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Liberals know they’re losing the argument

You can always tell when someone is losing an argument because they start shouting over their opponent, getting shriller and often more sensationalised, immature and, well, obvious in their losing position. These quotes from Morrison’s press conference today display such behaviour:

‘War on business’. ‘Using taxes as their bullets’. ‘Declare war on growth in our economy’. ‘Toxic taxes’. ‘…chosen weapons in his war against business and his war on growth’.

Class War

Of course I don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes of the Turnbull election campaign. But I can guess. Judging by the ramping up of the class-war rhetoric displayed in this clunky over-reach example, I predict there is a mixture of panic and on-the-run strategizing going on because the old tricks are failing.

I think the Liberals are scrambling for something tougher, harder, with more cut through because the old-reliable lines aren’t working. Perhaps I give them too much credit, and perhaps their class-war language is just a coincidence. However, I’m guessing Turnbull’s Liberals have been spooked by Labor’s positive campaign, and the positive impact this campaign is having on Labor’s popularity in the polls, and they’re scrambling to stem the tide. I think the Liberals have worked out they’re losing the argument.

Just to recap, the two ex-stalwart lines which aren’t working are:

  • A focus on national security through bashing boat people. The Liberals jumped the shark by trying to tie the arrival of asylum seekers to Australia’s economic problems – epitomised by the community’s aghast reaction at Dutton saying boat people will simultaneously steal jobs and languish on the dole. This strategy no longer works because the ‘asylum seeker’ frame has been extended to ‘immigrants’ and we are a country of immigrants, many of whom are incredibly proud of arriving in this country with little English and nothing more than determination to succeed, and don’t appreciate Dutton stamping on their achievements by implying they leaned their way to prosperity. The dog whistle is broken.
  • A reliance on the idea that a Liberal government manages the economy better than a Labor government so even if you don’t like Liberal’s social policies, you’ll still back Liberals because the economy comes first. Shorten is slowly yet surely breaking this narrative through his newfound determination to remind everyone that you can’t have economic growth without a strong community underpinning economic demand. I wrote about this last week, but in a nutshell, without government investment in education, health, wage defence, environmental protection, a proper social safety net, infrastructure such as the NBN and public transport and so on, the economy doesn’t have a foundation on which to grow. It seems like Australia is waking up to this idea, helped on by the failure of trickle-down economics to provide any benefit to anyone except the top 1% and the understanding that a tax-cut for companies at the expense of social investment is hindering, not helping the economy. Amen to that!

In having discovered neither of their two key-election-winning-pillars working, like superheroes who’ve lost their super-powers, the Liberals are in desperate search for a new strategy. Because they’ve been left with nothing. At the very same time, neoliberalism has been declared dead, or at least slowly bleeding to death. So you can see why the Liberals have reached panic-station point and are wishing they’d never called a double-dissolution election in the first place. Diddums.

In the leaders’ debate on Sunday night, Turnbull’s most used word was ‘Labor’. The thing the Prime Minister wanted to talk most about was the Labor opposition. This decisively proves Labor is setting the agenda this election and the Liberal’s panic decisively proves they have worked this out.

The Liberal’s response to this panic has shown they don’t have the innovative, agile culture Turnbull likes to claim they do and so rather than come up with anything new, they’ve fallen back onto their oldest strategy: demonising Labor and screaming CLASS WAR! CLASS WAR! CLASS WAR!

There’s a major flaw in this plan which no doubt, due to the panic and the lack of other ideas, hasn’t been considered: the cries of class war play right into Labor’s hands. Shorten can calmly, and even smugly if he likes, say ‘yes, you’re right. There is a class war. Your company tax breaks have proved which side you’re on. And everyone else is now fighting back. This election is our chance to put an end to unsustainable inequality, and instead grow the economy for everyone’s benefit. Who’s with me?’ Bam.

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36 comments

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  1. flohri1754

    Well put, very well put.

  2. Jack Russell

    If both parties had decent, sustainable, ethical social policies intelligently integrated with equitably correct economic policies then it WOULD come down to a choice – but they clearly and obviously DON’T.

    The Liberal coalition have deliberate and malicious policies designed to siphon off the wealth of this country as rapidly as possible and sequester it for their own private purposes.

    The Labor party have decent, sustainable, ethical social policies intelligently integrated with equitably correct economic policies that distribute this country’s wealth fairly amongst the people.

    There is one, and ONLY one, clear choice to be made for this election.

  3. David1

    Thanks Victoria, I rely on your good self and others here and other Social Media to keep up with the mouthings of the gross ignorant Morrison. I can no longer look or listen to his abusive bullying demeanor, which insults ones intelligence.

  4. diannaart

    Riiiiiiiight.

    Bill Shorten will invest $100 million into developing sustainable industries…. but….

    A number of Labor MPs and candidates have signed a petition calling for the diesel fuel rebate for mining companies to be restricted.

    It costs the federal budget around $2 billion a year but Mr Shorten said it’s here to stay.

    He said he’s not too worried about dissent within the ranks: “I lead our party, and I won’t have some sort of giant witch hunt that every individual has to agree with me. But the truth of the matter is when it comes to diesel fuel rebate, our policy is the one I just articulated.”

    Mr Shorten today announced a Labor government would spend $100 million to help communities develop renewable projects like wind farms and rooftop solar panels.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-01/five-things-that-happened-on-the-campaign-trail-today/7468300

    Otherwise I am sure that Labor is the only way to go…..

  5. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Morrison scares me. He truly does. I’m hoping that this period as Treasurer will make people realise his incompetence. He is the latest in a conga line of useless Liberal treasurers/shadow treasurers.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “All up, Morrison used the word “war” 14 times.

    By contrast, Winston Churchill used the w-word a measly nine times in his famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech. Neville Chamberlain barely bothered in his 1939 declaration of war on Germany, using it just four times.

    With a month still left until the nation votes, one can only imagine what militaristic metaphors await us if the polls remain tight.

    British author Joe Abercrombie could well have been referring to election campaigning when he wrote: “Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/tax-as-their-bullets-scott-morrisons-extraordinary-war-attack-on-labor-20160602-gp9sh7.html

    His line about the “the politics and ideology of envy” takes real chutzpah when you are cutting family benefits, pensions and the schoolkids bonus while also cutting tax rates for people on more than $180,000 and companies with a turnover of $10 million. Is Scott envious of people on transition to retirement payments?

    What an angry little ant he is!

  7. jimhaz

    “Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.”

    As I posted on the SMH earlier, that quote if from a book called “The Last Argument of Kings”. Which I sure do hope is apt.

    I also quipped

    The only Morrison media performance I think I could stand watching would be if he spoke in tongues, while Morris dancing.

    Would make about the same amount of sense and sensibility.

  8. amarkone

    Besides the bleeding obvious that these Liberals are clueless, there is an old adage used by the legal fraternity and it goes like this “Me thinks ye protests too loudly”. All around the world legal beagles use this to understand that the loud mouth is covering up his/her guilt. Ain’t that the truth in this case. Morrison – guilty, Mikalea Cash (AKA The Bullock whisperer) – guilty, so on and so on.

  9. jim

    Hey a great read and spot on also, I’ve submitted this before as I have a family member commit suicide and it never ever leaves you with the question WHY?…..quote,….Richard Taylor and his team in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney found similar trends over the past century in New South Wales. When Right-wing governments were in power, men were 17 per cent more likely and women 40 per cent more likely to commit suicide………https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2817-right-wing-governments-increase-suicide-rates/

    Just another one of the many reasons to vote this LNP out.

  10. roddy666

    Been saying the exact same thing for ages. Their election campaign seems to go like this: “Labor Labor Labor (insert empty 3 word slogan), Labor Labor Labor, fearmongering, Labor Labor, (insert another empty slogan), Labor, (awkward hi-vis vest wearing), Labor Labor Labor. The end.”
    No ideas, no policies, no achievements. They belong in opposition.

  11. David1

    Fury within has been building after learning of the war and bullets slogans from Morrison and repeated like a damn parrot by Turnbull. Even more so on the day the remains of 33 Australians buried in overseas military cemeteries arrive in Sydney

    Thankfully Chris Bowen was quick to express horror at such expressions made and particularly in such circumstances, with no thoughts for families and loved ones of the fallen. I heard the President of the RSL also attack the disgraceful use of the slogans. I doubt we will hear an apology from the perpetrators. It’s not in their DNA to express such human feelings as sorrow. Evil creatures, I have run out of words to describe them, my cup is empty 🙁

  12. John Kelly

    The louder they shout, the less they believe what they say.

  13. derek strong

    The LNP have never been super heroes….

  14. you can't be serious

    The Liberal Party loves a good pretend war and the fear and the retreat to conservatism by the population they hope the threat precipitates
    At least that is the theory according to Goering
    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
    Tried and true tactic.
    Are the plebs gullible enough to fall for it?
    Maybe.

  15. 2353

    It is a bugger when the same old tricks don’t work any more – isn’t it?

  16. Salstarat

    Every time I see the screaming, hysterical, bible thumping hypocrite, Morrison, spewing out his contemptuous lies on the tellie, I am tempted to put my foot through the screen. However, I take the more sensible option of just reaching for the REMOTE and switching it to any other channel that doesn’t show the ugly face of this megalomaniacal lunatic. The illogical, rampant hate written all over the face of this callously inhumane psychopath reveals Morrison to be a person who KNOWS he is nationally and internationally despised and condemned. He pretends he doesn’t care but it must be demoralising knowing that you are one of the most hated politicians in the country! MorriScum is LOSING the battle of credibility; screaming and shouting over anybody and everybody trying to interview or challenge his skewed neoliberal view of the world. Clearly, Morrison is completely incapable of logical debate and, like the rest of the moronic degenerates in the LNP, spewing out even MORE (yawn!) boring, transparently stupid and gormless three word slogans that nobody with an IQ over 9 believes! In fact, this monstrous aberration appears completely unhinged and he is getting more and more deranged as the days go by. Morrison, Dutton, Abetz, Kevin Andrews and the nauseating Cory Bernardi are about as un-Christian as you can get and the fact that they hide their demonic callous savagery behind a bogus veil of religious fervour, makes them even more vile. The LNP are overflowing with such truly awful people who are now completely out of control … the longer the pre-election campaign lasts, the worse their behaviour and now they are revealing, in all its horror, just how depraved they really are. Whilst all this is going on, you have Malcolm in the Middle getting more and more muddled as the clock ticks on. Watching these heartless, catastrophic sociopaths implode will bring joy to the hearts of many Australians right before the LNP get their sorry arses kicked to the kerb (we hope)!

  17. Mark Needham

    Where are the Good down to earth pig farmers, when we need one.
    Mark Needham
    PS. It really is amazing, how we believe that we are different than they, but are in fact mirror image clones.
    Not just a simple desire, but a firm belief, that we are true, sincere and Right. There is no error, we are right!

  18. Wun Farlung

    I wonder how Morrison’s bullshit aligns with his Christian beliefs
    When my young and purified soul was under the guidance of the Sisters of The Good Samaritan Order, it was a sin to lie and/or deceive.
    Maybe the Pentecostal pretenders aren’t afraid of the eternal thirst of hell.

  19. David1

    @Salstarat well said…you put it beautifully and far more measured and controlled than I could have managed, nice letting off steam, cheers

  20. diannaart

    I have learned that no-one appears concerned that Bill Shorten will happily continue the $2 billion subsidy to mining, while offering only $100 million to communities investment in renewables.

    I’m still voting Labor for lower house, but this may well be the first time in a long time and the only time if Labor still places big business first.

    While I realise that the LNP place anything of community benefit last, if they think of the long term at all, Labor really needs to get a grip – or is Bill telling a non-core to avoid pre-election outrage by the right within the Labor party?

    Is Bill Shorten prepared to renege on his pre-election promise to continue rebating diesel?

  21. David1

    Electioneering is part about tactics, some things are best not fully disclosed until the victory is secure. For the LNP one is the Subs and the real story. For labor diannaart may be partly on to it. However I doubt we have heard the last of Labors intentions re mining. As Sinatra was want to say…the best is yet to come!!

  22. diannaart

    @David1

    I do hope you are right – even allowing for diesel rebates for farmer’s, $2 billion compared to $100 million is not a good look.

    Also looking for some balance in discussion of Labor regarding Labor by supporters is all.

    Too many prefer to diss other progressives – looking at recently closed discussion “Day 2 Day politics – Slipper’s life was destroyed…” due to a few Labor rusteds not willing to accept ANY criticism of their chosen party.

    No single party is the answer, is perfect or even remotely ideal.

    I am predicting a hung senate, maybe even a hung lower house, whichever of the mighty duo wins the 2016 election – LNP or Labor are going to have to negotiate deals with others.

    Get used to it.

  23. jimhaz

    [Where are the Good down to earth pig farmers, when we need one]

    I’m now uncertain about whether Keating was good or bad. Dr Venturini’s next article an facsicm might help. I sort of adore Keating’s intelligence and hope it is yet another case of being “Originally fine as his initiatives were moderate and necessary, but as is the case for most human trends it has since been taken too far”.

  24. David1

    diannaart..you were going great guns however your final words,”Get used too it” again highlights your aggressive style of commenting. I tried to be pleasant…however so be it.

  25. diannaart

    Get used ‘to’ it… not ‘too’ it. 😉

    I am not remotely aggressive – Australia, like many OECD countries are favouring independents and smaller parties. Labor (and gawd ‘elp us the LNP) are going to have to learn the fine arts of negotiation and compromise.

    Aggressive is the name calling – stating the truth is not.

    I am straight forward, honest – even very pleasant most of the time. So nice try, David1, all you have revealed is that you are not paying enough attention to what is happening here – there is burgeoning support for alternatives to the LNP and Labor. If you believe pointing out this basic fact is aggressive….

    Well, I’m not giving up …. we, as a species need to grow up and cooperate.

  26. David1

    jeez what are you on di?

  27. cornlegend

    diannaart

    “looking at recently closed discussion “Day 2 Day politics – Slipper’s life was destroyed…” due to a few Labor rusteds not willing to accept ANY criticism of their chosen party.:

    You are totaly wrong in your assumption as to why the discussion was closed .
    Let me assure you it had absolutely nothing to do with “due to a few Labor rusteds not willing to accept ANY criticism of their chosen party.”

  28. Backyard Bob

    It’s scary how much money the Libs have for electioneering. In my sweetheart’s electorate the sitting Lib member has signs up everywhere. The Labor candidate can barely afford them. The poor Greens don’t seem to have a single one anywhere. This strikes me as a meaningful problem with no easy and obvious solution. Damn.

  29. wam

    turnball et al are of the whatever it takes tribe. They know the market can barely learn more than
    ‘start the boats and stop the economy’.

    Not only have Diludbranatali stopped the women in 2016 but by the sound of sarah on the wireless, the loony pragmatic boys have cut her and the rest of the women adrift.

    Labor is hooked by X, a selfcentred conman in charge of wowsers in SA. He has two pensions, at least 12 houses and has increased his wage through committee after committee after committee. He and the loonies will get elected by a voting system designed by turnball to avoid dealing with minorities. Wow what a turn around!(anyone remember why above the line was introduced?).
    A system complicating the voting supported by minorities to ensure they are the balance. When SHY drop out, X will collect his pension and move on.with a reward from the winner to keep any little x senators on track.
    As certain the the eels can or can’t win at will, the senate will not be turnball controlled. Makes a mockery of principles by the boys and X????

    Any takers that labor will fight back over the economy and the outrageous borrowing and spending of the libs?
    Are laborites comfortable with losing medicare and the various disparate descriptioned schemes of the libs who still are not ready for government after 3 years and billions of dollars.
    Perhaps they remember Ali in Africa absorb the punches till the last week then beat the living turds out of morrison, cash et al.
    there is still time to get a little speil about the libs for us dummies to use at the bbqs and school functions.

  30. Matters Not

    has increased his wage through committee after committee after committee

    Yep! But people have no idea as to how this ‘scam’ works. And the extent of same.

    It’s all tied up with the allowances and entitlements. It’s the ‘rationale’ employed by Bishop (both older and younger) on any number of occasions.

    (But don’t tell anyone.)

  31. Sam

    Am I the only one a little bit worried that Labor gets in but has to deal with a hung parliment and the Libs being able to spin that into a landslide victory ala Gillard to Abbott?

    Don’t get me wrong, Gillard did a good job but we all saw how everything ended up and I’d prefer not to have another Liberal landslide in 2019.

  32. Matters Not

    In my sweetheart’s electorate the sitting Lib member has signs up everywhere

    No idea where your ‘sweetheart’ lives, or who he or she might be, but I do notice the egregious number of signs that a certain Luke Howarth posts across the electorate of Petrie. Smells of desperation writ large. And for very good reasons.

    That Luke sits behind Turnbull in QT and ‘nods’ as required and also has lots and lots of signs will not help him to be other than a ‘blip’ on the historical record. I have it on very good authority that the election of Luke caused Thomas Petrie to roll in his grave. Or so the Aborigines say.

    And as you would know, Aborigines knew quite a bit about Petrie and his nine children. And he about them.

  33. Backyard Bob

    MN,

    No idea where your ‘sweetheart’ lives, or who he or she might be, but I do notice the egregious number of signs that a certain Luke Howarth posts across the electorate of Petrie.

    Ah yes, Luke in Petrie. Your powers of surmise serve you well. Luckily the margin is very slim. And now that the rail thing has been cocked up, who knows how/who that will impact. But yeah, signs everywhere.

  34. Matters Not

    ByB, it’s not as though he’s a ‘pretty face’ and when it comes to Press Conferences he’s never afforded the opportunity to speak. And for very good reasons.

    Put simply, he’s a dud. And it looks like the LNP have given up on him.

    Perhaps they will dis-endorse Luke and nominate a ‘sign’ instead. Probably the ‘sign’ is the better option or maybe the best option.

    Swan looks safe. But the real prize would be Dutton. Working on it.

  35. diannaart

    Cornlegend

    I apologise for my mistake.

    My bad.

    As for my comment about “Labor rusteds”, I was referring to some very rude comments made by a particular commentator who has a history of dissing other lefties – I thought that Michael had closed the thread because of this one commentator.

    I, along with many other progressives who wish to see a concerted campaign against the LNP, get very fed up with the denigration of the Greens.

    I am not a member of the Greens, although I will be preferencing them for the senate.

    I am not a member of Labor, although I will be voting for them for the House of Representatives.

    I, again apologise for my mistake for the reason the Day to Day thread had closed.

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