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We don’t need more political gamesmanship – we need integrity

I can understand Labor being skittish about releasing policies more than two years out from an election considering how they fared last time. It is also reasonable to say they want to see what the state of affairs is closer to the time.

But I am disappointed that, rather than realising their communication was in any way to blame or that they were ineffectual in countering lies, they seem to be backing away from genuine tax reform.

I can understand that they must address the employment fears of regional Queenslanders, but pretending that there will be an increasing, or even ongoing, number of jobs in the coal industry is not helping anyone.

I can understand them wanting to put the focus on the government because they have been responsible for the last six and a half years of stewardship.

But I am disappointed that, instead of offering alternative approaches, they seem to be devoting their energy to trying to humiliate a government that has no conscience.

What a waste of time.

Who cares about them “defeating the government” in a vote about who will be Deputy Speaker?

Who cares about whether or not Matthias Cormann is banned from sitting in the swivel chair for three weeks?

Certainly, the grants programs (aka political slush funds) have drawn deserved attention – but do you hear Labor saying the power should be taken away from government ministers to overrule a merits-based appraisal?

As Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

When they pour scorn on Coalition jobs for the boys and girls, do you ever hear Labor saying that politicians should not be the ones handing out these jobs?

Labor have also not been convincing in their response to community calls for a federal integrity body. They seem to be vacillating on emissions reduction targets. They won’t commit to increasing unemployment assistance.

These things are dangled in the wind but, when push comes to shove, Labor seems to want to be more like the guys who won the election.

Labor has many very good MPs but their strategists suck big time and their pandering to factions leads them to bad decisions. What is the point of Richard Marles?

Here’s a tip. If you find the government doing something wrong, and Lord knows, it ain’t that hard to find, tell us how you would change things. Counter their arguments that ‘you did it too’ by offering us a new way.

Don’t be afraid to show compassion to people who aren’t farmers, or fire or flood victims. You must have the courage to stop persecuting people in the name of “strong borders.” You must do more about affordable housing in the cities and crisis accommodation for victims of domestic violence. You must empower Aboriginal Australians to have some say in their own lives.

So many things are more important than trying to humiliate your opponents. That’s their MO. The country is sick of it.

This Otis group who want to move Labor further towards what they call the centre are endangering your support from your base. They are thinking about their own re-election rather than the direction the country must head.

We don’t want another party vying for a centre that keeps moving further to the right. We want people with integrity who make decisions based on expert advice about the best interests of the nation, not on how to appeal to people who will never vote for you.

Offer us an alternative rather than a squabbling rabble only interested in themselves.

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  1. Jude Dodd

    Exactly. Repeating Shorten’s error of staying quiet when govt is in extremis: what a massive waste of a marketing opportunity! Get in while they’re in free- fall and offer the nation something constructive. When will they get it??

  2. Uta Hannemann

    I agree with your suggestions how the Labor Party ought to make some changes. I have been waiting for a long time for these sort of changes. Shorten gave me a bit of hope. Morrison was right when he said the Coalition’s win was a miracle. They conned the voters with a lot of their ads! Labor has to find a way to win the voters by telling them the absolute truth no matter what. There may come a day when voters may actually prefer to be told only what is true!

  3. Zyg

    Labor seem to be a LNP lite at the moment, if they continue this way as far as I’M concerned they will get the carry over votes and stay a non effective opposition for the rest of this century. I have been a rusted on Labor voter for the last 50 years or so but the way they are going fck ’em.

  4. Keitha Granville

    Spot on ! I am more than disappointed, I am dismayed. Next election we will have zero choice. Tweedledumb or Tweedledumber.

    Bill was beaten by lies and stupid slogans. To throw out everything the party stood for a year ago is betrayal of all those who followed and voted. Thanks for nothing.

    Richard Marles needs to be taken off TV, he obfuscates, dodges and generally mumbles his way through an interview. Perfect candidate for the LINP.

    Albo needs to impovoe too, we need vision and fire, we need bold and fearless. What we have is timid and wishy washy, no vision, no plans, no answers.

    I will not be surprised to see much more support next election for Greens and Independents – meaning Scummo will get another turn.

  5. Pilot

    Let’s put it this way – If we had a half honest MSM, perhaps Labor would be more forthright about their long term release of policy. BUT, whilst ever we have a lying, dishonest, one-eyed MSM ready and willing to publish LNP lies rather than factual Labor policy, do you not think it better to keep your powder dry and plans out of sight?

    The majority of Australian voters are as dumb as dogshit when it comes to politics. They are fed up with the lies, misdirection and bullshit, but due to their obvious lack of knowledge fall back on the old bullshit line forever pushed by our current fascist government, “the the LNP are better financial managers”, a lie we all know is an absolute unsubstantiated load of bullshit.

    With the Murdoch Mafia leading the charge and the other MSM spineless minions following on, basically ALL the general readers get is the LNP lies given oxygen as the “truth”, with no regrets as to the damage this sort of behaviour has on our so-called democracy. They don’t give a rat’s arse because the truth doesn’t sell newspapers or subscriptions.

    Just keep chipping away, getting the liars frustrated, and bringing out their entire history of lying, misdirecting, coverups etc closer to the election as a reminder to all voters as to exactly what this current mob of lying arsehole have been up to for their entire term, not just the previous 3 years.

  6. Phil Pryor

    These comments, added to others, indicate that many feel they have poor choices politically, or none at all. We have principles and good attitudes, unlike politicians who are a race apart. Politicians evolve under a voluntary system of expressing ego, desire, greed, vanity, wants, pose, irresponsibility, delusion. We have had everyone from the FDR to the Hitler types coming on and up by this old system and it must be changed. Bribery, corruption, twisted and bent filth follow like maggots to a cadaver. Politics is a “good thing” and if you want to get on, in, up, you join military, police, politics, finance, media, etc, and screw the show for all the go. No-one can be trusted anymore in corporate business, politics, media, finance, secretive government agencies, all because cloaks of cover allow for careerists to betray everyone, every thing. A nazi arsehole like Canavan possibly thinks he is normal, decent, while we look on thieves, crooks, swindlers and selfish ignoramuses like him with despair. As for the Head Moron, he is drenched in bent, deluded, righteous, ignorant superstition and fantasy filth so that he is a chronic liar and persuades himself through distortion of the roles and attitudes he displays. Living a lie is evil and disgracing us all by actions that are despicable is criminal.

  7. David Evans

    Yes, nice article again Kaye: BUT, POINT OF ORDER,… the two words “integrity” and Australian “government” should never be used together.

  8. Kaye Lee

    You make fair points Pilot.

    Those of us who are politically engaged obviously think differently to those who are not. When my husband gets home from a long day at work, he doesn’t want to hear all the crap that our politicians are doing. He, like so many people, is too tired and too disgusted with them all to listen to any more. He needs to relax when he gets home. He also reads the Telegraph “for the sport”. That sure doesn’t help because even if he doesn’t read the news, he sees the headlines and will skim articles.

    But I do think there are some things that are just crucial and not controversial. Agree to increasing Newstart. We don’t need an inquiry – there have been thousands of them. They are gathering dust. If you want to look further at the overall social security system, then do. But for pity’s sake, make a firm decision and commitment to this. You should be doing any reviews you need to before the election, not promising to have another bloody inquiry if you win. Do your homework now.

    I would also announce it now, because the government will then oppose it and every single business group and economist and welfare group will be against them. It makes economic sense to stimulate the economy.

  9. New England Cocky

    This Joel Fitzgibbon is a disappointing “rat in the ranks” who appears to have sold out to the coal lobby possibly on the promise of a nice highly paid, undemanding corporate sinecure after politics. The so-called Otis Group should be flushed from Labor ranks immediately and IMHO are no better than the sell-out Nazianal$ now representing the best interests of national and foreign owned international mining corporations, rather than agricultural enterprises.

    The Queensland fear of the future can be readily countered with job training opportunities in the alternative energy sector. California created afresh about 50,000 jobs in alternative energy maintenance, meaning miners could choose to outside fresh air over underground Black Lung Disease.

    Time for some old fashioned fire in the belly Albo for Federal Parliament, but I fear life as a politician has been too kind to him and without the hunger there is only complacency.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Listen to Jacinda Adern in a press conference. She doesn’t say (pause) three words (pause) and then say a couple more (pause) and then finally end the sentence (downward intonation). She listens to the question and answers it directly in a normal speaking voice. You can do that when you know what you are talking about and are speaking the truth from the heart rather than carefully considering the political nuance of every word you say and wondering if your colleagues will approve.

  11. Pingback: We don’t need more political gamesmanship – we need integrity #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  12. Pilot

    Thanks KL, yes….. and no….

    Bill led with good policies which led to utter lies & bullshit from gov, echoed and built upon by the spineless portion of the MSM championed by the Murdoch Mafia and swallowed by the absolute braindead portion of our voters. MSM followed the lnp script to the tee and the point I was trying to make is to give snippets only, don’t show your entire hand, keep upping the ante, keep storing your ammo dry, don’t stick your head up for long periods making an easy target. The more policy released so far out from an election, doesn’t matter if it is good policy, it just gives the lnp more ingredients for their obvious lies.

    We all know that pensions – invalid and aged, newstart and other allowances most certainly do need increasing, but to announce such just brings howls of condemnation from the rich & greedy rwnj’s screaming “dole bludgers and thieves” and again the braindead voters never seem to grasp the point that our village idiots are telling the truth when we know it is bullshit. They cannot see that these sections of our society have been plunged not into poverty, but into despair and starvation.

    And our family is in the forefront of all these attacks from this pox ridden government. We (my wife & I) are on a disability pension, we have 4 of our grandchildren and their parents living with us, our daughter is currently unable to do her job through injury and will be off work for quite some time, her partner can only get part time work and only contributes a very small amount to food because of fuel costs, and we’re left to foot the food bills, power, gas, water, rates etc. Zero support!!!

    Every time these LNP thugs, morons and liars open their filthy mouths they are calling us liars, cheats and thieves. We are going backwards fast. It won’t belong until all of us will be on the streets at this point in time. We weren’t about to let our grandkids live on the streets, but we may be able to keep a roof over their heads for maybe another 10 or 12 months, but after that we’re pretty much stuffed. We cannot continue to feed all and keep a roof over everyone’s head, we’re not rich, we struggling, get no support, no rebates, no allowances, no bloody nothing! Oh yes, I forgot, wife & I get discounted travel (seniors card) on gov transport only but there’s nothing else on offer for us because the daughter’s partner is seen as employed (<10hrs/wk), ffs.
    Yes, Australia’s a lucky country……. for some, as long as they are rich & greedy and have mates in high places. The rest of us can go fck ourselves because we’re lazy layabouts doing it easy. Fck me!!

  13. wam

    good advice to an opposition.intent on reforming parliament rather than just replacing the government. The workers who boobby frightened in queensland and those who did not trust billy on jobs in tassie watch sunrise and today not question time and they would like some evidence of how wrong it was to let smirko loose.

    Spot on NEC albo and labor have to take the lead on jobs and renewables making it loud and clear no new coal fired stations and phased out old technology far enough away from the election to get workers support. What is happening to adan???

    The kiwis are lucky to have politicians who value honesty over their truth.

  14. pierre wilkinson

    Labor had good policies which the murdochcracy trashed with lies and innuendo, so now they act like they were thrashed at the last election, not just beaten by a mammoth ad campaign from clive and a disinformation directive that overwhelmed Queensland voters.
    Keep the facts just explain them better and the best time for that is now.
    Explain franking credits, negative gearing and stimulating the economy.
    Proclaim their belief that jobs and growth will come more from renewables than fossil fuels.

  15. Kaye Lee


    As I have pointed out to you many times, hardly anyone watches those morning tv shows that you are so obsessed with. They are lucky to get 200,000. That leaves about 24.5 million Australians who don’t watch. 80% of the audience are over 40. They appeal to a VERY small demographic.

    Do you keep harping on about Bob Brown just to be annoying? It’s like water torture. Your fixation with the Greens is obsessive and totally out of proportion to the power or influence they wield. Have you ever read their policies? You might be surprised at how good they are.

  16. Geoff Andrews

    Each one of us should send the link of this excellent opinion piece to our local Labor member or branch.
    During the last election, how many of us yelled at the TV in despair at some witless, lacklustre, unconvincing Labor response? I had the police around a couple of times because the neighbours thought there was a fight!
    Kaye, you say “but their strategists suck big time”. Their PR department is similarly afflicted. Their focus groups appears to be out of focus. They couldn’t even use Ms Cash’s heaven-sent: “Labor will have youse all driving electric utes on the weekend” rant. One wonders what Whitlam, Hawke, Keating or Rudd would have made of that. In fact, I think the response was memorable for its absence.
    And fer gaud’s sake. give every one of them a crash course in Speech & Drama. Why not have a full time teacher on staff? Public speaking, oratory, debating, addressing the camera can all be taught or improved upon and please, please no more “noddies” in the background?

  17. Roswell

    Kaye, as a dyed-in-the-wool Labor voter it pains me greatly to say that I agree with your article. In particular, their strategists are big-time failures; a point I’ve quietly cogitated over since the days of Julia Gillard (who I deeply admired).

    I am now going into hiding. 😉

  18. Kaye Lee


    As a teacher and as a mother, I found telling kids I was “disappointed” worked a lot better than any yelling match or belittling attack/punishment.

    When you care about someone (or even a political party), criticism can come with the expectation that they can do better and hopefully some suggestions on what they might try.

    Surely if we can tell our own children that we expect them to do better, we can also tell our elected representatives when we are “disappointed”.

    I wouldn’t bother making suggestions to the Coalition. I have absolutely no expectation that they can ever put the best interests of the country first.

  19. Kaye Lee


    I have always thought they should employ more teachers to help them learn how to get a message through. As you say, there are skills involved. There are debating techniques that I am sure many of them did learn at school or uni but they seem to have forgotten them. The noddies distract from the message. And the stupid talking points that lead to a bunch of pollies being parrots make them sound insincere. You can’t just have them regurgitating rote learned phrases. So much that could be improved. So many government weaknesses and slip-ups and lies that could be exposed and exploited. Tony Burke is way too interested in gamesmanship and then they all follow along. I suppose tactics are his job but wouldn’t it be refreshing if they knew which hill to die for and how to actually attack it.

  20. Regional Elder

    It is surely one of the ironies of Australian political history that Bill Shorten came to prominence as an articulate and compassionate union official, supporting the co-workers, and the families of underground trapped miners in Tasmania’s Beaconsfield coal-mine in 2006, and then 13 years later, was defeated in his attempt to form and to lead a national Labor government, by the carpet-bombing lies in the months before May 2019, unrelentingly promulgated by the Queensland mining magnate, Clive Palmer..

    Shorten of course made mistakes in the election campaign, but he presented a genuine alternative to the Lying Nasty Party, across a range of policies. That Labor is disowning it’s constructive agenda of early 2019, a platform that was effectively undermined by the Murdoch media-Palmer coalition marketing campaign, in favour of ‘no policy Morrison’, is a tragedy for this country.

    What we are getting now from Morrison’s outfit is what was widely predicted through 2018-2019, and utterly consistent with the research of Cameron Murray and Paul Frijters in their book ‘ Games of Mates: How Favours Bleed the Nation ‘, 2017.

    And such is the Coalition’s deep symbiotic relationship with the mining industry, that the entire nation has become hostage to a half a dozen seats in central and northern Queensland, where mining jobs are in much fewer numbers than are those employed in the tourist industry in that state.

    Labor needs to stand up for the Australian who supported it at the last election, and on most of the policies it offered then. After all it won 24 of the 47 seats in NSW, 21 of 38 in Victoria, 5 of 5 in the two Territories, 5 of 10 in S.A. and 2 of 5 in Tasmania.

    Although it won only 5 of 16 seats in W.A. , the real deviant result from the national trend was in Rupert and Clive’s special political fiefdom, Queensland, where Labor won just 6 or 30 seats.

    And, Morrison has the nerve to claim he is governing for all Australians !

  21. Henry Rodrigues

    In light of all the posts I’ve here today, I can sense despair, resignation, but also some very good ideas on how to fight back. The task is very difficult because Labor is fighting, not just the incumbent rascals and thieves, but almost the entire media establishment with very deep pockets and the self interested groups of Miners, real estate agents, and individuals with their own agendas and gripes, like the beneficiaries of franking credits, negative gearing etc.

    Its time for Labor and the Greens to co ordinate, fight on a common platform or whatever, to defeat Scummo Murdoch Stokes and Costello and the rest of the ranting dickheads on radio and TV. It can be done, with goodwill on all sides and a burning desire to rid ourselves of the pestilence afflicting our precious country. Else we are doomed to suffer more humiliation. I am a Labor voter and will always be so, but I care more deeply about this country than anything else.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Yes Regional Elder. Labor seems to be forgetting that, for every member they have in parliament, the majority in their electorate voted for them and their policies. It seems Joel Fitzgibbon and his Otis crew are more interested in appeasing the minority that didn’t vote for them than the majority that did.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Asked if Treasury has been requested by the government to do economic modelling on an increase to the benefit, its division head of macroeconomic conditions Trevor Power said: “No we haven’t.”

    Neither had the department done any analysis on other modelling, such as from consultants Deloitte, which showed economic stimulus would result from raising Newstart.


    Will Labor make an actual commitment?

  24. Regional Elder

    Absolutely, Kaye Lee !

    The timorous stance of the Labor Party since May last year, and the apparent ease with which they down play or abandon good policies that benefit the majority of Australians, seems to echo the immediate post-Keating years (1996-2000), when Beasley took the helm. You would think they would have learned something from those years, when they allowed John Howard to frame and call the political shots, and to grow in political stature. .

    And thanks for your regular incisive and well-researched articles on this AIMN platform.

  25. Harry Lime

    The fact that Fitzgibberish could easily slot into the government side illustrates why Labor voters are disillusioned,and why people despair at Albo’s wishy washy approach.With the biggest pack of incompetents and dickheads daily pooping their nest,the choices of attack are unlimited.Another worry to me, is how much clout Frankenstein Dutton has over the Liar.Maybe they’ll bring themselves undone,with Joyce in the van.

  26. Matters Not


    they down play or abandon good policies

    How does one determine whether policies are good, bad, right, wrong, indifferent or whatever? Through your eyes only? Your values? Your circumstance? Current location? Or imagined future? Or through some absolute standard? And if so – would that standard be rooted in the economic, the social or perhaps the political? And where does one find that standard?

    Shorten said he would do things differently if he had his time again, but that’s most unlikely to happen. Albanese is now very conscious that he will probably only get one chance. Understandable that he’s somewhat conservative.

    As for Labor voters being (supposedly) ‘disillusioned’ – so the polls are wrong again? Or are just some Labor voters disappointed?

  27. Kaye Lee

    The polls are only wrong if you set your standard against the government. That is a very low place to start. Being a couple of points up does not indicate satisfaction.

    Luckily, we have people who are capable of working out cost/benefit and opportunity cost and risk management. They aren’t politicians – but they should be advising them.

    Clearly some Labor voters are disappointed. Some pay no attention to politics. Some are very happy with the small target strategy. I don’t think we need consensus to express views or offer suggestions. I don’t expect voting Labor turns us into some form of homogeneous group who all think alike.

    (Sheesh, I am having flashbacks to my 70s diatribes about feminism.)

    By all means, express your own view about how Labor should be approaching things. All ideas help, including pointing out pitfalls which is perhaps what you are trying to do. Having the conversation helps get feedback and thoughts. We can’t be paralysed into making no decisions for fear we may not get it exactly right or have suggestions silenced for fear they are perceived as criticism and then misconstrued as support for the other side. Constructive criticism helps refine ideas.

    Plus every now and then, you have to give the punters hope.

  28. Regional Elder

    Matters Not,

    While I can respect your philosophical sentiments about ‘ value ‘ and ‘values’ attributed to policy, I think we can make a judgement call on government policies and their related practices as ‘ good ‘, ‘ bad’ or ‘ indifferent’ , or, whether they operate in the social or pecuniary interests of some, or, of the majority of the population.

    For example, Clive Palmer in spending $85 million to ensure Labor didn’t win government, absolutely made a ‘ good ‘ strategic commercial decision from the standpoint of his own financial interests. Some would applaud that ( I don’t) , and probably, covertly, he will call in favours if the present government, to advantage his mining interests at a time that suits him. Of course, nothing illegal in what Palmer did, ….. apparently.
    The capacity to ‘buy’ an election result with saturation advertising, is now apparently OK in this country !

    Bad policy, and I think Labor should be making more noise about this.

  29. New England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee 1116 hours: Alas, your pining for a proper Prime Minister, especially Jacinda Adern, is futile. In exchange for a proper Prime Minister, I have offered a Kiwi friend the following increasing “bribes”: Barnaby Joyce as either a Kiwi or Aussie; BJ as a Rugby player for the ABs; BJ and the National$ together; BJ, Muddles Turdball and Toxic RAbbott; the entire Smirkie Sacked from Marketing Liarbral Nazianal$ misgovernment, as any or an all together job lot.

    My friend was an unsympathetic conservative before the 2017 NZ elections, who has slowly realised that Jacinda is the “real deal” and he has become very reluctant even discuss it, except to say that he may consider further negotiations after the Wannabes defeat the ABs in the 2020 Bledisloe Cup Series. (I think that is his way of politely saying “Bugger off!!!”).

  30. Kaye Lee


    I have been practising my haka. Wouldn’t it feel good to be proud again. sigh….

  31. Geoff Andrews

    When one of our Labor leaders gives a prepared statement or even a door stop interview, I wonder if he/she watches the clip critically. I think not. If they did, particularly if they watched the clip in the company of,say, a film director, we would have seen a gradual improvement in their performances over the years. handling yourself is just another subject in any PR university course.

  32. Aortic

    Appreciate all the comments but by the way let’s give the lady from across the ditch her proper name which is Ardern.

  33. RomeoCharlie29

    Kaye Lee, well done again. Like many of 5gose commenting, I am a lifetime Labor supporter though with a rare Green deviation. I too am disappointed that Labor under Albanese seems to be walking away from so many of the good policies it took to the election. I believe that the expensive Palmer intervention was a significant factor in Labor’s loss, or rather Scumo’s Miracle, but we need to recognise the collapse in discipline by Shorten in the final days of the campaign when he suddenly started promising expensive but Ill-considered policies such as we, the government, will pay all childcare workers and others I can’t remember but it seemed there was a new, expensive, policy every few days which allowed the ‘spending like a drunken sailor’ analogy to be used. A few key economic policies ( neg gearing, cap gains, franking credits, Newstart, pensions and progressive taxes) properly explained and with all members fully informed are needed. Labor needs to be different, and explain the differences, on the gulags, on the assaults on privacy — fight the allegations of being weak on security rather than rolling over. A bit of spine around whistleblowers wouldn’t go astray, Collaery, Witness K, Assange etc.

    It was not the policies ( well apart from the late, mad ones) that did for Labor it was shilly-shallying, on coal, on Adani and an inability, or even an unwillingness, to counter the lies.

  34. LambsFry Simplex.

    People have to understand that the otis group is not about policy but destabilisation.

    Their drivers are well known from the last time the ALP was in government and we saw how a right faction will destroy a leader rather than accept a leader who is not conservative in GB.

    They are mindless defeatist scum.

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