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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 1: There is no such thing as a society

Saturday 13 April 2019

1 This is the first of my election diaries for the coming campaign.

I have no doubt that this is the most important election in my long period of following politics. As a young 14 year old on Sunday mornings I would stand under the elms of the area now occupied by the Melbourne tennis centre and watch the political debates.

Something inside me endeared me to the left of politics and there I have remained ever since. I hope you find my meanderings unbiased otherwise I’m just wasting words. All the quotes in italics are my own.

“Bias is an opinion that in the absence of objectivity, is prejudiced and unbalanced. Its foundation is untruth and therefore cannot be impartial”

Thursday 11 April 2019

2 he Prime Minister visited the Governor General and soon after announced the date of the next Federal Election. And so will come to an end under Abbott/ Turnbull and Morrison: the worst period of government I can ever remember.

A period where self interest replaced the best interests of the people. A period in which some unknown process allowed the greatest bunch of political weirdos and ratbags in our history to be elected.

Together they have wrecked havoc on the nation and our parliament. Collectively the Australian people should breath a sigh of relief that the 45th parliament is gone and that our democracy commands us to elect another.

We will do so in 35 days minus some public holidays.

3 The Prime Minister makes his pitch and despite his government’s efforts to make it otherwise, Scott says Australia is the best country in the world.

He reckons economics is responsible for everything. That you cannot achieve anything without a strong economy. Which is true of course. But you can show greater equity in the way you share it.

He talks about how great his government has been. The GFC never happened. Everything is Labor’s fault. They are the world’s best managers of money. He doesn’t mention that we are now, because of them, swimming in so much debt that it will take years to pay back.

“There is no such thing as society, only individuals making their way. The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect of the rich,” said the lady with the bad hair do.

He paints such a rosy picture of his government that the smell waffles across my computer insinuating its way into the dollar tab. But what a snake oil salesman he is.

4 Bill Shorten says that economics is but a component of a fairer society. He is talking about a new Labor or is it the old Labor that I grew up with?

Is it impossible to hope that there are some people of integrity who might form a centrist party dedicated to honest government for all and the principles of “from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need”? There is no one now to keep the bastards honest.

“We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level.”

“The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything they have.”

As is usual the flurry of the first day comes and goes and the people must be, after Morrison’s silly attempts to prolong naming the day, must be pleased that we finally have a date to move toward.

Friday 12 April 2019

5 I’m in a reflective mood and the “what if” question enters my conscious. What if the LNP was to win and we are subjected to another 3 years of the sort of governance Abbott/Turnbull and Morrison have shoved down our throats?

My deliberations are interrupted by the 7am news that the first casualty of election campaigns has appeared. Lying Morrison produces a list of what Treasury reckons is a real list of Labor’s costings. The only problem is as Bowan correctly says is that Treasury does not cost opposition policies.

It seems to me that in order to keep the economy front and centre he will continue to lie about anything to this aim.

Like this one:

@ScottMorrisonMP: To pay someone more, you’ve got to sack someone else to do it. That is the Labor Party’s policy. I don’t think anyone wants to get paid more as a result of their work colleague getting sacked.

Or this tweet from Josh Freydenberg:

If elected, @billshortenmp will lead the highest taxing government in Australia’s history, with $387 billion in new taxes over the decade.

This is the equivalent to an extra yearly household tax bill of $5400.

$387 billion in new taxes. Well calling things taxes that simply aren’t looks like being the order of the day. The first scare campaign. Closeting down a loop isn’t a tax. Or deleting a subsidy to buy more houses isn’t a tax. I mean, get serious, Scott.

So if you put this nonsense aside who was the highest taxing government in Australia’s history? I wonder if any of our readers know.

For me as a former church goer (or more an idealist), watching Scott Morrison switch between politician and Christian is a fascination.

“You know a political party is in trouble when it talks more about its opponents than it does itself.”

He does it with such consummate ease that the average person thinks it’s all perfectly normal. I regret having to say it, but our Prime Ministers turning on his Christian tap of tears, when the occasion warrants is really offensive. Truth is one of the central tenants of the faith. You cannot switch it on and off.

“This is so above politics”he will say when it suits but he has shown no empathy for the many asylum seekers he has made suffer over so many years.

6 On The Drum Thursday night the panellists were asked to name the achievements of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments. It was hilarious. Look it up on iView.

7 By the end of the second day all hope that I had of the campaign being conducted civilly has been dashed. Morrison has decided to take off his coat of many colours and fight with all the gutter tactics he can muster. He will don it again for Easter and Anzac day adding to the fallaciousness of his characterisation.

My thought for the day

Labor needs to win by enough seats so as to guarantee a second term and be competitive for a third.

Update: Thanks to ‘Ian’, here is an updated version of the Tax to GDP Chart that has been kindly posted in the comments by some readers:

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  1. Ken

    Good article John and I really hope your thought for the day comes true. Ken

  2. MöbiusEcko

    Or a wider historical view:

    There’s tons of data on this and on empirical economic management, yet the media never challenge Liberal government’s on their claim of good economic management in light of all this information.

    Howard also ran the biggest, most profligate and most wasteful government, but you don’t hear this openly stated in the media.

  3. Pappinbarra Fox

    Möbius how can I copy that to send everywhere

  4. helvityni

    MöbiusEcko, your info on taxes makes interesting viewing….

    Labor ought to use its wonderful women like Tanya Plibersek and Kristina Kenneally more… Liberal neighbours confess that they are a nice break from their own : Michaelia….( who scares voters away…)

    Out of the mouths of the babies ( a four-year old) comes the truth: She’s scary!

  5. Kaye Lee


    Right click on the pic and choose open image in new tab

  6. Alcibiades

    The coalition starts this campaign in the weakest electoral position since 1943.

    Scott NoMoralsNone is no Christian, he’s a Happy Clapper Pentecostal. Summons up tears for the announcement of the Disabled Royal Commission he relentlessly opposed until forced to consent. Given the opportunity to correct Duttons gross smear against Ali France, Morriscum demurs and says, “It’s all taken out of context.” But then, he only has 12 supporters in his faction within the Liberal party.

    Bookies odds re Labor seats won, has tightened :

    Labor 76 to 80 seats : 5.20
    Labor 81 to 85 seats : 2.70
    Labor 86 to 90 seats : 2.80
    Labor 91 to 100 seats : 4.85

    PS Commentary/analysis(?) from the Dark side :

    Mr Morrison, you’ll be smashed.

    if you really want to pull off the greatest political miracle and win this election you’ve just called.

    You’re starting behind, remember. Three seats short of a majority already, and with every poll saying you’re headed for a hiding.

    In fact, Scott Morrison has just five weeks to persuade Australians not to do what polls show they’ve been itching to do for two and half years – to vote out this brawling, divided Coalition Government that’s given us three different Prime Ministers but next to no wage growth.

    At last, the election has been called and this government already starts way behind Labor … He isn’t going to win this by running on the Liberal’s patchy record.

    – Andrew Bolt, 12 Apr 19

    Even a busted analog clock is correct twice a day …

  7. Michael Taylor

    Or if you’re on an iPad, touch the picture to open it in a new tab. At the top of the new page click on the upward arrow at the top, and select Save Image.

  8. Alcibiades

    Pappinbarra Fox,
    If on Windoze, ‘right click’ on the image & select ‘copy image location’. Paste.

  9. Geoff Andrews

    I wonder what proportion of the total tax collected was company tax, personal tax, GST etc?
    Being able to follow, say, company tax could be instructive.

    Right click the image and choose “copy image” from the options that appear.

  10. Alcibiades

    Abridged summary :

    Dutton abused a Labor candidate who’s an amputee. Coalition lost 3 candidates & Labor 1. Publicly rebuked by Treasury for making outrageous claims about Labor policy. Angus Taylor under a corruption cloud [1],[2],[3], twitter on partisan censorship warpath (Streisand Effect?). Angus Taylors M8, Barnaby ‘Caaarp!’ Joyce outraged at, & personally worried about, Folau’s claim that adulterers, drunks & liars will be condemned to Hades. The initial campaign slogan of the HappyClapperSloganBogan : (Image)

    Overall an election winning strategy, so far ?

  11. David1

    Good first up diary entry John, I shall read followups with interest. So far you are on to it. I have sent on to Twitter.

  12. Keitha Granville

    Thanks John.

    I cannot begin to imagine what our country will be if we get this lot back – they can’t win can they ? Surely there aren’t that many selfish people in the country ? I know that there seem to be at least 45% who are (depending on the OP) and some of those must be the LNP MPs themselves and families, but it leaves prob at least 20- 25% of regular voters. Miserable meanness – I know only one person who is voting for them, simply because she doesn’t like Bill. Please, prepared to totally screw the country and those worse off because you don’t like Bill ? Pathetic is not even close.

    Keep up the good writing JL.

  13. The AIM Network

    Thanks to Ian, an updated version of the chart posted by Mobius Ecko has been added to the bottom of this article.

  14. Alcibiades

    John Lord,

    Here’s an updated analysis re seats ‘in play’ combining current seat margins with Bookmakers individual seat odds. As well as adjusted gains/losses/margins re AEC redistributions. Prioritising Bookies odds below 6% 2PP, alternately limited to a ~3% 2PP ‘trend’, or in conjunction with minimum adjustment for increase in 18-24 year old enrollment 20%+ above trend ~1.5%+ participation rate compared to 2016,with cutoff at ~3.7%+ combined, etc.

    Coalition – Existing margin – Bookies odds:
    Capricornia qld LNP 0.6% : ALP 1.38, LNP 2.60
    Forde qld LNP 0.6% : ALP 1.33, LNP 3.00
    Flynn qld LNP 1.0% : ALP 1.28, LNP 3.33
    Robertson nsw LIB 1.1% : ALP 1.20, LIB 4.00
    Chisholm vic LIB 1.4% : ALP 1.23, LIB 4.00
    Banks nsw LIB 1.4% : ALP 1.60, LIB 2.30
    Petrie qld LNP 1.6% : ALP 1.54, LNP 2.35
    Dickson qld LNP 1.7% : ALP 1.33, LNP 2.85
    Hasluck wa LIB 2.1% : ALP 1.35, LNP 3.00
    Page nsw NAT 2.3% : ALP 1.64, NAT 2.05
    Boothby sa LIB 2.7% : ALP 1.60, LNP 2.20
    Reid nsw LIB 3.2% : ALP 1.22, LIB 3.50
    La Trobe vic LIB 3.2% : ALP 1.50, LIB 2.55
    Dawson qld LNP 3.4% : ALP 1.60, LNP 2.20
    Bonner qld LNP 3.4% : ALP 1.45, LNP 2.55
    Swan wa LIB 3.6% : ALP 1.60, LNP 2.30
    Pearce wa LIB 3.6% : ALP 1.52, LNP 2.40
    Sturt sa LIB 3.9% : LIB 1.73, ALP 2.00
    Leichhardt qld LNP 3.9% : ALP 1.60, LNP 3.00
    Casey vic LIB 4.5% : LIB 1.67, ALP 2.10
    Stirling wa LIB 4.6% : ALP 1.82, LNP 1.90

    [Excluded – start of ‘safe'(?) seat margins]
    (Brisbane qld LNP 6.0% : ALP 1.85, LNP 2.60)

    Notionally Coalition, factoring in retiring & sophomore

    MPs (1.5%):
    Macnamara vic Gained LIB 0.3% : ALP 1.72, GRN 2.00
    Lindsay nsw Gained LIB 0.4% : ALP 1.68, LIB 2.10

    Cumulative total:
    LNP total of 23 ‘Marginal’ Seats
    LNP retain 2
    ALP 20 seat gain, LNP 20 seat loss
    GRN 1 seat gain, LNP 1 seat loss
    LNP total loss 21 seats

    Notionally Labor afrer AEC re-distribution:
    Corangamite () vic ALP 0.03% : ALP 1.10, LIB 6.00
    Dunkley (
    ) vic ALP 1.0% : ALP 1.20, LIB 4.00

    Notionally Labor, factoring in retiring & sophomore MPs

    Gilmore nsw Gained ALP 0.8% : ALP 1.18, LIB 5.50

    Cummulative total:
    ALP 23 seat gain
    GRN 1 seat gain
    LNP 24 seat loss

    ‘In Play’ Independent & ‘Safe’ seats’:
    Warringah nsw LIB 11.1% : LIB 1.80, IND 1.90
    Wentworth nsw IND 1.0% : LIB 1.50, IND 2.40
    Cowper nsw NAT 12.6% : IND 1.60, NAT 2.20
    Indi vic IND 5.5% : IND 1.60, NAT 2.20
    Flinders vic LIB 7.0% : LIB 1.80 ALP 2.00 IND 10.00
    Higgins vic LIB 7.4% : LIB 1.70 ALP 2.20
    Mayo sa CA 2.9% : CA 1.14 ALP 5.00

    IND 1 seat gain, IND 1 seat loss
    Coalition (NAT) 1 seat loss, LIB 1 seat gain

    Cummulative total:
    IND no change
    ALP 23 seat gain
    GRN 1 seat gain
    LNP 24 seat loss

    Coalition minimum of 3 ‘Safe’ seats too close to call.

    Cumulative seat result, based on bookies odds, with cutoff below 6% ‘safe’ marginals 2PP:
    ALP 94
    LNP 50

    Other seats 7:
    IND 3
    CA 1
    GRN 2
    KAT 1

    Cumulative seat result, ignoring Bookies odds above a swing of ~3% 2PP (aggregate poll trend):

    ALP 86
    LNP 58

    Cumulative seat result, on adjusted swing of ~3% plus ~0.7%+ for new 18-24 year old enrollments 20%+ extraordinarily well above trend, & increase in total participation rate from 95% to 96.5%+ enrolled, hence ~3.7%+ 2PP. Ignoring Bookies odds above a swing of ~3.7% 2PP:

    ALP 92
    LNP 52

    Note: All above is ‘conservative’. Discounts individual polls inbuilt methodology bias, bias re preferencing older voters v under 24 year old voters in polling(landlines), & inaccuracy of using no longer valid 2016 preference flows(A compounding 2PP result effect), etc. Hence, low ‘ball’

  15. Paul Davis

    Yep Scummo, Plibbers mentioned serial bullshipper Mr Adani who exaggerated the number jobs his mystical hole in the ground will create, is Indian, therefore she must a racist. A few years back i reckoned Starbucks over estimated the outlets and jobs that American company was gunna create in Sydney, therefore i must hate yanks…

    Unlike our inscrutable Dear Leader who tried to ingratiate himself by greeting a Korean woman in Mandarin, cos all asians are the same aren’t they? Scummo was in Raw Square Strathfield INSIDE a Korean restaurant! Duh!

  16. Keith

    Today’s The Saturday Paper says it all, the CSIRO are back tracking from the decision made by Price in relation to ground water of the Great Artesian Basin.

    “Australia’s premier scientific research agency is distancing itself from the federal government’s decision to give final federal environmental approval for the Adani Group’s Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland.

    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, whose advice was cited alongside that of Geoscience Australia as the basis for the decision, says it was only responsible for answering a narrow set of questions, not giving the project’s whole groundwater plan a tick of approval.”

    When such a major development puts at major risk the Great Artesian Basin, puts the Great Barrier Reef in even greater danger, and impacts on climate; the judgement of the “Minister”can be thought of as an atrocious, and completely reckless decision.

    The IPCC has given a warning that we have 12 years to act very strongly to ward off the worst aspects of climate change. The IPCC uses science that has already been peer reviewed in the last couple of years. Since, peer reviewed science of a more worrying nature has been published. The warming of Oceans, decline in insect populations, and the huge void under West Antarctica’s Thwaites glacier have been recently published.

  17. Aortic

    The CEO of Adani Coalmines claimed today that because of the hundreds of conditions attached to the approval all will be well. Many years ago I was associated with a development company with similar conditions attached to the approval. I can attest that unless a team of dedicated environmental experts are on site twenty four hours a day, seven days a week it means zilch. Critical conditions will be ignored or circumvented to save money and increase profits to the detriment of the environment. To maintain otherwise is farcical and we should forget this exercise and channel resources into renewable projects designed to reduce emIssions and improve the atmosphere for all of humanity. The normal intonation is the demise of the economy, but what economy will exist if the world becomes uninhabitable?

  18. Kronomex

    Nothing like a bit of desperation to try and coax voters –

    The Murdoch strikes again. And again. And again.

    You don’t bow and scrape and kiss his ring (not the one on a finger) and you piss the ancient walking corpse off.

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