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What should Shorten say?

In the political battle of ideas, the weapon is the political narrative. After spending the last year researching political narrative, I have learned it’s not as easy as saying ‘here’s your narrative’, attaching your words to that wagon and off you go and win an election (not unless you’re Tony Abbott). As Bill Shorten is hopefully learning, narratives are about more than words. They’re about showing what you stand for, not just telling. And they’re about more than winning elections too; they’re about the way you plan to govern.

The Abbott government’s narrative, and their Opposition narrative before that, flew under the radar for the past seven years. For most of their time in opposition, and their first year of their first term in government, the mainstream media let them get away with saying one thing, and doing another. But the minute this cosy little arrangement started to become unstuck, so did Abbott’s grip on his leadership, and hopefully, so did the Liberal National Coalition’s chances of winning the 2016 election. Abbott might have scrutiny-free based his election winning narrative on a the unicorn-like-promise to fix the budget, cancel revenue (mining tax and Carbon Price), not cut education, health or pensions and everyone wins, no one loses. And the mainstream media might have let us all down by standing idly by in their failure to point to the fact that unicorns don’t exist. But either way, these hollow words are not Abbott’s narrative because Abbott’s narrative is in his actions, not his words. His real narrative, which coincidentally if you haven’t noticed, fits like a glove around his well-known ideological position (did any journalist actually read his book Battlelines?) was rolled out in Hockey’s 2014 budget. Abbott’s narrative, or story if you like, is that the poor are to blame and the rich are to be revered and protected. Abbott’s narrative is that domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty would make a good Australian of the Year because that would boost his political popularity, but that domestic violence refuges are not the responsibility of the government to fund and that women fleeing abusive partners should fend for themselves, or give in and be killed, if they can’t afford alternative accommodation. Abbott’s narrative is that it’s an individual’s responsibility to pay for their education and their healthcare, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is self-entitled. Now that Australians have seen Abbott’s narrative, they plainly don’t like it. You really can sum up Abbott’s political downfall just in that one sentence.

So how is knowing this useful? Bill Shorten is once again finding himself as a Labor leader accused of missing a narrative. Gillard was dogged by this criticism throughout her time as Prime Minister. Troy Bramston has written an article in The Australian today (paywalled) titled ‘Bill Shorten causes Labor dismay over lack of ideas’, which cleverly ties Shorten’s narrative problems with leadership tensions, presumably to pass The Australian’s eligibility test for inclusion in their Labor bashing campaign, I mean, newspaper. Apparently Labor needs a narrative and needs a full policy agenda to go with it 18 months before the next election, even though Abbott didn’t even need anything more than a vague pamphlet of brain-farts up to the day of the last election. Go figure. But either way, Labor does need a narrative and so I’m going to suggest one. Keep in mind this narrative needs to be a show, not tell, and therefore needs to be reflected in what Labor does, not just says. So perhaps a good place to start is to look at what Labor does and work back? Now there’s a revolutionary idea.

2015 is the year Shorten promised to release Labor policies, and to Shorten’s credit, a couple of good ones have been released, both which give us a good foundation to look at a possible Labor narrative. One is a crackdown on multinational corporations illegally evading taxation. The other is a national summit on domestic violence. These policies, along with all the work Labor is doing to block most of the worst of Abbott’s policies, and the previous Labor government’s policies which Labor would clearly like to reinstate or repair given the chance after they’ve been damaged by the Abbott government (think Gonski, a climate policy such as an ETS, perhaps another mining tax etc, the Medicare system etc), give a really strong foundation for a simple narrative, that can be used to tie all these different, yet related, political ideas together. So here’s my suggestion of what Shorten and all Labor MPs should be saying whenever they’re competing in the battle for political ideas:

Labor is the party of the collective. Labor is the party of success through unity – of workers getting together to better their position, of communities helping each other to improve everyone’s lives. Labor doesn’t hold these values, and promote this cooperation because we think it’s a nice, warm fuzzy thing to do. We do it because it’s in the best interests of all of us when we look out for each other. Because we believe no one ever ultimately improved their own position by reducing the position of someone else. Because we believe that every individual who grasps an opportunity to improve their own life through this {insert this policy here} and all Labor policies, whether it be through education, through innovation, risk-taking, through the care and support of those around them; is bettering their community through the betterment of themselves. And when you understand that we’re all in this together, and you understand that we collectively take responsibility for our futures, and that ultimately everything that hurts one of us hurts all of us, and everything that is good for one of us is good for all of us, you can see why {insert policy here} is the best investment we can make in the success of our collective tomorrow.

Those who don’t share our values of community, who look only at short term self-interest, who don’t see that they belong intrinsically to something bigger than themselves, might scream and yell and complain that they’re being asked to contribute to our better tomorrow. But we know the voice of the community is louder than the voice of selfish individuals, and we see their threats, their protestations, and their three-word-slogans as the quiet whinging of the truly self-entitled that will not be heard over the roar of the collective. No dollar that was ever spent as an investment in the good of our community is a dollar wasted; no worker’s effort in our collective productivity should be forgotten, and no one’s desperation to pull themselves out of misfortune and disadvantage should be ignored. When you understand that your neighbour’s wellbeing is your own wellbeing, you can join with Labor in embracing this {insert policy here} for a better future for all of us.

I’m not suggesting Labor MPs recite this whole spiel every time they open their mouths, but elements of it should be found in every statement they make because this is the connection, the thread, the narrative that does run through Labor’s policies. And any policy that doesn’t suit this narrative should be discarded and reworked to fit this very simple story. We’re all in this together. I just hope Labor is listening.


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  1. Nanzi

    Pretty simple really. Why haven’t all their well pai advisers, consultants, spin doctors come out with a basic narrative yet? And then policy releases just slide into it. I keep asking my local candidates and i get – “it’s coming”.

  2. David K

    “Abbott’s narrative is that it’s an individual’s responsibility to pay for their education and their healthcare, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is self-entitled.”

    Frances, anyone?

  3. Bill Morris

    A more succinct narrative which in essence simply states Labor’s philosophy and some “how to” might communicate/publicise better. I would also like to see less of the negative and more on “how” we see the role of the rich and powerful and big business working for the betterment of all.

  4. Bill Morris

    Abbott’s narrative reeks of entitlement by class … only the wealthy deserve to be educated and healthy. The lower classes are simply dumb labour and cannon fodder. more efficient to breed them and cull the crook ones.

  5. vivienne29

    Excellent piece Victoria.

  6. townsvilleblog

    Victoria, another brilliant piece from you. Shorten’s narrative is as weak as his background, arriving as he did from Australia’s Weakest Union who does nothing for their members. This is precisely what he would do in government.

  7. John Fraser


    "What should Shorten say?"

    "Its been fun leading the Liberal Party, I would now like to hand it back the the Members of the Labor Party".

  8. stephentardrew

    John Fraser:

    Wicked but more than a tad accurate.

    Albo and Penny would be a good start.

    Its time to neuter the right.

  9. Ruth L

    It is past time to get rid of the moron who ‘shouted his way into office’.
    I too would like to hear the Labor narrative,perhaps from a Labor Frontbencher with a bit of conviction in her/his voice.

  10. Pingback: What should Shorten say? March 22, 2015 – Written by: Victoria Rollison | winstonclose

  11. Harquebus

    The Australian Labor Party is a sub branch of the Liberal Party of Australia. Both serve their corporate masters and stopped representing us a long time ago.
    The more Bill Shorten says, the more empty headed he seems to be. Personally, I can not stand him.

  12. Anon E Mouse

    Problem is that too many of the current power-brokers in the ALP simply do not believe Labor is a party of the collective because they are more ideologically aligned with the far right. Just look where Arbib, Bitar, Howse et al ended up – working for the monied elite – they were stooges.

    In their quest for power these neo-con infiltrators, worked solidly to undermine and destroy Rudd and his stated intention to bow to no faction. Lets be clear, Shorten is one of those head-kicking power brokers who would do what ever it takes in his quest for power.

    Shorten has been quiet because he has no fire in his belly. Shorten must also be acutely aware that his call for a summit on DV could open up a real weakness for him – rightly or wrongly if enough mud is flung a little will always stick.

    The best thing Shorten could say is that he resigns.

  13. Jake Hodgman

    I’d like to see a party that made it less about their own agenda and made it about the people. Give MPs the chance to represent their electorates, not just a party line. The constitution was not built to support parties, it’s built on representation of the people – and neither the Libs, ALP nor the Greens are doing enough on that front. Each is playing political one-up-manship at the cost of the non-represented. Last year I watched as Mark Parnell supported the idea that an MP is meant to be representative of the party not the people. Not exactly a position of integrity for someone paid to represent us all. Apparently the Greens leadership only want to support their small percentage of the community. Fail. Labor will find it hard to make a point of difference if they keep backing up the Libs – data retention anyone? Frankly, Shorten is not the leader the ALP needs right now – he’s got communication problems and is just not inspiring. The next election is all Labor’s if they get it right, but it means being more effective than they are at the moment, or it’ll just be a protest vote against Abbott instead of a vote for Labor.

  14. Olivia Manor

    Shorten is an appaling Opposition Leader. Having said that, whenever Shorten tries to say something ( very painful) he is ridiculed by the Murdoch Press or ignored by the media, so I suspect Shorten keeps mum. Trouble is that if Labor got rid of Shorten, all of the Murdoch Press would spend their time crucifying Labor by resurrecting the Gillard Rudd spills, and thus taking away the focus from our Dear Leader. It just can’t be done now. Apart from Murdoch, Labor has B Bishop to contend with. Everytime Labor MPs open their mouth, they get ejected. On the other hand,the party is stable and united and there has been little dissension so far, unlike the adults in charge.

  15. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    We want politicians who listen to their constituencies and feed those views back to modify party policy.
    We need leaders with fire in their bellies who put forward positive policies.
    We need a total end to negativity and attacks on individuals.
    More and more the feeling is that we elect idiots because no one with integrity wants to put her or his hand up to be labelled as a politician.
    Above all we need a more centrist approach which recognises that bi-partisan government is more effective than the adversarial approach.
    I am a lawyer and a mediator. I much prefer the Alternative Dispute Resolution approach which is win-win as opposed to litigation which often makes mutual enemies of the parties.
    I grew up in a home (in England) with a mother who was Conservative and a father who was Labor. I sat on the fence seeing both sides of the argument and picking out the bits I liked from each side.
    I usually come down on the side of do as you would be done by.
    (I would modify that last statement by saying that I DO NOT approve of paedophilia!)

  16. Barry Thompson

    Ease up on Bill Shorten.You do not interrupt the enemy when they are making so many cock ups.
    Labour is under no obligation to put forward its policies so far out from an election.The LNP didn’t and to do so only invites criticism or scare campaigns that take the spotlight off the Government.It also risks losing ownership of those policies.
    Personally,I would prefer Anthony Albanese to be leading Labour.He has a true believer background and more fire in his belly.
    Shorten hits his straps when he calls for a suspension of Standing Orders, that’s the passion we need to see more of.

  17. Anon E Mouse

    Albo has fire all the time, it appears. Whereas Shorten ‘performs’ well at times, but it is just that, a performance. I don’t believe he has the fire needed – and he seems closely aligned to the neo-con ultra rich.

    I fear a snap election, followed by a rabid smear campaign against Shorten – maybe even a few new allegations along with an interview that could smear mud based on known topics. If that occurs, Labor would not have time to get a new leader. God I hope I am wrong.

  18. John Fraser


    "Fraser was a formidable politician. Three successive electoral victories and the blocking of supply attests to his capacity and determination. He waged his political wars against the Labor Party, a very powerful opponent well able to defend itself. What sticks out in my mind is that in these conflicts the vulnerable were never used as weapons. "

    Abbott takes no prisoners ……………. even if they happen to be 10 young Australians.

  19. Victoria Rollison

    Please don’t write stupid comments on my post saying Labor are the same as Liberals. Apart from the fact that this is just plain wrong and reveals that you’re completely uninformed about not only policy differences, but also ideological agendas, I also find it really offensive. Just because you are yourself to the left of the Labor Party, doesn’t give you the right to misrepresent Labor as ‘the same as Liberals’.

  20. Jexpat

    That may be true in general Victoria, but there are some very unfortunate and quite frankly dysfunctional areas of policy agreement, such as the exploitation Galilee Basin coal (and the consequent destruction of the barrier reef), the 400 million+ meta-data scam, along with appalling treatment of asylum seekers, to name a few.

    These sorts of things blur the contrast between the two parties, legitimise the LNP’s narratives and memes, make people cynical and weaken Labor’s support and standing, just as we’ve seen with centre “left” parties in other nations: the US Democrats, UK Labour and the Canadian Liberals.

  21. John Fraser


    Victoria Rollison

    Hitch your wagon to Shorten's idea of Labor and you will get 3 more years of Abbott.

  22. Vicki

    Victoria Rollinson, thank you for that last comment re ‘stupid comments’. I agree entirely. Why does Bill Shorten have to don the clown suit and the curly orange wig , set fire to his pants and juggle coloured balls. He is not a circus clown here for the entertainment of those that want bells and whistles with their politics. Surely we’ve had enough of that approach to politics with this motley crew allegedly governing at the moment. A whole bunch of clowns! I am happy with Bill Shorten as he is and get a tad frustrated and annoyed with all the Shorten bashers (right wing trogs?). I do not know Bill Shorten on a personal level or even through a union but I am prepared to give him a go as the leader of the party of my choice. He is smart not to announce major policies 18 months out from an election.
    No party is going to be everything you want it to be.
    Be patient folk.

  23. mars08

    For a lot of people, like myself, it’s clear that the ALP has ditched it’s more progressive aspects in the hope of grabbing some of the fickle, yet valuable, swinging vote in the marginal seats. It looks very much like a strategy by the party’s number crunchers to abandon the lefties in favour of Howard’s “aspirationals”…. the self-absorbed, white, socially conservative western suburbs battlers. The social justice crowd is simply taken for granted.

    And that’s fair enough. If the ALP thinks that’s the easiest way to win power, and the Party is flexible enough to adopt new populist attitudes then they have good reason to change their ideals.

    But… FFS…!!! Why all the whining by the Labor supporters? Why resort to playing the victim? Why acted like the ALP is the jilted partner? Good grief! The ALP has rebranded itself, it has a new haircut and has decided to start seeing other people. Why can’t the party supporters just OWN it? And be proud of the new virile image? Stop your damn whining! It was YOUR party that decided to start fishing down the other end of the pond… they are the ones who strayed. Stop pretending that THEY are the ones who were hard done by!

  24. Anon E Mouse

    That’s right mars.
    As the ALP drifted more to the right, and as a young adult with a young family and paying 25% interest rates we hurt bad with the recession we had to have, I have lost a lot of faith in the party. I began analysing policy, and politicians.

    I have been blessed with a good memory and analytical skills and although I expect to get let down by the LNP, the power brokers in the Goss govt shafted a few of their better people.

    Before anyone starts on Rudd being Goss staffer who had to sack some heads of depts, it has become normal practice, especially when they are obvious political appointments of mates (as seen in Qld recently).
    One of my major criticisms of Rudd was that he didn’t oust Howard’s plants in the public service, and many of them acted against him.

    The recent win by Labor in Qld was in part because candidates were selected locally, and they came from a wide range of occupations like para-medics and even an Indigenous bloke who had worked in all sorts of jobs like construction and on banana farms. Qld Labor listened to its supporters, and the result was winning the unwinnable election.

    Nationally Labor cannot simply expect those who used to support it to continue to vote for them when they ignore our voice.

    Ultimately the Federal Labor will do what it will do, and that may mean keeping Shorten or replacing him. Either way, I will make up my own mind who I vote for.

    If Labor re-embraced its stated values, then I would be delighted to vote for Labor but if it continues to portray the image of being lib-lite, then I won’t. Simple really.

  25. John Fraser


    A start for Labor to get back to where they belong would be to say their refugee policies were wrong.

    And they will never do that.

  26. mars08

    Anon E Mouse:

    …Labor cannot simply expect those who used to support it to continue to vote for them when they ignore our voice…

    Increasingly, in the 21st Century, the ALP has chosen to vacate a large slabs of it’s traditional battleground. The Greens have occupied the territory that Labor abandoned, leaving the party no option but to slide further to the right (and whine about the votes lost on the left). So, what did they expect would happen?

    How depressing that it took an old-school conservative like Malcolm Frase to tear strips off Abbott’s neanderthals while the ALP cringed in the shadows?

    It’s become routine for some new Coalition foolishness or outrage to be reported by the MSM. If, in the current political climate, the ALP cannot muster the will, wit or wisdom to utterly demolish the Coalition… we can have NO faith in their ability to turn this country around.

    If they are STILL too flaccid or timid to take the fight to this gormless, dishonest, blundering, inept mob of weasels… for fear of alienating the fickle swinging voter… we are doomed. This government has been exposed as the bunch of cruel,rabid mongrels they are. Not a day goes by that they don’t confirm their sleaziness. Yet the ALP stubbornly sticks to their “small target” strategy… and refuses to go in for the kill… to the point of negotiating compromises with Abbott and his bunch of clowns!

    Is this the best they can do? Is this the limit of their commitment for a better country?

    This is so disheartening. The ALP lacks principles, lacks passion. If they can’t manage to take the gloves off with the current mob of mindless oafs… what hope do we have if the Coalition ever discovers another cunning, quick-witted rat like John Howard???

    Seriously, if the ALP is too squeamish to thoroughly and publicly disembowel this pathetic lot… they will be slaughtered by a Liberal Party headed by anyone who is even slighty competent.

  27. eli nes

    burke got close to calling abbott a debt crisis liar but stopped short the AAA is already abbott’s and despite him seducing the greens to double the net debt the debt is labor’s. shorten’s shift from jesuit to silesian is sad because even albo has gone from NO NO NO to no no not really and the women have been reduced to mildly opposing and quietly following behind.
    how depressing was their,silence in my tv watching over the blame for masa vukotic being murdered on her walking in a park,

  28. trishcorry

    I see a pattern with independent writers vocalizing their discontentment with Shorten’s leadership style. I think this really speaks to the desperation we all feel that we cannot endure another day, let alone another 4.5 years of Liberals, if they are returned. We are hurting and we are looking for someone to speak up for us. To protect us. To shout in defense of us. To make sure the pain stops.

    As my preferred research method as an academic is qualitative, I value narrative and I use the narrative argument in a lot of my own blog posts and I was extremely pleased to see this used here. However, as I have worked on the most recent campaign for QLD, I do understand that political strategy comes into play.

    I have commented on other posts over the past 18 months that Shorten is using a political strategy and timing is everything in politics. We do need to have patience. I strongly believe the Shorten we see now, will not be the same Shorten leading up to and during a political campaign. Abbott (and Credlin’s) political strategy is one to attack and undermine everything the opposition (ALP) says. By Shorten using the approach he uses, he essentially starves a parasite of its host. The parasite, starving then starts turning on it’s own kind. We have seen this happen recently and it is working. By the spotlight always remaining on Abbott it has resulted in his popularity plummeting and his incompetence is shining like a beacon light. You will note that every single time the focus is on the Abbott Government for a major stuff up or an abhorrent policy, they use a tactic of deviating to another issue to take the heat off. Can you imagine if Labor was being very vocal in their own policies right now, where the deviating and attacks would be landing by the Murdoch press? Shorten is keeping his cards close to his chest and I believe he is playing them right.

    I do believe the narrative has started, by blocking many harmful measures in the senate. Another reader commented about the lack of main stream media support for Shorten’s narrative. The QLD election was so successful (we had a massive mountain to conquer!) as it was very focused on local areas and Anastacia visited our local area a number of times, as did other prominent Labor Party members of parliament and we had very good candidates. I know first hand that Bill Shorten has a huge passion for regional Australia and he has visited us in Rockhampton. He is not the Bill you see on TV or how the media portrays him (and he is also much taller!). He is a man with strong Labor convictions and a passion for Labor values and he also values very strongly community. He had a quick chat to me about my ideas in my own community and he was genuinely interested. You can tell by someone’s eyes and tone of voice they are interested and in my opinion he is very interested in local communities and the sense of community 100%.

    I have no question that the words used about what “Shorten should say” above, are in fact in his narrative now. The public is simply not hearing it, but I believe they will. The challenge for the ALP is to ensure they use strategies to connect with community, whether that is face to face or the use of technology and social media, leading up to and during the election campaign.

    As a member of the Labor Party and having recently met some of the very intelligent people who do work on strategy, I have complete faith that we will be returned in abundance. The thing with Labor is we really are a team, a family. We do not just look to one man to take the burden. The party has a lot of democratic feedback processes and I have noticed over the years that although sometimes things may be a little frustrating it is slow going, but they do listen and things do change.

    Thank you Victoria for highlighting in your comments that Labor are not the same as Liberals. We are a completely different party and hold very different values and ideas. For anyone who is uncertain, and for anyone who really wants to work hard to get rid of Abbott, please join a party of your choice. All parties opposing Abbott need hard working volunteers on the ground. My party of choice is the Australian Labor Party and I’m ready to take this on, if an election is called tomorrow or next year.

  29. John Fraser



    "I have commented on other posts over the past 18 months that Shorten is using a political strategy and timing is everything in politics. We do need to have patience. I strongly believe the Shorten we see now, will not be the same Shorten leading up to and during a political campaign. Abbott (and Credlin’s) political strategy is one to attack and undermine everything the opposition (ALP) says. By Shorten using the approach he uses, he essentially starves a parasite of its host. The parasite, starving then starts turning on it’s own kind. We have seen this happen recently and it is working. By the spotlight always remaining on Abbott it has resulted in his popularity plummeting and his incompetence is shining like a beacon light. You will note that every single time the focus is on the Abbott Government for a major stuff up or an abhorrent policy, they use a tactic of deviating to another issue to take the heat off. Can you imagine if Labor was being very vocal in their own policies right now, where the deviating and attacks would be landing by the Murdoch press? Shorten is keeping his cards close to his chest and I believe he is playing them right."

    Humbly suggest you give this paragraph some more thought and research.

    Shorten's a zinger …. and no one is laughing with him.

    Abbott's polling has been going up.

    Last week in parliament Abbott asked Shorten a half a dozen times for an idea ….. and Shorten didn't have the brains to call for an election.

    Shortens bereft of ideas, a second rate debater and more and more is coming across as a whiner.

    In fact the entire Labor Party is looking more and more dejected and their confidence looks to be in the same negative territory as business.

    And who can blame them ?

    They had a half a dozen chances last week to get points on the board but left it all to Abbott to do the running.

    Really someone should have sat the Labor Party front bench down and made them all eat onions and then washed their mouths out with soap and made them go and apologise to the 10 young Australians who have been se egregiously hurt by the Abbott Party.

  30. trishcorry

    “Humbly suggest you give this paragraph some more thought and research”

    Hi John. I have given that paragraph a lot of thought and research. I’m not really a flippant person. I’m quite analytical, studious and boring really. I’m interested if you have any suggestions or comments on the actual paragraph with regards to strategy, or if you believe the Labor Party are so inept, that they do not consider political strategy on a daily basis. If so, I’m amazed they have held the party together and held Government for many periods of time over the years since Federation. I don’t agree with your following comments, but I think from your other comments we view the political world through different glasses and that is fine.

    I have no problem with Labor or Shorten being held to account, and I have been at the same point of pain so many others feel about Shorten’s leadership style. As Shorten’s leadership style is quite a theme amongst writers, I have done a lot of reading up on political strategy across Australia, USA and England and a little NZ and I do feel that this is not particularly about personal style, but political strategy (My own academic background is HR, Management, Leadership, Org Change & Org Behaviour), so I draw from these things as well. Shorten has in the past been quite an outspoken person on many issues, and was noted as quite a fighter when involved in the AWU. It doesn’t sit well with me that he has undergone some type of personality change. I am not infallible and I may be wrong; however, the opinion I posted above I feel does have some merit, if we were to discuss political strategy.

    In leadership style, we also do not want to replicate the opposition. Do we really want two outspoken bully boys on both sides? I think Shorten does give clear concise stances on issues that matter. Will we be able to convince voters that Labor is a measured, considerate, passionate, reasonable, caring, progressive Government, if they are acting like a twat with their head exploding and acting like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum like Abbott does? I think Abbott tried to set a tone for politics with his bully boy approach during the Gillard Years and although it may be appealing to some, the people are realising that is not who they want to look to when times are tough. Labor needs to give voters a viable alternative to the irrational bully boy approach, which I believe they are doing.

    I voted for Albo, so I do put forth my comments about Shorten with some considered thought and rationale behind them, rather than just being a hand on the heart supporter.

    So to answer your question, I have given the paragraph some thought and research prior to posting.

  31. stephentardrew

    Point is Shorten was the wrong choice while ordinary members were ignored. No way to run a Labor Party. It’s time for the factions to grow up and represent ordinary people not act as if the minority is going to send their dysfunctional swing voters your way. That’s not a strategy that’s just poll driven weakness and timidity.

    Mr Conman Smooth-talkin Turbull may well take shorten’s ground from under him. Eventually, just before the election, Labor will need fire in its belly and Shorten lacks the charisma to deliver. By then the party will need a sharp shooter with a real sense of humour not bland jokes delivered with poor timing and flat affect.

    Progressives are screaming for change and there is a good chance that after the debacle of Abbott a more convincing progressive outlook may well turn the tables. There are some things focus groups can never predict. In that respect they are a real danger if unchallenged.

    Focus groups can never provide the foundations of courage to stand for what is right and just.

    That takes a Whitlam’s effrontery and Hawkes larrikin confidence.

  32. John Fraser



    So for most of 3 years Shorten is going to continue being his whiney, zinger self and then for 3 or 4 weeks he's going to be the super performer and win an election. ……. pffffft.

    The most logical thing for Abbott to do is just wait for the Middle East terrorists to ramp up their war and then Abbott will go to the electorate and ask …. do you want the whiner or do you want the bully ?

    Say goodnight Labor and hello to 3 more years of Abbott.

    And if you don't look at history then you're sure as hell going to repeat it.

    That's political strategy ……. and sitting in the Opposition chair while Abbott throws his Goebbels mud and still sitting there while that shithead Speaker throws a Jew out of parliament shows just what a useless twat Shorten is ……. that's not political strategy that's a political embarrassment.

    I loathe Abbott and every waking moment I do all I can to convince others to dump him, but don't ask me to try to convince anyone that Shorten is the one ….. I don't have the stomach for that !

  33. Anon E Mouse

    trishcorry, if that is the plan then the strategists will have to take the blame when it all comes undone.

    The LNP will not play fair, and Shorten has a bit much baggage that will be exploited to undermine him. Just look at what they did to Gillard with an old unproven allegation. Ominously the Libs were awful quiet when Shorten was cleared by the cops of wrongdoing – but they will use it when it suits them.

    Shorten’s small target will end as soon as the Libs call an election, either to give legitimacy to a new leader, or if Abbott would rather take his chances with the voters and not his party. I am sure it will get awfully nasty for Shorten.

    Is the ALP that confident that Shorten will be electable in those circumstances?

  34. trishcorry

    Hi John. I think where you and I differ is I do not see Shorten as a whiney, zinger self, as you do. I see a completely different man. If you believe we the majority of Australians respond to the fear mongering of Islamic wars and feel reassured that Abbott can protect us; then I feel we live in a very sad and detached country. If that is the sad fact, then possibly you will be right John; however, I have more faith in the Australian public than that. I personally was struck with fear when the Lindt Seige Terrorist wanted to talk to Abbott. This is not because I do not hold Liberal values, but time and time again, he says such stupid things and people’s lives were at stake.

    With regards to sitting in the opposition’s chair and with regards to the Speaker, the party has already moved a motion of no confidence against the speaker. The manager of opposition businesses stood up and expressed his distaste to the Speaker and she remained with her original ruling. Should we be questioning why either the Prime Minister or the Manager of Govt Business did not object to the Speakers ruling? The entire country can see the partisan manner in which the speaker conducts herself. Yet, within the current rules, there is little to be done. Should we be having a conversation around how Abbott prides himself on how Parliament is essentially a mockery, through his choice of Speaker?

    I’m not trying to convince you that Shorten is ‘the one’ I was responding to your comment that I may wish to put more thought into my own comments. I tried to reassure you that I have and I stand by my opinion of what is going on. I often share posts on my own Facebook page where Bill Shorten is addressing an issue and speaking out and I always caption it “Here is Bill saying nothing again.” I think so many people are waiting for Bill Shorten to be an aggressive bully and they thrived on Abbott’s negative bashing style, to the point they enjoyed it – it was a bit like reality TV where they didn’t have to waste money sending in their weekly vote; that people are actually not listening to anything Shorten says, but are quite happy to accept the fact that he says nothing, without question, because so many are saying this is so. I mean the narrative Abbott used whilst in opposition was with the end aim of to say something often enough more and more people will believe it.

    If we go back to the original article and we discuss if narrative is the only thing in play here, or if political strategy is another factor. I still believe that a political strategy is in play. It may not be conducted in the manner that we like or want; but I do not believe for any second that any political party does not consider political strategy on a daily basis, with a focus on gaining as many seats as possible in the next election. You still haven’t said anything at all about my actual points about the strategy I mentioned. Do you agree with any points at all? How do you want the opposition to act, and what are the pros and cons of your suggestion?

    I find narrative an extremely powerful thing in society. In fact, I believe narrative shapes our society. Do you believe an ongoing negative narrative against the Labor Party and its leader, can provide fuel for the Liberal party to be re-elected? Do you believe that an ongoing negative narrative against the Labor Party is a type of pseudo-voluntary campaign work on behalf of the Liberal Party?

  35. trishcorry

    “Shorten was the wrong choice when ordinary members were ignored.”

    Hi Stephen. I remember being part of a voting process, which was the first in our history under a reform agenda in the Labor party. My man #HotAlbo did not win. I was gutted. But Albo also said to me and everyone else, immediately after the result that he was very humbled and he had every confidence in Shorten and encouraged unity in the party. There has not been a hint within the Labor Party that Shorten is a failure. Labor members are not shy of speaking up, as we learnt during Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. So I would assume that the majority do not have a reason to protest at present.

    The Labor party is an exciting party, as it houses a variety of personalities and ideas. Not everyone in the party will agree with every single decision. The reforms for voting for leaders is still ongoing and I look forward to this as it develops. We could also look at it that at least we did have an opportunity to vote. Albo only needed approx 2000 more member votes. We could take this opportunity to actually work hard at recruiting more members and this will actually affect the outcome under the current rules as more members vote. I am up for that. Are you?

    If Turnbull overthrows Abbott (which I personally believe will not happen – I may be wrong, but that is just my opinion) Shorten will be playing with a completely different personality than Abbott. I have faith that Shorten is experienced enough politically to do whatever needs to be done to counter the Turnbull type personality. I think he is doing a superb job in navigating how the media works in the country, to enable the media to have a strong focus on Abbott. I see a political strategy that is working to Labor’s benefit. I would be more worried if Shorten adopted this strategy and Abbott was being hailed as a king and hero. I am predicting from June onwards, there will be a noticeable change in Shorten. Again, I remain fallible and I maybe wrong, but that is just my personal prediction. I am but a commenter and contributor like everyone else. Not a psychic with a crystal ball.

  36. trishcorry

    AnonEMouse – I am confident that the Labor party under Shorten will be returned to Government, even considering all of the questions you raised. If they are not, the members who occupy the seats at risk, will certainly let us know about it.

  37. didisaythataloud


    just a few words here. We have a leader, whether or not everyone voted for him. Further, my own view is that membership voting for the leader is NOT the most important thing in the world. The leader should be someone the caucus has faith in, because it’s caucus that has to work with him/her. Granted, caucus can make mistakes but – here’s a thought – why don’t we just concentrate on what’s important, which is who gets preselection in the first place? After all, here is an area where members may actually know something about the person involved.

    So, having said that, we have a leader. I have not always been for the ‘small target’ approach, becuse it too often looks like the ‘no policies of our own’ approach. But I don’t believe, for now, that that is the case here. After all, with no effort at all from us, the LNP is falling apart under Abbott. And we are not giving them any ammunition to aim at us, either. Importantly, as it stands we have around 18 months or so until another election and we DO want to make a big, clear and strong impression leading up to the election. We DON”T want our policies to have been heard, misconstrued and forgotten by then, which is absolutely what would happen if we trotted them out now. We do have to plan when and how to make the most effective and biggest splash.

    it is always about timing.

    And I’ll leave you with a quotation: ‘Oppositions don’t win government, governments lose them.’ That, I guess at the moment, is what we are allowing to happen.

    Judy Crozier

  38. trishcorry

    Hear Hear Judy. My sentiments exactly. Interestingly enough, the SMH has just put up an article questioning Shorten’s small target strategy. It seems to be on everyone’s mind at the moment. At least I feel content that I am on the money with this being political strategy, rather than weak leadership style and a personality problem.

  39. mars08

    You know what’s damn, fekkin, infuriating?

    …. being accused of undermining federal Labor’s chances to gain power when it is THEY who have abandoned (or at least ignored) the values that attracted us to them in the first place.

    It’s a bloody abusive relationship! The ALP turned it’s back on us and the idea of social justice…. yet WE are the ones supposed to feel guilty about it!!??!?!?!

    It’s insane! Just look at the comments on this page! Many, many people are pleading with the ALP to grow a pair, rediscover it’s roots and start making some real impact. We are still holding on to the memories…. We didn’t look for an alternative to Labor on a whim! We quit the relationship because we were left with no realistic choice!!!!

    You don’t care about our vote? You want to sow you oats in another sexier paddock? That’s fine. Just stop your goddamn whining!!

  40. trishcorry

    My goodness Mars08. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I’m sure at some point things you say would be seen as offensive by some people. Just because there are more people screaming out for a different leadership style; does not mean that others cannot take the view that it simply is a political strategy. Otherwise, we would all be standing around nodding our heads in agreement. What a boring world that would be when people are accused of whining if they have a different perspective.

  41. trishcorry

    “People are waiting for Shorten to be a leader”

    John, again we each see a different man. I’ve said before, timing is everything (and Judy has said it above). If Shorten does not ramp it up when I expect he will, I will start to show some concern and probably sing a different tune; as will most likely the back benchers. For now, I am quite content with what I see is a political tactic.

    My memory is fine John. I remember Shorten has spoken out and taken action against cuts to pensions, cuts to health, the attack on our medicare system, the attack on our Higher Education system, the attack on the sale of electricity assets by the states (an agenda pushed federally to access more federal funding), the attack on our penalty rates, the attack on families including the school kids bonus, the attacks on veterans pays (along with Jackie Lambie), and the attacks on renewable energy and climate change to name a few. I’m not sure what television of media you are watching John, but I don’t see Shorten laying down and playing dead or Abbott walking all over him.

    They are also doing this in a parliament where Labor are basically forbidden to speak by the speaker and the same speaker allows the Prime Minister to not answer the questions. If they stand up to this tactic, they are simply thrown out. If we want to talk about a restrictive debate of ideas, should we not be having a conversation about the Speaker and the way the Liberals and Nationals are managing parliament?

  42. stephentardrew

    Anyway Trish it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out maybe we are all wrong to some extent.

  43. Liz Franklin

    Another aspect to all this is that Shorten is part of an extremely competent team that did some excellent work in the last govt. Apart from Albo there are several others who have the capability to become PM and will be valuable leaders in their portfolios. This strong team makes the Abbott crew look more and more like a group of cub scouts lost in the forest. I am hating having to be patient, but feel that the Abbott and his bully boys with his desperation in trying to pass the blame for his failed policies back to Labor, is losing credibility by not taking responsibility for his stuff ups.

    The electorate did not bother to look at Abbott, his policies or his allegiances closely before the last election and will not make the same mistake next time. Every sector of the community has somebody close to them adversely affected by the LNP policies. Farmers and rural electors no longer feel that the Nationals represent their interests. The smallest children understand climate change.

    Let us get rid of Baird this week. Then it’s Abbott’s turn. Bring it on Tones!

  44. John Fraser



    As we are both "political animals" sure we remember Shortens long winded defence of everything from bilbys to marshmellows.

    But get out there to the creches and knitting circles, the pub and shed tests and, the working stiffs, the first time voters and ask them for some of Shortens finer points and the best you will get is that he's not Abbott …. and that will not carry the day come election time.

    At election time all those people will be sold the new improved soap and the old brand of soap that is currently being promulgated by you will be left on the shelf for another 3 years.

    The Labor Party is moribund and need a massive jolt of electricity just to get them up and running.

    And it won't be today because they will be trying to get a bit of gold dust from Malcolm Fraser to rub off on them.

    Its likely both major parties are going to be maggots today.

  45. Rob

    Labor’s ‘Narrative’ and their actions should be simple. 1. To reverse rising inequity, because a few very wealthy do not make a healthy economy. 2. To ensure that health, education and other basic necessities of life are affordable by all, as this makes a healthy and capable workforce. 3. To provide security, support and mentoring, to increase the ‘opportunity’ to rise out of poverty, because social mobility is a cornerstone of democratic economies. 4. To denounce lies and secrecy because knowing what your Government is doing, and will do, in your name is essential to democratic choice. 5. To restore a more progressive taxation system to fund these things, because these things are the cost of doing business in a stable democracy, and despite their claims, NOBODY got rich purely on their own efforts. They got rich by harvesting the earnings of those who do the work. Lately, the workers are receiving a reducing ‘share’.

  46. Kaye Lee

    We are all different and see different things as important. I am less interested in parties than in policies therefore I dislike strategy and marketing.

    Being more quantitative than qualitative I believe a good policy should be properly explained and, rather than reacting to focus groups, lead public opinion by communicating the real advantages of your policy. Be honest about cost. Then offer alternative ways to fund the society we want with good time to have a public discussion about preferred direction. We need more transparency to allow for more informed decision making.

    One thing that really astonishes me is everyone’s ‘me too’ mentality on defence. We are spending hundreds of billions on wars and war equipment and national security and border protection. The ADF would be far better employed in disaster relief, humanitarian aid, rebuilding, and offering protection where needed because it is obvious that employing private security companies is a very bad idea. Lifting other countries out of poverty would be the cheapest way to stop terrorism and the flood of displaced persons.

    Defence is sitting on a mountain of cash and the waste is unbelievable. They had to blow up unused bombs worth hundreds of millions last year because they don’t fit our new planes. We are sending hundreds of billions to foreign economies so we can play war games with America and China and Japan. We can’t man the six submarines we already have let alone twelve more. We are not going into any sort of large scale war. Why the hell are we wasting money preparing for one?

  47. trishcorry

    Kaye, I totally agree with your comments on Defence. I find the entire strong focus on Defence very much over the top. Indeed, the money would be best spent elsewhere.

    I am sure Labor has policies. I do not believe there is any point putting them all out there just yet. Timing is crucial in politics.

  48. trishcorry

    Liz. I am already feeling quite ill about NSW. Baird seems to have a lot of appeal. I hope Labor can do this!

  49. John Fraser


    Kaye Lee

    Because its a bipartisan effort.

    Thinking within a vacuum.

    Abbott's already won that race but Shorten has yet to be told.

    I suppose no one in the Labor Party can get through the Shorten "cone of silence".

    Get Smart is not likely to happen to the Labor Party until they lose the election they should have won.

  50. Kaye Lee

    That’s where we differ Trish. I don’t think it’s about winning elections. It’s about governing in the best interests of the people regardless of where you currently sit. If it’s a good idea then who cares who implements it. In my opinion, if you vote against legislation you should be able to offer alternatives.

  51. John Fraser


    If you can't/won't offer alternative policies at the very least you should be able to offer a witty comeback.

    Shorten just sat there like a stuffed doll when Abbott kept asking Shorten what he would do, what ideas he had.

    The obvious riposte was …. call an election.

  52. mars08


    …we are not giving them any ammunition to aim at us, either. Importantly, as it stands we have around 18 months or so until another election and we DO want to make a big, clear and strong impression leading up to the election. We DON’T want our policies to have been heard, misconstrued and forgotten by then, which is absolutely what would happen if we trotted them out now…

    Looks like a strawman to me.

    I’m not looking for fully fleshed-out policies. I’m not looking for solid promises. All I’m asking is that shorten nail his colours to the mast. All I want is that for ALP to firmly and loudly define it’s principles. I want them to draw some clear lines. If they want to stay low, commit to nothing… and try to be all things to all people… how can we trust them to follow through with actual policies?

  53. Harquebus

    The Labor Party are a bunch of thieves who continue to steal our liberties and freedoms. Bill Shorten can be the best strategist in the world, I couldn’t care less. He is just another growth deadhead anyway.
    Labor’s capitulation on the data retention legislation was the last straw. Until the day I die I will always in every election, vote Labor last.
    Good comments though.

  54. Kaye Lee

    John Fraser,

    In these days of talking points issued to politicians by eagre young kids don’t expect anything like a witty retort. When you hear the same phrases repeated all day regardless of who is being interviewed about what, it is hard to have respect for any of them let alone confidence that they actually have a handle on policy and have done the homework to know what they are talking about. Even the cadence of their voices is scripted. Shorten and Abbott, as they deliver their lame zingers, lean in, lower voice, and make direct eye contact. I feel like they have practiced in front of a mirror. They have lost all spontaneity and ability to respond to what has been said because the script has been laid out. Abbott will look to his backbenchers as he waves his arms around – look at me kicking them. There is no even attempt at decorum or gravitas. Watching Karen MacNamara and Sarah Henderson vascillate between giggling and screeching like haradins behind the despatch box has made it impossible for me to watch QT. Their behaviour is atrocious.

    Political parties are what have destroyed our parliament and replaced it with bad theatre. We are not governed by wise men and women with public service in mind, We are ruled by ambitious individuals who band together to ensure their own survival. Every vote should be a free vote and political donations and advertising should be banned.

  55. John Fraser


    Kaye Lee

    You will get no argument from me in that Comment.

  56. stephentardrew

    Spot on Kaye I totally agree.

    Great comment. Certainly expresses exactly how I have been feeling. Where is the intellectual dexterity and instant wit. Seems memorising is the only way to get a joke across as it looses any sense of timing and spontaneity. Damn boring bunch most of them with a few exceptions. The circus lacks gravitas and a sense of purposeful direction.

    The military crap drives me mad having worked with veterans and seen the horrific consequences of war. It so easy to spend squillions on weapons while sending our kids off to do the dirty work for their corporate masters.

    Use em or loose em weapons will be replaced by whiz bang super expensive replacements while the so called enemy mange to procure the out of date models. These bastards make profits on the way up and the way down. Point is military hardware is not a capital asset it is an endlessly expendable bottomless pit of greed sucking up the wealth of the nation (apologies to Adam Smith).

    Anyone who says we can’t afford decent social welfare support, health system and affordable housing are just lying through their duplicitous teeth. They basically don’t want a solution because the one percent like it just the way it is. Money and indoctrination through media ownership can buy most things including peoples opinions and their willingness to suffer unnecessarily.

    And Labor thinks hiding in the wings is a strategy.

    What utter gutless rubbish.

  57. Anon E Mouse

    your reasoning was the same during the Beazley era – small target and me-too-ism – and it exactly the reasoning that led to Julia Gillard getting awful cranky with me. In her temper, she stated that she agreed with and admired Howard and his refugee hardline; that polls were everything; and a lot of other disturbing values towards society’s vulnerable and that she couldn’t see why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders should be treated any different from other small minorities.

    Of course Shorten was Gillard’s acolyte, and wikileaks told us how Shorten is a clairvoyant because he was able to forsee the overthrow of Rudd a good 6 months before it happened.

    If Labor sticks to the small target, me-too-isms, of the Beazley era they can expect the same outcome – losing an unlosable election. It will be so small a target that no one will even notice they are there.

    On the other hand, if real effort is made like Qld Labor did, to listen to people and take their concerns and advice seriously, they may achieve success. Qld Labor talked of the good things Labor has done, including the Rudd, Gillard, Beattie and Bligh govts. They claimed the great wins, the infrastructure built, the values expressed, and then they expressed their own aspirations for the state, their values and commitments. They went into the election with their values clear, and their intentions well articulated.

    Shorten and his roll over on the data retention etc is too much of a neo-con for my vote.

  58. Trish_Corry

    Kaye if you don’t win Govt you cannot Govern. I think you are taking my comments as far too simplistic. I do not agree that Labor does not have policies. It is not the time to have indepth discussion about them. Every time they oppose the Government’s policies it should show people what they stand for.

  59. Anon E Mouse

    Trish, Labor needs to talk about its values, its grand plans for Australia. I hope those plans will be about fairness, equity, environment, health, education etc.

    Instead of rolling over and supporting the meta-data laws, Labor should have been demanding repercussion on the AFP accessing meta-data as soon as the Libs got in. Shorten seems to be a bit slow on the uptake if he does not see that as a very real, very sinister, issue.

  60. Harquebus

    The Labor Party, as far as I can tell, stand for getting themselves reelected. Implementing the will of the people has nothing to do with it.

  61. mars08


    …I do not agree that Labor does not have policies. It is not the time to have indepth discussion about them…

    Again, a strawman argument. There aren’t many (if any) comments here stating that the ALP should have (or reveal) the nuts and bolts of any politices at this stage. All we as asking for is a firm statement of principles… a commitment… a passion. An indication of EXACTLY where they stand on the important issues. Some evidence that they might have a (slightly) progressive agenda…

  62. John Fraser



    "Every time they oppose the Government’s policies it should show people what they stand for."

    Abbotts boast is that 75% of his policies have been passed.

  63. Kaye Lee

    “if you don’t win Govt you cannot Govern”

    This is the part I don’t understand. Every single person who is in parliament was elected to help govern, not to sit there and have a rest. If any one of them has a good plan they should be discussing it and convincing others that it is the way to go. Anybody can introduce legislation or amendments. If their idea has merit then the majority look stupid if they oppose it. This idea that only those in majority have a job to do while the others wait three years for their turn is precisely what I am complaining about.

  64. trishcorry

    I’ll put it a little bit more simply Kaye Lee. If you do not win Government it is not your party’s policies that get adopted. The opposition does not normally put forward a policy and it is adopted by Government. Otherwise, parties would remain in opposition forever wouldn’t they, as there would be no difference between the parties. We may as well just have one party rule Australia forevermore.

  65. Sir ScotchMistery

    Good God, Shorten is almost as bad a speaker as that idiot currently occupying the seat usually reserved for prime ministers.

  66. trishcorry

    John, can you name the 75% of policies that have been passed? Some were also passed with the assistance of Palmer and the cross bench and not Labor.

  67. John Fraser



    And some were passed in the Senate with the full assistance of Labor.

    Its mainly the big education, health "reforms" that haven't passed.

    Just have a look at the meta data laws.

    In fact have a very, very close look at the meta data laws because they have a massive detrimental impact on websites like The AIMN.

  68. John Fraser



    Avoid some teeth gnashing/reality …. do not look at today's Newspoll.

  69. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for trying to make it “simple” for me Trish. Let me also make it “simple” for you.

    The whole party system is what has destroyed our parliament. There is no mention of parties in the Constitution. These are private organisations who have bought their way into power and who are themselves open to being bought.

    For a party to insist that its members all vote the same way regardless of the wishes of their constituents is wrong. It has become a competition not between ideas but between marketing, advertising and spin where dissent within a party will not be tolerated. Hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted both in political donations and political advertising. We no longer look at the merits or performance of each candidate. This allows people like Joe Bullock to enter parliament in front of a genuine candidate like Louise Pratt. We no longer listen to the experts about the direction that would be in the best interests of the nation. Direction is dictated by donors or the fear of an adverse advertising campaign by vested interests. This is NOT the way it was designed to be.

    If our representatives were not constrained by allegiance to a party there would be no impediment to introducing and debating worthwhile legislation. This fixation with winning elections overrides good governance. This idea that we can’t disclose our ideas is a total abrogation of the responsibilities of office. You seem to feel that winning an election is the goal whereas I feel getting things done should be the goal. Your simplistic explanations have done nothing to address the issue I am raising.

  70. Harquebus

    Well said Kaye Lee. I totally agree.
    Labor politicians represent the Labor Party. The Liberals aren’t much better but, at least they are not expelled for voting with their conscience.

  71. Kaye Lee

    I do not agree. The Liberals don’t allow conscience votes and if someone crosses the floor their future is very precarious. This isn’t a them vs us or who is better than whom. I understand that it is difficult for a candidate to campaign without a party to back them and that it is idealistic of me to think we could gather together sufficient numbers of willing capable people with integrity.

    I know many party members are indeed people of integrity and principle but they are often abandoned when their representatives reach parliament.

    For example,

    In 2011, when Julia Gillard was pushing her Malaysia solution in response to the attack by Abbott on asylum seeker arrivals, it was at odds with the ALP National Platform.

    The ALP National Platform states, Chapter 7, Paragraph 157: “Protection claims made in Australia will be assessed by Australians on Australian territory”, which is a clear endorsement of onshore processing.

    Tony Abbott has broken more promises in his short tenure than I can remember.

    They use parties to gain power and then change their stance for political expediency.

  72. John Fraser



    "the opinion I posted above I feel does have some merit, if we were to discuss political strategy." ….. trishcorry

    In light of the current Newspoll how's that "political strategy" of the Labor Party going ?

    Trish i'm not here to put you down, I know that you believe in Labor but just like in 1975 that belief is not continueing to translate across the broader community of Australia.

    That broader community had enough of Abbott but if they see nothing from Labor then they just gravitate back to Abbott.

    And if it continues this way much longer than you had better get used to Abbott for another 3 years.

    He's got the trigger and can use it at any time.

  73. Kaye Lee

    I absolutely prefer Labor to the Coalition – I would prefer my pet rabbit than Abbott. But I would like to be inspired by them. I would like to see them taking a stand. Perhaps that will happen before polling day but they are failing to take advantage of the vacuum that Abbott has offered them. Marketing people may be telling Labor to hold their cards close to their chest but the electorate are crying out for them to bring some sense to the debate. Forget the spin, forget the marketing, forget the zingers – start some honest talking and you may win over a lot of people like me.

  74. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee.
    What did I say? “The Liberals aren’t much better”.
    Labor’s capitulation on data retention did it for me. Always I will vote them last.

  75. rossleighbrisbane

    Actually, Harqebus, I’m surprised that you waste all that energy voting…
    Given you’ll always be outnumber by those you consider ignorant!

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