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This election, facts will be important

Politics is a game. Its other name is, “beat your opponent.” To win you say whatever you must to get votes. In this game, truth is the first casualty. Thus, facts are an inconvenient truth that need to be managed in a way that can serve one’s best interests.

If that means distorting, engineering or misrepresenting, then that’s what political parties do. Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced this week a promise of 1.25 million jobs over the next 5 years. What he didn’t tell us that 250,000 new jobs annually, is about the average job creation rate that has occurred naturally over the past decade. It is due mostly to population increase, of which immigration is a major contributor. It is not due to any government jobs and growth initiatives.

That’s Morrison playing the game. He has taken something that happens naturally and presented it as something positive and creative about his government’s performance. Interestingly, Tony Abbott pulled the same trick in 2013. It might be in the Liberal party manual.

If the Coalition had been creating jobs over the past five years, then one would expect some reduction in the number of people actively looking for work over the same period. In September 2013 there were 706,400 people unemployed. In December 2018 there were 680,800 seasonally adjusted. The unemployment rate has gone down, but only because more people are participating.

Good journalism is supposed to see through deceptions like this and call them out. One fears we are going to see a lot more of it from the Coalition over the next three months, because the reality is, they have done precious little about jobs and growth.

As the federal election draws near, you can be sure the mainstream media (MSM) will waste much of their time on the trivial and ignore most of what’s really important.

We can confidently anticipate that policy initiatives will take second place to personalities, preferred music, how one dresses, which candidate better manages eating the great Aussie meat pie, and so on.

Things like the preferred prime minister, which looks at form and completely ignores substance, will be a weekly, if not a daily talking point for the breakfast shows, radio shock jocks and evening television satire.

Negative wedging will also be the order of the day for the journalists on the hustings, desperate for a scoop. Get one candidate to confirm or deny what might sound like some vague reference to a statement by a staffer that was misinterpreted by a journalist while he was asking about something else altogether and before we know it, the campaign has been side-tracked from the real to the imagined.

Journalists love this kind of triviality and they will spend a lot of energy trying to catch candidates out on their knowledge, or lack of it, on what the tax rate is for pensioners or what the current mortgage rate is, or how much a loaf of bread costs, or even the population of Broken Hill.

This is exactly what the Coalition would want. They will do anything to deflect attention away from policy initiatives because they don’t have any. And you can be sure a compliant media will knock themselves out each day, trying to deliver those meaningless fifteen-second sound bites for the 6pm news, regardless of their relevance to good government.

While Labor has made its position clear on education, climate change, negative gearing, superannuation concessions, family tax benefits, education, Sunday penalty rates, infrastructure, multi-national tax avoidance, imputation credits and a more humane approach to Asylum Seekers, the Coalition has been doing the bidding of the IPA.

Deregulation of business; privatization of public activities and assets; elimination of, or cutbacks in, social welfare programs; reductions in aged pensions, pay-as-you-go health care, and tax breaks for business and the investing class, are all part of its manifesto.

If Scott Morrison has his way, the big issue will be the economy. The electorate rate him and his government as better economic managers. They are wrong about that, but he knows the media are not smart enough, or won’t want to challenge the outrageous claims we can expect to hear from both him and Josh Frydenberg.

The reality is, the Coalition has failed miserably with the economy and they know it. Over the past five years, low wage growth has seen our living standards decline and inequality increase. Every act, so far, by the Coalition government has exacerbated that inequality. This time, however, the voters know it too. They feel it.

They know that the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ mantra was false. They have seen the ruthless approach in cutting funds to vital services. The Coalition has demonstrated all too clearly that they govern for their masters, the corporate sector, the mining industry, the banks, the finance houses.

This election, if we want facts to matter, we need to reinforce them across every social media platform we can access. We cannot rely on the MSM to their proper job. We must to do it for them, shame them, expose them for their dereliction of duty and ensure that those with whom we are in daily contact, know the facts. And we need to do it loudly.

This election, facts will be important; actual facts, that is, not the ones spin-doctored to make them appear something they are not. We need to ask the right questions and ensure we question all the answers.

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18 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    “Politics is a game. Its other name is, “beat your opponent.” To win you say whatever you must to get votes. In this game, truth is the first casualty. Thus, facts are an inconvenient truth that need to be managed in a way that can serve one’s best interests.

    If that means distorting, engineering or misrepresenting, then that’s what political parties do.”

    Sadly, John I have to agree with you, and remember the Tampa “Children Overboard” lies from Little Johnnie “Flakjacket” Howard et al that a close observation of the television footage completely contradicted. So, telling porkies will be the major strategy for the LIarbral Notional$ RAbbott Turdball Morriscum misgovernment.

    Today the MSM reports that the LIarbrals are having difficulty fund raising for the May (?) 2019 Federal election. It appears the captains of Australian industry can see through the disorganised chaos that masquerades as government policies on doing just about nothing since 2013.

    I am reminded that the 1972 Whitlam election was characterised by Australian experts and academics coming out on radio and television disputing the Liarbral spin doctors on radio as soon as the propaganda was released. As you correctly say, WE must hold the spin doctors to account and repeatedly reinforce the evidence that the Liarbrals are hopeless financial managers and toadie puppets for the IPA, international bankers, the corporate sector in general, and especially the international mining corporations with their foreign resident shareholders.

  2. terence mills

    The coalition are going head-long into a misinformation campaign on Labor’s tax credits policy.

    This follows comments made by Liberal MP Stuart Robert – he of the dodgy personal internet charges that he tried to get us to pay :

    “Any changes will overwhelmingly hit low and middle-income earners, with 84 per cent of the individuals impacted on taxable incomes of less than $37,000 …”

    RMIT and ABC Fact Check have investigated the coalition’s claims and have found Mr Robert’s claim to be misleading.

    The clue to this red-herring is the use of the term taxable income which does not include the largest source of income for many retirees: superannuation.
    Superannuation income (for fund balances of up to $1.6 million) is generally not subject to tax in the retirement phase, and is therefore excluded from taxable income.

    I know several retirees who have signed a petition against the Labor policy on dividend imputation and franking credits who will not be impacted in any way and they are being misled by a campaign of disinformation that needs to be called out.

    This is the Fact Check :

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-30/fact-check-labors-dividend-imputation-policy/10626204

  3. Graeme Henchel

    Kakistocracy Chronicle

    Part 1

    It was six years ago
    we start our tale of woe
    When Abbott and his circus came to stay
    They’d beaten Kevin Rudd
    when help from Murdoch’s mud
    and Abbott’s skill at lying won the day

    Abbott had gone in hard
    on a hapless Gillard
    earning himself the title Dr No
    With Rupert on his side,
    he sloganeered and lied
    and got in with no policies to show

    The farce that’s since ensued
    has left his party screwed
    Though really this was never a surprise
    For Abbott and his crew
    had no clue what to do
    bar, blaming labor, spin, and lots more lies.

    It didn’t take too long
    for things to go quite wrong
    Their promises were broken from the start
    Cormann and Joe Hockey
    smoked cigars, felt too cocky
    as their budget stunk much worse than a fart

    The budget of fourteen
    was underhand and mean
    so the polls went into terminal decline
    We had Abbott’s Dames and Knights
    the Egghead’s “Bigots rights”
    and backflips from perfidious poodle Pyne

    While Abbott led the side
    the polls kept on the slide
    with his lies and his stupid captain’s picks
    The crew were just as weak
    they were soon up shit creek
    This party of pernicious lying pricks

    Things went from bad to worse
    as they flogged a dying horse
    The backbench thought the jockey was to blame
    They tried an empty chair
    but the spill went nowhere
    they were left with the Thug though now quite lame

    After the faulty spill
    they went all out on Bill
    and tried to pull another budget con
    Even the ten flag guff
    was running out of puff
    as polls showed that these lying fools were gone

    With Bronwyn on the take,
    exposed through chopper gate
    the public had concluded they’re the worst
    They were deep in trouble
    inside a bullshit bubble
    and just the prick in charge to make it burst.

    The press were asking whether
    Abbott could recover
    Voters made their mind up, this mob must go
    They got out baseball bats
    for liberals and the Nats
    At the ballot box they’d deal a deadly blow

    On the eve of Canning
    Turnbull did his planning
    And Abbott, still deluded, got the flick
    After years of failure
    relief in Australia
    The mad monk had gone they’d sacked the prick.

    Abbott’s die was cast,
    his use by date had passed,
    another chapter started in this farce
    They were sure Malcolm’s words
    could polish policy turds
    and fool enough to save their sorry arse

    Part 2

    Turnbull started well
    everything was swell
    What a great time it was to be alive
    Agile, innovation,
    nuanced conversation,
    the polls reversed, the party might survive

    All was on the table
    Malcom seemed so able
    but pretty soon the cracks began to show
    For him to lead this mob
    he’d appeased right nut jobs
    keeping all Abbott’s nonsense on the go

    The voters were surprised
    Mal’s Abbott, in disguise
    Relief, turned to dismay, was this a joke
    Different coloured ties,
    more smiles but same old lies,
    and new slogans served with waffle when he spoke

    Bill Shorten all this while
    had worked upon his style
    and labor had been leading real debate
    The press all wrote Bill off
    they so admired the Toff
    PM they said was always Turnbull’s fate

    Hey let’s change the GST,
    Yeah nah, not going to be
    State income tax lasted almost, a day
    Poor thinking was the norm
    as Mal returned to form
    and polls began to turn the other way

    Malcolm’s great solution,
    was a double dissolution,
    an election called out of desperation
    New slogans from snake oil man
    It’s all “Jobs and Growth” and “plan”
    So much for intelligent conversation

    Then on election night
    the polls were very tight
    Nobody knew who’d lead Australia
    Whatever be the score
    One thing we knew for sure
    Mad monk and the Fizza, both were failures

    With a lead of just one
    the fun had just begun
    The senate was worse and full of crackers
    With Abbott set to plot
    a feral senate lot,
    the right held tight their grip on Malcolm’s knackers

    Yet Malcolm thought it wise
    to bring in Abbott’s spies
    Giving ministries to Dutton and Mathias
    Although it must be said
    with wood that’s mainly dead
    There wasn’t much to choose amongst the liars

    So Malcolm’s brilliant plan
    was heading for the can
    The senate or the right would hold the rein
    As Malcolm waffled on
    and on and on and on
    divisions in the party room remained

    The nutters on the right
    required a plebiscite,
    out of spite, though the public view was clear
    Though bigots did their best
    the verdict came back YES!
    We had overdue gay rights by end of year

    Mal’s way of saying thanks
    to donors and the banks
    was to give them multi billion dollar cuts
    Though Hanson tried to play
    the Senate said no way
    Rewarding banks would soon be clearly nuts

    Although the coalition
    loved royal commissions
    especially to burn those Labor thugs
    The banks on the other hand
    the plebs must understand
    had never treated customers as mugs

    Forced into submission
    the banking commission
    revealed how these crooks would lie and steal
    The bankers soon were seen
    as morally obscene
    While government just slept behind the wheel

    Barnaby Joyce and Mal
    never the best of pals
    fell out as Mal made a staffer bonking ban
    Barnaby it transpired
    had a root on the side
    Such a good God fearing family man

    Polls were front of mind
    They were always behind
    thirty losses on the trot soon arrived
    Though Mal was within striking
    Abbott kept on sniping
    and talk began whether Mal would survive

    Murdoch came back to town
    Intent to bring Mal down
    Dutton was the puppet to wield the knife
    Mal called forth a spill
    He survived but very ill
    Mal was fighting for his political life

    This bunch of buffoons
    behaved like bar room hoons
    threatening and bullying their pals
    Dutton just was Dutton
    a deluded thug with nothin
    that didn’t stop these jokers killing Mal

    Dutton thought he was in
    He’d practice how to grin
    Morrison and Bishop both organised
    Bishop first got booted
    then Dutton got rooted
    and Morrison prevailed to win the prize

    Part 3

    Morrison started fast
    to cover up the past
    Spinning he was just an innocent guy
    Why did Mal have to go?
    How would Morrison know
    It wasn’t him, he’s just PM, surprise!

    Mal escaped to New York
    Leaving nothing for the dork
    except a furore in his Wentworth seat
    The seat was ever blue
    but anger quickly grew
    Morrison got the mother of defeats

    Morrison was a jerk
    His smile more of a smirk
    His try hard baseball hat a Trumping fake
    He tried out stunts and spin
    with his smugly smirking grin
    but the message was this man is a mistake

    Victorians loudly spoke
    Liberals were past a joke
    Banks resigned with a spray on the way out
    The polls kept declining
    and the stars were aligning
    to ensure the end of Shouty McShout

    Marketing Morrison
    the mendacious moron
    kept trying to distract us from the mess
    The bus trip rebounded
    the voters dumbfounded
    then he tried to dictate how we should dress

    Things were going crook
    He tried to pump up Cook
    #thingscookdid exploded on the net
    Mundine in Gilmore
    Another Scammo furore
    Morrison was becoming Labor’s best asset

    This charade will stop
    This mob will get the chop
    The coalition will disintegrate
    Labor will have a turn
    Sanity will return
    The coalition left to lie and hate

  4. David1

    Timely article John very pertinent as are New England Cocky’s. Thanks, posting to Twitter.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Facts aren’t important and lies are “just politics” according to ProMo. Twice now he has used the “just politics” line with Leigh Sales.

    The first time was when she grilled him about the Coalition’s fear campaign about Labor’s “debt and deficit disaster” considering the debt was much higher but apparently “good debt” now. Debt incurred to keep people employed during the GFC and to keep the country out of recession is bad but debt incurred by hugely increasing defence spending (which creates very few jobs here and sends billions offshore to prop up the US and European economies) is good in conservative land because – you know – national security stuff.

    The second time was just a couple of days ago when ProMo was running through the Coalition’s economic achievements. Sales asked the obvious question, if everything has been going so well, why did you remove a sitting PM? “Just politics”

    FauxMo will say whatever it takes.

  6. lawrence winder

    Yes, timely and needs repeating often and loudly so that even the drongo’s being led by the nose hear it.

  7. Vikingduk

    The incomparable Graeme Henchel, what a bewdy.
    “The coalition left to lie and hate”, yes, they do it so well, ably supported by the typists of MSM, aided and abetted by the repulsive rupert and sons and ample fill in from the likes of the parrot, andy blot and company. Difficult to counteract, hope a majority see through the garbage and turf this miserable pack rotten, lying traitors.

    Motormouth tells us he has a great pool of talent to draw from. Where the bloody hell are they, motormouth, certainly nowhere to be seen in the current scum that has risen to the top.

  8. Carol Taylor

    I was just reading a headline from The Australian: Labor’s Hostility Towards Older Voters. I read no further.

  9. David Stakes

    Trouble is most do not seek out alternate news sites, and just believe the MSM drivel trotted out.

  10. Deidre Zanker

    Since Bill refused to rush over to New York to kneel at Ruperts feet, I expect Murdoch media will do their utmost to destroy him.
    Morrison has made it very clear that he
    and his band of lying, ignorant, lacking in merit, minions will do “what ever it takes” to win.
    It will be a long 3 months with the same dozen lies, repeated numerous times each and every day, until the majority of voters can recite them in their sleep.
    Hopefully enough voters will consider the dreadful affect this useless govt has had on their lives and vote them out.
    Why do so many people vote against their own best interest. Brainwashed?

  11. helvityni

    Graeme Henchel, you’ve done it again, very good, love it….

    It’s ALL there…

  12. helvityni

    The little girl who was reported saying that Abbott was a dumb-dumb ( she had heard mum and her friends talk ?), is now few years older and can draw her own conclusions and confidently say that Scomo might be even dumber….

  13. New England Cocky

    @GH: You have done it again!!! Well done!! I am as jealous as hell of similarly talented people.

  14. Karyn Meaker

    If you buy a restaurant that was not doing well you use your business sense and your common sense and work hard to improve what was wrong. If you had a terrible chef and service was appallingly slow, or if there were food and hygiene concerns you would note them and work hard to make sure you improve. You don’t tell the customer who complains there is fly in their soup ‘well the last owners left cockroaches in theirs.’ If a customer say’s “i’ve been waiting an hour.” You don’t respond with ‘the last owners left you waiting for two.’ I am stunned when politicains who are asked how they are going to improve or fix something automatically deflect by pointing out how badly the opposition handled it when they were in power. I think about the ‘fly in my soup’ or ‘the hours wait’ analogy and think ‘how many voters are going to sit enjoying their fly soup because they are concerned that walking out might reflect on ‘their choice’ of restuarant rather than calling out the mismanagement of the business. Voters need to smarten up and demand evidence based policies and a demonstrated strategy to achievement. We need to get over feeding a system that relies on parties uncovering cockroaches or worse to make flies more paleatable. If this country was a restaurant they would need more than Gordon Ramsey’s Hells Kitchen to make people want to willingly consume the tripe coming out of parliament. I am neither left nor right…. I am just not that polemic to blindly adore and ignore the failings of any political party but I can not vote for the party that ignores it’s own accountability by blaming someone or something that happened in the past. And they have a nerve to tell First Nations people to get over it.

  15. Patricia

    Kaye Lee. January 31, 2019 at 12:15 pm
    It might be “just politics” to Snotty, but it is people’s lives that he is playing with in this game of his.
    It might be a game for him on $500K plus, plus all expenses paid but for someone on $14K it is deadly serious stuff.
    And that is the problem. The majority of federal politicians have never had to do it tough, never had a real job, never had to make a decision about whether to eat or heat.
    We need to look at the Canadian federal ministers who come from the industries and professions to which their portfolio relates.
    Our parliament is filled with lawyers, accountants, doctors and hangers on who have only ever worked in political offices and politics, although work is a very loose term.
    It is no wonder that they have no idea what the world outside Canberra is like.
    It is no wonder they have no idea what it is like trying to survive on $14K a year.
    It is like an American billionaire politician telling federal workers who have not been paid for a month to go and get a loan from their bank. Completely bonkers.

  16. Matters Not

    Speaking of the future then read this article (it’s long) then realise why when it comes to 5G, the West hates China.

    http://www.unz.com/article/huawei-5g-and-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

    5G is 20 times faster than 4G, serves as the fast backbone of the “Internet of Things”(IoT), handles a million connected devices/km2 simultaneously with millisecond latency and uses power and radio frequencies more effectively with downloads of 20 gb/second, enabling smart factories and smart cities.

    … Remarkably, only one company owns significant 5G intellectual property, controls its own silicon from end to end, produces all the elements of 5G networks–including proprietary chips–assembles and installs them affordably on a national scale: Huawei.

    But the vast majority won’t read. Such is life.

    http://www.unz.com/article/huawei-5g-and-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

  17. Diannaart

    Matters Not

    You have been posting some excellent commentary. Thank you.

    Your link above published the following:

    Diagram worth a long read?

  18. Diannaart

    Which begs question, WIPO?

    WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 191 member states.

    Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

    https://www.wipo.int/portal/en/

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