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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