull them out of the rut they are in.

How about some decent journalism from the MSM 

Sunday 19 June 2016

In just 13 days we will be voting to elect a new parliament. For me it will determine whether we continue on a political path more to the right than we have ever been, or we take the opportunity by electing a Labor government to prevent it happening.

This has been a lack lustre election campaign. The Conservatives have taken the small target approach with no new policies other than a $50 billion tax cut for business.

They preach a mantra of “jobs and growth” and say that their tax cuts will address the country’s economic woes.

This is the second consecutive election where they have presented no policies that would serve the common good.

Labor has been the opposite in announcing a continuous stream of well thought through policies. Particularly economic policy. It says that an investment in social capital via education and health will do the same as the Conservative’s tax cuts.

It’s old economics versus new economics.

The mainstream media decided to, as the Conservatives have, play a dead bat on reporting the election. They figured that if playing a dead bat helped the re-election of Turnbull then they would help by doing the same thing. In doing so, they have supported them. There might have been a lack of policy on the right side but there certainly have been issues that they could have addressed.

At this stage in the last election the right-wing media were extravagant in the volume of their reporting. We were inundated with opinion. It was running riot with all things Abbott.

Now with a little under two weeks to go they have decided that, as Turnbull has, that the conservatives have won. The ABC’s Chris Uhlmann has declared that the Coalition would win comfortably. Peta Credlin says that Shorten is only running to keep his job. Mark Kenny suggests that Shorten is running a two election strategy. Laura Tingle wrote that the “sense that Labor is a serious challenger has faded. There’s not been any terrible mistake, just a puttering out of steam”.

Rather than Labor running out of steam I would suggest that the mainstream media hasn’t done, and isn’t doing, its job. If in the last election a political donations scandal like ‘Parakeelia’ had risen then, we would have had endless commentary. However the Liberals seems to be immune from investigative journalism. Yesterday we had the ABC revealing that three months ago Treasury had advised the Government that more than half of the negative gearing tax benefits go to the top 20 per cent of incomes in Australia. This completely repudiates the Prime Minister’s and the Treasurer’s assertion that Australia’s mums and dads benefited the most. “Negative gearing benefits high-income families,” Treasury said.

An observation.

The word ”lying” (in political terms) has been replaced with the more subtle reference of ”overstatement”.

They have been telling lies for months but it’s unlikely the mainstream media will take them to task. It’s not even a main headline on the ABC’s website.

You would think that a party campaigning on the theme of “jobs and growth” might, when the jobs figures were released last week, come under some scrutiny. After all, they showed that full-time jobs were becoming almost non existent.

But no, the story disappeared in a day.

An observation. 

”The mainstream media will only ever print or say whatever is in its best interests. Then it might say something interesting and truthful.”

There is a strong sense in the community that the mainstream media cannot be trusted. They have lost all credibility. That they no longer investigate or report but just opine.

A response to my post ‘The Future of News’ on The AIMN from Steve Laing is worthy of consideration:

“The mass media died the minute that advertising dollars became a more important source of revenue than circulation. Most of the mass media in this country (and I now include the ABC in this group), appear to have little journalistic integrity or indeed ability. Perhaps that is because those journalists recognise that a few dominant employers in the market (most of whom are right, or very right, leaning), it is sensible not to publish something that might be career limiting.

The approach seems to be all about quantity rather than quality, exacerbated by the mantra’s of the 24 hour news cycle. Important stories simply disappear before they are properly examined. Many others just go un-noticed. It is now all about opinions, and little about facts. Political reporting is no longer about policies, it’s about politics. Journalists won’t say what the potential impact of terrible legislation is likely to have, but they will talk about the careers of those who put it forward. It has become little more than insider gossip, and of course, for most of us who are outside that cosy construct, it loses any connection. This is typified by those crass shows of Annabel Croft, but increasingly even Insiders and Q&A have lost any edge that they may have once had.

The Libs must be delighted. Any opportunity to ignore the truth and facts is a day in heaven for them! It’s probably why they bank roll Murdoch with such generous tax rebates”.

In the midst of all this negative reporting and writing off Labor’s chances yesterday we had two major polls of contrasting prediction. The Fairfax-Ipos poll shows Labor maintaining a narrow lead over the Coalition. The latest Newspoll suggests that Labor is not getting the support in the marginal it needs to win government. IPOS has Labor 51/49. Newspoll shows that Labor may make gains in WA but nowhere else. But collectively the polls do point to a close election. They also show that minor parties and independents might just decide the future of either party.

Now the point is that despite the lack of credible reporting and whether you follow the polls or not I am prepared to predict that this election will be closer than the negative writers of mainstream media predict. I have a growing dissatisfaction with polls that use only land lines and I ask why they need larger samples to more accurately predict an overall result and a much smaller sample to predict the marginal seats.

After having delivered nothing in their term of office Turnbull has to convince the electorate, in the next fortnight, that his Government is worthy of another chance. Conversely, Shorten has to convince them that they are worthy of managing the economy and that there is some unpleasantness on the horizon and some immediate injustice in the way of inequality just around the corner.

My thought for the day.

”We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self-interest groups.”


  1. Terry2

    Reserve Bank chief, Philip Lowe said yesterday Australia’s economy was suffering a “crisis” in wage growth, and workers ought to realise the relatively low unemployment rate meant they could start asking for a larger share of the nation’s economic pie.

    So, according to the Reserve Bank chief the erosion of wages and conditions is the fault of workers and they should do something about it.

    I didn’t hear Philip Lowe saying that we have to rid our economy of the casualisation mantra that is running rampant and stripping workers’ wages and conditions.

    I didn’t hear the Reserve Bank chief call for government regulation to prevent employers from transferring full-time employees to on-call contractors or for an enquiry into labour hire practices that are stripping away hard earned employment conditions and employment security.

    Finally, I didn’t hear Philip Lowe calling for employees to embrace their Unions which ultimately is the only way that workers can gain the muscle to demand change.

  2. Freethinker

    John, this mob is so arrogant and out of touch that with a bit of luck they are heading for a political suicide.
    The Nationals insist the the future is coal and building new power plants.
    The latest Guardian Essential poll shows that 64% of the 1790 voters would prefer new investment in renewable energy sources to meet Australia’s future energy supply needs, while only 18% would prefer new coal-fired power plants.

  3. Klaus Petrat

    Hi John,

    You wrote this several times before. I”In the next fortnight, the Turnbull government must show….”

    How many next fortnights do you award them? They destruct the country, the climate change progress, hit on the weakest, drug test marginal people, run torture camps overseas.

    How many fortnights do they need to demonstrate they are good government?

    How many lies does it take to be a good government?

  4. wam

    Unadulterated or pointedly adulterated?

    Story disappeared(remembering why Juliar’s debt lasted day after day?) because it is not ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusivating’ or rabbott reminderingly repeated? (Labor’s inability to access mainstream media??)

    Terry2 who else but the workers should do something about it? All workers should down tools and demand access to the polies ‘independent’ pay tribunal. Funny that the diludbransims not only voted against a pay freeze but they join their colleagues in hiding their pay increases from we ‘strangers’. Bet, since Gillard’s disingenuous tribunal, (the only (???) one of her initiatives sleazy rabbott had no thought of destroying), the pollies have increased their pay by a few pensioners??

    journalists are just like the politicians protective of their jobs

    Think why the gov debt $500000000000 would make a wave??

  5. havanaliedown

    Fear not, they’ll switch to Julie Bishop after next Australia Day. Mal will be convinced to step down, as it will cost him another $1,700,000 (to counter the lack of small donations to the Liberal Party) if he wants to lead his party to electoral annihilation. Julie will make mincemeat of Shorten, Albo, Tanya, or whomever is warming the seat.

  6. guest


    And the Coalition back-benchers would make mincemeat of Julie “Death Stare” Bishop.

  7. townsvilleblog

    The Labor Party really needs a committed politician in their ranks to grasp the nettle and really want to help the working poor instead of themselves and step up and take the leadership, Shorten is far too quiet and mild mannered to knock this tory mob over. Better done now to give the new leader 2 years to sway public opinion towards him or her.

  8. kerri

    Terry2 I find it interesting that you interpret Phillip Lowe’s comments as blaming workers? I interpreted it more as him sending out a lifeline to workers. He has previously recommended fiscal management changes to the government and his efforts have fallen on deaf ears with these economically illiterate clods so the next line of repair to our flagging economy is to inspire the workers to rise up and defend their right to a decent pay packet. Before Lowe Glenn Stephens also suggested the government stop their idealogic and punitive economice policies but again tin hats. I think the governor of the reserve has limited powers other than advisory in terms of policy so speaking out publicly makes it clear to workers and consumers that the bank stands aside from the government.

  9. Charles

    Phil Lowe is my new hero, he’s instilled so much confidence in me I feel fit to burst.
    Today is rostered off but after reading Phil’s words I’m determined to hit the boss up for a pay rise tomorrow.
    Given my track record (remember I’m not a horse) what do readers think would be a far increase to ask for?
    CPI is pretty low at the moment so would it be wise to go in at double the inflation rate, say a 4% increase?
    Increasing my income helps everyone, except perhaps my hapless employer.
    Feeling confident, Charles.

  10. Freethinker

    Charles, go for 6% and negotiate and if the boss say no work 4% less.’

  11. Zathras

    I’m waiting for a repeat of that humble but historic statement “good Government starts today”.

  12. Keitha Granville

    there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of the Libs appointing J Bishop to the top job – after the mincemeat they made of JG, it would be open season.And truly in their DNA, they don’t believe a woman is capable of the position, especially not an unmarried and barren one.

    We need a Labor Party with a clear line of division – too many of their policies are watery to please the populists

  13. Ricardo29

    I was reminded this week of ChristopherPyne’s comment after they just scraped home in the last election”we keep winning, we are the Hawthorn of politics” given where the Hawks are on the ladder he would probably be hoping no-one remembers that comment. As for Juli Bishop to replace Mr Harbourside Mansion, I just wonder what havenaliedown is smoking? What Keith’s Granville said.

  14. paulwalter

    You could have hit me with a feather as to Phillip Lowe, but no doubt he is dead right.

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