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Day to Day Politics: Shorten’s remarkable concession.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

1 At the risk of repeating myself the job of Opposition Leader isn’t one you would wish on your worst enemy. So when Bill Shorten addressed the National Press Club yesterday he did so with his usual lack of charisma and looking like he had just fallen out of bed, and still half asleep, picked the wrong suit and tie.

His speech was full of all the usual stuff that one would expect at the start of the year. There weren’t any captivating phrases that would make your hair stand on end. Well not mine anyway. None of that is what I expect from Bill Shorten. What I expected and what I got was thoughtfulness.

Indeed, it was a speech that left me in no doubt that he thinks about things that matter, deeply so. I won’t write about the speech in its totality, but rather concentrate on one portion of it. The important part.

He showed that he had thought intensely and genuinely about the international crisis in democracy. He made a concession to the Australian people that he recognised that he and the Labor Party were part of the problem and vowed to be part of the solution. He indicated that the Australian disengagement from politics was part of a worldwide phenomenon. He said that he would be making, in his year of preparation, as he called it, a commitment to people first politics. Including a vow to divest himself of school yard politics together with an obligation to more transparency.

Three things he said would help the Australian process. 1 A pledge to have a more transparent method of accountancy for MPs expenses. 2 Revealing and limiting political donations. In particular from third party entities. 3 A Senate enquiry into the necessity or otherwise for a national body to investigate corruption in politics. (An independent one would be better) In my view a gigantic concession given his recent remarks on the subject. Did he go far enough, no he didn’t. But he made a start.

An observation.

”The peoples of all the nations of the world increasingly seem to be having less to say about their destiny”.

He spoke about the need for a national conversation saying that he would continue with his successful Town Hall Meetings but would change their focus from questions to answers. Seeking peoples solutions to problems.

Adding to this would be a series of meetings that took advantage of internet technology. ”Listening to people.”

Of course he spoke about many other issues but this is the first time I have heard an Australian Politician admit that Brixit, the Trump phenomenon and the resurgence of One Nation were a real and present danger to our democracy. Having said all that he could do with a speech writer, who with the art of embellishment, and a turn of phrase, could give all the thinking, a floor to dance on.

In yesterday’s Essential Report the following question was asked:

Thinking about our current political and economic system – that is, the structures that set the rules for the way Australian society operates – which of the following best describes your view?

44% think Australia’s political and economic system is fundamentally sound but needs to be refined and 40% think the system needs to be fundamentally changed. Only 6% think it should not be changed in any way.

Those most likely to think it needs fundamental change were “other” voters (52%) and those on incomes under $1,000 pw (47%).

Those most likely to think the system just needs to be refined were LNP voters (52%), Greens voters (54%) and incomes over $2,000 pw (52%).

By the way the Essential Poll has Labor leading the Coalition by 8 points.

What a proper mess they have made.

2 The Conservative Government of Tony Abbott came to power in 2013. It was to be arguably the worst Government the country had ever had. Abbott himself was a monumental flop.

Prior to his election he had served four years as opposition leader. A period in which on a daily basis he called the then Prime Minister a liar, and generally stoked the fires of diversity and hate. In my view Abbott has been the major cause of the dissatisfaction with politics in this country. A divisive character who seemed to take delight in scaring people to death for no reason.

In particular he attacked Labor for what he saw as mismanagement of the economy. He was such a monumental flop as Prime Minister that after two years the party was forced to replace him with Malcolm Turnbull who in turn, despite his appeal as a moderate, turned out to be a hypocrite of mammoth proportion.

He was re-elected in 2016 by the skin of his nose. Since then he has proven to be as much a disaster as Abbott. So in all fairness what has Australia gained from having four years of conservative rule.

The news early this week that our Gross government debt, which was about $274b when Tony Abbott won power in September 2013, and is now $474 means that $200b has been added under the Coalition is deplorable.

If you cast your memory back to the front pages of the tabloids of the time, you will recall the insults from Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, the accusations of incompetency that stretched the truth and perpetuated the myth that they alone were best with money.

What a sham it was. Where are the Murdoch headlines now denouncing the conservative’s credentials?

Maybe the Prime Minister will fill us in today on this and other matters when he addresses the National Press Club. What might he tell us about the economy, about education, the failure of the NBN rollout, marriage equality? The future of Universities, the policy debacles over Christmas and just what are the conditions under which America will take asylum seekers from Naura and Manus, and when. How much he donated to his election campaign. He might even fill us in on the 12,000 refugees we were supposedly going to take from Syria. Apparently the backbench and George Christensen are upset about it and want it reversed.

Will his Government continue to go further to the right following the Trump agenda? What about MPs entitlements. What about jobs and the future of them. How does he plan to address growing inequality?

Can he give us something beyond just working for the survival of him and his party? However the one question central to the minds of most Australians is this. Just how has your government advanced our nation economically and culturally?

An observation.

“Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.”

Richard Dennis put it this way in the AFR:

“Turnbull came to office promising to raise the level of economic debate in Australia. Gone, we were told, were the three word slogans and instead a mature conversation was to be had. But that approach vanished as quickly as Turnbull’s popularity. Now he is taking his lead from a man who writes policy 140 characters at a time.’’

3 On this day in 2016 I wrote:

Quoting Scott (Gunna) Morrison on the Tax Debate. ‘We’ve advanced the debate I think a lot more effectively over the last four or five months than a green paper ever would,’ (Talking about Tax Reform).

What absolute drivel. All they are doing is continuously repeating the same lines over and over saying that they are thinking about and talking about the issues.

Doing something seems to be out of the question. There surely will come a point in time when it will occur to a journalist, or someone, to ask just when decisions will be made. I mean for God’s sake what have they been doing for two and a half years.

My thought for the day

“Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the electorate demands it and it doesn’t come about by people disengaging from the process”.


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  1. lawrencewinder

    Yes, it will be interesting to see those same “journo’s” who at the Press Club kept firing hypotheticals at Short-Stuff ask Truffles about his botched NBN, fantastic disappeared Trade Deal, his non-dismantling of Medicare, the Census debacle, the Centrelink disaster, the non appearance of the mythical Jobson Growth, the loyalty of Fat Stuff and Bestiality, their debt disaster and of course their hands-in-the-till overweening sense of entitlement, Scummo’s charismatic mis-handling of the economy….and let’s not forget the apotheosis of that viciously incompetent lawbreaker, Bookshelves.
    Golly… such a list and I’m not even a journalist… what will these apparatchiks from The Ugly American’s propaganda sheets ask?
    Roll on 12.30!

  2. Terry2

    Today Malcolm will tell the nation’s workers at the Press Club that a corporate tax cut will :

    “full-time workers on average weekly earnings would have an extra $750 in their pockets each and every year”.

    I hope the assembled media ask him how that one computes !

  3. brickbob

    I dont profess to have a crystal ball or any special insights into the future,but i can state here and now that the presstitutes at the NPC will not ask Turnbull one relevant hard question that may make him just a tad uncomfortable.
    As usual they will fawn over him like some love struck teenager at a rock concert and further embolden his already bloated ego and sense of superiority, and i for one will not waste my time watching this soon to be cringe worthy load of tripe.””””””

  4. Jack Straw

    You just have to convince to deluded fools who voted for Hanson that Labor is on their side and good for them.

  5. jim

    LNP when in opposition are not happy to only oppose rather they intend to destroy the the democratically elected government and they have many many tools to do so like Big business corporations, Big press ( murdoch) the RC church and Big fossil fuel corporations to name a few. where’s the democracy in that.

  6. Barry Thompaon.

    John, I will take policies over charisma any day and Shorten has plenty of them. As for looking like he had just fallen out of bed and picked the wrong attire, I did not think so, though I listen to what people are saying rather than look at what they are wearing.

    Shorten is not a vain man in my opinion and obviously has more on his mind than being a fashion plate.

    He spoke fluently, without hesitating and answered all questions confidently, unlike Turnbull who waffles, ums and ahs and veers off the point.

    I enjoy most of your work but think you have been a little harsh with your comments in this article.

  7. jimhaz

    [Three things he said would help the Australian process. 1 A pledge to have a more transparent method of accountancy for MPs expenses. 2 Revealing and limiting political donations. In particular from third party entities. 3 A Senate enquiry into the necessity or otherwise for a national body to investigate corruption in politics]

    Although I have not heard the speech, I say BIG DEAL!

    10 years too late and more or less forced into it. What should be minor administrative stuff.

    Also dependent on cross bench support, so questionable.

    Nothing convinces me in this and yesterday article here, that Bill does not work for the other side.

    To me Shorten is Australia’s Clinton.

  8. wam

    it was so sad to watch the labor leader Trapped And F@#^%$%^^& Exposed giving Trunbull a dozen free kicks. Why is the order opposition first the government as the rejoinder.
    jobs, growth and $759 wow these people love threes so it looks like trunbull is set till 2025 by then we could be choosing between being a state of the USA or the 3rd special administrative region of china.

    London to a brickbob the questions will make trunbull soar over labor.

    Ending with a sugar coated promise aimed at the senators who will find it difficult to keep the lolly long enough in the mouth to get the real taste.

    ps It may be depressing but:
    authur 6 years of hard honest work-no result
    bill 5 years ditto
    kim 7 years two tries(crean/latham) even more ditto
    bill who knows ditto
    jimhaz on election billy appeared to resemble a philby but he is just an honest catholic suited to the dlp not labor

  9. Barry Thompson.

    Sorry, the doorbell rang and I did not edit. I hit the a key instead of the s key in typing my family name.

  10. kerri

    Thansk John Lord! Agree with you 1,000%, to use a Trumpism, about Tony Abbott.
    Before the king of grime took over the show there was a more refined politeness and truth in Australian politics. Or at least when lies were told they were told politely.
    He is the ultimate liar and media whore.
    The media have a lot to answer for in allowing him to play them like a virtuoso.
    Will we see the media ask about the debt and deficit disaster? No! But they were happy to thoughtlessly repeat the claim verbatim. Will we see the media question the lies? Again no! But they will happily repeat them regardless of the source.
    Last week Kaye Lee put up a link to a Hanson presser in Perth where the thin lipped, red headed harridan was gloating over the Bourke St tragedy claiming it was a terrorist attack. After she claimed that every terrorist attack in Australia had been committed by a muslim, one young female journo who was off camera, challenged her citing Jack Van Tongeren in the 1980’s. Full marks to that woman! But did the media use that? Again no! Needless to say Hanson got all stroppy and tried to shut down the presser by walking away. They followed but no-one dare requestion the illegitimate comment from Hanson, and so she gets away with it!

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If I hear Bill speak, I want to hear him say how he will increase the level of welfare so that recipients can actually make ends meet while they are stuck on it since there are no jobs.

    I also want to hear Bill say that the level of allowable income earnt whilst on welfare should also be significantly raised so that another Robo Debt disaster won’t repeat because there will be far less circumstances where debts or pseudo debts can happen.

    I also want to hear Bill say that he and his planning team are going to introduce a minimum wage for everybody, so the Welfare system can desist, or at least become far less necessary to vulnerable Aussies.

    I want to see Bill get outrageous, so he forces the Stokes and Murdoch “presstitutes” (compliments to brickbob) to come out of their neoliberal centre comfort zones and to ask pertinent questions of all the political party representatives.

    (jimhaz, you’re still the flavour of the month coz I think your latest comment resonates. Shorten is just another neoliberal who has no great need to change the comfy status quo.)

  12. stephentardrew

    We really need a Jeremy Corbyn or Bernie Sanders with some moral authority and a clear voice to democratic socialism not the frighted timid do not disturb the electorate Shorten bland manifesto.

    He is still waiting for Turnbull to implode, which he probably will, however the lack of a strategic plan for a Morrison bully type is very worrying.

    The L-NP will return to Abbott style vilification in a more refined context.

    Labor you are being led you are not leading.

  13. Barry Thompson.

    John, I will take policies over charisma any day and Shorten has plenty of them.

    As for looking like he had just fallen out of bed and picked the wrong attire, I did not think so. In my opinion, Shorten is not a vain man and
    appears to have more on his mind than what suit and tie to wear.

    He spoke fluently, without hesitating and without frequently referring to his notes. He confidently responded to questions without the waffling and pausing we often see from Turnbull.

    I enjoy most of your contributions John, but feel you have been a little harsh on Shorten with this article.

  14. helvityni

    Many here don’t seem to like an idea of a Labor government, well best to keep Turnbull then, and of course Abbott is waiting in the wings for his second coming. With a bit grooming Pauline might not be such a bad choice…

    Personally I was happy with Gillard, but according to many she was hopeless, not even married, plus she had red hair, a huge bottom,and a broad Aussie accent…we can’t have that…

    That leads me to an even better choice: Julie Bishop for PM, not a hair out of place and outfits to die for…I’m sure Trump would prefer her too.

  15. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Nobody here has said they want to keep Turnbull and his LNP menagerie.

    When we get rid of the LNP Degenerates, we want a regenerative government to take its place. So, if that’s Labor with their Greens comrades, then they must be significantly different from the current mob because this mob are so sick, we need much fixing and many, many improvements.

  16. jimhaz

    @ Jennifer

    [jimhaz, you’re still the flavour of the month]

    Be careful – I’m a bit like a very sour lolly. Sort of OK, but too much of me and you’d get severe indigestion 🙂

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    They’re your words, jimhaz. Don’t blame me! 🙂

  18. johnlord2013

    Thanks Barry. If only they could all ware a suit and tie like Obama.

  19. James Cook

    Didn’t see Shorten’s address…mainly because he puts me to sleep, and I’m Labor to the core! What I would like to see is Bill start going for the “journalists” and giving them a serve over some of their lame questions. Frame the answer so that he’s indicating the sort of questions they should be asking, and , better still, tell them the questions they should be asking Turnbull, Morrison, et al. Make the bastards squirm!

  20. Harquebus

    I think I have figured out John Lord’s problem. As a self educated man, he is suffering from self education bias.

    I have posted this link on another page and I apologize for the duplication. I have complained many times that J.L. can only see and therefore only write about symptoms and consequently, can never offer practical solutions.

    John Lord.
    The society that you dream about is just that mate. Take your blinkers off.

    This article does not mention climate change, environmental destruction nor the depletion of other replenishable and non replenishable resources. Add these to the mix and you will see the enormous scope of our compound problems.
    “You do not need to be an economist to see that the average 2016 price of oil ~ $50/bbl was substantially lower than just the breakeven price of all but a small proportion of global oil reserves.”
    “It appears that not a single significant oil-producing country is balancing its budget.”
    “The indicators all spell huge trouble ahead.”
    “At this point – no matter how much oil is left (a lot) and in whatever form (many), oil will be of no use as an energy source for transport fuels, since it will on average require more energy to extract, refine and deliver to the end-user, than the oil itself contains.”
    “The global industrial world economy depends on oil as its prime energy source.”
    “I would like to remind economists and bankers that you cannot eat 0000’s on a computer screen, or use them to put food on the table, heat your house, or make something useful.”
    “If you deduct financial services and account for debt, the real world economy is contracting fast.
    To compensate, and continue the fallacy of endless economic growth, we have simply borrowed and borrowed, and borrowed. Huge amounts of additional debt are now required to sustain the “Growth Illusion”.”
    “Production of this commodity (conventional oil) has undoubtedly peaked and is now declining.”
    “rising exponentially faster. This amount of debt, can never ever be repaid.”
    “Economists would have us believe it’s just another turn of the credit cycle. This dismal non-science is in the main the lapdog of the establishment, the global financial and corporate interests. They have engineered the “science” to support the myth of perpetual growth to suit the needs of their pay-masters, the financial institutions, corporations and governments (who pay their salaries, fund the universities and research, etc).”
    “I have news for the “Economics Profession”. The perpetual growth fantasy financial system based on unlimited cheap energy is now coming to an end. From the planet’s point of view – it simply couldn’t be soon enough.”
    “The pre-eminent challenge is energy for transport and agriculture.”
    “We need to drag our politicians and policy makers kicking and screaming to the table, to make them understand the dire nature of the predicament and challenge them to open their eyes to the increasingly obvious, and to take action.”

    End of the “Oilocene”: The Demise of the Global Oil Industry and of the Global Economic System as we know it.

    Peak oil mates, peak oil.


  21. Klaus

    Hi John,

    Thanks for some ‘kind of’ compliment for Bill. He has a much better way of expressing himself than the waffler. Watch him waffle today at the press club. unfortunately, Chris Juleman (Don’t know the spelling) is hosting it for the ABC. He is a biased dick, who won’t be asking tough questions.

    Suddenly, the waffler pulls out a $750 per annum pay increase for every worker in Australia. How? Treasury said so. Where is the 580 refund on my electricity bill. I didn’t see any?

    So, how do I know, my boss is kind enough, after they have lowered his taxes, to give all of us a pay rise of $750 per annum? This is $14.x gross payment per week. Gee three more Latte per week.

    Costs the nation what??

    And in addition to the 750 per annum, per worker, the multi nationals will create new jobs.

    Who is going to pull him up on this shit?

  22. Jaquix

    Sure Bill Shorten doesnt have charisma, but in my experience charisma is greatly overrated, and tends to attach itself to ver self-absorbed, self centred people. (occasionally not). Agree with author, he showed he had thought about, and was well aware of, the concerns of the “disaffected”. Something Malcolm will blindly ignore in his speech today, rabbiting on about the beauty of corporate tax cuts and globalisation, which will further damage any credibility he has left with the workers of Australia (say 80%). Where Bill Shorten shines is in the answering of questions. His passion then shows itself. He is perfectly comfortable, even seems to relish the chance to answer the questions. Turnbull on the other hand is most uncomfortable with being questioned by the peasants (i.e. pesky journalists).
    Yawn Yawn, I will force myself to watch Turnbull, but Ive long given up expecting anything from him. Still presents well and has a silver tongue, but all that falls from it is ho hum. And as for the $750 “in your pocket” that he is to promise, why doesnt he give it direct to workers by way of a tax cut. Although a paltry sum in itself, anything extra that goes into peoples pockets (and that includes the poor sods subsisting on Newstart of $250 per week), will improve the economy. Interesting to see Malcolm seems to have cunningly arranged to make his donation to the Liberal Party on 1st of 2nd July, so he escapes scrutiny for another 12 months. That will hang over his head like a cloud, I would think. If Peter Dutton could cough up $50,000 and Corman $29,000 surely Malcolm tossed something into the pot as well? Question: Presuming these donations are tax deductible? That means the workers of Australia unwillingly forgives them many thousands of dollars next time Dutton and Corman put in their tax returns.

  23. Ella Miller

    Harquebus 11.13 am
    Sorry I don’t agree with you this time.
    I enjoy Mr. Lord’s piece..his focus is politics not policy.
    I think Bill did a good job..we need a caring leader who gets it …not a polished performer who is a fraud.
    A pity the MSM is at it again…we should demand better.

  24. helvityni

    Not in my wildest dreams did I think that Australians would elect a man like Abbott to be the country’s PM. Well it happened.

    I would not be surprised if Bishop or Dutton got the top job next…

    As for Trump, he’s just a larger scale Abbott.

  25. Keitha Granville

    I too care nothing for what people are wearing – that in my opinion became the order of the day when Julia Gillard was PM – because she was a woman. Can we just let it go please ?
    Words are what matters. Bill Shorten may not be charismatic, but look at what that has done for Turnbull. I think MT believed because he was so nice and smiley and lovely to people he could be a PM. But in the process he threw out any principles or ethics or ideas and just became the pretty face of the Abbott government.
    I would like to have seen Bill go further, but I am glad he didn’t waste any time rubbishing the government’s policies. He talked about what Labor would do. That’s what we need to know. Certailyl there could be more, but he’s hardly likely to spell out everything now – the government would just quietly pinch policies and then claim brilliance.
    Support him, show him that we need someone with ideas, that we are sick of the LNP and their appalling destruction of the Australia we love. Even more, support him to fight the Trumpists, PHON.

  26. silkworm

    I saw a few seconds of Bill’s speech but I couldn’t listen to him. Sorry. It’s his voice. It’s too weak.

    Bill needs voice lessons. He needs to deepen his voice. Bob Carr had the same problem early on as NSW Environment Minister, but he had voice lessons and his voice deepened, and this made him very popular. Bill also needs body language lessons. When he inflects his voice, he also inflects his eyebrows, but a little bit too much, making his performance slightly comical.

  27. Terry2

    The donations to political parties prior to the 2 July 2016 election have been published but no mention of the rumuored $1 million plus that the Prime Minister was said to have donated towards his own re-election.

    The AEC report does not include donations made after 30 June 2016 so perhaps he had his donations accounted for after July 1, details of which won’t be made public until 1 February next year. Either that or he didn’t donate at all.
    However, the report reveals former cabinet minister Ian Macfarlane donated nearly $70,000 to the Liberal-National Party in Queensland while Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gave $50,000 so it would seem strange if Turnbull had not made a substantial donation : perhaps the media at the Press Club will get some clarification. But don’t hold your breath, his response to date is that he has complied with all the rules – so the rules must change as it seems the Prime Minister has used a loophole in the donations laws to avoid scrutiny for another 12 months.

    Other donors :

    “Mining magnate Paul Marks was the biggest single donor to the Liberal Party, contributing $1.3 million.

    The private company of the Pratt family gave $790,000 to the Liberal Party.

    Australian-Chinese property billionaire Chau Chak Wing gave $530,000 to Liberal coffers and $150,000 to Labor through his Hong Kong based investment company.

    Village Roadshow was the single biggest donor to the Labor Party, contributing $257,000, less than the $325,000 it gave to the Liberals.

    Graeme Wood, founder of the travel website Wotif, donated $630,000 to the Greens and $6000 to the Queensland branch of the ALP.”

  28. Roswell

    “This article does not mention climate change, environmental destruction nor the depletion of other replenishable and non replenishable resources. Add these to the mix and you will see the enormous scope of our compound problems.”

    Harquebus, this article is about Bill Shorten’s speech and what John got out of it. It’s not about what you want it to be about.

    For Christ’s sake, give it a bloody rest.

    And don’t come back with your usual “we’re all doomed and nobody here cares”.

    We do care. We’re just fed up with your constant efforts to shut down or shout over whatever anybody else wants to talk about.

    And while I’m at it, neither do I want you to bother with your other great moan: “This is censorship!”

    Please stop ruining everybody else’s experience on this site.

  29. Lord John

    John you also haven’t mentioned the sky rocketing price rise of pumpkin scones? Where’s your solution to this issue?

  30. Harquebus

    Bill Shorten’s speech was just more bullshit from another know nothing politician and that is what John Lord got out it.
    While some like to argue deckchairs, some of us are yelling “Icebergs dead ahead”.
    Personally and this is not delivered with any intent to offend John Lord but, I think it is time he made an exception, got of his arse and actually did something that could be considered constructive for a change.
    Just my opinion which, I know you and others don’t really give a shit about anyway so, there shouldn’t be a problem with me expressing it. I get criticized in unfriendly and derogatory responses here daily. Many from you and I can handle it.
    I try to keep my intrusions short and to a minimum and will continue to do so in this manner.
    Ava good day.

  31. Sam

    Harquebus Why do you see John as your nemisess. He just writes an article for this humble blog.You seem to have a chip on your shoulder.Take your views to a wider world space; if you feel so strongly about it.

  32. Ella Miller

    Silver tongue is speaking …looking very much at the Cabinet who seem to be all their. The speech is not aimed at us but at trying to sure up his support base.

  33. Kim Southwood

    Interesting that you noted the significance of Shorten’s “thoughtfulness” in his NPC address, John. The thespian in you might well have turned subliminally to Shakespeare’s correlation between appearances and thinking.

    Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights:
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous. (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II)

    Like Shorten, our concocted Cassius was not the most colourful of men among his contemporaries, but definitely knew how to get what he wanted from others around him. Shorten’s rise to the Labor leadership tells such a story. It also explains a degree of public cynicism in accepting the purity of motive behind his spoken word.

    I enjoyed the many and diverse comments expressed here. Perhaps Shorten would have looked better in a toga?!

  34. Harquebus

    Not my nemeses. An unwilling ally.
    I visit a lot of sites, read any appended comments and often contribute. theAIMN is not my only haunt. I often also contact media representatives and politicians. Something that only I amongst my peers do. I feel that strongly.

  35. Harquebus

    My apologies for a misunderstanding.
    The quote that you complained about was in reference to the article that I posted and not at all to do with John Lord’s.
    Sorry ’bout that.

  36. nurses1968

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithFebruary 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

    “So, if that’s Labor with their Greens comrades”
    Labor don’t have “Green comrades”
    Individual Parties, individual popicies , so time you got over it
    And while I’m at it more and more I hear the term “Rusted on Labor voters. rusted ons, or Rusted on Labor” and from past experience, it seems to come from closet Greens and MMT cult followers. I have no problem being branded a “rusted on” and actually now accept it as a compliment as it shows I am totally opposed to LNP and as you know the only Party out there with the ability to dethrone the LNP is Labor. All the others are sideshow attractions and their leaks in preferences actually assist the LNP in staying in power.

  37. Sam

    Harquebus: Well write to him personally and sort it out. Secretly I feel he’s your role model.

  38. Roswell

    No worries, Harquebus. Thanks for clarifying.

  39. thebustopher

    @brickbob, you were spot on about asking questions that didn’t upset Turnbull until I think the third last one. Turnbull was definitely moved by the question about the probability of a recession when the October-December GDP figures are released on 1 March. He started shaking and umming and ahing. I’ll see if I can grab the video and post at later today

  40. Brad

    Are the workers still represented by trade unions in this country? If so they’re keeping a low profile at a time when hanson is getting the publicity AND, it seems, the votes! or are the unions unsure of who their members are backing?

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    methinks you protest too much!

    Just admit it; you know Labor needs to win back the respect of the hordes, who have left to go to the Greens and any other respectable progressive party on the Left.

    Labor probably won’t win back those disappointed voters themselves but they can be the voters who will give Labor their 2nd (or 3rd after the Greens) preferences in every electorate, as long as Labor and the Greens can form that working ALLiance that I know you secretly agree with.

  42. Zathras

    The best thing Shorten did during the Abbott era was to stay out of the way and just let Abbott destroy himself through his own misguided policies.

    Perhaps he should do something similar now and let Trump, Trump’s local LNP cheer-squad as well as One Notion do the same thing.

    The thing about neo-Cons and other extremists in power is once they start wrecking things, they just can’t stop themselves from going way too far and also ignoring who is being hurt.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    with the greatest respect, I think Shorten will lose Labor even more support if he just sits back.

    Alternative voters need to see Labor will put up a fight to put things right …

    … by progressive policies and a determination to defeat Neoliberalism (and Fascism before it gets any foothold).

  44. Alan Baird

    This afternoon the ABC had a panel discussion with the IPA as mandated by law invited. Mal de Terre’s speech was discussed and Ms IPA made very approving noises about the cut in Corporate Tax. This bullshit (it can’t be dignified by milquetoast language) is still being repeated 30 YEARS after it kicked off with lame brains like Ayn Rand et al preparing the way. For 30 years the lower and middle of Oz has been screwed by governments of both persuasions. We KNOW Mal de Terre can’t get companies to pay all they should NOW so he proposes a REWARD! Ms IPA could only explain this tax cut as, “Well you put the corporate tax cut in this end of the machine and something mysterious happens inside and it spits out a pay rise for the workers at the other end”. It might seem obvious but this is Australia in 2017, not Papua Niugini at the end of World War 2 where the locals had seen goodies (cargo) arriving by plane! By the way, I have every confidence that the results for the folks of Niugini then and the Australian workers now will be remarkably similar. Sweet Fanny Adams each.
    Please sign on the line below to indicate your enthusiastic agreement for the corporate tax cut.
    (*I understand that if I am not completely satisfied, I have been had.) _______________________________*
    *Your $750 cheque will be in the mail at an undisclosed juncture. If late, see above*
    *I am a Telegraph / Herald-Sun / Australian reader and listen to 2GB and therefore the above form makes sense.
    *I have an IQ not exceeding 72.

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