Ukraine, Continued Aid, and the Prevailing Logic of…

War always commands its own appeal. It has its own frazzled laurels,…

Illawarra offshore wind zone declaration good news for…

Friends of the Earth Australia Media Release Today the federal government officially declared…

Why bet on a loser? Australia’s dangerous gamble…

By Michael Williss A fresh warning that the US will lose a war…

The Potential Labor Landslide...

I once wrote that the Liberals would be releasing their policies closer…

"Hungary is our Israel”: Tony Abbott and Orbán’s…

It was announced in late in 2023 that Tony Abbott was to…


By Bert Hetebry We are the mongrels Underneath the table, Fighting for the leavings Tearing us…

Diamonds and Cold Dust: Slaughter at Nuseirat

The ashes had barely settled on a Rafah tent camp incinerated by…

The EU Elections: The March of the Right

The EU elections over June 6 to June 9 have presented a…


This may be the last chance we have to save our democracy

Election diary No. 20: Saturday, 19, March 2022.

1 It was an intelligent move by Albanese to attach a legend to himself. Unknown to most Australians, he is of a dour disposition, ordinary in looks, and carries no political baggage.

After all, he doesn’t have much in the personality stakes that he can unpack for himself. To say as he did at the Australian Financial Review Business Summit 2022 last week that he would govern as Hawke may turn out to be a stroke of genius if he can maintain it, even build on it.

Hawke had a charisma that touched the rich, famous, and oppressed alike. He saw what changes were necessary and made them happen. Albo, at this time in our history, should promote himself as the “he gets things done” man, one who sees the need for change and makes it happen.

Further, Albanese needs to address voter hesitancy. He has now drawn even with Morrison on who would make the best Prime Minister stakes. However, if the Opposition Leader can successfully manage the transformation into a devotee of Hawke during the campaign itself, the way is clear to overtake Morrison. He now sits even with the Prime Minister in popularity, and Labor is well ahead in all the polls.

Remember when Kevin Rudd came on the scene? He was relatively unknown except for a niche television slot on Channel 7. He managed himself as a clone of John Howard but the light version to escape any comparison of being as scary. It worked for him.

Anthony Albanese, in his speech, invoked a Labor icon to soothe any fears of change that would disrupt or antagonise. His mantra would be bringing people together, seeking consensus, and working with business.

Of course, as leader of the unions forging a public persona together with what seems to be an uncanny ability to resolve disputes when many seemed beyond it.

If Albanese did win, he would take far less political capital than Hawke, although he undoubtedly would have a more unifying style than Scott Morrison.

History records that the Hawke/Keating partnership transformed the Australian economy, bringing about a more equitable economic distribution where everyone benefitted.

Hawke led a reform government that changed Australia. In partnership with Paul Keating, they engineered an economic transformation.

In his speech to the Financial Review Business Summit, Albanese laid out his economic goals: lifting productivity, re-igniting economic and jobs growth, remaking the economy using renewable energy, while stressing that he’s not He added: “I’m not proposing revolution.”

Michelle Grattan, writing for The Canberra Times, noted that:

“When he was elected, Hawke wasn’t proposing a revolution either. His theme for the 1983 election was reconciliation, recovery and reconstruction, but the detail of his platform was very different from the significant things his government actually did over the following years.”

When in Opposition, leaders seek to define themselves on the road to an election. Their values, how they fit into party ideology, how they would treat the electorate. All of which is difficult for the voter because there is no way of knowing how a leader will handle power when they obtain it.

Who could have known how bad the last three would be? Well, except writers at The AIMN.

As much as our politicians must keep their promises, it is also essential that they let go of promises that prove to be unsuitable.

Hawke was willing to do this when circumstances demanded – those with long memories will remember that Gough Whitlam was not.

In their character assassination of Albanese, they proclaim that he would be the most left-wing prime minister since Whitlam. Yet they seek to paint him in swarthy, indistinct images and risky because he has no economic experience. Their problem is, of course, that they don’t have much to work with, Albo appears to be devoid of scandals or much else to attack.

Michelle Grattan points out that:

“Albanese had major responsibilities (infrastructure, transport) and served in cabinet during all of the 2007-13 government, including briefly as deputy PM. And as Labor likes to point out, although he’d held senior portfolios, Tony Abbott hadn’t held a central economic or a national security ministry when he became PM. Prime ministerial aspirants can prepare themselves on these issues and competent leaders will learn on the job.”

Morrison Freydenberg and Dutton, in their haste, to fill the canvas with dark exaggerated images of national security. And rejecting Albanese’s declarations of bipartisanship are but making fools of themselves.

Most of what they say wouldn’t pass a pub test, so irrational is their lying. Obviously, an essential part of good leadership is coping with the unexpected.

Albanese referenced this in his speech the following week to the Lowy Institute, saying that Labor’s wartime PM John Curtin had that ability. Kevin Rudd had reacted well to the Global Financial Crisis.

In total fairness, he cited the Coalition government, which signed a free trade agreement with China, only to be subjected to trade retribution by that country years later?

Despite Labor’s lift in the polls, Albanese’s challenge remains to convert those voters in marginal seats who stay uncertain. Yes, there are still hurdles to jump over.

The Coalition continued its attacks on Albanese on defence and security issues, accusing the Opposition Leader of appeasing China. So strident was its criticism that two former senior intelligence chiefs warned ministers against politicising national security.

So concerned is the Prime Minister that he seems to be simultaneously upset that Albanese has lost weight and, according to the PM, is pretending to be anyone else.

“I’m not pretending to be anyone else,” the PM said, to loud shouts from a 60 Minutes audience that included a man in a Trump shirt. “I’m still wearing the same glasses; sadly, the same suits. I weigh about the same, and I don’t mind a bit of Italian cake either.”




The PM with gritted teeth was ready to attack Albanese’s makeover and weight loss. When you’re prime minister, you can’t pretend to be anyone else,” Morrison added. Now, if my memory serves me correctly Scott has been a hairdresser, navel captain, basketball floor conditioner, exercise instructor, welder, wool classer, race driver and professional model with his own personal photographer.



I had to remind myself when writing of all the times the PM has quite literally pretended to be someone else.



The media, in general, have called the Prime Minister’s mockery of Albanese’s post-car-crash health kick has been widely condemned as “schoolyard stuff”.



Writers Lech Blaine and Sean Kelly have exposed Morrison as the least authentic person ever to become Prime Minister. And Rachel Withers writes in The Monthly that he:

“… painstakingly constructed an entire personality around the daggy, blokey “ScoMo”, a Sharkies-loving, curry-cooking suburban dad…

‘I think the PM is threatened by Albo,’ observed former Labor leader Bill Shorten on the Today programme.”

The PM’s propensity for lying remarked writer Tim Dunlop makes it rather hard to see him as the trustworthy option.



The Monday Newspoll backed up his opinion, which showed he is now the least trustworthy PM in 14 years, with only two in five voters trusting him.

I had better move on, or my diary will forever remain on the same day.

This may be the last chance Australian voters have to recover Australian democracy for our grandkids.

2 Tuesday, March 15. The ABC’s Lisa Millar interviewed Finance Minister Simon Birmingham. Here is a transcript. It’s well worth a read. Later in the day, Patricia Karvelas interviewed him on her program.

Labor promised a $750 million “spending blitz” on sporting clubs, pools and roads in marginal seats claiming some of this is to make up for the fact these communities have repeatedly missed out under the Coalition. However, that doesn’t entirely pass the pub test regarding marginals. Here is another worthwhile read on this subject by Rachael withers of The Monthly, which is critical of Labor. You be the judge.

I had better end there before I become too lengthy.

My thought for the day

When drafting a budget for the common good, what should your priorities be?


Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. New England Cocky

    Interesting JL. In 1983 Hawke defeated Malcolm Fraser at the feral elections and the drought broke the very next day. Was somebody trying to tell Australians something?

    Since Scummo was made Prim Monster by his gang of COALition political crooks there has been natural disaster after natural disaster. Bushfires, pandemics, flooding rains. Is somebody trying to tell Australian voters something?

    Today 190322 we see if South Australia returns to efficient government for the people rather than a COALition misgovernment for the foreign owned multinational corporations that legally do NOT pay any Australian corporate taxation.

    When will Australian voters tell politicians something?

  2. Phil Pryor

    When the leaking emptiness of Jack Howard was replaced by Rudd, I felt relieved, knowing from old days of the inadequate self focus of a swollen and pustular ego in a person who could not lead or run a thing. The first ever Puppet in Australian federal leadership, Howard floated on like nether bound sewaage, driven by corporate will through donors, patrons, advisors, lobbyists, think tank crooks. Now the sick actor as P M, the Moron Scone, is worse, an inflation of an erection of a fiction. Posing endlessly in clothes, gear, situations, scenes, he attempts to camouflage the fact that he has never worked, never succeeded, never achieved, always deceived, bullshitted, lied, double crossed, back stabbed, schemed, dreamed and.., look at ME, I’m up TOP in a nation of suckers, sufferers, now sullen victims, The whole stinking drama is vomitous and must end soon.

  3. B Sullivan

    “This may be the last chance Australian voters have to recover Australian democracy for our grandkids.”

    Recover Australian democracy, I don’t think so. Not without proportional representation, so that every one in the demos is fairly represented in parliament.

    Please, please don’t kid yourself that merely getting rid of Scott Morrison will end the rot. It is the policies that matter not the personalities. You should be forensically analysing party policies for the effects they will have if they are adopted. Hindsight may be a fine thing, but it is nowhere near as valuable as foresight. Australians only get a say in their democracy once every three years, so they need to understand what they are voting for.

    It is main stream media doctrine to make people think elections are popularity contests. And think about this. If Albanese is now as popular as Scott Morrison in the polls for preferred PM, how can that be considered any great achievement? OK, he’s better than Scott Morrison, but the question remains, is he any good?

    He wants to emulate Bob Hawke. How? By turning Australia even further to the right? Bob Hawke’s legacy was a land fit for Liberals to rule over. Fit! It was tailor made! Economic Rationalism wasn’t a change that was necessary but Hawke made it happen. Same goes for enterprise bargaining, Hex fees and a host of other right wing moves that effectively purged the Labor Party of its social conscience and identity. Hawke wasn’t a man of the people, he was a man of the privileged. They don’t hand out Rhodes Scholarships to people like Bob Hawke and Tony Abbott for their academic prowess. He may have been popular but no way was he authentic. He got into power because he wasn’t Malcolm Fraser. As Bill Hayden pointed out, a drover’s dog would have beaten Fraser.

    Is that what Anthony Albanese aspires to? If he is anything like Hawke you can expect him to replace Scott Morrison and implement Scott Morrison’s agenda. So please, let us discuss the pros and cons of the Parties’ agendas, instead of concentrating on the personalities of the Party leaders.

    “History records that the Hawke/Keating partnership transformed the Australian economy, bringing about a more equitable economic distribution where everyone benefitted.”

    Only if you regard twenty per cent of the population getting eighty per cent of the nation’s wealth and everyone else having to make do with the twenty per cent that was left over as a more equitable economic distribution. That is how rational Economic Rationalism is. Not everyone benefited. Not everyone was a yuppie. Does the quote, “No Australian child will be living in poverty by 1990” ring a bell? And don’t forget that the transformation of the economy came at an obscene cost to the environment.

  4. L. S. Roberts

    Thank you B. Sullivan for some refreshing truth.
    An Albanese landslide would be a disaster in itself. A chance for Labor’s sharpies to get even and make a buck.
    Recent events in Victoria demonstrate the intestinal dispute has not been resolved.

    Meanwhile a political prostitute has gifted his oligarch clients Three and a half Billion Dollars with little mention.
    It’s not just the prayer room at Canberra where the whores hang-out, the whole place needs a shake-up.

  5. Keitha Granville

    L.S. Roberts and B.Sullivan –

    And the alternative is to stay with Scummo???? We have NO idea how Albanese is going to perform as PM. But we know he will be better than Scummo.

    Commenting on his weight loss is pathetic, but what more could we expect of a party that targets women. If you’re to sure about that listen to Julia’s misogyny speech.

  6. Old Codger

    B Sullivan, good to see someone call out Bob Hawke for being the neocon he became. He was a BS artist, but an excellent union leader and apparently had the business community shit scared when he was with the ACTU. But he got to rub shoulders with the wealthy and liked it. Gough wanted to have an Australia wide railway network for goods delivery. Hawke saw to it that we got the trucking owners instead of the railway. We pay for this today in the number of heavy vehicles on our roads which can at times be a bit frightening when you are being overtaken by one of the monsters at over 110 km/hr. Hawke was a fraud.

  7. Williambtm

    It is vitally important for the people to gain a balanced view of where the Liberal-National coalition party has changed perhaps forever the true Australian spirit once alive in our people.
    An opportunistic sleazy lawyer in the name of John Howard had gained a role as the prime minister of Australia with the aid of stealth and dishonesty.
    One of the opportunistic sleaze tactics was to utilize the Exclusive Brethren, the church of Scientology, the unification church (the Moonies). The various Pentecostal movements or religious crank organizations (gospel singing types inherited from among the numerous USA evangelical televised houses of worship in the name of Jesus) Howard had promised these various religious espousers that he would provide funding to each of these religious organizations.
    (That sat apart from the rest of Australia’s societies better recognized as true Catholic or Protestant believers.)

    Various cults such as Hillsong were a religious body incorporated with a directors board; Eric Abetz was a director of one of these cult outfits in years gone by. He is still an advocate of the cults who have a central theme of generating profits gained from the purses and wallets of their believers… The cults are big on gospel-singing and gaining a few short sermons from their leader or principal sermoniser.

    Now, Howard had utilized the sorcerer skills of Eric Abetz Abetz to appeal to these religious cranks to engage against the Labor party in any schemes they could come up with to discredit their opposition Prime Ministerial candidate, including distribution of misleading pamphlets or literature condemnatory of the Labor opposition.
    Yes, they would receive financial recompense for all the pro-Liberal activity, be it funding to build their own schools and promote their peculiar sectarian or cultists beliefs: Johnny Howard didn’t discriminate among these tambourine-bangers and yellings of hallelujah, just as long as they performed their role to benefit J.W. Howard.
    So, one must understand the mind of little Johnny Howard that any scheming tactic was worth a try… anything that might swing votes to his power-lusting self.
    Thus it came about that Howard had become elected.

    Next, he was off to the USA to build Australia’s relationship with the international bastion of bullschitt, the USA, they all living in their dream of how mighty is the USA.
    Notwithstanding that America ran on bullschitt (still does) with all of its high minded notions and crapola fed to the people through their television sets and mainstream-media publications.

    Now we move to the situation in Australia where the people are blinded by this nation’s very own media machinations; hence the Liberal/National Party government’s reliance on bullschitt and the bragadacio now being fed to the people of Australia.

    The nation of Australia has since adopted the falsifying American government style of improper governance. It’s all about the imagery and promise of good things to come.
    However, it is essential to maintain your faith in your Liberal/National Party government, so vote accordingly they will continue to promise you that which will never come to fruition.
    In other words, they are a cabal of stealthy scheming bastards out for themselves and their mates, especially the corporations trading in Australia; that ply them with their political donations.
    We are no longer the high spirited people we once were. Not with a Scomo lying bastard as our nation’s Prime Minister

    Look at the decaying mess that has become the America of today, where we see the homeless people living on the main city streets,
    The USA has since become the most hated and non-trusted nation among all the countries in our world.
    Pure & simple, they are little other than the most aggressive war slaughtering warmongers and killers in our world.

  8. leefe

    Hawke did some good stuff, but he and Keating were the start of neoliberalism and the privatisation push in Australia. I’d rather have another Gough than another Bob.

    Still a massive improvement over ScoMoFo and his rabble.

  9. Harry Lime

    That fucking idiot liar Morriscum should take heart from the bollicking in South Australia..looking forward to the next tranche of ridiculous excuses from the biggest ,lying fuckwit ever to soil politics in this country.You’re next,you absolute dickhead.State issues, blah blah blah..yeah …nah.Goodbye you C#$@%%T.

  10. Bert

    leefeMarch 19, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Hawke did some good stuff, but he and Keating were the start of neoliberalism and the privatisation push in Australia. I’d rather have another Gough than another Bob.

    Still a massive improvement over ScoMoFo and his rabble.


  11. Jack Cade

    In the wake of Labor’s win in SA, I was moved to watch The Insiders -for possibly the first time since Spiers took over – to see what the establishment thought of it. They had moved quickly – a panel comprising the ultra right Samantha Maiden and the talking lavatory brush Greg Sheridan, introduced following a montage of Scummo with the screecher from WA, Cash, peering at the camera over the Tambourine Man’s shoulder in each and every clip.
    Each of them raised points that had fuckall do with the SA election.
    Sheridan said – as Sheridan would – that we haven’t bought enough weapons from the US to use in US wars that we hope to be invited to: Maiden said that just because Linda Reynolds showed people emails from Kimberley Kitching leaking ALP information didn’t mean it was true that she leaked ALP information to the defence minister, thereby implying that rather was it that the Labor ladies were bullies (as opposed to accused rapists – presumably a lesser evil) and by implication that the defence minister was a liar.
    I am a Labor voter, not quite welded on but at least soldered on, but I actually felt a bit sorry for Steven Marshall. His government was ordinary but not dreadful, and although I’m happy he lost I don’t think he warranted an absolute thrashing. He was hamstrung by a Federal Coalition.
    Having said that, the new premier will need to address the awful ‘ambulance ramping’ issue very quickly if he doesn’t want to be another one-term government.
    I notice that the cadaverous Howard has been disinterred by the Coalition, as if the man who lost his own seat was actually a winner…

  12. leefe


    Thank you for that description of Sheridan. It’s made my Sunday arvo a little less grey.

  13. Terence Mills

    Very wisely Xi Jingpin has resisted open condemnation of Russia as simple minded people like Morrison and Dutton insist he should do.

    If we are to bring a voice of authority to the table, a voice that Putin respects it can only be Xi Jingpin as he is the only person that Putin will listen to and he must have clean hands if he is to have any persuasive authority in the Ukraine issue. Were he to accept advice from people like Dutton his impartiality would be compromised.

    I think we all agree that a ceasefire and progressive withdrawal of Russian forces is essential and we must give Xi the room to maneuver. If he fails to do so we may have to accept some of the blame.

    Very foolishly Morrison and Dutton have raised the question of sanctions against the Chinese. This is the height of stupidity as the only leverage we have is iron ore and to ban those exports to China would hurt Australia more than it would hurt China : no doubt Gina has briefed these fools on the likely consequences.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Jack, they’ll put Howard in a wheelbarrow and wheel him out at the federal election. It’s a given. They treat him like he’s some messiah instead of the shrivelled up little prune from the Middle Ages that he is.

  15. Terence Mills

    With some people a facial stubble can be quite attractive – think of George Michael – but with Greg Sheridan it makes him look like a down and out vagrant !

    Not that I have anything against vagrants you understand……………

  16. GL

    Michael, After caterpillar eyebrows kicks the bucket and is cremated they will bring him out at election time and introduce him as Ern. The indestructible and cursed eyebrows, however, will be sealed under a small glass dome with the warning: Danger! Do Not Open Near Face.

    The LNP learned in 2043 to keep the eyebrows and Abbotts budgie smugglers in separate hermetically sealed chambers after the disastrous possession of an unwitting LNP staffer who, while carrying the sacred objects, dropped them and they escaped. The three witnesses all described the resulting attack and takeover of the staffer as, “Aagghh, it was horrible! I want my mummy.” The crazed and gibbering staffer (after being exorcised) was considered to be perfect material to run for parliament and went on to have a good 21 year run except for an annual two week rest when he felt a sudden urge to glue caterpillars to his eyebrows and wander round punching walls, staring blankly at reporters, and eating onions.

  17. Canguro

    Michael… was down your way today. I’m currently in Tumbarumba helping my sister in law with her grape harvest; took a trip down to Beechworth via Walwa through Shelley, Koetong, Tallangatta, then Yackandandah to Beechworth, back to Tumba via Wodonga & Holbrook to Jingellic and up the road from there. It was good to see Helen Haines coreflutes all over the countryside!

  18. Canguro

    Has the prime minister publicly commented on the SA election result yet? I can’t find any reports in the print media as yet. Missing in action as usual, when the going gets tough?

  19. B Sullivan

    Keitha Granville: “And the alternative is to stay with Scummo???? We have NO idea how Albanese is going to perform as PM. But we know he will be better than Scummo.”

    If we have no idea, how is it possible to know he will be better than Scummo? Wouldn’t it be better to have some idea, as we would if we were thoroughly aware of the consequences of his policies.

    The thing is that the only people who get to vote for Morrison or Albanese are the people who live in their electorates. Yet the MSM portrays a general election as a popularity contest between these two leaders. As a consequence policies are not given the scrutiny that is needed for voters to make an informed choice. I hoped to express my concern that the AIM network seemed to be going down the same path that the MSM is leading us. We shouldn’t have to trust political parties before we vote for them, we should know what we can expect.

    Do you recall the Fightback election in 1993? If it had been decided upon who was more popular, Paul Keating or John Hewson, the media would have seen to it that the Coalition would have won government by a landslide. Paul Keating was perceived as arrogant, out of touch, blamed for high interest rates and unemployment and widely hated, while Hewson was lionised by the press as an economic messiah running a campaign that mimicked the style of glitzy US political conventions. Fortunately his key election policy, the GST, was examined in detail to the point where even its supporters could not disguise its drawbacks, and the Labor Party led by an unpopular leader won the sweetest victory, and the poor of Australia were spared the burden of the GST for a few years more. Unfortunately ever since that election “upset” (as the MSM saw it) the trend for political parties has been to not release policies to the public until the last possible moment when there is no longer enough time for public input, for fear that an informed electorate will decide against them.

    (N.B. Paul Keating under Bob Hawke had previously tried to introduce a consumption tax on goods and services but failed. Nor did Australian voters ever give John Howard a mandate for a GST. His mandate was for tax reform with the option of a GST. However, no other tax reform option was ever given. The Democrats offered some reasonable much fairer options when they opposed the GST in Parliament, but forgot all about them when far right wing independent Senator Harradine found he couldn’t in good conscience vote for such a deeply unfair tax and left the Dems with the deciding vote. True to form they backed the Coalition even though they had the power and moral duty to demand that the Howard Government honour their election pledge and deliver an alternative Tax Reform Bill.)

    I heartily agree that another Morrison Govt would be a disaster for Australia and fear that it will happen anyway because Australia’s electoral system just doesn’t reflect the democratic will of all of the people. Morrison’s Miracle Victory was nothing more than a systemic flaw that is obvious to anyone who examines the primary vote percentage for each party and then compares it to the number of seats each party wins in the House of Representatives. The much maligned polls were reasonably accurate (within error) at predicting the two party preferred primary vote, but didn’t reflect the number of seats each party actually received.

    Which is why Australia needs proportional representation in order to save democracy. With proportional representation everyone gets fairly represented compared with everyone else, plus politicians aren’t able to concentrate their efforts targeting specific electorates amenable to pork-barreling in return for their seats.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Canguro, there are some beautiful spots in your list. 😀

  21. Terence Mills

    Ever wondered why the Liberal Party and Newscorp are running so hard on the Kimberley Kitching issue even on the day of her funeral ?

    Well, they don’t want anybody to focus on the problems Hillsong Church are having with their founder and Scott Morrison’s spiritual adviser, Brian Houston.

    The investigations into Houston include an incident :

    “Following an in-depth investigation [by Hillsong ] it was found that Pastor Brian became disoriented after a session at the Hillsong Conference, following the consumption of anti-anxiety medication beyond the prescribed dose, mixed with alcohol,” the global board’s statement said. “This resulted in him knocking on the door of a hotel room that was not his, entering this room and spending time with the female occupant.”

    The Hillsong global board said “that whatever the circumstances at this time, this person did not deserve to be placed in the situation she found herself in by Pastor Brian”.

    The fact that the PR people in Morrison’s office are going so hard on the Kitchen bullying issue didn’t really make sense until you take the Hillsong debacle into account : Morrison and Houston are good buddies as well as Houston being the prime minister’s mentor on matters spiritual. So it seems to be a matter of don’t look here, look over there.

    Politics is a dirty business !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page