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LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Neil Prakash was born in Australia, he is an Australian citizen, he is not the citizen of another country and whatever legal advice Peter Dutton claims to have been given, nothing will change those two facts.

Therefore, any attempt by Dutton to strip him of his citizenship would be illegal and frankly, a waste of time. However, when one reads between the blurry lines of political games, one suspects that impediment has not entered Dutton’s mind. Stripping Prakash of his citizenship is not Dutton’s intention.

Don’t be fooled. This sudden burst of strong-man bravado by Peter Dutton is just a warm-up tactic. He is testing the waters. He is trying to find a galvanising issue with which to pursue, in the lead up to the election in, March? April? May?

He is fighting for his political life. Not just is his government facing an electoral wipe-out, his own future in the seat of Dickson is under serious threat. If an election were held today, he would lose it and along with it, his ambitions to lead the country.

So, what we have here, with the attack on Neil Prakash, is an attempt to find something, anything, that can corral the good people of Dickson and convince them to let him keep his job.

Dutton’s games have begun. This is just the first salvo. There will be many more. To the majority of voters, the intention will be crystal clear, but for the people of Dickson, it might not be.

This is an early example of what we can expect to see fired out of the conservative cannons in the coming weeks and months from the Liberal party brains’ trust. They will try anything. Like a cornered animal, they will grab at anything as long as they have breath.

Their desperation to remain in government knows no bounds. That, as it happens, has been their undoing. They exist for one reason and one reason only. To perpetuate their own narcissism.

And do not underestimate the spin that their media friends will apply. Whether it be the economy, immigration, border control or, more likely, something they haven’t yet dreamed up, the desperation they will display will be something to behold.

Bill Shorten will be the focal point of their plans. His perceived lack of popular support is pretty much all they have. Their own lack of popular support, however, will be their downfall. So determined will they be to run a negative campaign, their lack of policy, lack of vision, their hypocrisy, their inept economic management, their pathetic attempts to create decoys that persuade us to look the other way, will ensure that they fail miserably.

Whatever they hurl at Shorten, they overlook the fact that we have witnessed Bill at the helm of the Opposition for over five years now. We know what we are getting. More importantly, we know what we are getting rid of.

Labor are ready. It’s their election to lose. But they will win, not just on policies that have been scrutinised and put to the test, but also their stability, their egalitarianism and their social platform. The question is, by how much?

Historically, their majorities have not been great. Even when Gough Whitlam ended 23 years of conservative rule, they were always vulnerable. Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard all ran it close. That, in some ways has been their Achilles heal. Governing while looking over one’s shoulder is not conducive to getting the balance right.

This time, however, all that might change. Let the games begin.

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31 comments

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  1. Andrew Smith

    LNP should keep on eye on NewsCorp line (not suggesting NewsCorp is influential….), Greg Sheridan on The Drum yesterday was slightly perturbed by Dutton’s action when citing the importance of citizenship, but sole citizens cannot be punished similarly.

    One could ask Dutton et al., if citizenship is so cherished why do we allow several 100k British subjects (with PR) to remain on electoral rolls post ’83 and vote in elections?

    Hardly a ringing endorsement of Australian citizenship rights and responsibilities?

    Nonetheless, one assumes the LNP are toast, but never underestimate the ability of Australians to be taken in by dog whistling, fear and anger to support the reactionary Nativist Conservatives.

  2. Shaun Newman

    This bloke is vermin he should rot in gaol and never get out, and if he ever gets out he should be stateless as far as I am concerned. I understand that Dutton can’t legally remove his citizenship however if that were possible I would be happy to see it done.

    Perhaps adding a charge of treason would have been a better way to go. I don’t mind who gaols him whether it is us or them, as long as he dies in prison.

  3. John Kelly

    Shaun Newman, few would argue with your sentiments, but it’s the politics in play that we need to be wary of.

  4. Pilot

    Whatever scare tactic they come up with, is going to be a bloody beaut. Hopefully the ALP have the munitions ready at hand to counter and snuff out the lies that are coming. And NOT be scared to call the lib mongrels LIARS. Call them out, take them on, stick to their published policies, show the libs up as the LIARs they are, then kick the sh*t out of them at the ballot box.

    I think the WA, Queensland and Victorian electorates have shown that policies beat lies and innuendo any day.

  5. Kronomex

    Il Duttonuci needs Neil Prakash removed because if he fails it will make a little more difficult for him to start putting the frighteners on the people about terrorism and how weak Labor is about protection. Mostly, if it fails, it makes him look like the bloody minded little Himmler he is and shows up his weakness as the strong potato…oops, man he tries to portray.

    Shaun, anything vaguely resembling respect I had for you is now gone! Maybe you should go over there and execute him yourself then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You are the sort of “Australian” that makes me want to be violently ill.

  6. Kaye Lee

    I find it hilarious that the Libs have simultaneously trotted out three recently promoted women to hit the media to tell us how great they are to women. Uh huh….

    Public opinion changes but the Libs are stuck looking at old playbooks for what has worked in the past.

    Young people are disgusted with them for ignoring climate change. They deplore the homophobia and racism. And patting them on the head dismissively and telling them to leave that stuff to the grownups is the worst possible reaction. Young people spread the word on social media.

    The Coalition’s effort over the last five years has exposed them and the cynicism has set in. They are toast.

  7. pamela

    My thoughts exactly John Kelly. Thankyou for clear enunciation. My worry is that like cornered animals, they are desperate and unpredictable. Nothing is beyond the boundaries even if it causes irreparable harm to this country.

    MSM are a worry. many are showing their partisan stripes with all this concern at the dying days of the LNP. What is their effect- I don’t know.

    It seems that LNP have an immunity from media. These raids on Labor Party offices are a question in point. Surely they are more suited to African Dictatorships than a calm democracy but the media seem to ignore it.
    The media also are ignoring LNP corruption, mates contracts and money scandals from which ALP would never escape scrutiny.

    Are Australians stupid in numbers large enough to sink the good ship democracy? Only time will tell.

  8. helvityni

    The Right-wingers do not know what egalitarianism means; they are dividing the population by colour, by education, gender….

    Blue collar/white collar crime has thrived in Oz, now the baddies are to found amongst black and brown folk according to the Coalition…

    As for Prakash he’s an Australian citizen; why lower yourself to his level and call for his head; we have plenty of jails…Don’t fill them up with Aboriginal youths, who might have had few too many drinks or stolen a packet of biscuits…yesterday I was almost knocked off my perch by cheeky Private school boys riding their bikes carelessly on a busy footpath….

  9. totaram

    Pamela: “It seems that LNP have an immunity from media.”

    And do you find it surprising? We have very little media diversity in this country and most of the media outlets are owned by very rich people. The “LNP” looks after the very rich people. What else can we expect?

    I agree with John Kelly. Neil Prakash is irrelevant, except as a means to an end by Peter Dutton.

    But I am in two minds now about what would be a preferable outcome in the coming election. Might it not be better if this cast of proven RWNJs like Dutton, Abbott, Abetz, etc. were returned to Parliament as part of the opposition? It might ensure that they stayed in opposition for another few terms. Just thinking a bit outside the box..

  10. Terence Mills

    Prakash is being used by Dutton as a pawn : the real target is Bill Shorten.

    As mentioned above, even Greg Sheridan a fervent Newscorp supporter of the coalition is perturbed with what Dutton has done on very dodgy advice.

    Dutton is now waiting for Shorten to come out and be critical of this ill thought through decision and as soon as Labor make a move there will be an avalanche of Labor is weak on border protection and terrorism.

    Labor are well advised to keep their powder dry and wait for the real contest.

  11. John Kelly

    Totarum, there’s something to that logic. Some of the dead wood will remain and be displayed as a reminder to the electorate of the LNP’s irrelevance. You are right and the more the merrier.

  12. Matter Not

    Dutton wants Border Protection to be THE debate – all day and every day if he can get it. It doesn’t matter whether his actions are legal or not – or whether Prakash will ever set foot in Australia or not – or whether Prakash will ever go to Fiji or not – or whether, whether, whether.

    His political strategy is that he wants the punters to be discussing, debating, arguing, theorising about the issue he himself created. He’s dominating the political day to day agenda – sucking the air out of other issues. And the MSM and the social media networks are buying it hook, line and sinker.

    Dutton’s won the last few days by a political mile. He must be laughing. It’s also very easy. LOOK OVER THERE!

  13. Kaye Lee

    Yes Dutton has occupied the media but I would hardly call it a success. I remember when Abbott asked for “an announcable a week” on national security. I certainly would not choose Dutton to be the announcer but hey, if they think sending P Duddy and Bananababy out to sell the message is working for them, carry on underturd I say.

  14. David Stakes

    My only worry is that the people will lose their nerve and re elect the LNP. Based on the Mother of all fear campaigns from the LNP and Murdoch press. People do have a habit of voting against their best interests.

  15. Diane

    It’s an LNP tactic also to try and dissuade as many ex-LNP voters as possible from voting for Labor in the upcoming (whenever) election. I’ve already noticed on social media a huge increase in the “All the politicians from both major parties are the same” type comments. My worry is we’ll end up with a parliament full of Pauline Hansons as a result.

    Regardless of what people think of Shorten, I keep trying to drum it into people that you need to look at the team behind the leader – and surely Plibersek, Albanese, Wong etc are superior in every way to Dutton, Freidenberg and Pyne!

  16. New England Cocky

    @Andrew Smith: Agreed. “never underestimate the ability of Australians to be taken in by dog whistling.”

    Remember the 1991 “Children Overboard” lies that the MSM blazed across the screens and front pages?? After the LNP won office they freely admitted that it was all a lie, or “Fake News” in Trumpery parlance.

    The only way that the RAbbott Turdball Morriscum LNP misgovernment will be removed from office is by Australian voters giving first preferences to “Anyone but the NLP”.

    @MN: “Keep your name before the voters and you will harvest the votes” – Old New England political saying.

  17. Andrew Smith

    Matter Not, you nailed it there, but the political strategy is neither original for Dutton nor Australia.

    In the US from over a decade ago, John Tanton (passed away recently, was on fossil fuel sponsored ZPG with Paul Ehrlich, his network is key influencer of Trump and GOP, and same elsewhere in Anglo sphere i.e. selected MPs/policy, Sustainable Australia, Population Matters UK and Migration Watch UK) stated a key objective was to get people or voters talking (obsessing) about ‘immigration’ (and related issues, negatively).

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/john-tanton

    The Cafe con leche Republicans, knew all about Tanton, had been warning that such a strategy could mean blow back down the line as demographics and attitudes change; not dissimilar to the ‘success’ of LNP dog whistling before Victorian election. However, it’s not just a strategy but a strongly Nativist ideology (Tanton admired the white Australia policy).

    There are interesting details, similar to what we observe in Australia, outlined in what were known as the ‘Tanton Memos’ by Cafe con leche Republicans republished by Open Borders:

    https://openborders.info/blog/tag/cafe-con-leche-republicans/

  18. Kaye Lee

    If the rumours about Bananababy expecting another child are true, that will bring his philandering back into the spotlight.

    The UK press seem to think it’s true and what’s more they think he is ready to make a comeback….

    “Mr Joyce, who currently sits on the backbench, is rumoured to be preparing for a political comeback amid the demise of Nationals leader Michael McCormack.

    Mr McCormack has reportedly lost support from colleagues following the ‘sugar babe’ scandal and revelations he knew about the incident before the story broke.”

    How would another leadership change go down?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6537833/Barnaby-Joyce-Vikki-Campion-rumoured-expecting-child-2019.html

  19. Zathras

    Scapegoating people – especially foreigners – is straight out of the Liberal Party playbook, from the Tampa incident through to Muhamed Haneef and various others since. It’s just another dog-whistle to the Reich Wing and a bit of gratuitous posturing over implied threats.

    The problem with Dutton’s ill-informed running-off-at-the-mouth about Prakash is the confusion is could create about citizenship generally.

    For example, like Prakash, I was born in Australia but to European immigrants who were not naturalised at the time. I’ve never applied for citizenship to any country and consider myself Australian.
    Since then I have voted in elections and been issued with an Australian Passport but now I’m wondering about my own citizenship status.

    If I’m possibly not really an Australian citizen due to some vague technicality, what then of my children and grandchildren? Could they face deportation under the hand of some future crazed zealot?
    According to Dutton, the same threat to Prakash would automatically apply to countless others.

    Why is the media so narrowly focussed on a specific individual and not considering “the Big Picture”?

    If voters are so concerned about such matters it would have shown up sometime during the last 60+ polls.

    Dutton is emulating the hit-and-run style of Trump tweets and without consequence. He should be called out on this one.

  20. Carol Taylor

    This election is going to be a difficult one for Labor. We have an electorate sick of the stagnation of the Liberal years, yet try doing anything remotely progressive. Remember the enthusiasm which greeted the replacement of Abbott with Turnbull, only for Turnbull to end up with the well deserved nickname of FIZZA. In spite of this, almost 100% of the MSM was right behind Turnbull begging the electorate to give him another chance to prove his progressive credentials. Of course once he did make even the slightest bleat of anything resembling progressive, then his party duly rolled him.

    But back to Labor. What does Labor do when it’s an absolute guarantee that the MSM will dutifully spread (resplendent with front page cartoon) every scare and misrepresentation that LNP can muster? Think of Labor and negative gearing – it’s grandfathered, it’s retained for new homes which will stimulate the economy via construction – yet the MSM has allowed various Liberal politicians open slather. Yes an article might appear here and there in support of Labor but the big headlines go to the Liberal politicians and their scare campaigns.

    The MSM keeps flogging it that Bill Shorten is unpopular. And why is he unpopular? It’s because the MSM keeps telling us he is! Next moment you have even good lefties saying: ah yes, Bill…but he’s unpopular. If Labor supporters do nothing else, PLEASE stop repeating LNP talking points. Imagine the difference if Bill Shorten received the same warm and fussy attention as did Liberal politicians. Perhaps he needs to jump off the back of a boat!

  21. Diannaart

    Carol

    I love the way you think.

    In spite of what a certain member of Labor says about me on Twitter, I want Labor to win. I want them to win with a majority that will kick the LNP back into the 19th century where they belong.

    I want Labor to govern for Australia, which means long term vision towards a sustainable and prosperous community – ‘prosperity and sustainable’ do work together extremely well. Much better than exploitation and fracking the country into the Stone Age.

    We need win/win, not the ‘we win, you lose’ ideology of greed.

  22. Michael Taylor

    I love the way she thinks too, Dianna. 😀

  23. Kaye Lee

    Carol.

    They have been trying the KillBill strategy for five years. It ain’t working. Bill ran a good campaign last time and I am confident that he and the team will do even better this time if they don’t allow themselves to be distracted.

  24. Matters Not

    KL at 1:31 pm. at this stage we don’t know the outcomes or intentions of Dutton’s gambits – and possibly never will. Thus we can only speculate. Maybe Dutton’s seem some polling that suggests the need to save the political furniture and his efforts are designed to shore up the base to do just that.

    Re:

    certainly would not choose Dutton to be the announcer

    Seems to me that there’s some implied assumptions. First, that Dutton was chosen as part of some overall strategy and not simply a one off tactic of his own making. I’ve seen no evidence that there is a master plan or strategy of any coherence. Second, that Dutton is controllable. I think it’s worth remembering that Dutton still commands a sizeable faction (sometimes known as the monkey pod) and he has never been slow to take the initiative, given his enormous belief in his own political acumen as evidenced by his recent remarks re Turnbull.

    Making reliable political commentary usually means we have to put aside our own attitudes, values and beliefs and try to walk in the shoes of the other. At least that’s what I try to do.

    Andrew Smith, thanks for those links. Very informative.

  25. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, that’s one of the LNP’s problems, that when Shorten is given a chance that the public likes what they see. The last election proved precisely that. The LNP will be putting extreme pressure on the MSM to minimise every opportunity for Shorten to show himself as the leader he is. I agree, Labor (including supporters) will need to show the same discipline that Shorten himself shows.

  26. Kaye Lee

    If Dutton has gone rogue, all the better. He can join Abbott and Kelly and others in the destruction. If you are asking me to understand the workings of his mind, sorry….that is beyond me.

    Carol, their policies are infinitely better. Then again, so were Gillard’s. But I think the Coalition have fired all their shots. We’ve heard all the union bashing crap. We’ve heard the “too scared to go out to dinner” crap. They have nothing new to say. They will say we have delivered a surplus but the fact is they won’t, just another promise of one. I don’t see that they have anything left to work with. Tax cuts won’t be enough IMO.

  27. helvityni

    Carol Taylor,that’s what I have been saying for awhile now, let’s not join in Bill bashing if we want to get rid of the Coalition Government…

    Let’s not demand him to show all his cards before election, or the Libs will take his policies and run with them….

    Thank you, Michael, for telling us why you vote Labor…That’s positive role-modelling… Smile.

  28. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    The strength of the Labor Party is that they actually have policies in stark contrast with the policy-free space that is the Coalition. Announce away I say. Leave the Coalition scrambling in their wake. No point hiding your homework now. Leave Katter and Hanson and Bernardi to jostle for the gutter vote with the Coalition. Bill needs to secure the progressive vote and swing the centre voters his way. He can’t do that by being quiet.

  29. Stephengb

    Spot on the money Carol

  30. Kronomex

    Screw giving more funding to bloody Sports!

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-04/more-funding-needed-to-maintain-australian-sporting-reputation/10686406

    There are far more important and urgent areas (let’s see…ah…unemployment benefits springs to mind very easily) for the cash to be spent rather than whinging about our effing “nation’s global sporting reputation”! Let Mr Wylie and Mr Carroll take a 50% cut from their, no doubt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, salaries and put that back into into the general funding for Sports Australia. Wankers!

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