Monday 19 March 2018
Yesterday I posed the question; “Why in God’s name did Bill Shorten pick last Tuesday to announce a rather contentious policy? And in the full light of day knowing that there was a must win by-election the next week end, and a South Australian State election.”
The question of course referred to the dividend imputation benefits enjoyed by many retirees were a Howard-Costello largesse and are now unsustainable.
So we have a tax system that can no longer pay for all the services that older people have been accustomed to all their lives.
Well, Kaye Lee seems to have found an answer that sounds perfectly reasonable in the circumstances. It comes via an article by Guardian journalist Katherine Murphy:
“Katherine Murphy had a few ideas on the timing. In an article written before the election results were known, she suggested Labor needs to get these savings booked before the May budget so they can fund their policies and maybe match income tax cuts.”
Murphy assumed Labor would lose both elections and pondered how, after a poor result like that, the announcement of a contentious policy would look.
“So in this scenario Batman is lost, and the pontification complex is already off and racing, and then Shorten unveils the cash rebates policy, which triggers the public backlash we’ve seen this week. This would be written up as a colossal misjudgment, potentially as some kind of panicked response to events, and that wouldn’t give Shorten’s internal critics an inch.”
Of course Labor held Batman giving Shorten a trifold victory. Labor won the seat, have the policy, and the war chest. Does this make him a master political tactician? Well, I’m not sure about that but he certainly has a good mind for it. Murphy’s theory certainly explains the haste with which the policy was announced.
It is a policy not without risk but despite the criticism most commentators think it’s sensible political policy. Even the IPA. As with negative gearing, his timing has been impeccable.
Given that he and Labor can survive what will be a full on $250 leg of lamb scare campaign he will have a war chest of dollars easily matching that of the Coalition. With that sort of money to throw around Shorten should be able to minimise the fallout. And I might add that the public has had enough of scare campaigns.
I am also indebted to Kaye Lee for this short summary:
“For too long government policy has focused on wealth creation instead of the provision of essential services, equal opportunity, and protection of the vulnerable. Australians have become used to it and it has led to a selfish society where people only consider themselves. They are happy to invest in shares, but ask them to contribute $10 a week to save the planet from climate change and they will vote the government out. Ask them to give up an unreasonable unsustainable unnecessary rort and they scream blue murder. Yet these are often the same people who castigate politicians for rorting entitlements.”
After winning Batman I think the “Kill Bill” campaign still has a long way to go.
All the Murdoch media outlets, since Labor’s policy announcement, went in hard against Shorten and Bowen saying they were politically stupid for being so honest before the by-election. No doubt they will continue to throw more mud at this politically astute policy because they could never bring themselves to admit that Labor was right.
What else can you say about Ged Kearney other than “You can’t beat a good candidate”? Her victory gives women a 48% representation in the parliament leaving the Coalition on 20%.
The Greens go back to the drawing board yet again proving that minor parties in Australia have an abysmal record.
In South Australia, after 16 gruelling years Labor found that longevity of tenure and a four seat redistribution too much to overcome but nonetheless congratulations must go to the Liberals. But it was far from a disaster and they will be well placed to win the next election.
Nick Xenophon proved that you need more than a self-belief in your own ego to stand up as a truely third party candidate, and Cory Bernardi proved that a touch of charisma helps, as does being less judgmental of ordinary folk. The polls performed even worse.
In a doorstop interview yesterday Malcolm Turnbull, the hypocrite that he is, spoke as if we were meeting our Paris climate commitments and that SA was responsible for all of Australia’s energy problems. In a former life he would have been praising them.
On a personal note the Prime Minister looks hagged and drawn as though he is stressed out of his mind. I do hope he is looking after his health because he looks decidedly unwell at the moment.
My thought for the day
“Life is about perception, not what is but what we perceive it to be.”
86 total views, 2 views today