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What should Labor’s strategy for this term be?

It’s interesting that all the media focus seems to remain on Labor even after they lost the election.

So if that’s the way that the media want to play it, Labor should take advantage to start running the narrative rather than allowing the government to choose the topic and then flailing around deciding how to respond.

Labor should go hard on transparency and accountability.

They should begin a concerted and relentless charge on the Coalition’s increasing habit of giving out contracts and grants without a tender process, and their relationship with the people who receive public money.

They should also intensify scrutiny on the government’s failure to evaluate the cost-benefit of proposals to see if they represent value for money and to monitor the success or otherwise of programs to see if outcomes are being achieved.

Every time a freedom of information request is denied, or a report suppressed, they should publicise and criticise the excuses made.

They should demand and publish figures on how much the government is spending on legal battles to deny our right to know, or to appeal decisions already made by the court.

They should do something real about addressing the electorate’s mistrust of politicians.

They need to tighten up on politicians’ expense claims, political donations, election campaign spending, employment of ex-politicians, employment of lobbyists as advisers to politicians, conflict of interest, refusal to release Minister’s diaries, jobs for mates, and a whole host of other dubious practices that the public rightly see as on the nose.

Every day in Question Time there should be a very specific question about the environment and/or climate change – about water, land-clearing, emissions increases, fuel efficiency measures, building codes, comparative employment in sustainable industries, electric vehicles – the topics are endless and the pressure must be maintained.

Instead of talking about how much tax different groups pay, focus on how much income different groups receive and how their gross income compares to their taxable income. (Though as pretty much every politician has a family trust and several negatively geared properties, they are most unlikely to want to reveal their own tax avoidance)

Stop talking about the top end of town and start talking loudly about the bottom end of town. Talk about homelessness and poverty and disadvantage. Counter the government’s argument that ‘the best welfare is a job’ with the fact that increasing Newstart would help achieve that very goal. Defend giving all social security recipients a clean energy supplement as it is government policy mistakes, not renewable energy, that has caused power prices to skyrocket.

As the government ties itself in knots over religious freedom and freedom of speech, talk instead about the need for an Indigenous Voice to parliament and advocate for support structures to assist towards empowerment and self-determination.

Could they find the courage to question why we are spending hundreds of billions to build up military strike force capability which won’t materialise for decades? Who are we planning to invade? Will manned submarines and jet fighters even be a thing by the time they arrive with drone technology developing so rapidly?

Why not play to our strengths which are in emergency response (including medical), disaster relief, search and rescue, evacuation, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and rebuilding, an adherence to international law, and a commitment to foreign aid and global co-operation.

Ok, we may not have been so strong in those areas of late, but they are what we have done well in the past and are far more likely to make us secure than owning more missile launchers.

Since everyone is looking at Labor, they need to learn to control the situation rather than allowing the government to send out Peter Dutton to say something ridiculous or Michaelia Cash to indulge in some union bashing every time they need a distraction.

Enough talking about why you lost. Start talking about why almost 60% of Australians didn’t vote for the Coalition. I would like to remind you that, if you are in parliament, you actually won and therefore have a mandate from your constituents to pursue your policy direction.


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  1. Brad Golding

    Break up the banks with Glass-Steagall legislation, already before the parliament; audit the banks, and APRA; amend the legislation of 14 Feb 2018 that allows banks to steal deposits and savings; withdraw any Oz military support in foreign countries supporting US criminal wars; jail lying and criminal bankers, and politicians guilty of crimes against the people, ie., Howard, Downer, et al. That would be a good start, but we know the ALP is in the same banking cabal as the LNP so why build up our hopes?

  2. ajogrady

    If breaking up of the banks is important because of their power then breaking up of the media and its power and influence on Australia’s democracy is a far more important. The Main Stream Media and their partners in crime, the L/NP and their supporters, have figuratively wiped their collective shoes on the graves of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our mutual freedoms and more importantly our democracy.These shysters and scammers have used and abused and totally disrespected the legacy that has been entrusted to us all to honour and uphold.

  3. Jack Russell

    How do we get these vital and necessary things done when we’ve reached the stage where no future political party that would, will be allowed to win an election?

  4. Sean Crawley

    Great media advice, Kaye. It makes you wonder what’s going inside the Labor Party machine.

  5. Keitha Granville

    They are never going to chase up MPs expenses are they, they are all rorting that too. It’s my personal hate.

    But yes, all of the above, would be a great start so that when they achieve power (please??) they have done all the cupboard cleaning in advance.

  6. Patricia

    A good article, I agree with its sentiments.

    They should do all of these things but the chances are that they won’t. Why? Because it would seem that much of the LNP policy making is what the ALP also wants to do. Why would they continue to agree to some of the draconian measures that the LNP introduces?

    If the ALP was a real opposition, and Albanese saying he is not the leader of the opposition but the leader of the ALP is just bollocks, they would jump on the LNP every time they stepped out of line. But do they? No, they don’t.

    During the election campaign they barely mentioned the last six years of the disastrous LNP governance (for sake of another word).

    The problem from where I sit is that the ALP also wants to command and control the population while still seeming to be for the worker. It no longer applies and the reason is that ALP politicians are cut from the same cloth as the LNP politicians, Lawyers, staffers who have transitioned to being senators or MP’s, people who have gone to private schools, university, and come up through political offices but have never had a real job in the real world, who don’t know what it is like to struggle about whether to heat the house in winter or by food, have never had to try to decide whether to put petrol in the car to get to work or let their child go on a school outing.

    When people say that the LNP and the ALP are very much alike, or that the ALP is LNP lite they are not far wrong.

    I vote labor, but am not sure how much longer I can do that, the only reason I would continue to do so is because there is no viable alternative.

    They can’t stop talking about the top end of town and talk about the bottom end of town because they no longer represent the bottom end of town, they no longer understand what it is like trying to live on a minimum wage or have three jobs just to survive.

    They are as out of touch with the average Australian as is the LNP.

    Albanese might have been a child of a single parent who struggled but he was, because of that struggle given lots of opportunities. He did not live the struggle and has never really done so.

  7. Freethinker

    Regarding your suggestion about the media, It only will possible if the Labor has a share on the ownership of the media but as it is the media which it is extreme right, dictate what is going to be published and questions on the interviews.
    The same applies to question time, the government minister just ignoring the question and replying attacking the Labor or anyone in opposition.

  8. pierre wilkinson

    “Why not play to our strengths which are in emergency response (including medical), disaster relief, search and rescue, evacuation, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and rebuilding, an adherence to international law, and a commitment to foreign aid and global co-operation.”
    and call out the lies the government seemingly state with total impunity
    starting with the economic mis-management they claim to be superior

  9. Kaye Lee


    That is a problem but there are ways to deal with that. Do interviews with the people who are still capable of listening and responding to what has been said rather than the ones who are intent on reading out their list of pre-prepared questions and then badgering and interrupting to try to get the answer they want.

    Give information to independent media outlets. Twitter spreads it fast.

    And fact check the government all the way. Make that the story. See where the money is going, see who is being given the jobs, pull it all together and don’t get distracted.

  10. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee,
    IMO, independent media readers are generally politically educated and inquisitive but regretfully are a minority in the electorate and Tweeter is almost the same.
    Facebook which I regard as similar to a public toilet door, people write any garbage, has more politically uninformed followers but FB is well known to stop publishing any political history that they do not like. tekeSur media in English is a good example.
    The ALP and perhaps together with the Greens and other progressive micro parties have lost the opportunity to buy all those regional papers that were sold a few weeks ago.
    IMO, the best exposure is to help organise meetings, marches dedicated to specific issues and from there become more “in tune” with those undecided voters. Attracting the young by searching for good leaders among them will be good.

  11. Phil

    I sent an e mail of complaint to one of the local rags where I live to complain about bias. The editor at least had the courtesy to reply to me and admitted my observations were correct. He told me our newspaper our insight, adding do like we did, buy one and print what you like.

  12. Andreas

    And this “AUS government ” is already begging for that overdue invitation to help “defend” the US in the Persian Gulf.
    Without reason, justification, morals or any end game ideas. Can you be more sycophantic?

  13. helvityni

    …yes Andreas, keen to help, offering help even before been asked…

  14. Matters Not

    Trump ought to be congratulated (sort of). He resisted Bolton, Pompeo et al’s ongoing attempts to engage in new warfare. But for how long will this pigeon be able to resist the incentive to peck at the shiny button(s)?

    Nevertheless, this time around European allies (essential to any definition of success in that part of the world) are nowhere to be found. Australia’s support is always a given. And from both sides of the aisle.

  15. Phil

    To my dear friend sexy time Donald.

    Please be advised my sexy friend, there will be no bombing of Iran. I still have the PEE PEE tape in full colour from your last visit to Moscooo. It is most unnecessary to show your people your virile body in the nude.

    Stay good.

    Your friend and confident Pooty.

  16. Zathras

    I and many others suspect that Trump’s reversal of the Iran attack was due to the chaotic nature of his administration and not some sort of magnanimous gesture. He’s never considered the wider consequences of any of his other crazy decisions and always ignored advice so why would he suddenly start now? It makes no sense to issue an order and then cancel it in that way but it does make for convenient media hype.

    Remember he’s the one who unilaterally reneged on the agreement against the advice of his European allies and then introduced the blockade to provoke the Iranians into initiating a response. He’s also playing into the hands of The Saudis and Israel, both eager for an Iranian/US war for their own interests. The release of the US/Israeli Stuxnet virus to attack Iran years ago ushered in the era of cyberwarfare – another calamitous decision with global consequences in an endless series.

  17. Jaz

    Only got half way through your post and just had to comment and whole heartedly agree with you .
    (apologies for the vulgar language)
    I’m still very much coming to terms with the fact this vile Govt won another term .. and I like many , are waiting for Albo and his team to very loudly and aggressively hold this astonishingly inept and corrupt Govt to account ..

  18. Dee

    Labor didn’t do anything much to hold the govt to account during the election campaign and haven’t since.

  19. Wayne Turner

    Please forward this to Federal Labor pollies,especially their alleged current leader.Currently they are too busy sucking up to a MSM that hates them,along with the well off.

  20. terence mills

    Labor have to be ever vigilant of the Murdoch stranglehold on news and the media in this country.

    Recently WIN who broadcast to regional and rural areas and are virtually unknown in the cities entered into a deal with Murdoch’s SKY and that includes SKY-after-dark to takeover much of WIN’s news gathering and broadcasting.WIN have since announced a major reduction in its own news services.

    Normally SKY is just a fringe Pay-TV player who get a very small national audience for their right-wing shock jocks like Alan Jones and their pretend journalists like Peta Credlin – who incredibly went to India to interview Gautum Adani recently , Adani paid their fares and accommodation – yet she forgot to ask him a very basic question : how many people will be employed by Adani on an ongoing basis.

    I have followed this Murdoch intrusion into television broadcasting because they are starting to penetrate free to air TV in the regions [a potential audience of some 8 million] and much of their coverage particularly after dark is outright scare mongering aimed at denigrating and telling lies about the Labor and unions.

    Their total lack of balance and the increasing presence of Murdoch acolytes like Chris Kenny taking on-air positions and posing as impartial commentators probably influenced the only real journalist at SKy, the respected David Speers, to jump ship and join the ABC to take over from Barrie Cassidy on Insiders before his reputation and career were forever tainted.

    Without a doubt, much of the impact on the Labor vote in regional Queensland was influenced by the constant onslaught of negative anti-Labor messaging. I live in regional Queensland and here we get three daily newsparers all owned by Murdoch : we have Radio 2GB on relay to our local AM station with Hadley and Jones and now, thanks to this government we have free to air SKY television also owned by Murdoch.

    The only saving grace is that we still have the ABC but after the Liberal party federal council last year voted 2 :1 to privatise the ABC and in recent days there has been a push to sell off ABC assets, we need to be very alert to the push by Murdoch to further dominate and monopolise our media, influence our politics and destroy public broadcasting.

    This government is beholden to Murdoch for their return to office and the scare campaigns run by the Tele and The Australian in particular which effectively demonised sensible Labor policies such as franking credits and negative gearing and allowed the death duties scare campaign to gain traction in regional areas.

    How Labor, at this late stage, can tackle this Murdoch behemoth is, I’m afraid, beyond me.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Speers will join the national broadcaster as new chair Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson flag possible changes to deal with the perception the ABC can be biased.

    In an exclusive interview with News Corp Australia this week, Speers flagged there would be some changes to the panel show in 2020.

  22. New England Cocky

    Too many sensible comments and proposals in the discussion to identify and comment upon. Well done thinkers!

    Now KL, when will you be running for PM?

  23. Ill fares the land

    I have major concerns that Labor is already in big trouble.

    The government is stage-managing the agenda (aided by Labor having to deal with the Setka-saga) and is able to create distractions that have Labor scrambling. Unless and until Labor can take the high ground, which it will have to do without the assistance of the mainstream media (don’t even expect the ABC to help by reporting factually – it has been showing distinct signs of a pro-LNP stance for some time), the LNP will keep creating “white noise” to keep Labor on the back foot and to disguise its continuing incompetencce, chaos and corruption.

    In essence, the LNP has already determined the basis of the 2022 election campaign (Labor will reintroduce changes to negative gearing, franking credits, wealth taxes, reverse tax cuts blah blah blah) and Labor will, I think struggle to find a cohesive narrative of its own.

    Morrison will be able to manage the media so that he perpetually looks like the leader-for-all and the media will ensure that when upcoming books are published showing how he was much more devious and duplicitous in the knifing of Malcolm than he would have us believe (another Morrison the marketer lie), they will be largely ignored. He is taking pages out of the Trump and Erdogan play book – attack all opponents to neutralise their criticisms, weaken the critical media, create the cult of Morrison (to which many at the low-end of town have already been recruited), lie constantly, attack Labor as the forces of socialism, class warfare and just plain evil, stack the judicial system (many LNP flunkies were appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunals) and wage war on dissent in any form. We are now in a police state – we just don’t know it yet. The aim of such states is to convince the masses the government will defend them against those who threaten their “wya of life”; all the while enriching themselves and ensuring more and more power comes into their hands – utter subterfuge, but the Murdoch press will support the LNP and its ideas engine, the IPA to achieve that goal.

  24. Henry Rodrigues

    I hate to disagree with all the very cogent and sensible reasons and strategies put forward, but nothing will happen or change until we get the media to be impartial. Does anyone really think that Leigh Sales, Fran Kelly, V Trioli Patricia Kavelas are all suddenly going to experience a mind bending Road to Damascus conversion and work up enough integrity and courage take the coalition to task ? And they are all employed by “our” ABC !!!
    Murdoch and the rest of the bastards don’t give a rat’s arse about fairness and impartiality.
    Not much light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

  25. Freethinker

    I agree with you Henry, if Labor and other progressive parties to not have a share on the media ownership there is not going to change.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Labor has said it will back the first two tranches of tax cuts if they are brought forward to now to give the economy the boost it needs. They are rightly resisting the thirid tranche as it won’t come into effect for 5 years. This is what is colloquially known as a double yonk. Now it will be the Coalition’s refusal to split the Bill that will hold up tax cuts. They will also have to factor in the drop in revenue with their promise of a surplus next year if they agree.

  27. Freethinker

    Kaye is good that finally, the Labor showed the cards now we can bet that the government will refuse the proposition saying that they have a mandate and blame the Senate for any downturn on the economy.
    We know the reality but the naive voters who voted for the coalition directly or by preference will believe the government.

  28. Florence Howarth

    Labor must be at all, time be on the offence. Must never be diverted to defending Labor, the workers, the unions. Must proudly uphold the history of the ALP & the union movement. Don’t attack Morrison, only his policies, what he says.

    Morrison needs to be stopped from saying I am not that has had enough air, abruptly walking away. A
    need to ask the unanswered question at the next opportunity.

    Do as Albanese is doing. Disagree while offering an alternative.

    With all negative statements, offer a positive. Today Albanese has not said no. He has said the second half plus promise infrastructure, that is shovel ready should begin now, not 2022. The economy needs this stimulus now, not 2024

  29. terence mills

    If Labor do wave through the entire tax cut package having loudly denounced the third tranche as being unaffordable, the coalition will use this at the 2022 election to scare the well-heeled into believing that Labor will repeal these tax cuts should they get into office.

    If Labor stand by their principles and refuse to back the third tranche they are then obliged to vote against the whole package which then implies that they don’t want the lower end of town to get a tax cut.

    Looking lie a Catch22 !

  30. Kaye Lee

    Not if they play it well terence. They should stress we are ready to pass stage 1 and 2 right now to give taxpayers some relief and the economy a boost. And just keep saying that over and over.

  31. Stephengb

    Damn good article Kaye.

    You should hired as Labor strategist, over the next three years, the one or more they have currently are rubbish!

  32. Kaye Lee

    If asked about tranche 3, Labor should say we are happy to revisit that after the next election. If asked about bracket creep, they should say we could consider indexing the thresholds – and then immediately stress again that they are willing to pass the first two stages to start right now.

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