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The one that got away (Part one)

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

“Humility is the basis of all intellectual advancement. However, it is truth that enables human progress.” (John Lord)

1) I had considered taking a week or so away from the grind of writing but I think it better to think out loud and disperse of my thoughts while everything is fresh and alive.

I, like many others, are just coming to grips with the stunning victory of the conservative side of politics. While doing so we should keep in perspective that as of this moment it is only around 181,000 votes that separate the two parties.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of the conservative forces.

As is my want when trying to sort through a mess I try to isolate out all the factors that have created it and then if possible marry them together in a way that gives an overall view.

2) Fortuitously on Monday night, I was watching “The Drum” (a public affairs program where the participants aren’t continuously shouting at each other) where the commentators were sanely trying to dissect the outcome of the election.

So with a great deal of crystal balling, I shall try to decipher what it all means and what might play out in the future. Thus it will take two parts.

The first thing I would point out is that this isn’t a runaway win by the conservatives. There is no doubt in my mind that had Labor had another leader they would have won.

That is not to be over critical of Bill Shorten. He performed admirably in bringing the party together and sticking like glue for six years.

However, it has to be said that he lacked the charisma to persuade the average voter to his point of view.

Commendable also were his efforts on policy. The problem was that they weren’t “liar” or “explainable” proofed. Morrison was too easily able to hit for a six everything Labor proposed.

That the Prime Minister was so easily able to call Shorten a liar and have people believe him is a concern for the future of our democracy.

There can be no doubt that we are well and truly in the age of Trump.

“Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.” (John Lord)

Just putting my idealism hat on for a moment in the knowledge that Pentecostal Christians take a literal interpretation of the Bible I am often bemused at their very liberal take on truth.

“Now children, you must always tell the truth.”

“But daddy you’re the Prime Minister and you tell lies all the time.”

“But children my lies are special ones that Jesus says are ok to tell.”

Truth in politics and society has lost its allure and untruth has won the day. Along with trust, it has been thrown out the window. Now we will have to seek out the truth of everything rather than accepting what we are being told in good faith.

3) One of the few positive things to come from the election is the demise of Tony Abbott. Without a shadow of a doubt, he is, in my view, the greatest liar (of both sides) ever to have trodden the plush carpets of parliament house.

4) The great difficulty of this election is trying to work out just why Labor lost. Was it Bill Shortens inability to sell the Franking Credits, Capital gains and Negative Gearing proposals? Was it Morrison’s ability to successfully convert concessions into taxes or his scare tactics about death taxes and retirement taxes? There was simply too much to defend.

5) That 675,000 or 4.5% of the vote was informal shows just how informal and certainly shows the disdain politicians are held in.

6) We might also ask ourselves how is it possible to be unstable, in chaos and rotten for six years but re-elected. As yet I have no answer for that.

7) It was also said that climate change was at the top of the concerned list. If that were the case then it should have made more of an impact but it hardly made a ripple.

There is this phenomenon in modern society wherein people expect everything should cost nothing.

Isn’t it strange that we all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health but we don’t want to be liable for the cost of a healthy planet.”

So, nothing is resolved on this matter and other than Abbott all the old deniers, the protagonists of old, remain to protect coal.

Morrison now has the authority to confront them but will he.

Alan Jones was on Q&A Monday night denying the science. Why should Australia act, we won’t make a difference? Well yes, if we and countries with similar emissions all act then we will eliminate 41% of the problem.

Sure I want something done about climate change but don’t expect me to pay. Sure I want better schools, better education, better hospitals and better retirement fertilities but don’t tax me more.

8) The conservative importance on the individual to make his or her way in the world seems to be making traction in a world that is losing its faith in society itself.

Even democracy, as the best method of government, is being questioned.

9) There was a long list of things that seemed to be of little consequence to Coalition supporters. Their hip pockets were their main fear. They are little fussed as to how many women serve in cabinet. The next cabinet might be even worse as might the cabinet generally.

Imagine that. A cabinet worse than the last one. The Prime Minister has already indicated that Melissa Price will have the environment portfolio. On that point, we will end up with an opposition shadow cabinet much stronger than the governments front bench.

10) One of the key tenants of conservatism is an adversity to change and if it is needed, it should be incremental.

11) The Coalition has always been a men’s club and the conservatives within it are the least likely to be abreast of changes in society and fight to the very end to protect the status quo.

12) There is no need for Labor to feel downhearted about this result. It may turn out to be a good one to lose.

With dark economic clouds building on the horizon, a recession (heaven forbid) is not out of the question and the promised surplus now looking in doubt three years is not far away. The shadow of Bill Shorten will be gone from the scene. And if the coalition is true to form they will have messed up a number of times.

You cannot always control what happens in life but the true measure of its impact is the way in which you respond.

13) There is much more to write about the election Labor should not have lost so I will catch up with you all on Saturday morning for part two.

My thought for the day

“The danger in looking back to often is that we lose the will to go forward.”

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12 comments

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  1. Andy56

    Yes yes yes, many reasons but only one is the truth. FEAR wins elections, policies don’t.
    Its a sad indictment on how democracy has developed but thats it folks, nothing else fits.

    Just look at the liberal policies as a whole. They have been constructed to be not labor and they have hammered labor’s sensible policies. FEAR triumphed.

    The only consolation is that the liberals has backed themselves into a policy corner that is destructive. But am i going to cellebrate when they ultimately fall, bringing the house down too?

  2. james

    You are an insightful and brilliant political analyst…

    “The first thing I would point out is that this isn’t a runaway win by the conservatives. There is no doubt in my mind that had Labor had another leader they would have won.”

    Hahahahahaha

  3. Jack

    1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
    “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
    A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
    From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a Dictatorship”.

  4. whatever

    If all can do is blame the Labor leader then you have drunken of the KoolAid.
    All these old-fashioned tropes such as “flawed character” and “doesn’t have the ticker” are just part of the whispered suburban gossip campaign employed against any Labor leader all the way back to Evatt.

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    Democracy ??????
    What democracy, when one rich media owner, one rich selfish businessman, and one very stupid destructive illiterate politician without one working cell in her brain, can sway millions of people that greed is good, society means nothing and why pay taxes when someone else will do it for you. It looks and sounds and feels more like a society, undeveloped, uncultivated, savage un-evolved where the richest, most corrupt, the most stupid represented by an immoral lying thug, get to rule. If this is all democracy offers, bugger it, I want to get off.

  6. MöbiusEcko

    Already, within two days, the Liberals have broken their first major promise, and folks, it was their only policy.

    Under the plan, the 32.5 per cent tax rate will be cut to 30 per cent, meaning 94 per cent of the tax-paying public – those who earn between $40,000 and 00,000 – will pay less tax.

    For the 4.5 million Australians earning between $50,000 and 52,000 per year, the savings will amount to 080. More than 10 million Australians will see some form of tax relief as early as July.

    Only it is not going to happen as early as July this year, and they knew that all along. Now it has been put off for 12 months until next July because parliament doesn’t sit until June and with the financial year changing Treasury can’t implement the tax cuts. Yet here we have all the MSM, and yes that includes the ABC, acclaiming how great the tax cuts (and the looming RBA cut) are for ordinary Australians. Listening and reading them you would believe ordinary Australians will be swimming in money and be able to purchase anything they want with $1080pa. The economy is saved, or as one economic commentator on commercial media stated, they have put a floor under it so it’s now propped up.

    What shit.

    Back to the 12-month delay in implementing their key and only policy. The L-NP knew the schedule for both the election, policy implementation and the fiscal calendar, so knew any reforms regarding the Treasury to do with tax changes could not be implemented by July this year. Yet here we have Freydenburg telling the media that because of an unforeseen circumstance they can’t implement their promised $158 billion in tax cuts this year. All it took for them to achieve their key promise was to move the election day to one week earlier.

    Yet this is not what is pissing me off about their first major broken promise, I’m sure one of many more to come, but that yet again the MSM gives them a free pass on it. So, again the L-NP acts with impunity and apart from a cadre on social media and groups like GetUp, they are not held to account, but more than that, they are praised and unquestioningly excused for lying and breaking promises by the MSM.

    Democracy really is broken, and breaking more each day.

  7. Ken

    James you have summed up the election very well. Keep up the good work.
    My feeling is that it all comes down to people’s greed and selfishness. Ken

  8. Jaquix

    This wasnt a stunning victory for the Libs – but it certainly was a surprise to everyone, even the bookies. Half the country, the half that voted for Labor, is in mourning. The rest oblivious. Factors:
    $60 million worth of full page yellow adverts across the country targetting “Shifty Shorten”. (none “Moron Morrison”)
    Clives preferences, but more importantly, Paulines preferences. Saw a table showing he effect.
    The swing to the Coalition in Qld was only around 1%, it was the huge preferences that swung their way. (see $60 million etc)
    Murdoch media relentless campaign for the Libs. They are merely a propaganda machine. Entrenched and improved by Turnbull.
    Dirty tricks galore. Fraudulent signs in Chinese, and fraudulent HTV cards in Dickson purporting to be Greens, putting Dutton 2nd.
    Speading via odd Facebook posts that “Labor/Greens Coalition planning a 40% Death Tax ad you cant leave $$ to your kids”.
    AEC completely toothless. Did act on complaints but there are no consquences and votes are already made.
    Australian Press Council worthless, apparently majority funding comes from the 2 biggest media companies!!! Think on that!
    So much needs reform, and by the end of the next 3 years, much more will need to be done. Horrifying really.
    (but yes, the franking credits policy made Labor sitting ducks for a “carbon tax” attack.)

  9. John Millar

    Labor maintained the noble ‘When they aim low, we will aim high’ and offered zero defence against the barrage of low blows, especially over the last week. Whoever devised and persisted with the Labor strategy is now partly responsible for the social and environmental mess in this country.

  10. New England Cocky

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the Australian voters in New England.

    Now we have the situation where women in New England supporting National$ support Adultery, Alcoholism and Philandering.

    So those are the new National$ ‘family values”?

  11. Bradley Black

    The baggage that the propped up, undeserving winners of the election brought with them to the election won’t be going away as they return as government of this country.
    I agree with JL, this may work out to be a better outcome for the country. Scum Mo, and his party leadership at the paper boy’s office, can’t lay the blame on Labor for problems any longer – all the crap is down to them.
    No vision, no policies, nowhere to hide, countries declaring a climate emergency, struggling economy, corruption allegations, divided party, buggered reef and river system, etc. and attempts to explain the misinformation and lies points to an opportunity for meaningful, lasting change.
    Finding a way out from under the unclean rump of the election result, without clashing with others trying to do the same thing, is hard, but ‘in adversity it furthers one to be persevering’.

  12. RosemaryJ36

    We need to regularly and frequently display the graphs that counter the perpetual lie – that the Liberals are better managers of the economy than Labor.

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