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Vote Dutton, Get Nuttin’! Vote Labor, Get Disappointed…

If you look at politics over the past fifty years or so, certain patterns start to emerge both federally and in state elections. The pattern has consistently gone something like this:

  1. The Coalition are in power because people have been convinced that they’re the more stable party who will govern soundly and be economically responsible.
  2. Eventually people start to notice that this is not happening and get sick of the self-congratulations of the Coalition and think that Labor deserve a chance and that they seem less dangerous than previous Labor governments who were all communists hell-bent on destroying the country by thinking that unions had the right to push for better working conditions.
  3. Once enough people agree with Point 2 and no longer believe what the papers are telling them, Labor wins enough seats to form government.
  4. Some people will express disappointment that Labor aren’t the communists that the papers promised, and that they’re no better than the other mob, but most people are happy for a while because while they haven’t solved everything, there’s one or two glaring problems that have been fixed… such as the Liberal leader who was in charge is gone and the Labor leader who’s taken over hasn’t shown themselves to be a complete tosser yet.
  5. The Coalition do a bit of rethink and stay out of the limelight and try to work out what they can do to regain power. This might mean saying something like, “Well, we really wanted to stick with Harold but once he didn’t come back from that swim, we made the mistake of picking the wrong guy and… Look, it isn’t about us, have a look at what Labor’s doing!” But they usually realise that the best thing they can do is become invisible and hope people forget who they are. (Recently, this hasn’t been happening thanks to Peter Dutton’s attempts to make himself more visible.)
  6. With the Coalition only bobbing up whenever Labor make a mistake, people forget how bad they were and start to grow disappointed with Labor.
  7. Eventually there’ll be some world-wide crisis (oil shocks, runaway inflation, GFC) and the media will give free rein to the Coalition’s argument that this is all Labor’s fault even though the rest of the world is going through the same problem. By this stage, Labor will have also actually made some bad decisions so when it’s all combined, a bright, shiny new Coalition will be elected and they’ll proceed to talk about needing time, core and non-core promises and tell us all that we must have misunderstood: no cuts didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be some adjustments to the funding, and that a promise not to axe something merely meant that they wouldn’t be using that wood-cutting tool when they got rid of it.
  8. Labor have a period of soul-searching where they agree with the media that they got it wrong, while the new government will remind us that the Coalition never get anything wrong and that it’s only the electorate that make mistakes occasionally, which will start the whole process of Now We Remember Why We Voted These Guys Out…

Of course, if that last point about guys looks a little sexist, remember we are talking about the Coalition, so there’s a good chance it was mainly guys because they don’t believe in quotas for women, but quotas for National Party Ministers are just fine.

Anyway, I just thought that I’d remind people of the patterns as we approach a Budget which I’m sure will be disappointing for many. Ok, it may be more disappointing for Peter Dutton than most people but I’m keeping my options open.

On one hand, there’s a delicate balancing act that Labor have to walk between doing anything vaguely humane – which we all know it what’s called “socialism” on Sky After Dark – and keeping the financial markets happy… So you could say that they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. (Of course, I wouldn’t say that because I try to avoid meaningless cliches, but I’m certainly not going to stop you.) On the other hand, Labor are extremely fortunate for the first time in my lifetime. For once, the thing hit while the Coalition was in power so the billions of dollars in debt racked up during Covid can’t be blamed on Labor… All right, that won’t stop Rupert’s reactionaries from trying to, but no thinking person is going to say that all that JobKeeper money was all the fault of the Labor Opposition for not stopping Josh and Scott. Of course, it’s also true that no thinking person could have blamed Labor for the oil shocks of the seventies or the GFC, but that didn’t stop the media from somehow suggesting that the economic conditions were the result of something Labor had done, or not done.

Now, while it seems that in the upcoming Budget they’ll be damned whatever, it’s also true that – politically speaking – they’re in a great position. They can get close to delivering the surplus that Joe Hockey promised the Liberals would deliver “in their first year and every year after”. This will undoubtedly lead to complaints that they should have done more in terms of cost of living relief from both the left and the Coalition where Angus Taylor will assure us that, not only should there have been more help for struggling taxpayers, but that his party would have delivered an even bigger surplus.

Politically speaking, however, it gives them the chance to wait until the Reserve Bank has managed to achieve its aim of suppressing inflation. The nearest analogy I can give is to suggest that the attitude of the Reserve Bank at the moment is rather like asking a vet if they can stop your dog barking only to have them put the poor mutt down. It may be effective but it’s completely lacking in both understanding and compassion. Once the Reserve Bank has the economy heading towards a recession, not only will they pat themselves on the back and say job done, but there’ll be a great opportunity for Labor to step up and say, “You know what this pre-election budget needs? A really healthy stimulus in the form of all sorts of things that people wish we’d done when we first got elected…”

Politically speaking, Labor aren’t in a terrible position at all. But then, politically speaking, neither is the worst dictator. Yes, it would be nice if Labor spring a few surprises next Tuesday and actually do things to help the most disadvantaged but I suspect that – if they get the chance – they’ll prefer an “up yours” to the Liberals by having Chalmers announce a small surplus.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    Decent investigation, research, fact finding, indicates that the conservative garbage now led by Peter Duckwit-Futton is untrustworthy, incompetent, devious, inflated, over-rated, dishonest, quite ignorant but abrasive, and, are traitors to us, to sense, to decency.

  2. leefe

    What the RBA is doing with interest rates won’t stop inflation, because the inflation is driven far more by obscene profiteering by corporations rather than the general populace buying too much “stuff”.

  3. Andrew Smith

    Labor cannot rely upon the LNP being useless, and need to be careful they do not set themselves up for right wing nativist ‘libertarian traps’ a la recent Migration Review by a lawyer, economist and tax accountant/partner while suggesting a ‘small Australia’; recommendations accepted at face value but…. a whiff….

    Issues are nativism or eugenics and data illiteracy i.e. demand for minimum income for any skilled immigrant (revisiting Gillard govt’s ‘high value’ international students ie. visa advantages for higher ed), trying to target or cap the ‘nebulous’ (Ian Dunt UK) NOM net overseas migration and ignoring permanent population’ ageing demographics; carried out under the guise of ‘sustainable population’.

    SMH reports (27 April ’23) ‘Migration overhaul raises wages, cracks down on students as numbers surge’ as O’Neill and Labor are terrified of being wedged again on ‘Big Australia’ a la noughties US Tanton Network/ZPG agitprop, through conflating high temporary churn over with permanent migration, for inflation of headlines… in Sweden also demanding the same i.e. wage rises, but there it’s a hard right populist government?

    Euractiv (4 May ’23): ‘Swedish government to double income requirement for immigrants. The government, supported by the Sweden Democrats right-wing populists, declared the income requirement for foreign workers would double in a bid to curb migration, the migration minister announced on Thursday… immigration can be reduced by a few thousand people that way as the measure is designed to stop low-wage jobs.’

    Another ‘libertarian trap’, misunderstanding the NOM net overseas migration dynamics, falsely describing those caught up as ‘immigrants’, dog whistled and then govt. ‘wedged’ to impose a cap; impossible unless you want to shut borders and/or count people in/out, lots of bureaucracy as seen elsewhere… then crash budgets and economy….

    The Guardian (21 Nov ’10) ‘David Cameron insists immigration cap will not harm economy… The prime minister was speaking as Theresa May, the home secretary, prepared to unveil a cap on immigration from non EU countries, fulfilling pledges in the Conservative manifesto.

    Cameron told Sky News he was confident that “you can get net migration from the rest of world coming down to the tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands”.’

    We know how that worked out, Brexit…. a right wing US nativist libertarian coup, with this probably coming from one of Tanton’s two UK NGOs, who tell everyone they do not advise government….. Labor still follows these old nativist tropes masquerading as economics?

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Labor has been in less than a year. There have been daily small changes for the better, along with some major changes. The media, along with many Labor have focus on one issue. The Jobseeker rates. Ignoring the numerous successes which make lives better, especially for those on Jobseeker. I have no problem with Labor being criticised but I expect their wins to be listed beside the losses. There have been many, with numerous more in the pipe line.

  5. Kerri

    Thank you Rossleigh, for explaining the apparent bastardry of the ALP, ATM. Would love to see them forget the politicking and realise the general public are more interested in what will level the playing field for anyone who isn’t a millionaire. If they change horses mid stream regarding the stage 3 tax cuts how many eligible voters are likely to react?? Let’s get real. Anyone with a beating heart, and yes I am thinking of the Dut Tin Man, recognises how far back the workers who actually do the work that keeps the Ginas of this world rich and famous and a legend in their own minds comfortable in their multi-billion dollar mansions, are seriously suffering just so some folk can move to Singapore for tax reasons.
    Spot on. Inflation doesn’t occur because people spend more. It occurs because businesses charge more! This is not a problem where banks need to charge borrowers more so businesses will lower their prices.

  6. New England Cocky

    Well written Rossleigh, even I can now understand the politics thanks to this article.

    leefe and other commentators are correct to identify profiteering as the cause of the present ”alleged” inflation. Perhaps the optimal solution is to immediately cut/cancel/decline the BILLIONS of dollars gifted to corporations now that the USUKA subs have presented Scummo the Self-Serving of the Seven Secret Ministries with a reported overseas consultancy business.

    When will the Albanese LABOR government commence legal action to indict Scummo with treason?

  7. ajogrady

    Australis was once considered the ” lucky country”, now it is considered a US bade and a target. Labor once has courage in the belief of the principals and vamue set of not leaving any one behind.
    With a trillion dollar debt compounded by much needed government expenditure on social, health, housing and education services Albanese Labor prioritised a $400billion spend, that is expected to blow out to a trillion dollars, for obsolete now nuclear subs.
    AUKUS has formally and unquestioningly proven that Australia isn’t a real nation any more, it’s a US military base with kangaroos. The Australian electoral system is a facade masquerading as democracy. It does not matter what party Australians elect Washington and the Murdoch Media set Australia’s political agenda.

  8. andyfiftysix

    the good thing about studying history is that we can learn a few things. 1/ We keep thinking the same way 2/ History does repeat 3/ history doesnt have to repeat 4/ we are always reluctant to change coarse as we go over the edge

    1/ we have no control over this one, its the human condition. 30% of us are born stupid and nothing is going to change that

    2/ “wars” are always on the horizon when one man gets too much power and goes bananas. Be it in capitalism, communism or actual war

    3/ we know enough to change coarse. Please tell me education is a winning formula because i dont see a win anytime soon.

    4/ god only knows why we always follow a “leader” in all his insanity. We developed a parliamentary system that was suposed to limit one mans power and we ended up with Tony Abbott. I rest my case.

  9. Clakka

    Well said Rossleigh. I shall be thankful for small mercies, but I’m not prone to surprises.

    It may be the seemingly inextricable ongoing tradition of the great colonial implants fashioned by aristocrats and their flunkies;

    Cogitare nullius (think of no one) & Adiuva te ad omnia (help yourself to everything)

    Oh so inviting, and so very subtle in its absence of messaging about the tithes and fees to be extracted.

    Once enticed, the choice appears to be ‘catch and kill your own’ whilst ‘turning a blind eye’ in the vain hope of actually becoming an aristocrat, or to pursue an enlightenment. In this strange land under its blue skies and girt by sea there would seem to be no escape. To vote for the aristocrats or those providing a fairer and more transparent enticement only serves to reveal an alternate set of swings and roundabouts beholden to a global roadmap and perpetual remittances to the beasts beyond the horizon.

    In the din of this hurdy-gurdy, thoughts of independence and fairness will always guarantee frustration or complacency, but seldom provide for easy satisfaction. A good whinge can be therapeutic, but it doesn’t seem it will affect the feeding of the hungry beasts.

    So i’ll just persist the odd rant whilst fashioning my own enlightenment.

  10. Caz

    Oh goody two by elections coming up. Let’s hope they both go to Labor but by the narrowest majority. Albo needs to be taught a lesson, that is don’t take a second term for granted. You are a nice change but you are still a politician.

  11. leefe

    ” … political career has not been the smoothest ride.”

    Just about wetting myself at that one. Did hhe thiink he could just siign up, dip into the public purse at will and kick back without doing any actual work and no-one would notice?

    looks at LNP’s pperformance over the past 13 years

    OK, that was a dumb question to ask. As you were.

  12. Geoff Andrews

    Let’s see. Twelve months ago, inflation is just starting to worry the xspurts in the RBA enough to increase interest rates and at the same time Labor is elected. Fortunately, I’m not an economist so I believe them when they tell me that one(?) of the causes of inflation is too much money flushing around the system and/or not enough goods & services. The RBA quickly consults its Economics101 text book. Wages and pensions are at historical lows, so it can’t be that; there’s plenty of goods on the shelves (except toilet paper), so it must be people are borrowing too much money, therefore interest rates have to rise every month. That’ll do the job. And hasn’t it worked a treat!
    If I wake up one day with a slight temperature and I’ve been told that a warm salmon milkshake will cure it and after 12 days of this treatment my temperature is higher than the first day, it must be that without the milkshakes my temperature would have been even higher and not that it was the wrong cure. Then again, it could be Labor’s fault but I note with interest that the ANZ bank has just announced a half yearly profit of 4.8 billion so a least its investors will be able to survive when their dividend is paid in July and they get their Stage 3 tax breaks that Labor couldn’t possibly change because it doesn’t want to alienate its supporters. But this is the sin of cynicism.

  13. Harry Lime

    Really enjoying some very funny and cutting comments,thank you to all…saves me trying to push start my rusting brain,fossicking around for some smartarse riposte.

  14. wam

    Dear Florence, Spot on!!!!!!!! I was in my 30s when it was time and the rush was euphoric. The work done by gough’s mob was terrific bang bang bang followed by now you’re dead and all he did hides behind kemlani, morosi and the dismissal. Millions of Australians firmly believe he did f-all except waste time and money.
    Then little billy did nothing for 6 years to rush into reforms before he was elected.
    Now it is vital to accept festina lente as the way to go. Sadly the bandit is given air time and, with his loonie loving labor people, keep rattling the ‘not enough’ chains. Labor must settle the myth of liberal economic success and debunk loonies ‘can I have more’ to achieve re-election.
    Rossleigh Us oldies are still hooked on bodgies and widgies, guys and dolls But ‘Guys’ is gender neutral and can be used to address women or men.

  15. Stephen Bowler

    One of the great articles from the stable of Rossliegh. Thank you

    Geoff Andrew
    Yes what a shumozzle.

    If chalmers announces a surplus you absolutely know that he is a Neolinberal nonce.

    Elementary book keeping tells you that a surplus on one side means a deficit on the other side.

    So when the government tell us they have made a surplus all it means that the private sector of the ecomomy will be in deficit- this is simply austerity 101.

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