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Labor Votes For Something Most People Agree Is Right; Morrison Gets Bounce In Poll!

Now I have been alive long enough to know that things don’t always make sense. I’m not just talking about politics here. When Joe Jackson sang, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” it certainly struck a chord with me. However, listening to Scott Morrison talk about the “Canberra bubble” I couldn’t help but think that I’d sunk a couple of floors in Dante’s levels of Hell.

When Abbott was elected were fearful and there was some hope when Turnbull replaced him that things would improve. I never thought Turnbull was more principled, just more pragmatic; I used to point out that he’s not taking courageous, “left-wing” stands: he’s going along with what most people think. Republic? According to the polls, that had majority support. Marriage equality? Again, majority support. Action on climate change? Majority support. (Ok, he may not have actually done anything, but he would occasionally argue that it was a good idea and that he was prepared to stand on Abbott’s record.)  It’s when the rest of the party think that mainstream thinking is radical even though it’s what most people believe, that we really have a “Canberra bubble”. When you think that Alan Jones, “The Australian” and “Sky After Dark” have a grip on the pulse and you’d better listen to them, you’ve really lost touch with the rest of the country.

So last week, I found it rather strange that we were given an opinion poll that showed a boost to the government when all that had happened was that Labor had supported Phelps’ Bill on medical treatment for people on Nauru and Manus.

Yes, I get that most people may not have understood the “nuances”.  However, it just seems amazing that so many people would suddenly start to support a government that was looking more and more like a train wreck with each passing day. “We’re reopening Christmas Island because of Labor! We’re not sure exactly who’s going to be sent there, but thanks to Bill Shorten we don’t have money to help with the Townsville floods.” Upon hearing this, we’re asked to believe that a significant number of people forgot about all sorts of things and just went back to supporting the bunch of boofheads, who’ve demonstrated time and again that they have no competence when it comes to… well, just about anything, apart from occasionally framing the debate so that we’re talking about issues of no relevance to the vast majority of Australians.

In the case of asylum seekers, were it not for headlines trumpeting every boat arrival, how many people would have even known the problem existed? Compare it with “illegals” arriving by plane, which is only now starting to get the odd mention in the media. Yet, somehow this meant to be so important that we’ll change our votes because “stronger borders” is the number one issue for Australians.

In the case of franking credits, it’s being framed as taking people’s retirement “savings”. Even if you ignore the fact that some of the case studies had people receiving a larger refund of franking credits than someone on the full pension would get, nobody is having any “savings” taken off them. It simply means that they won’t receive a refund on future income from share dividends. Yes, I know, this is outrageous because some people who’ve worked really hard to ensure that they pay no tax in retirement are now expected to pay tax just because they’re receiving an income that would put them in the middle income earning level if they were still working. As one person at Tim Wilson’s taxpayer-funded outrage sessions put it: “This is a death tax by stealth!”  Yes, we’re expecting people who’ve saved for retirement to use some of that money for their retirement and not to simply build a larger inheritance for the kids. (I know that there are some exceptions, but pensioners are exempt so the number of people who’ll actually struggle and not simply be forced to start drawing down more of their super will be smaller than the number of women in the Liberal Party… Ok, maybe not that small after the election!)

In the case of negative gearing, it only applies to new loans, so any current investors will still get their tax advantages.  Of course, the fear is that it’ll reduce house prices overall. Given that house prices are coming down anyway, this is a legitimate fear for investors who were planning to sell and people who’ve recently bought their own home. However, for most homeowners, while it’s nice to have a more valuable home each year, this only helps you financially if you’re planning to sell and buy something cheaper… Whether my house is worth three times, four times or five times what I paid for it doesn’t really affect me now that I’ve been living here for more than fifteen years? Nonetheless, falling house prices could contribute to a slowing of the economy and… Oh, wait! They’re already falling. What plans do the Liberals have for any fallout? Oh, a contractionary Budget SURPLUS! Ah austerity, the perfect thing for a looming recession.

And energy prices! ABC radio led with a story yesterday about the Coalition’s plan for lowering energy prices. It was headline news. Yes, energy prices are really, really important and it’s only the Coalition that have a plan to bring them down. In fact, they have several plans to bring them down. First, there was the axing of the carbon “tax”, which saved us all $500 a year apparently. Then there was the National Energy Guarantee, which was dropped because it didn’t do enough to prevent clean energy. It was followed by NEG 2, which was sort of lost in the Canberra bubble. That was followed by some sort of commitment to come up with something at some future date, AND… Drum roll please, that day is now here. We have a new, new plan which will be implemented after the election, but you can trust us on energy because we’re agnostic. The new plan concerns “standing offers” and seems a wee bit socialist to me, but that’s ok because it won’t happen till after the election and then energy prices won’t be so urgent so it probably won’t happen because it’ll be more important to build that new coal-fired power station to use the coal that China won’t take.

I could go on. Free speech and 18C, leadership tensions, quotas… but then I’d just sound like I was in the Canberra bubble. So instead I’ll speculate on the Newspoll tomorrow. I predict that it will be interpreted as a great result for Scott Morrison even if it is moving closer to being the hundredth losing Newspoll for the Liberals. (Yes, we’ve still got a way to go, but I have faith that Scott will go a long way towards getting them there.) After all, we’ve had the Cormann affair, Cash refusing to talk to the AFP, Paladin and other things that all make it hard for the Liberals to actually win one. In those circumstances, it’s amazing that Morrison is still doing so well. And the boats, we hardly mentioned the boats this week. This, we’ll be told, will be a close election.


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  1. Baby Jewels

    One thing the Liberals do very well, is lie about, twist and divert from the facts of a matter and Labor seem powerless to do anything about it. They also come up squeaky clean every time they create an utter balls-up, and waste millions, even hundreds of millions. The slow-eyed gullible conveniently forget the waste and the balls-ups because Labor sits on its hands and does nothing. I’m sick of the lot of them. Labor needs to demand more airtime and start pointing out the bleeding obvious. This government is a shambles, they never get anything right, they’re ripping the people off blind, they’re propping up themselves, their mates and the wealthy while throwing the vulnerable to the wolves. I’d say there’s plenty of fodder for the Opposition, surely?

  2. Wayne Turner

    This alleged government are serial liars, and a complete mess. Labor needs to stop the GUTLESS approach.

    “Labor needs to demand more airtime and start pointing out the bleeding obvious.” – Totally agree. From what I have seen. Labor are too GUTLESS to do it. When a media hack LIES and INSULTS Labor. The Labor pollie tends to go the weak meek, and suck up to said hack. This in turn gets Labor no where, making the Labor pollie look like a total wimp, and the hack continues with the CRAP. Labor needs GUTS.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Almost 60% of voters support the recently passed medevac bill to more easily get critically ill people access to medical care, a new poll has revealed.

    The poll, conducted on Thursday, also found majority support in the electorates of both Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott, and overwhelming support among undecided voters.

    Overall 40.3% said they strongly supported, 19.4% supported the passing of the bill and 3.4% had not decided. Support was higher among women and older people.

    Across party lines the bill had the support of 90.4% of Labor voters and 94.2% of Greens voters, and just over a quarter of Coalition voters.

    One Nation voters and those aged 18 to 34 most strongly opposed the bill.


    That result from young people really worries me. I can only assume that the only young people who agreed to answer the poll questions were the Young Liberal dilettantes. Why on earth would they object to people getting medical treatment for illnesses caused by our shocking treatment of these people. Forget any argument about strong borders – we are playing with people’s lives.

  4. Harry

    An incisive and acerbic article Rossleigh! I admire your style. And yes, you have nailed the mindless pursuit of a budget surplus as a false goal in itself but particularly so when the economy is showing signs of a downturn.

    Full disclosure: our super has benefited significantly from franking credits but It should be seen as a perversion if the tax system that no other country offers, to the best of my knowledge. Another example of Howard’s dubious legacy!

    As you say, super was intended to fund retirement, not as an inter generational wealth transfer system.

  5. David Stakes

    And Murdoch bouncing the dead cat for all he is worth.

  6. paul walter

    Baby Jewels,
    my feeling is that they (and the Greens) probably have demanded more airtime for quite a while and increasingly been kept out by people who run msm, since the sort of evidence that turned up in Parliament last week involving several issues disrupts the “LNP is good” message they want to have dispersed into an already feeble public consciousness.

    Don’t forget, a very senior old fellow returns offshore this weekend after having his tax bill yet again “franked” by the government to the tune of $882,000,000


    It is a lotta reasons to not want the status quo changed.

  7. Frank Smith

    They have no shame Kronomex. Ms IPA Downer appears to be a very nasty piece of work. Now the parody “Fishnets Downer” has already been claimed so what might be a suitable title for Ms IPA Downer in this modern world of Coalition dirtier than dirty tricks?

  8. RosemaryJ36

    Baby Jewels – Labor APPEARS to be unable to do anything about it because the MSM does not give them any publicity!

  9. blair

    for those calling Labor “gutless”and “demand more airtime”

    While the Media is over 70% owned by Murdoch, Labor will never get to air its policies and achievements in full.
    Only when we fix the media laws so that no one person can own more than, say about, 20% of the total media, will we have proper bipartisan, or perferably NON-partisan discussion in the media.
    I hope this is No. 1 on Labor’s agenda when they win power.

  10. Adrianne Haddow

    An interesting observation when looking at the ‘democratic’ countries which appear to be experiencing an increase in systemic racism, an increase in the rise of right wing fascism, social and wealth inequality, and vast swathes of government crony capitalism and corruption, is the common factor of the Murdoch press.

    Australia, the USA and the UK all appear to be facing social upheavals and political bastardry……. all suffer from a ridiculously large exposure to the Murdoch view of the world.

    Boycott Murdoch propaganda sheets and Foxtel!
    Do democracy a favour and bin, or burn, a News Corpse rag today!

  11. Free Speech

    One of the reasons the US is collapsing now is that Americans think that decay will be stopped by becoming Fascists and Communists.

    Americans think the US will be improved by expanding wars, increasing the debt, and adding more tyranny when the reason the USA is crashing is because the US has wars, is in debt, and has a police state.

    Americans say that they love freedom, but then they turn around and say they need the government to give them free Obamacare, build a wall, protect the US from Yemen, wiretap their phones, arrest people for feeding the homeless, stop farmers from plowing fields, force people to get rid of dogs, ban vaping, and torture suspects.

    Every country has the government it deserves.


  12. Rossleigh

    Well, Newspoll didn’t give the Coalition a bounce so the other poll may have just been a blip as many suspected… Mind you, it is rather strange when a poll that the government lost is being hailed as a “win” by certain media personalities.
    Still, I wonder if there was a headline anywhere along the lines I predicted:

    “So instead I’ll speculate on the Newspoll tomorrow. I predict that it will be interpreted as a great result for Scott Morrison even if it is moving closer to being the hundredth losing Newspoll for the Liberals. (Yes, we’ve still got a way to go, but I have faith that Scott will go a long way towards getting them there.) After all, we’ve had the Cormann affair, Cash refusing to talk to the AFP, Paladin and other things that all make it hard for the Liberals to actually win one. In those circumstances, it’s amazing that Morrison is still doing so well. And the boats, we hardly mentioned the boats this week. This, we’ll be told, will be a close election.


  13. Michael Taylor

    Yes, Rossleigh, all that hoopin’ and hollerin’ was for nothing. And didn’t the media carry on like pork chops?

    This latest poll could have been worse if the media had given suitable coverage to the government’s hideous, corrupt carry-ons.

    If you don’t read blogs, Twitter or Facebook … you’d think the government was wonderful.

  14. Michael Taylor


    Rinse and repeat.

  15. Kronomex

    “Maattee, want to buy some buses? You can pay for them at some stage. Got any spare postions at the AAT?”


    “I love the..urg…gah…environment and something has to be done about…gag…choke…climate change.”


    “Election? There’s an election coming up? Gosh I did not know that. Quick get the carpenter my nose has started growing. Again.”

  16. Matters Not

    Yes Morrison still has a lead over Shorten – but when has that particular statistic ever mattered? Can remember when the Opposition leader was actually preferred (Beazley) in a poll but when it came to an election – it mattered not.

    Parliamentary members vote for leaders but here in Australia, electors don’t get that opportunity. Always comes as a surprise to some voters on election day. Now where is Pauline’s name? Should I give her the big number or the little one? (For example).

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