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Perhaps it’s the better result in the long run

I hate saying it, but perhaps it was an election Labor should consider themselves fortunate to have lost. And perhaps they should seriously consider not blocking any legislation in the senate. By that, I mean ANY legislation. Let the government hang itself with its own rope.

Far too often the finger has been pointed at Labor as the cause of some failure in outcome resulting from their senate obstruction. It’s a pathetic excuse but given that 51.5% of the electorate (disproportionately represented in Queensland and Western Australia), seems to believe everything the Prime Minister and his cohort of self-indulgent yes-men say, what is there to lose?

There are dark clouds on the horizon, particularly and most notably with regard to the economy. Fifty-one and a half percent of the electorate believe the Coalition are the better economic managers.

Most of this belief stems from the Coalition’s economic performance during the Howard years (2001-2006). On face value, it seemed everything was being managed so well. Net national debt had been eliminated, middle class welfare handouts were rife, all while the Treasurer, Peter Costello was producing surplus budgets.

Could it possibly have gotten any better? Never mind that private debt was soaring as a result. That was the fault of the consumer. The Howard Government were being portrayed as wizards in economic management. How did they do it?

The answer to that is simple. They had truckloads of money to play with, from a mining boom construction phase no one saw coming. No one thought to question the wisdom of spending all that extra cash like drunken sailors. Not until Kevin Rudd came along and said, “this reckless spending must stop.”

Enter Kevin Rudd, the GFC, a sudden downturn in the mining boom windfall and the whole economic outlook took a sharp dive. The only way to save it was to inject billions of dollars into circulation which meant abandoning surplus budgets and going into debt. Wayne Swan did exactly what needed to be done, but politically, he was crucified for it.

The Coalition convinced the electorate that it needed the expertise of those who were at the helm during the Howard years. Enter the Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison era, with one big difference. No mining boom windfall and with it, no bucketload of money, no economic wizardry.

But, after six years and some twisted, bizarre, psychological deception, the Coalition were still able to convince 51.5% of the electorate that, even though public debt had more than doubled and evidence of a tanking economy was already obvious, they were the better choice. It was a replay of 2001, when Kim Beasley was denied the chance of becoming prime minister.

So, here’s the reason Labor should consider itself fortunate it lost. This is the first real test of the Coalition’s economic credentials since the late 1970/early 1980s, when they brought the economy to its knees. Not surprisingly, it was when John Howard was Treasurer.

It happened because the electorate believed they were better on the economic front than Labor, unaware dark clouds were gathering, unaware the coalition was untested, unaware they had no economic expertise. Then, world events took over, particularly with interest rates and John Howard had no idea how to manage them.

Today, the new Morrison government finds itself in exactly the same position as Malcolm Fraser did in 1980. The economy is seriously in decline and our fledgling Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has no idea how to manage it.

Frydenberg confirmed his incompetence when he told a London seminar recently that he would rather produce a budget surplus than arrest a declining economy. That, more than anything else, was grounds to disqualify him from holding the office of Treasurer.

Thus, the next three years will reveal, as world events take control, the great lie that has captivated 51.5% of the electorate concerning the Coalition’s economic credentials.  Frydenberg’s inability to react will consign him to the political scrap heap and Morrison along with him. By 2022, no longer will that outrageous claim be sustainable, even to the most loyal Coalition voter.

So, notwithstanding a likely unemployment rate of 7%, with no capital investment, the mess that an incoming Labor government will have to deal with and an economy they will have to resurrect, it’s perhaps the better result in the long run.

And so, with the 51.5%, who will get far less than they bargained for and the rest of us who will watch it play out as expected, the truth of it will finally be revealed.

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29 comments

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  1. Joseph Carli

    “And so, with the 51.5%, who will get far less than they bargained for and the rest of us who will watch it play out as expected, the truth of it will finally be revealed.”

    John Kelly…You hope!…unfortunately, it is an old maxim that “While truth lays idle, mendacity is busy”….and those plotters and schemers seem to have perfected their skills in wedging Labor whenever they wish..I don’t know who Labor has as political advisers, but I would suggest they return to their previous occupations as used-car salesmen.

    The reason patience and tolerance is one of the lesser used political strategies down through the ages, is that they do not work to anywhere near the requirements needed to overturn disasterous governments…good old-fashioned “sinking in of the boot” seems to get the best and most immediate results…unfortunately, with the soft-cocking of Labor by a feminising of the movement..( that’s : “feminising” in a generic sense..NOT…repeat; NOT..”feministing”) that blanches from direct, physical confrontation, the first task is to radicalise the workforce..and perhapos that point of giving the coalition enough rope may help…where wishin’ an’ hopin’ never will.

  2. Kaye Lee

    It is important to point out that only 41.44% of people voted for the Coalition whereas the combined vote for Labor and the Greens was 43.74%. The two major progressive parties got over 328,200 more votes than the four parties that make up the Coalition.

  3. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Fair go! Old chap, you missed out The Redneck Element in northern TAS!
    Seems to be a war brewing and only one party would be against it;boots and all,
    The Greens.
    So letting Canberra fester is fine but what about the stink of corruption?

  4. whatever

    The Revolution of Rising Inflexions will be brief and it will all end in tears.
    We can only expect more Thatcherism, which is the grifter’s game of making the life of poor people even more miserable by transferring Social Welfare funding into MiddleClass Welfare.
    NSW LNP Govt. is leading the way here, special buses and metro-trains for special people in special electorates. You know, the people who always used to say “But I’m a TAXPAYER!!!” and they can’t really get their heads around the fact that everybody is a freaking taxpayer since the GST.

  5. John O'Callaghan

    I recall the words of Ex PM of Britain Harold McMillian when asked what the biggest danger was for politicians especially leading up to elections,he replied.. “Events dear boy.. Events”

    I believe “events” and hubris will destroy this Government between now and the next election… bet my house on it!

  6. Jack Cade

    John O’Callaghan
    Your theory completely overlooks the penchant for governments of the right, with the aid of the MSM, to fabricate ‘events’.
    Korea.
    Vietnam.
    WMD.
    Tampa.

    Need I go on? When you have a nation which used to be claimed to ride on the sheep’s back showing all the sense and analytical ability of sheep, there is no hope for Australia.
    It was, however, a good election to lose. We are heading for an economic shit storm and the LNP comforted itself that the expected loss would allow them to blame Labor for it.

  7. Yvonne Robertson

    It’s a nice thought though while you counsel pragmatism, the poor and disadvantaged get right royally screwed. This theory also does not take into account the secretive nature of the current crew who call themselves a government and the abysmal failure of the media to hold the government to account – some might say their determination to get this mob voted back in again despite the odds! With the threats made in the first fortnight through raids by the AFP, they’ll be even more reticent than usual to ask questions and file meaningful reports.

    Now we’ll have three bozos standing out like sore thumbs and in charge of our democratic futures – Scottie at home, Donald in his second term and as mind bogglingly a buffoon – soon to be Boris in Britain – there’s no coming back from this manipulation by the oligarchs who have always determined how far democratic progress can go and what length the leash.

    Please don’t counsel we do nothing and let nature take its course. Nature is also being throttled.

  8. Rosemary J36

    I agree, John Kelly. Although, because further down the track, the Coalition will turn round and say “But Labor supported these policies.” I would modify your suggestion and say Labor should express opposition and abstain from voting! Just walk out and say “Stew in your own juice!”

  9. Joseph Carli

    Again with the Machiavelli..: ” . . . the reason is this, that one man cannot live so long that the time will be enough to bring a City back to good habits which for a long time has had evil habits. And if one of very long life or two continuous successors of virtu do not restore it [the state], so one which lacks them (as was said above) is quickly ruined, unless it should be made to be restored through many dangers and much bloodshed. For such corruption and little inclination for a free society result from an inequality that exists in that City; and wanting to bring them to equality, it is necessary to use the most extraordinary means, which few know or want to use, as will be described in more detail in another place.”

  10. Jack Russell

    I’m not hopeful of them being hoisted on their own petard in 2022.

    How much targeted twiddling and tweaking of legislation between now and then will occur, with the specific objectives of protecting their arses, and cementing themselves in place no matter what happens?

    Will there be a 2022 election?

  11. Aortic

    I think it was George Carlin who also said ” all governments deserve two terms. One in government and the other in goal”. Certainly applies both here and in the good old USofA.

  12. Wayne Turner

    If ONLY it was all this simple. With the MSM that are the promotional wing of the COALition,whatever Labor does or doesn’t do the MSM will attack aka Whatever Labor does will always be wrong.As we know plenty of the stupid public will blindly go along with it.

    I mention this for various reasons,such as: If Labor helps pass every bit of bad policy,the MSM will also blame Labor for it’s bad outcomes.In fact the MSM will “highlight” and “blame Labor” for the bad outcomes.Along,with “Labor’s fault when the economy totally tanks”.Sure it’s illogical,a lie and makes no sense.But,then has EVER stopped the MSM.

    Labor should block and refuse to support bad policy.

    What Labor has to do,easier said than done: EVERYTIME they talk to the MSM,call out the MSM LIES and the COALition LIES.Labor has to take the FIGHT UP NON-STOP to the COALition and especially their MSM.If the MSM paints Labor as bullies,liars,etc,etc…who cares,they are going to attack Labor anyway unless they cut a deal with Murdoch,what they are doing or NOT doing now for Labor clearly isn’t working.Labor needs to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

  13. helvityni

    According to hubby, Labor was lucky to lose this election…I tend to agree now that I have seen many shops close down almost daily even in the place that’s regarded pretty affluent…

    George Carlin is one of favourite comedians, wise and funny…pity he is no more…

  14. Wayne Turner

    Don’t worry helvityni with the economy tanking,the COALition and their MSM wil still blame Labor aka “Labor’s fault” – And we will still have a large section of the population,the gullible,non-thinking idiots (Plenty of them),that will blinding go along with this illogicial lying sham.That will be repeated non-stop,and believed by these idiots.

    According to the COALition and their MSM,Labor are the MOST powerful opposition EVER,in fact,so powerful,more powerful than the government with their 6 years and counting…

    Poor fellow my (so dumb) country.

  15. Egalitarian

    It’s amazing with all the Brexit chaos going on in Britain they are still intelligent enough to get on board for a bipartisan outcome on climate change from both political party’s. Meanwhile back in Australia the ignorant ideologues are determined to wreck the joint. Whilst the electrate not only watch them doing it; they vote for them.

  16. Pete Petrass

    Whilst your argument has some merit how could Labor or any other Party just stand by and see the country and people destroyed by the most incompetent government in history? By becoming a YES Party Labor would look even worse in the eyes of voters. Add to that the Murdoch press and Lieberals will continue to blame Labor for everything that goes awry and their voters will continue to believe them.
    It really is a bit of a Catch-22 situation for Labor. I seriously think they need to be way more aggressive in highlighting the failures of this government, call them out on everything, make sure the population knows who is making the decisions and their consequences, make sure they know why their power prices continue to rise. They need to convince everyone they are the better alternative.

  17. ajogrady

    John, have you really thought this through? Not only would the L/NP stenographers masquerading as news journalists in the Main Stream Media blame Labor and it would be back to “better to keep the devil you know”scenario widely used with great effect in the last and previous elections but the Greens would be parading their credentials as being the only credible alternative to both major parties as there it will be for all and sundry to see that Labor voted against the wellbeing of the economy but also that of the people. With friends like the Greens who needs enemies. Labor will be attacked by the L/NP, the MSM, the Greens, the ACTU, economists, welfare groups and basically anyone who wants an opposition to be an opposition. Labor will become friendless when at a time they need to be LOUD AND PROUD and talking up Labor’s far better credentials that are a proven commodity.

  18. Wayne Turner

    “I seriously think they need to be way more aggressive in highlighting the failures of this government, call them out on everything, make sure the population knows who is making the decisions and their consequences, make sure they know why their power prices continue to rise. They need to convince everyone they are the better alternative.” – YES YES YES.

  19. John Lord

    I agree John. All the signs point to a three year horror patch.

  20. Florence Howarth

    Why does Labor have to vote at all? Why not just abstain. State clearly they won’t be voting for any bill they believe to be harmful.

  21. Stephengb

    A number of comments above have counsellors that Labor simply refuse to vote for any Bill that is harmful to the country.

    Yes I agree. But and it’s a big BUT, I fear that in fact Labor are actually “Neoliberal Light”.

  22. Carol Taylor

    I would agree that on the surface of it, this would seem to be an election that Labor should be pleased that it lost. But, and it’s a big but, the LNP and their MSM supporters already have this covered. IF Labor stands by its previous statement that it will support only Stage 1 tax cuts and fails to support the entire package (Stage 3 being heavily skewed to the wealthy), then it’s all going to be “Labor’s fault“ for failing to support the stimulus of tax cuts. The Murdoch media have the headlines already written. Therefore, as the economy goes down the gurgler, it is likely that the Morrison government will emerge squeaky clean. Now IF Labor supports the entire package, then Albanese will risk alienating a good portion of the Left..it’s a wedge and Labor is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.

  23. David Bruce

    When will Labor introduce an ICAC Bill for Federal Parliament? Are they at risk from such legislation? It would certainly have the support of many AIMN readers! Perhaps a private members Bill, or the CEC?

    The current government is unlikely to survive 2020 if events unfold as predicted by economists, astrophysicists and financial experts.

    Gold is now more than AU$ 2,000 per ounce and rising!

  24. wam

    It is a brave call, kelly, to accept the people’s gift of a mandate for their tax policy????

    The positives are a simple variation of the words of kaye who cannot think of labor without the extremists. Her reference could become the greens and labor.

    There is a chance, your strategy will give labor one over the loonies? That will require the ‘recession crisis to be a mini-GFC and the lnp tax cuts strategy working as successfully, as labor’s 2007 effort?

    Nah, don’t listen, Albo, oppose the bastards as loud and as often as you can and don’t let the coalition off either.

  25. John Kelly

    Carol Taylor, I don’t mind Labor upsetting the left. Who will they vote for? Not the LNP. If the left cannot see the long term value in waving tax cuts through, or abstaining, they can spit the dummy but otherwise, there is little they can do to protest anyway. The government will act to protect their precious surplus above all else. That will be counterproductive to the economy. Let them do it and suffer the consequences.

  26. Jennifer Demas

    John Kelly

    It’s not so much as let them hang themselves, it’s more about how they will eviscerate the social fabric and all hard fought gains that held for a civil, equal and fair Australia never to be repaired or regain, Gore Vidal, “The corporate grip on opinion in the US is one of the wonders of the western world. No first world country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity much less dissent” and the rest is history, ever widening social inequality, viscerally angry, prejudiced (creed, other or colour) and divided against each other, disengaged, and disenfranchised from the political sphere and would you believe their journalism/journalists are not half as indentured or bereft of any some tiny bit semblance of journalistic intellectual rigor or integrity as over here.

    Over here, a certain media tsar’s corporate grip on how, what, where and who is absolute, recall how the tsar and moneyed corporation railed against any semblance of a 21st century Australia, NBN FTTP, price on carbon, educating the workforce for the 21st century, better deal for the natural resources, as they put the knife on things that held us together and all the hard fought gains of a fair and equal Australia as any semblance of journalistic intellectual rigor or integrity folded like a snot fill tissue to the edict of the media tsar and corporate grip, it was toxic divisive, exhaustive and fear megaphone ramped to the nth, print screen radio and everywhere anywhere and the voter caved, today no NBN FTTP, no price on carbon, no better deal for the natural resources and no educating the workforce for 21st century, insecure work, working poor etc etc so does anybody really still believe a certain media tsar hoovered up print screen radio everywhere and elsewhere for a fair equal informed people and a strong social fabric really?, come on.

    In closing, so it’s not so much as let them hand themselves, it’s about what’s left the Australia’s social fabric once they done, for as night to follow day they will eviscerate the social fabric as economically reform the punters into working poor, insecure work, take the knife to the social safety-net etc etc as any semblance of any journalistic intellectual rigor or integrity fold like and the snot filled tissue to the edict of the media tsar and moneyed corporations as they did then and will always do, no ifs no buts. If not for ACTU Australia would have been the mirror vision of US, viva ACTU viva and thank you for your valiant effort against the vicious and ferocious onslaught of the media tsar and moneyed corporations and they will not stop and journalism/journalistic bereft of intellectual rigor or integrity. It’s not that hard Australia, please just remember, the banking scandal over years not moths, institutional child sexual abuse, wages theft, working poor, insecure work etc etc as they snookered well and truly Australia out of any semblance of the 21st century, if not for us how about for future generations as past generations and organised labour did for us.

  27. totaram

    John Kelly: The problem I see with waving the tax cuts through is that they can never be reversed. That would mean a severe structural deficit in government revenue. We know that revenue is not required for government spending, but it is useful in allowing the government to spend without risking inflation. And budget deficits will be howled down by the MSM, which is now owned by the oligarchs end-to-end. Labor itself believes in “budget repair”. The result will be higher “austerity” inflicted on the lower socio-economic strata in order to “repair the budget”. Cuts will have to be made to education, health, welfare etc. This does not make for a better society.

    Not that I care too much any more. I even get a few hundred dollars of franking refunds every year. I do not have to sell my shares! I can just step carefully over the homeless when I go out for dinner. If I can just get another decade of old age in good health, I’ll be good to go. And Victoria has passed the assisted dying legislation, so all is well!

  28. Freethinker

    If “Labor upsetting the left” thing that already has done and “Let the government hang itself with its own rope” the consequence will be terrible for the poor, the sick and those in need. The damage will be almost beyond repair.
    If Labor goes to the right, which appears that this is the case it will become a “Liberal Lite” not an option or valid opposition.
    My only hope is if that happens, those really progressive from the left will walk out of the party and with other socialists and the Greens form a political progressive broad front.
    It will take longer to form a government it will be when the when people lost all those possessions that have mortgaged their freedom but at the end will be a more equal society.
    I am sure about it, I lived it OS and will happen here as well.

  29. Patricia

    Wayne Turner June 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    “Poor Fellow my Country”. Indeed.

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