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Malcolm Has A Plan

Some people have unkindly suggested that the Liberals new slogan “Jobs and Growth” is directly borrowed from their old pre-Turnbull slogan which was “Jobs and Growth”. However, this overlooks the fact that Malcolm assured us that he doesn’t do slogans, after his accidental foray into slogan terroritory when he happened to use the phrase “continuity and change” which was the same as the slogan used in the satirical “VEEP”.

This was unfortunate because neither Malcolm nor the Liberals intended “continuity and change” to be a slogan. Not because of “VEEP” but because it’s an oxymoron, and also because it gave Labor a free kick where they could suggest that the continuity is the Liberals support of the big end of town, while the only change was what’s left in your pockets after Scott Morrison takes away all your notes.

No, “Jobs and Growth” isn’t a slogan. It’s what they have a PLAN for. As has been pointed out many times, they seem pretty reluctant to tell us exactly what this plan is. Ok, I know they’ve said that their plan is to get the economy growing again by sound economic management which will take care of the growth aspect which will, in turn, lead to jobs, but that’s a bit like me saying that my plan to become independently wealthy is by making lots of investments where I make more money than I put in. It’s not a bad plan per se, it’s just that it probably needs a little bit more fleshing out before I ask each of you to trust me with $1000 so I can invest it for you… (Mm, that may actually be a better plan. Well, it seems to work for Henry Kay!) Anyway, the investment idea may be really good if I’m investing it in the stock market after careful research, but if it involves placing money on the faster horses, then I think that you’re wise to keep your $1000. Actually, investing in the faster horses is the best way to make money at the track – it’s just that you often don’t know who the faster horse is until after the race, and due to a terrible flaw in the system nobody will take your bets at this point.

But back to the Liberals. I couldn’t help but notice that a lot was made on the first day of campaigning of Turnbull’s popularity, and I’ll make the point I’ve made many times: In an either/or contest popularity is relative. Would you rather stand knee deep in cow manure or neck deep in horse manure? While most people would rather do neither, I suspect that the knee deep option will be a clear winner until the second option changes.

And speaking of changes, that’s a big part of Turnbull’s popularity. It’s like if you went to the dentist and Dr Abbott announced that – as part of a plan to save money – he wouldn’t be using any anaesthetic, but this is all because of the previous dentists, Rudd and Gillard and so just lie back and relax while he does what needs doing because you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to sit in the chair while your teeth are pulled – some people don’t even get a chair… As for pulling out all your teeth, another saving, it’ll stop you needing to come back later, just put your food in a blender and you’ll find that teeth are obsolete, besides if it was good enough for grandpa…

When Dr Turnbull steps in and says that this is no way to run a surgery, the immediate feeling is one of relief. And a bit of gratitude. God, isn’t this the man who invented dentistry in Australia? However, when he continues to tell you that he’s there for continuity and change, you start to get a bit concerned about which bits are the continiuty and which bits the change. When he says, “innovation”, you immediately hope that it’s not going to be trying to find a better way to pull teeth without an anaesthetic. And when he starts using the same phrases as predecessor about saving money, while telling you that his commitment to recycling is just as strong as ever, it’s just that he doesn’t see any need to any more than Abbott did, then you start to think it’s time to change dentists.

Opposition leaders have rarely been prefered PM. Or Premier. Even when Labor were completely on the nose in Victoria in the early nineties, Kirner was still prefered Premier over Jeff Kennett in the polls. It didn’t stop Labor losing then, just as it didn’t stop Rudd losing to Tony Abbott.

Of course, the Reserve Bank report on negative gearing should slow down the Liberals attack on Labor’s negative gearing proposals. And it would, were it not for the Liberal approach to anything that’s bad news. As Mathias Cormann said last night, we don’t care about reality, we find that just repeating something over and over again is enough for people to become hypnotised and then “jobs and growth”, you’re getting sleepy, we’ve fixed the budget, “jobs and growth” and you will do what we say…

Actually that’s not what he said at all. He merely pointed out that the document was written before Labor’s policy so therefore it had no relevance to Labor’s policy – unlike the BIS Shrapnell report which was an indictment of Labor’s policy even though it was written well before – and besides it was an INTERNAL document. As we know, a report that isn’t released has no validity whatsoever. That’s why so many reports have to be suppressed.

So that was day one. I was going to write about Labor but they just did a lot of boring talk about “putting people first” and the “environment” (whatever that is, I mean it wasn’t in the Budget so how important can it be?) and a discussion about how there was disagreement because not every Labor person thinks that locking people up forever in order to prevent people trying to come here by boat is good move. On that last one, has anyone pointed out that it would be cheaper to bring them all over by plane rather than running Manus and Nauru if stopping deaths at sea was the aim. Sorry that’s the sort of simplistic nonsense that could get me the Republican nomination for President.

Ok, let’s see what day two brings!


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  1. Miserable

    Also don’t forget that this Prime Minister and his cronies wants to turn the state of SA into the USA’s Nuclear Dumping Ground. If you believe for one minute that this will create Australian jobs, think again. This is not the way the USA works! No wonder he was so friendly with Obama a couple of months ago, I knew this was what it was all about. It has finally surfaced what Turnbull’s plans are for SA and Australia. People of Australia, always remember one thing ” The USA never does anything unless there is something in it for them” This must never ever be allowed to happen here in our country! NEVER! Get this out there to all!

  2. Steve Laing

    Yep. Having been a project manager for a number of years, I know what a plan looks like. I suspect this Liberal plan looks something akin to Tony’s fully costed policies before the last election.

    We will never see this plan, because the purpose of such is to allow measurement so one can take appropriate remedial action when you start to stray off it. And the Libs certainly don’t want that. Facts? Shudder at the thought.

    But it does help explain the vacuity of the cabinet members, who are able to repeat the mantras ad infinitum without issue, and are able to do so because they don’t really understand them.

  3. helvityni

    Malcolm has a plan.

    Mal plans to be our elected PM, no Bills or Tonies are going to stand in his way.
    Lucy stands by her man, she has the same plan.

  4. Rossleigh

    Yes, Steve, apparently the ABC’s Fact Check unit had to be shut down because facts were showing a definite bias against the Liberals. There was some thought that they could add balance by having a straight out Incorrect Information Unit, but budget constraints made this impossible.

  5. mark

    son of a hotel broker.mark

  6. David

    They may have a Plan, but they don’t have a Strategy! A Strategy describes HOW they will implement the Plan… In business we use a Development Strategy, or an Investment Strategy, a Harvesting Strategy, or a combination. Implementation is the most difficult part of any planning process. Not to excuse the Liberals, because they allegedly know better, but implementation failure is currently about 80% in IT systems, Mergers and Acquisitions, and new business ventures. Maybe a sense and respond and learn system would be more appropriate in Politics, but this would require more agility than the Liberals seem capable of producing…

  7. Ross in Gippsland

    Government House Canberra.
    Malcolm has a plan.
    Malcolm Turnbull – I have a plan sir.
    General Cosgrove – Really Malcolm? A cunning subtle one
    Malcolm Turnbull – Yes sir.
    General Cosgrove – As cunning as a fox whose just been appointed professor of cunning at
    Oxford University?
    Malcolm Turnbull – Yes sir.
    General Cosgrove – Right then off you go.

  8. jimhaz

    They ain’t finished with the IPA’s plan yet.

  9. guest

    In The Australian today Nick Cater of the Menzies Research Centre says this:

    “…the Liberal Party remains faithful – by and large – to the spirit of the founder, Robert Menzies, who believed no act of parliament could make the country more prosperous.”

    Does that mean that even an act to reduce company tax and boost the GDP by 1% will not work – despite the advice of the Treasury and the RBA?

    Whom are we to believe?

    Turnbull says every thing the Coalition is doing is to increase ‘jobs and growth’ So presumably Turnbull believes that its acts of parliament can increase the prosperity of the country. The Coalition’s acts of parliament so far have made a weaker NBN by supposedly making it cheaper, making education ‘better’ by reducing funding, ignoring renewable energies, paying carbon emitters with taxpayers’ money to do little over time to reduce emissions, dumping science institutes, allowing the debt to increase because the only way they know to reduce debt is to attack the poor in policies which have been rejected as unfair…

    Perhaps Menzies was right to say no act of parliament can make the country more prosperous. Presumably, then, the idea of ‘trickle-down’ economics cannot increase prosperity either – but it sure can reduce prosperity. Some plan!

  10. townsvilleblog

    The Turnbull plan sees the rich continue to get a lot richer, while they kill the poor off early, those who are unable to pay for their own CT scans.

  11. Jaquix

    Enjoyed your article Rossleigh. Also enjoyed Chris Bowen’s Budget Reply speech today at the National Press Club. What a stark contrast to Morrison’s bluff and bluster. And amazingly, he actually answered every question ! Something Morrison is constitutionally unable to do. Also watched a confident, relaxed Bill Shorten up in Townsville. Every question about the Liberals PLAN he answered with a little grin and an excellent answer. Didnt put a foot wrong. Back to plans. Campbell Newman ran a campaign in 2015 on his “plan”, and he repeated it so many time he became the laughing stock of Queensland. Once they start laughing at you, you’re toast. All the polls were similar to the Federal ones at present, except they all predicted the Qld Libs to win by a small majority. In the event, they lost convincingly. Re Malcolm’s popularity, its sliding. The thing to look for is always trends, and his popularity is definitely trending downwards. He is the one most likely to slip up during this long campaign. Bill Shorten and his team have done their homework, that is the difference. The Libs budget seems to be a hodge podge of items plucked from the sky. Only designed to keep them in government. Chris Bowen shot a few holes through it today.

  12. Shogan

    The “Liebral” budget is not a plan, it’s just a list of headlines looking for stories to give some semblance of actually meaning something…As for an election campaign strategy, well I guess when you have something you can’t sell on it’s merits, you have no choice but take the “Chicken Little Path” & hope you gain enough votes to win the election.

    It worked last time, but that was from opposition, this time it is their record, or lack there of, that they will be judged on & when people see not much of value there, out will come the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd attacks, but then they have their own leadership battles of Abbott/Turnbull/?????? sitting in the backroom like a semi-dormant volcano.

    Sure the ALP, as the oldest political party in Australia, might have been having a bit of a midlife crisis during their 2 terms in office between 2007 & 2013, but they were still a functioning government that carried us through the GFC with a Triple A Rating in their first term & passed so much legislation in a hung parliament in their second term & that speaks volumes for their ability to actually do the job.

    Then on the other hand, the LNP had 6 years to put together a plan to not only win government, but to carry Australia forward with a fully funded budget & a positive outlook & all they did was sit around making up 3 word slogans & organising “Ditch the Witch” marches.

    Since gaining government, by the fact Labor lost the election, nothing has really changed in the mindset of the LNP as rather than actually governing they have spent their time trying to besmirch & discredit the Labor Party at any & every opportunity at the cost of a ballooning budget deficit & a complete lack of foresight or direction.

    Over the last 12 months or so the ALP has been leading the public discussion on a way forward for Australia & the LNP has been either treading water or playing catch up when it comes to policies the country expect any modern government to promote & support…maybe, just maybe if enough people have been paying attention & have a good honest look at who is best to lead Australia into the future this problem will be redressed at the upcoming election.

  13. helvityni

    Diannaart, I wish they were building cheap rental properties for the homeless, and not some silly overly expensive submarines…

  14. diannaart


    Maybe people can rent out the subs?

    Too silly for words?

    So is the LNP.

  15. Matthew Oborne

    No one has bothered to look at the innovation program of Turnbulls, when you do you realise it is about tax breaks for investors. so more public money funding the speculation of the rich. Yet not one article calling it out for what it is.

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