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Fact free campaigning – we’ve heard it all before

As I move into the 31st business day without EFTPOS (and thanks for nothing Lucy Wicks and Mitch Fifield – you have been a great help, NOT)……

Today we see the true election campaign for the Libs unfold as Greg Hunt lurches back to “electricity tax” and Peter Dutton focuses everyone on hating refugees again.

Let’s not worry that the things they say aren’t factual.

In Peter Dutton’s case, he wants us to hate refugees for both being unemployed and for taking our jobs.

To make the ridiculous xenophobic comments he made, this odious political animal has to ignore countless reports from government departments that refute his claims.

There is the 2011 report by University of Adelaide academic Prof Graeme Hugo which shows that refugees “bring significant benefits to Australia.”

Then there was the Department of Social Services report which said “Seventy-five per cent of humanitarian entrants arrive in Australia with at least high school-level education,” and furthermore “nearly 35% humanitarian entrants have a technical or university qualification either before or after arrival in Australia – compared with 39% of the Australian population 15 years and older.”

There was also an analysis of data and literature by the Refugee Council of Australia, commissioned by the department of immigration and citizenship, which argued “refugees should not be defined as a welfare problem requiring ‘relief’ and ‘care and maintenance’ but rather as people who have problems but who also have determination to survive and put their energies into productive work that can benefit their hosts”.

Moving on to Greg Hunt’s Press Club appearance during which he renewed his claim that Labor’s policies would see a “78% increase in electricity prices,” a claim that Bernie Fraser labelled as “weird” and “misleading”.

The figure comes from Treasury modelling in 2013 and refers to wholesale prices in a scenario where Australia did nothing at all, compared with a scenario where we reached a higher target using only a high carbon price. We have already decided doing nothing is not an option, and no political party is proposing to reach a target using only a carbon price, so the figure is entirely irrelevant to the debate.

Scott Morrison claims Labor “learned nothing from the last election when voters said ‘no’ to a carbon tax” and is “bringing back … a big thumping electricity tax” that will “punish Australian families”.

Except it isn’t. It is proposing a separate intensity-based emissions trading scheme for the electricity sector, different from the ETS for heavy industry. This idea is very, very similar to one Malcolm Turnbull himself proposed as opposition leader in 2009, and very, very similar to the scheme “Direct Action” could be converted into after the election – something most in the business community assume will have to happen since Australia’s emissions are rising and Direct Action has little hope of reaching the government’s long term target. It’s the scheme the energy market regulator – the Australian Energy Market Commission –recommended that the government adopt in a submission last year and said could operate “without a significant effect on absolute price levels faced by consumers” and which state and federal energy ministers asked that body to develop further late last year.

Labor, and those in the Coalition who understand that climate change is a thing, are actually converging in their ideas about what policies Australia should adopt. They are moving towards sectoral, and maybe intensity-based, trading schemes and towards using a suite of policies (energy efficiency, vehicle standards, regulations) to get to our targets. And every interest group with a stake in this argument – business, environment groups, investors – are desperately willing the major parties to find some kind of consensus. The Business Council of Australia said Labor’s policy could be a “platform for bipartisanship”. They are right.

And the barren, stupid climate wars and dumb fact-free scare campaigns are a guaranteed recipe for a terrible economic and environmental failure.

The Coalition is deliberately trying to steer the campaign back to what they used successfully in 2013 – “Axe the tax” and “Stop the boats”.

Surely we deserve better.


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  1. Douglas Evans

    The really depressing thing about fact free campaigning in the land of Oz is that it has been repeatedly shown to work for enough voters to swing elections. Don’t like the contradictory expert opinion that undermines your dog whistling blatant lies? No problem. Simply say it is wrong, secure in the knowledge that before the evening news is over the dissenting voice will be drowned out by the tragic announcement of footballers’ tweaked hamstrings or booze-fueled misdemeanors.

  2. jim

    Yea today they use “truthiness” for cow pads, If in 2013 we had a budget emergency what the hell have we got today ,if i had to pick the top reasons to vote Labor over Liberals 1,2,3. I’d go ,1 fairness, 2, lower the suicide rate (through being fair)3 ,be fair with the workers and families be fair with human beings. Labor trounces the Libs in all three. I don’t want no silly “treacle down deal” I just want a fair fnk fairness deal.

  3. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    Know-Nuttin Dutton’s vacant stare and Ruprecht’s appendage-sucking pursed lips belie the truly vacuous thought processes that occur in that ugly, bulbous head of his.

    This thing cannot be allowed to skew the debate away from the litany of Liebral fails and onto their safe ground, but MUST be dragged back and focussed on Labor strengths, or we are stuck with this wannabe Kopi Luwak bean-head for another 3 years.

    I had little hope for Shorten in the early days, but I am happy to say I was wrong. Bill is rising to the challenge and is showing MUCH more dignity and professionalism in his little finger than Truffles and Sprout-Features have in their collective echo-chambers they call heads.

  4. John Kelly

    The Coalition are on the defensive. We know because the majority of their time is being spent in marginal Liberal seats. Labor’s Bill Shorten, by contrast, is on the offensive, also in marginal Liberal seats and seemingly having the time of his life. The Liberal Party’s first wake-up call came in the form of a distressing result from their own internal polling that revealed the seat of Eden-Monaro is looking very shaky.

  5. David Evans

    Given all the sackings carried out by the coalmission ‘government’ over the last three years, and the head in sand, shoot the messenger policy re Climate Change, their new three word slogan for this election should be “Ready, Aim FIRE”!

  6. kerri

    Given how easliy lying becomes Dutton, one wonders how ethical his police career was?
    Also why aren’t we helping to train or retrain refugees so that if their country, which I am sure most would rather return to, becomes suitable for rehabitation, there are skilled people to help re establish a society free from oppression. That would be a truly humanitarian goal! Watch Australia fail miserably and Justin Trudeau make a motzah of that notion?

  7. kerri

    Let us not be distracted by that which the LNP sek to distract us with!

  8. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    It’s hardly co-incidental that news of the lowest wages growth in 20 years was released today. Even though that is exactly what Truffles wants, he just doesn’t want the public to know – hence Dutton’s words of wisdom.

  9. helvityni

    Diannaart, thanks for the laugh, my first for the day…

  10. Steeleye

    I can’t agree with your choise of image for Dutto, Corveus. It looks far too intelligent and has way too much facial expression.

  11. Sandy Ellis

    Great post as always Kaye. We have been shafted. I live 12 minutes from Coolangatta Airport and could fly to Japan or Malaysia most days, but despite paying Telstra about $180 per months for private use I get no service at home. It is just like Orwell wrote in the 1940s ( could be wrong here) but we just get used to Newspeak via the MSM and particularly nasty little man Rupert. Dutton is one of the nastiest little men in the parliament of Hollow Men. *sigh* how good is TS Eliot? I sincerely hope that you get your eftpos problems sorted and thankyou for your insightful posts.

  12. Michael

    July 2, 16 chant = set yourself free – de-abbottise Australia!

    (abbott is a collective noun)

    Please feel free to add/amend …..

  13. Sandy Ellis

    Oh and you research is always sound.

  14. Matters Not

    Is Dutton’s outburst an example of Lynton Crosby’s “dead cat” we’re seeing?

    Yep! Whether you like him or not, Mutton Dutton (like Abbott) is the one you rely on when you want to promote negative ‘vote winners’.

    In an ideal world, he would be ‘educated’ by those he seeks to denigrate. You know, ‘educated’ asylum seekers.

    He is ‘base’!

    A typical Queensland ‘Plod’. Dumb as dogshit. And twice as stupid.

  15. Matters Not

    really depressing thing about fact free campaigning in the land of Oz is that it has been repeatedly shown to work for enough voters to swing elections

    Can only agree. (Even though I find the concept of ‘fact’ an ongoing problem).

  16. mark

    representative of the australian people,I fear.mark

  17. bobrafto

    It struck a nerve when I heard the LNP say who do you trust, just a few days ago.

    And out of the blue I thought ‘Who do you trust to lie to you?”

  18. Kaye Lee

    I’m just waiting for Malcolm to start counting on his fingers….”We’ll stop the boats, we’ll axe the tax and we will build the light rail of the 21st century”

  19. keerti

    Kaye Lee this is one of those times when sharia law could be of assistance…as aservant of the people turnscum might loose his fingers for lying.

  20. Kaye Lee

    I just read an article by the odious Chris Kenny in which he states that, among adult refugees resettled here, “Only 7 per cent had worked in the previous week.” I kid you not. He then advertises a speaking engagement which, for the price of $27.12, you can go along and listen to Paul Kelly, Peter van Onselen, Jennifer Oriel and Chris Kenny give their “Insiders preview on the federal election”. I would rather poke myself in the eye.

  21. Pilot

    It takes a tonne of coal to produce almost 2MWh of electricity. Our most efficient burn 1T for 2MWh, so if a carbon price set initially at $23.00 per tonne of coal, then do the math. There are 1,000 kwh in a MWh, then the impact on energy prices would be between 1 and 2 cents per unit. Less than 1%.

    How can people honestly believe the garbage spewed by the Turnbull dark forces?

  22. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, while Kenny neatly neglects to mention that those on bridging visas are “not permitted” to work. The article I read stated that those granted permanent residency have an employment rate of 80% this being far higher than those arriving under normal migration from non English speaking backgrounds. Perhaps Kenny would like to stop all migration from non-English speaking fact he might like to bring back the White Austrlia Policy and deport all those whose skin isn’t Anglo white. Perhaps bring back the paper bag test? That ‘s when whether one was or wasn’t white was judged against the color of a paper bag.

    Who was it who said that at least Turnbull hasn’t drawn the racist card?

  23. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, at least he’s no longer saying that he’s going to deliver us a better NBN. Maybe he’s finally woken up to how bad his is.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Carol, perhaps he’ll be suggesting the return of phrenology tests that were big in the 1850s. The thickness of your skull would determine whether you’re a God fearing Christian type or not.

  25. diannaart


    Dutton looks as though his intestines are working hard to achieve a thought-bomb

    As for Scott Morrison – he is such a nasty piece of work, seeing him shuts down my thinking and I zone out just to get away.

    @corvus boreus

    Thank you for the alternatives – makes life a little easier than seeing any more LNP faces than we need, although must complain – as a lover of the natural world I respect apes and fish too much to see their images exploited in such fashion.


  26. townsvilleblog

    Then there was the Department of Social Services report which said “Seventy-five per cent of humanitarian entrants arrive in Australia with at least high school-level education,” and furthermore “nearly 35% humanitarian entrants have a technical or university qualification either before or after arrival in Australia – compared with 39% of the Australian population 15 years and older.” How is a 15 y.o. Australian supposed to have a technical or university qualification?

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