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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 8: “Morrison versus the rest”

Monday 29 April 2019

1 It must be excruciatingly distressing when government Ministers are so on the nose, so toxic, that they are not even allowed to debate their equivalent shadow ministers. Dan Tehan, for example, the Government Education Minister won’t debate Tanya Plibersek.

As shameful and undemocratic as this is, it is nonetheless the case. But you can well understand it with the likes of Dutton. Hunt, Cormann, Taylor, Price and Canavan.

Others, of course, preferred to jump ship before the ice hits the hull.

And Cash seems to have have been placed in Witness protection for the duration of the campaign.

“When a political party deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed. It is lying by omission. It is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.” (John Lord)

Joyce and Abbott no doubt have been given the message that they should seal their lips. The leader of the Nationals whose name always escapes me is opening his mouth ever so rarely that you would think he is on a starvation diet and of course former leader Malcolm Turnbull is now a non-government member entitled to speak in defence of his legacy. Whatever it is.

It looks as though Simon Birmingham has been given the task of defending everything Morrison says. Freydenberg is also confined to limited use of his vocal chords.

Why, well the government, because of the toxicity of so many of its MPs, has decided on a Morrison versus the rest approach. No ministers will be allowed to debate their opposites. Morrison will take on responsibility for everything. Yes, you will hear even more of him. I’m not sure what you will think about that.

Conversely, Labor is playing a team game with shadow ministers appearing with Shorten whenever it is appropriate and chaffing at the bit willing to debate.

After 6 years of doing nothing but fight each other and wanting another three to do much the same it is but a reflection of their incompetence that the only person capable of selling their message is Scott Morrison.

Unfortunately, it is also a reflection of the state of Australian politics.

2 Today the Election campaigns of both parties will kick off in earnest. Labor, with buckets of money to spend, yesterday announced a $4 billion childcare package aimed at reducing cost of living pressures on young families. In real terms, 887.000 families will see fee reductions of around $2100 a year.

“The notion that a few privileged individuals can own the vast majority of a countries wealth and the remainder own little is on any level unsustainable, politically, economically or morally” (John Lord)

Read about the full package here and its benefits to low-income families.

For its part, the LNP will freeze the humanitarian intake of refugees at 18,750. This is certainly a contentious issue and he is speaking directly to his base.

Announcing the freeze Morrison used the words of John Howard.

“We’ve got our borders and the budget under control.

“We make decisions about who comes here based on what’s in Australia’s interests.”

3 What a lot of nonsense is this talk about Clive Palmer’s preferences. A leader with character would have just said no. Clive’s importance is like his body weight highly inflatable.

4 On one hand Labor because of the changes they have made to things such as negative gearing and franking credits will be able to spread money around that will make our society fairer and more equitable.

On the other hand, the Coalition only has that which they allowed for in the recent budget so I would expect a lot of announcing things already announced.

In doing my research I came across these snippets from 2018:

Peter Van Onselen for The Australian says that six Coalition members, including the PM own 99 investment properties between them.”

Note: The then PM was Malcolm Turnbull.

“If you look at the electorates that benefit most from, the ones who are getting the largest deductions from Negative Gearing. Of the top ten for net rental loss all 10 were liberal electorates. 

Any wonder they want to keep Negative Gearing.” 

 An ABC Fact check. Fact check: Did abolishing negative gearing push up rents? 

The claim: Treasurer Joe Hockey says abolishing negative gearing could push up rents, because that’s what happened in the 1980s. 

The verdict: During the period negative gearing was abolished rents notably increased only in Sydney and Perth. Other factors, including high interest rates and the share market boom, were also contributors to rent increases at the time. 

Mr. Hockey’s claim doesn’t stack up. 

5 Government debt: $534 billion last Friday compared with: $501 billion in June 2017 $420 billion in June 2016 $369 billion in June 2015 $319 billion in June 2014 and $273 billion at the 2013 election. And the government is promising huge tax cuts. 

Sunday 28 April 2019

As is my normal habit I settle down to watch insiders. Today’s panel is Barrie Cassidy, Peter Van Onselen, Political Editor Chanel 10, and Karen Middleton, a political journalist in the Canberra Press Gallery and Malcolm Farr, Political Editor News.com.

It often surprises me just how many subjects they discuss given the time they have. In today’s diary as a matter of interest, I thought I would make a list and comment in italics if I feel the need.

INSIDERS Notes: Not necessarily in order.

1) Water buy-backs. Why did Barnaby Joyce want to be water Minister? Much is made of what the panel describes as a feral interview with the ABCs Patricia Karvelas.

He was the Minister. They say there isn’t much in the story.

I contend that a Royal Commission into the whole Murray Darling agreement is required. Could it be that we have paid $80 million for an empty glass?

2) A Short discussion on Morrison’s confidence and how he is taking it up to Shorten takes place. I’m thinking he must be the original Renaissance man going by what I see on television. One who can do anything. At least that is the way he appeared last week. They may have been trying to paint him subliminally as the man for all seasons but we know what he really stands for.

3) They talk about the debates and suggest Shorten is shirking them. Anyway, Shorten has agreed to another one so discussion faded. 

“In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good.” (John Lord)

4) Labor’s new Childcare policy is discussed and all the panellists agree that it is sound policy that will be a vote winner. Morrison because of a lack of funds won’t be able to match them. My thoughts are that as I said earlier. Labor has boatloads of money that Morrison won’t be able to match and it will be telling, as we get further into the campaign. 

5) Of the Coalitions policy to freeze immigration, they noted with good humour that 60% must be women. This is designed to appeal to his base and we know Australians are split on the subject. Labor has a different policy and people have a choice.

6) Tanya Plibersek, in her interview with Barrie Cassidy, said that this campaign was the dirtiest of her 20 years in parliament. I could only concur. She says she will take on the education portfolio should they win. What really impressed me was the way she said, “oh I just love it!” 

“For the life of me, I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education and health systems are adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged” (John Lord) 

7) A short discussion ensued about the difference between the two parties’ and that people really have a choice between two competing ideologies.

8) The inflation figure from last week suggested that things are not rosy economically. People had stopped spending. Wages aren’t growing. If the truth be known both leaders should perhaps be warning that promises made today might not be met in the future.

9) Peter Van Onselen was particularly outspoken when a clip was shown of the Prime Minister refusing to answer a question as to whether Clive Palmer should pay his workers the entitlements they were owed.  So far Palmer has spent  $70 million on a seat in the Senate. Unless he controls it what’s the point.

10) A lot of time was spent going over the pros and cons of Adani with varying opinions as to what effect it would have on the election. Protesters don’t help Labor, or do they? More water to flow under the bridge on this one. 

11) The panel got back onto the debates and said that Morrison would be the more aggressive but Malcolm Farr countered by saying that the latter stages of the campaign would suit Shorten more. With that assessment, I wholeheartedly agree. 

“Meritocracy is a term used to imply that those at the top of the social scale have merit and a slur against those at the bottom.”

12) The latest Galaxy poll was mentioned in the final minutes. 52/48 in Labor’s favour. If the expected Newspoll comes in at the same tomorrow then Scott will be in big trouble.

A couple of minutes to12 and I turn on the telly to find Shorten speaking at a rally in Melbourne. He is making an announcement that pensioners and Health Care card holders will receive up to $1000 on their dental bills It is the first step to joining dental expenses with Medicare.

At last our teeth have become part of our bodies.

My thought for the day

“The common good should be at the center of any political philosophy. However, it is more likely to be found on the left than the right ” (John Lord)

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35 comments

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  1. Judith

    I too would be reluctant to debate Morrison. I believe it was Lao Tzu who said “there is no greater misfortune than realising your opponent is not an honoravle man”.

  2. whatever

    Right on schedule Newspoll is saying “Scotty is a contender” and its “too close to call” and the usual back-slapping encouragement they provide for the LNP. They do this all the time, like with the last Victorian election.

    Fran Kelly is saying its a great thing, in fact she is cheering like a footy fan. She tries to turn every Newspoll into a Monday-morning Good News boost for the LNP, regardless of the fact that any objective consideration of the figures shows the LNP is losing.

    Any half-decent Pharaoh would have such an inept cabal of soothsayers, prophets and omen-merchants despatched to the executioner.

  3. Terence Mills

    In the West today, Scott Morrison will take the Liberal campaign to a new level : he will kick several more footballs, drive an even bigger dump truck, heft a bale of hay and walk around a factory ( hi-viz jacket OK but minders will not let him be seen in a hairnet).

    He has then scheduled a debate with Shorten in Perth – he was hoping Shorten wouldn’t make it – Liberal media advisers wanted the empty chair look – on Channel Seven’s second station at a time when nobody will be watching.

    In the meantime Pauline Hanson has confirmed she will direct her preferences to the Liberals as will Clive Palmer, both of whom expect a big pay-off if the Liberals get back in.

    Newscorp have lifted their hate coverage on Bill Shorten to a frenzied level and Sky-after-dark has found incontrovertible evidence that Shorten is the devil incarnate.

    It will be a bloody miracle if Labor can actually pull this off !

  4. New England Cocky

    “4 Government debt: $534 billion last Friday compared with: $501 billion in June 2017 $420 billion in June 2016 $369 billion in June 2015 $319 billion in June 2014 and $273 billion at the 2013 election. And the government is promising huge tax cuts.”

    The Nasty Lazy People are the best financial managers ….. at doubling the national debt and building Australia into the worst third world economy in the OECD ….. And pigs fly to the moon on water wings every Friday at noon.

    Bring on the 2019 Federal election!!

  5. ChristopherJ

    I look after my Uncle and he’s only got one tooth left. If Labor get in, I’ll be very pleased and so will Uncle as he’ll be able to afford an annual check up and clean…

    Calling bullshit on the poll, John. My fellow Aussies can’t be that stupid, shirley? For me, and from what I have seen and read of Scott Morrison, well, I cannot bear to even hear his voice and find myself reaching for the channel button as soon as I hear him. Can’t remember another politician I have loathed so much in my entire adult life, even jonny (who looks like a ghoul when he was last seen on the streets)

    Therefore, I cannot see how this policy of him vs rest is going to work. Most of us are already over the election anyway and are going to postal it this week. We can then turn off the news until election night

  6. wam

    The poll is close and vote compass closer qed???

    Truth is what you believe, lord, and the dynamio duo scummo and frydenburg are well on the way to lying their way to the truth trinity of millions of jobs, no ‘labor style’ debt and border control. Where is bill on these???

    ‘$80m for an empty glass’?. Nearly a billion to a gang of 4 on the gold coast and a bloke with a shack on kangaroo island. Wonder who got the spotters fees?

    Undeniably Australian are well off and there is no visible reason to change. Especially when the lnp truth is labor’s debt shows they cannot manage the economy. Labor’s truth is???????

    All scummo has to do is keep his supporters sweet to minimise leaking hanson, anning, palmer et al, encourage the autocue journalists to ask the right questions(a proven technique unused by labor perhaps because of an ethical concern for their lnp colleagues?) and rely on rupert’s minions to frighten a few workers into voting for the status quo.

    The compass shows the bias of the ABC and slimy drivel-driven green’s inept approach to making a quid.
    We are asked to rate his big 2 the lnp without the np and labor. He then shows the two narrow-nosed lunatic fringe as equals. Both di and hanson care not who wins as long as they get their tithe. Both are slash and burn merchants.
    ps
    I hate you Terrence, the loony cuckoo is pushing labor out of the nest before it has voted. We can hope the young are not seduced by the loonies and vote labor.

  7. blair

    the bookies have got Labor winning by a furlong.
    more accurate than the Murdoch owned pollsters

  8. Kaye Lee

    The underlying cash balance for the 2018-19 financial year to 31 March 2019 was a deficit of $8,073 million. (back in black…NOT)

    As at 31 March 2019, net debt is $376,718 million. At 31 August 2013 it was $161,253 million. That’s a 234% increase in debt at a time when the global economy has been recovering.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Re the bookies odds….

    The most likely result according to them is for Labor to win 86-90 seats, paying $2.75.

    Funnily enough, the odds for “Both Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton fail to get elected at the Federal Election” are even shorter at $2.50

  10. NewBruce

    If political debating was an Olympic team sport, moronscum would look decidedly rooted by the end of only the second lap of the relay.

  11. Vikingduk

    Yep, newbruce, the jerk with a smirk is definitely rooted, though I would be surprised if motormouth made it that far. As much as I might want to watch this debate, any chance of ongoing sanity would be severely compromised by listening to and watching this traitorous motormouth. I can only hope he goes full on shouty and implodes.

  12. Wayne Turner

    “We are back in the black” – ACDC want their song back Libs. Also it’s a LIE,repeated by the Libs and their MSM.It’s ONLY a projection.

    “Electric cars and Labor’s policy” – Labor’s going to take your utes and SVU’s away. More LYING CRAP. Imagine how the Libs MSM would carrying on if Labor LIED like this. Add to this,The current treasurer still has on his own web site,an article on how great electric cars are,while he and this mob continue to argue the opposition.

    THE CURRENT LYING LIBS AND NATS have NO SHAME,NO REAL PLANS,NON-STOP LIES,SMEAR & FEAR.

    “If Labor win this election,it will be in spite of the MSM. If the Liberal party win this election,it will be because of the MSM”.

  13. Terence

    To ChristopherJ, et al

    “My fellow Aussies can’t be that stupid, shirley?”

    I say:

    “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

    As much as I would love to see the door hit the ar%e of ScumMo on the way out, I’m getting that feeling that he might just pull it off due to the above statement.

    As my late and dear father said: “If you are not sure, bet on greed every time.” And that my friends sums up the Ltd News comments section.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Don’t call me Shirley!

  15. ChristopherJ

    Thank you Terrence and others.

    I was working in Melbourne when John Hewson was campaigning and I came away impressed at what I saw was a confident man at the top of his game, easily deflecting criticism from the working mob that were watching on. I didn’t think he could lose the election, no way…

    This is Labor’s election to lose.

  16. Ill fares the land

    Interestingly, for conservative voters, I suspect they saw Plibersek’s interview on Insiders and opined that she was just attacking and insulting the LNP numpties (at least, the two conservative voters at my house both took that stand). Morrison is making inroads, although I suspect that the closing of the poll gap is more a reflection of the Palmer preferencing than a genuine rise of support, but I suspect Morrison’s lies, deflecting answers on any probing question and his “you’ll be right with me in charge” hick talk and weaesel words (he is, after all, a failed corporate management hack) are keeping his voter base happy. I have never shared the views of people like Hawke who said voters were intelligent. This LNP government is the worst in my lifetime – even the risible Billy McMahon could point to genuine policy achievements – and yet LNP SHOULD, based solely on peprformance, be on the way out and yet this is proving to be a very loseable election for Labor. How does that point to an electorate that has been paying attention to how the LNP has performed?

  17. Kronomex

    Ah, spewscrap.com.au, guaranteed to give you completely non-partisan news all the time –

    https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/federal-election-2019-live-on-the-campaign-trail-on-monday-april-29/live-coverage/4c4e7062bfa29b1ca6994ad40a344028

    I doubt that the methane laden blimp knows what the truth is even if it struck a match (picture the Hindenberg) to the industrial strength whoopee cushion that is his arse. All he’s offered is claims and absolutely no proof. What a surprise that that is good enough for the Murdork Scum Media.

    Tubbo strikes again –

    https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/clive-palmers-explosive-rambling-today-show-appearance-i-dont-give-a-stuff-about-you/news-story/d823c8d54f19a81d6a210a637fff109

    Cretin!

  18. whatever

    We need to consider the real “conservative voter”, as opposed to the halfwit voter who believes everything the Tabloid MSM says.
    The average suburbanite Liberal voter will be voting Labor or Independent as a matter of patriotism. It may bother them to a degree, but they won’t entrust the Nation to Scotty and his merry band of AltRight lunatics.
    If the polling had been more accurate, average Republican voters in the U.S. would have turned up at the polls to vote Hillary in and save America from Trump.

  19. Paul Davis

    My choices in Capricornia in ballot paper order

    BAMBRICK Paul The Greens
    BIRKBECK George Katter’s Australian Party (KAP)
    TEMPLE Richard Labour DLP
    MURRAY Ken Independent
    LANDRY Michelle Liberal National Party of Queensland
    ROBERTSON Russell Australian Labor Party
    ROTHERY Wade Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
    STURGEON Lindsay United Australia Party
    PRATT Grant FRASER ANNING’S CONSERVATIVE NATIONAL PARTY

    1 Labor
    2 Green
    3 DLP least of many evils..
    4 Independent an LNP schill who stood last time
    5 Annings Nutter cos those who vote him higher will preference Hanson and Palmer before LNP
    6,7,8,9 doesnt matter cos preferences should be exhausted by then …

    I think the issue in many seats is the proliferation of right wing independents and nut job minor parties meaning third plus preferences coming back to LNP… does the above make sense?

    Landry got 40% primary last time and won by less than 1%

  20. New England Cocky

    For the uninitiated Paul Davis means:

    1) Labor ROBERTSON
    2) Green BAMBRICK
    3) DLP TEMPLE
    4) Independent MURRAY
    5) Failure Anus Nutters PRATT (by name and by nature?)
    6) ROTHERY James Ashby’s Only Nutters Party
    7,8,9) Just put in the numbers.

    Women voters should remember that Michelle LANDRY supported Nat$ Adulterer-in Chief Barnyard Joyce when he philandered his way into a $150,000 for a book deal and second family.

  21. TuffGuy

    “And Cash seems to have have been placed in Witness protection for the duration of the campaign.”
    I seem to recall they actually let her out (or she escaped) for a few minutes to ‘save the tradies utes’.
    Perhaps Shorten could start his debate by calling out Scummo for not allowing any of his front bench to get on the debate bandwagon.

  22. Kronomex

    And so the emissions of swamp gas from Scummo and the Blimp continues unabated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/29/morrison-dodges-question-over-clive-palmers-unpaid-queensland-nickel-workers

    Now he’s trying to portray himself as a “caring boss to the workers” –

    “He said he had told O’Connor the administrator “had sacked workers over our protest and offers to keep them employed and to pay all creditors in 2016”.” What a bloody blowhard! Where’s the proof?

  23. John lord

    “It’s difficult to imagine how a person of such little character is again a force in Australian politics. No matter how small it is powerful. That a party founded by Menzies would be doing deals with a person of such ill repute and ratbagery is incomprehensible”

  24. Patagonian

    Well the great debate was an exhibition of more of Morrison’s rudeness and determination to ignore the rules of debate, aided and abetted by the wishy-washy moderators, but Bill did a good job. He certainly presented as much more sincere and real than that wind-up windbag Morrie. He made genuine attempts to answer the questions, Morrie just came out with the same tired old platitudes, told lies, talked over Shorten and left me with the clear impression that he actually can’t debate.

    Asked what each admired about the other, Morrie made some motherhood statement about admiring Shorten because he, like Morrie, had gone into politics to serve the country. Shorten had obviously given the question some prior thought and paid two genuine complements to Morrie, one which was his admiration for Morrie’s support for better mental health services.

    I would like to see them do it again with a moderator that is actually competent and prepared to force Morrie to respect the rules of debate..

    7 studio audience has given the first #AUSVote19 debate to Bill Shorten

    Of the 48 people in the audience 25 thought Mr Shorten did the better job

    12 thought Scott Morrison won

    11 were undecided

    Channel 7 won’t release the ‘winner’ until later tonight – desperately massaging the results to get a win for Morrie, no doubt.

  25. Alcibiades

    Patagonian,

    A ridiculously tiny unrepresentative audience ‘Undecided’ sample, however, just for a larf:

    ALP 63.5 v 36.5 LNP 2PP (Assuming the Undecided, ‘Undecided’ split 50/50)
    (at 60/40 it’s 61.3 v 38.8 2PP)

    Seems WA’s ‘Undecided’ isn’t fond of Clive, Hanson, or stand-over clowning adman/conman Morrison & the Coalition …

  26. Patagonian

    Being from WA and given this was a Channel 7 event, I fully expected the audience to pick Morrie as the winner come what may. Although it’s a tiny sample, I was gobsmacked by the outcome.

  27. Phil

    A debate is that what it was? Morrison was pathetic but the winners of the wank fest were the two channel seven Journalist’s. .

    The two Journalist’s were absolutely brilliant. The question’s put to the two leaders were in depth and on point, these two journo’s know their shit. Walter Cronkite himself couldn’t have handled this debate any better.

    Hey love throw us another tube will ya burp…fart…yawn………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  28. Ella Miller

    Thank you, John, a worthwhile read again.
    What did you all think of the debate?
    I felt that SM, was a rude (talking over Bill) and a bully.
    I was left with the feeling that being stripped of the sports equipment and the baseball cap, the emperor was left naked.

  29. Alcibiades

    The Graunds Essential poll comes in today at 51-49 ALP v LNP 2PP. The Headline Lead is polls … tightening … ? Yeah/Nah.

    TL:DR ? Should be approximately ALP 51.9 v 48.1 LNP (ie 52 v 48 same as previous Essential). Likely more ‘clever’ rounding down with the base numbers to achieve the … tightening … lead.

    The movement in the poll is contrary to that reported by the most recent ‘manipulated’ Newspoll to achieve the same ‘Headline’ 51-49 ‘tightening’. That was achieved by some rather brave & inventive preference flows & elevating Clives UAP to significant party status to allow for incredibly convenient ’rounding’ … down.

    This Essential has also probably suffered from ’rounding’ … down, to produce the same headline ‘tightening’.

    Absent the full poll data as yet, Coalition +1%, Labor +2%, Greens -2%, ON +1% (to 6% ?!), Others(Including UAP/Independents) -1%.

    These numbers are contrary to the outlier UAP rise to 5% in Newspoll. Furthermore, sans detailed data, don’t add up either.

    The recent Newspoll, compensating for anomalous aberrant manipulation against previous methodology norm, is in all probability ALP 52.3 v 47.7 LNP & this Essential approximately ALP 51.9 v 48.1 LNP.

    Essentially(pun ?) such trivial, minimal movement as to be … No Change. Since a fortnight before the Budget & the Election being called …

    YMMV.

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