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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 13: Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not

Saturday 11 May 2018

1 By this time next week, only those who haven’t voted pre-poll will be left to cast their vote in this most important election. All the policies, or lack of them, will have resonated with the electorate in varying degrees. Some will vote in a state of confusion but most with certainty. The young have become engaged and hopefully, they might return our democracy to some form of respectability and transparency.

The issue though is will the right win, will they be emboldened to move further right to satisfy the interests of the establishment, corporates and rich individuals. Or on the other hand, will the electorate be prepared to give Labor’s policies of change a chance?

2 The polls have played a fairly negative part in portraying an accurate position of the parties. Given the knowledge all and sundry have of the previous 6 years I find it difficult to believe they are an accurate reflection of the public mood.

“An enlightened society is one in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.” JL

3 In recent days it has really hit home to me just how intensive the use of social media has played in this election. My message box, my email, and any other way, the parties could attract my attention, they have pestered to a point where I have had to look the other way.

A positive is though that my diary has attracted new readers by ten a day for its duration.

“The fourth estate as the custodians of the public right to know should act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion.” JL

4 Peter Dutton has come out from whatever slime hole to inform us that Bill Shorten intends letting the boats start again and the redhead insists they will introduce a death tax.

5 Yesterday Labor released its costing’s. Why? Well, it might have been because they were very confident that any criticism of them could be hit to leg but another reason might be that it would keep attention on Labor’s policies and bring Chris Bowen into the picture.

Predictions already show that Labor because of the huge and fair increases in its revenues will be able to better the governments planned surpluses by double and have a $200bn war chest to spend on further tax cuts over the next decade.

It has also allowed $55 million for a plebiscite on Australia becoming a Republic.

“The parliamentary budget office estimates will also reveal that Labor has about $200bn to spend on tax cuts beyond the forward estimates to meet a tax-to-GDP ratio of 24.3% – the same level achieved under the Howard government.”

On any level, you would have to admit that they have not been sitting idly by for the past three years. They have not left a stone unturned to get things right and be upfront and transparent with the public.

6 Also, the release might just detract from the Liberal Launch on Sunday. Which in itself, is but a liberal Party cost saying measure and if Turnbull is a no show, an embarrassment.

7 From the Press Club debate, I would have been tempted to say that I learnt nothing new but that wasn’t the case. I learnt that the opposition, if a world economic downturn did occur, is better placed, because of the savings from Franking and Negative gearing to ward off the effects.

8 The other thing was the Prime Minister saying that Melissa Price would be the Environment Minister in the next Government should he win. He had to be joking. But “Where is she?” said Bill. Time will tell.

“We will never truly understand the effect Free Speech has on an individual until we have suffered from the abuse of it.” JL

9 I cannot remember a government going to an election with so few policies. You would have to go back to Tony Abbott to make any comparison. Tony, of course, believed that just being in office fixed everything. The born to rule brashness.

“If a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements then dismiss the article as having no cogency.” JL

10 Incidentally what is the difference between Scott Morrison’s $2.4 billion cuts to the Aged Pension four years ago and cuts to Franking Credits? He sneakily changed the way future rises to the pension are calculated.

11 AIM readers may have missed my Facebook post on the Daily Telegraph’s version of what Bill Shorten knows about his own mum. So here it is.

I wrote this while ill in bed and managed to post it on Facebook but not the AIM.

“Why this was the most compelling moment of this election campaign”

This was the headline on the ABCs online site today. The Daily Mail had attacked him because he attended an elite school.

“In a new low, The Daily Telegraph has decided to use my mum’s life as a political attack on me, and on her memory.” Mr. Shorten said.

“Mother of Invention”, read the headline accusing him of not telling the full story about his mother.

Mr Shorten said his mother died from a catastrophic heart attack in her sleep in April 2014.

“I miss her every day,” he said. “I‘m glad she wasn’t here today to read that rubbish.”

While appearing on Q&A last Monday, Mr Shorten had spoken of his mother, Dr Ann Shorten, as his inspiration.

He said, “She had wanted to study law but had to take a teacher’s scholarship so she could support her younger siblings.”

The newspaper accused Mr Shorten of having neglected to say that his mother did go on to study law, and gained first-class honours before going on to practice for six years.

The Daily Telegraph also described Mr Shorten as having benefited from studying at “Melbourne’s elite Xavier College”.

“I didn’t read it all because there’s only so much time in your day and you can’t afford to waste it on the rubbish,” Mr Shorten said of the article today.

“They think that [because] I explained myself at Q&A on a Monday night, that they play gotcha about your life story — more importantly, my mum’s.”

“She loved being a teacher and she was very good at it. She later became a teacher of teachers.”

“She worked at Monash University over three decades, but she always wanted to be in the law.”

He said, “his mother studied law in her 50s and he was proud of what she achieved.”

“When I was in my first year of law school, she was in her final year. She was her brilliant self and won the Supreme Court prize.”

“She finally realised her dream and qualified as a barrister in her late 50s.”

Conservative media seem to get some perverse satisfaction from this sort of defamation. Remember Alan Jones attack on Prime Minister Gillard:

‘’Her father died of shame because of her political lies.”

I am not well today but I felt compelled to say a little or a lot about the Daily Mail’s attraction of Bill Shorten. Firstly the leading tabloid of the Murdoch gutter publications published it. To say that it is the worst example, the most gutless of all his publications would be an understatement.

They are the newspapers where the truth goes to die. Bill Shorten doesn’t need me to defend him he does a fine job on his own. However, when one’s mother becomes the intentional centre of an attack on the son then we need to speak up and combat it.

I have never really understood the dislike of Bill Shorten because l have always found solace in my enquiries when criticisms have been directed at him by the press and every day by the government. They did the same with Gillard and I also found that reprehensible.

That he has gathered together a team that is so woven in solidarity. So married to his leadership and so surrounded with women is truly, to me at least, remarkable. Sure he has little habits that annoy me but nowhere near as much as the Prime Ministers overbearing nature.

In this election, Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not. He has taken on the rich and said enough is enough. Schools, hospitals and aged care are the priorities. He has bravely taken on top-down economics and said there is a better way.

My thought for the day

“If you are looking for the ultimate expression of the purity of love, there is no better place to look than in the sanctity of what we call motherhood.”

Conservative media seem to get some perverse satisfaction from this sort of defamation. Remember Alan Jones attack on Prime Minister Gillard: ‘’Her father died of shame because of her political lies.”

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  1. New England Cocky

    “I have never really understood the dislike of Bill Shorten”. Perhaps it is because “Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not. He has taken on the rich and said enough is enough. Schools, hospitals and aged care are the priorities. He has bravely taken on top-down economics and said there is a better way.”

    Ever since Shorten sprang into public attention with his efficient handling of the Beaconsfield Mine Disaster, he has demonstrated that he has the charisma required to be an effective leader of people. HIs other work in the union movement showed that he was capable of negotiating with all levels of society and had a personal understanding of what it means to be a working class Australian voter.

    Leadership is an anathema in the Liarbral Nat$ COALition because it threatens the power of the unelected political hacks who control pre-selctio for the benefit of finial patrons wanting to influence Australian government policy for their own financial benefit. Here read foreign owned multinational corporations.

    The recent Greenpeace doco on mining industry personnel in the Australian government ranks says it all:

    act.gp/dirtypowerdoco OR https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=376426336310070

  2. David1

    Thankyou John for the diaries, superb work on your part.I too am/have been unwell with a vicious virus for some 3 to 4 weeks, which has my doctor somewhat puzzled however it hasn’t stopped me catching up with your posts.
    I hope you return to good health quickly.
    Fair wind in Bill and Labors sails as they sprint for the line.

  3. James O'Neill

    The main reason to distrust the polls is that they are based on landline interviews. The overwhelming majority of people under the age of 30 use mobile phones. They are more likely to preference Labor and the Greens.

    I suspect that the partie’s internal polling in electorates shows the same trend, which is why so many of the Liberals are jumping ship.

  4. whatever

    Abysmal suburban gossip is the standard the Conservitards excel in, thus we get endless finger-pointing and scuttlebutt about whoever happens to be the Labor leader. It is a door-to-door salesman technique from the 1950’s.
    Don’t drink the KoolAid.

  5. MöbiusEcko

    “I cannot remember a government going to an election with so few policies. You would have to go back to Tony Abbott to make any comparison. Tony, of course, believed that just being in office fixed everything.”

    You need to go back further than that John. Another John, one John Howard went into the 1996 election campaign without a single policy and nothing more than a debt truck. I believe he was the first in Australia to run an election campaign without any policies.

    As a side note. Howard’s debt truck did not count Australian government debt, but Australia’s foreign debt, and it was a successful false scare campaign. To illustrate that, Howard in government went on to rack up record foreign debt after record foreign debt for most of his time in office. Howard only shifted to Beazley’s black hole after he got into office, but only did that after saying he was handed a better economy by half than he thought possible. As he looked like losing office after one term, he again shifted to attacking Labor on debt, which has stuck ever since.

  6. Terence Mills

    An ABC report tell us that data collated by Gun Control Australia show that over five years, $77 million in state and Commonwealth grants have been handed to gun clubs and shooting complexes.

    So One Nation didn’t need to go to the USA for money from the NRA, they just has to check out the LNP !

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    I have always believed that Bill Shorten has what it takes, ever since I first saw and met him face to face at a town hall meeting in western Sydney before the last election. He came across as sincere, forthright and well prepared.He does not have any arrogance just a quiet determination to give it all he’s got. It is people such as him who are the salt of the earth. He has the best wishes and support of most ordinary Australians.

  8. John Lord

    Thanks David and others. My illness was caused by my under estimation of the result of a cold turkey withdrawal of some serious pain medication I take. Hope you get well soon.

  9. Keitha Granville

    I am so thrilled that your diary is being read by more and more people every day – most likely on social media ? Which means the young. I have high hopes for their sense and reason.

    I am continually dumbfounded by the dislike of Bill. In comparison to Morrison ?? Really ?? He has always seemed to me a basic down to earth plain human being, nothing fancy, WYSIWYG. His daily news briefings at Beaconsfield were essential viewing. And in any event, it’s the POLICIES of the party that matter – any leader can be run over by a bus at any point in time, we have to follow the policies.

    We cannot have any more of this appalling government.

  10. Uta Hannemann

    John Lord: . . . “will the right win, will they be emboldened to move further right to satisfy the interests of the establishment, corporates and rich individuals”

    I published my thoughts on this here:

    John Lord: . . .The issue though is will the right win, will they be emboldened to move further right to satisfy the interests of the establishment, corporates and rich individuals . . .

    What I tthink is, that the undecided voters have to be very brave to vote against the interests of ‘the establishment, corporates and rich individuals’.

    We’ll see, whether enough undecided voters are going to be brave enough to do this!!

  11. David1

    Cheers John…

  12. Florence Howarth

    Shorten indeed has an understanding of how the working class live. More important he has been a part of the upper-class world firstly through his mother, then his two wives. He has close & enduring friendships in both worlds.

    IMO the dislike comes from fear of his vision & ability put it in place.

    As for the polls, they don’t ring true. We have nearly 30% undecided. We have no idea where their votes will land.

    We have record number of young people enrolled. I suspect the polls are not reaching these people.

  13. Kaye Lee

    My problem with Shorten was his part in the leadership shenanigans and a sneaking suspicion that personal ambition was at play. But that is history. I think he will be a good leader. He has an infinitely superior team and policies.

  14. Ian Hughes

    Get well John.

    I’ve always thought that Leadership is like conducting a symphony orchestra. The conductor stands at the front, sets the tempo, keeps everybody on the same page, in sync and in harmony. The melody rises and falls as guided by the conductor and individual instruments or groups of instruments are given prominence, in accordance with the conductors guidance.

    Now, apply this to our 2 leaders:

    Morrison is a conductor with no orchestra at all, making all the noise on his own, sowing discord and his tempo is increasingly erratic. He hurts your ears – like the guy at karaoke who can’t sing at all so you bring him on when you want everyone to go home!

    Shorten is behaving exactly as described in my opening. His campaign has crescendo-ed as we progress through the campaign; his team is in sync and harmony; all playing the same melody. Looking forward to their resounding finale!

  15. Pilot

    A quiet word to you John. Yes, I have been through what you are now experiencing (more than once unfortunately and it doesn’t get any easier). My heart and sincere thoughts are with you. Time will heal, but the journey is hard and the track is rough. Believe in yourself, you will get through what is a horrid time in your life. Keep your self-belief, we are with you my friend. YOU ARE WORTH IT!! We walk the same path, the end is near but the result is well worth the journey.

    Your article, written from your heart is a message of hope for Australia, thank you very much for your time.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Good analogy Ian. Morrison’s one-man-band has no song to sing. Just a lot of noise from one attention seeker who can’t read music.

    John and Pilot,

    I watched my son endure the same thing after a protracted stay in hospital. It was hell. But he got there.

  17. Peter F

    Kaye, has anyone ever reached the top without personal ambition being at play? ( exception being our head of state, OF COURSE).

    My personal experience of a chance meeting with Bill Shorten showed me that there is more depth to him that I ever expected.

    I had a short chat with him while he was out campaigning in 2013. An hour later, after he had been moving around I was off to one side as he approached, and in a position to take a photo of him as he passed. He noticed me and beckoned over to walk with him and continue our conversation.

    In the context of our meeting, I did not even expect a nod or a slight wave of recognition. I doubt that many of our ‘leaders’ would have even noticed that we had met earlier.

    I believe that many are in for a surprise.

  18. Pilot

    Thank you Kaye Lee, and congratulations to your son on his achievement, and congratulations to you for standing by him though his ordeal. It is so hard to watch someone go through it, not knowing what is going on in the patient’s head or the physical reactions upon their body.

  19. Kaye Lee

    I am very proud of him Pilot. The doctors wanted him to slowly wean off the cocktail they had been feeding him during his hospitalisation (necessarily) but he, like John, went cold turkey. I am not sure it was the easiest route but it was his choice. He showed great strength – perhaps too much. Sometimes it is better to take things slowly. It was so hard to watch him suffer.

  20. John Lord

    What did your son do Kaye?

  21. Kaye Lee

    Not sure what you mean John?

    He had a very nasty operation which kept him in hospital for three months (where he contracted MRSI just to add to his woes) followed by another twelve months of in-home care with nurses coming daily and then three times a week. When he came home after the three months, he was on three very heavy-duty pain killers with a timetable of slowly weaning himself off them. He just said no more and took himself off them virtually straight away. He was housebound but wanted to continue his studies online.

    I was concerned about depression and he admitted he had “looked into the dark pit” – but he dragged himself back to the surface.

    As you are aware, going cold turkey has significant physical consequences. Take care of yourself John and don’t be afraid to need help.

  22. Vikingduk

    John Lord, been there, too, I found acupuncture to be a very effective way to ease the withdrawal symptoms, lots of water to help flush the crap out and eradicating anything in my diet that strains the internal organs, i.e., no sugar from whatever source, no carbs, get into the sun, preferably naked, our bodies need the vitamin d, plus advice and assistance from herbalist/naturopath.

    As Kaye says, going cold turkey has significant physical consequences. Whilst I am reluctant to reveal so much, my addictions included heroin, methodone plus heavy duty painkillers.

    All my best to you and as you have made this step, you realise that the effort is worth the new you that awaits.

  23. Kronomex

    The Rupert Scum Media has called the “This has got to be a new low, even for this nasty election campaign. Vandals have targeted Barnaby Joyce in a particularly disgusting act.”


    I thought is was rather well done and funny.

    A “new low”? The Murdoch’s really nasty low piece about Shorten’s mother doesn’t count anymore? Oh wait, that was an attack on Scummo’s fatal attraction enemy Bill. This is an “attack” on The Beetroot so that means lots of “shock, horror, nastiness” abounds.

  24. Pilot

    It is like we are all ready to pounce on John and try and save him from what we have all experienced from both sides of the situation.
    There are many, many people thinking of you John, sending their positive thoughts, and dare I say it, praying for you for a swift and full recovery.

    Kaye Lee, he’s your son. I’ve watched my wife with our sons both of whom have spent time in ICU….. Mothers are incredible people, but sometimes they over analyse. But that’s what they do. It’s called unconditional love.

    Bugger politics for a day!! We got Lordy to think about!!! Go get ’em John!!

  25. totaram

    Kronomex: In the face of complete media support to the coalition, including “our” ABC, the situation seems to be a bit like running an election in North Korea. The only difference is that if you deface the posters of the “chosen few”, you will only get arrested and charged rather than shot (but don’t worry, that is not far away- check out the various laws passed in support of “national security”. We are getting there in small steps and Labor is complicit). Oh there is one other important difference: we have opposition candidates and we have the internet and social media. I hope that lasts.

  26. Yvonne Robertson

    Bill Shorten looked amazing this morning announcing Labor’s plans for the ABC and SBS. He looks every bit the winner – confidence abounds and it feels as though he should be unstoppable. Then I read this piece in The Saturday Paper. Paul Bongiorno’s
    “Murdoch papers give Shorten his moment”.


    It was a good assessment of what had happened with the Daily Telegraph and suggested that the Liberals were up to their necks in it. The article then went on to say:

    “News Corp sources say the Tele has another story on their news file to throw at Shorten. It is highly defamatory and legally dubious. The desperation that led to the attack on Shorten and his mother’s memory may give them pause to think about running it. As one Labor campaign worker says, “It’s difficult to know where the government ends and News Corp begins.””so I wait with baited breath.

  27. wam

    Sorry for being so thick, lord, but I read it twice and where has billy going where hawke, keating, gillard and rudd didn’t go? He is not as natural a leader as those or gough and I have been urging a return of beaconsfield bill but he is showing how much better he is than scummo and scummo is putting all his eggs and tickets on himself wow what christian arrogance? (right up there with folau telling god how to run heaven)
    Loved your 8 where is she was a great quip and deserves a facebook spree logo – where’s melissa? Ms Price was last seen glowing in the dark carrying a coal scuttle. I would suggest it to bill but this lnp troll has been cut from his list of informants.
    As for 9:

    My memory suggests you could add up all of the liberal country party policies in those elections and have a total less than scummos??

    Sadly the people who talk about the ‘sanctity’ of motherhood sell women short and result in the recent decisions in Georgia and, perhaps, the eventual overturning of roe vs wade.

    ps in case any has missed rupert’s influence.
    I shared this to my rabbottians:

    just in case you think we should sell the ABC. Here is the extent of media owned by an American who cannot vote in our election

    Shared. Sam Wesson
    So here’s Murdoch media’s News Corp Holdings. Surely no one thinks this is too much influence for one foreign citizen to have?
    List of Newscorp/Murdoch properties:
    TV: Sky News Australia, Foxtel.
    National: The Australian, The Weekend Australian, The Weekend Australian Magazine, news.com.au
    New South Wales: The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, sundaymagazine, Tweed Sun, Blacktown Advocate, Canterbury-Bankstown Express, Central, Central Coast Express Advocate, Fairfield Advance, Hills Shire Times, Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate, Inner West Courier, Liverpool Leader, Macarthur Chronicle, Mt Druitt-St Marys Standard, NINETOFIVE, North Shore Times, Northern District Times, NORTHSIDE, Parramatta Advertiser, Penrith Press, Rouse Hill Times, Southern Courier, The Manly Daily, The Mosman Daily, Village Voice Balmain, Wentworth Courier
    Victoria: Herald Sun, Sunday Herald Sun, sundaymagazine, Geelong Advertiser, GeelongNEWS, Echo, The Weekly Times, Bayside Leader, Berwick/Pakenham Cardinia Leader, Brimbank Leader, Caulfield Glen Eira/Port Philip Leader, Cranbourne Leader, Dandenong/Springvale Dandenong Leader, Diamond Valley Leader, Frankston Standard/Hastings Leader, Free Press Leader, Heidelberg Leader, Hobsons Bay Leader, Hume Leader, Knox Leader, Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader, Manningham Leader, Maribyrnong Leader, Maroondah Leader, Melbourne Leader, Melton/Moorabool Leader, Moonee Valley Leader, Moorabbin Kingston/Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader, Mordialloc Chelsea Leader, Moreland Leader, Mornington Peninsula Leader, Northcote Leader, Preston Leader, Progress Leader, Stonnington Leader, Sunbury/Macedon Ranges Leader, Waverley/Oakleigh Monash Leader, Whitehorse Leader, Whittlesea Leader, Wyndham Leader
    Queensland: The Courier-Mail, QWeekend, The Sunday Mail, Brisbane News, Bowen Independent, Burdiken Advocate, Cairns Sun, Gold Coast Bulletin, Gold Coast Sun, Herbert River Express, Home Hill Observer, Innisfail Advocate, Northern Miner, Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette, Tablelander – Atherton, Tablelands Advertiser, The Cairns Post, The Noosa News, Townsville Bulletin, Townsville Sun weekender, Albert & Logan News (Fri), Albert & Logan News (Wed), Caboolture Shire Herald, Caloundra Journal, City News, City North News, City South News, Ipswich News, Logan West Leader, Maroochy Journal, North-West News, Northern Times, Northside Chronicle, Pine Rivers Press/North Lakes Times, Redcliffe and Bayside Herald, South-East Advertiser, South-West News/Springfield News, Southern Star, The Noosa Journal weekender, Westside News, Wynnum Herald, Weekender Essential Sunshine Coast
    Western Australia: Advocate, Canning Times, Comment News, Eastern Reporter, Fremantle-Cockburn Gazette, Guardian Express, Hills-Avon Valley Gazette, Joondalup-Wanneroo Times, Mandurah Coastal / Pinjarra Murray Times, Melville Times, Midland-Kalamunda Reporter, North Coast Times, Southern Gazette, Stirling Times, Weekend-Kwinana Courier
    Weekender, Western Suburbs Weekly
    South Australia : The Advertiser, The Adelaide* magazine, Sunday Mail, Adelaide Matters, City Messenger, City North Messenger, East Torrens Messenger, Eastern Courier Messenger, Guardian Messenger, Hills & Valley Messenger, Leader Messenger, News Review Messenger, Portside Messenger, Southern Times Messenger, Weekly Times Messenger
    Tasmania: The Mercury, The Sunday Tasmanian, Derwent Valley Gazette, Tasmanian Country.
    Northern Territory: Northern Territory News, Sunday Territorian, Centralian Advocate

  28. paul walter

    I still dont entirely trust Shorten after the Adani water issue in QLD or Adani or the enviro itself, but a vote for the government is a vote for insanity.

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