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What the hell are you doing, Labor?

As a smirking Scott Morrison prances about the country being hailed by the media and his party as the Messiah who performs miracles, claiming a mandate for anything he chooses to do, Labor seems not to have learned anything from their failure to sell themselves at the last election.

One after another, they front the media to tell us what a devastating defeat it was and how they must abandon their policies and start fresh, which seems to mean agreeing to more coal and gas mining, agreeing to tax cuts for the rich, and abandoning the fight to help the disadvantaged and protect the vulnerable and the environment.

But hang on.

The combined first preference HoR vote of the four parties who make up the Coalition is, at this point in time, 41.81% of the electorate. Labor and the Greens combined got 43.45% of the first preference vote.

Why isn’t Labor shouting this from the rooftops and putting the Coalition on notice that a greater number of Australian people voted for the progressive parties directly and they are duty bound to represent the people who did so?

The Labor Party needs to stop listening to polls and focus groups and advertising gurus and start showing the confidence of leaders who know the path that must be taken in the future and the ability to communicate honestly as to why.

Stop acting like losers.


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  1. Baby Jewels

    Couldn’t agree more.

  2. OldWomBat

    The alp offered policies and a vision of a more equitable Australia. The lnp offered no policies, lies and shouting fully backed by murdoch, fox etc. .. and won the election. As Rossleigh points out it’s ignorance that really won. The policies were well founded, in general, and the success of mr shouty on a platform of “You get Me!!” is not a reason to abandon them. For the life of me I can’t see how one would go about educating the masses but that is precisely what the alp must do over the next three years.

  3. Keitha Granville

    Yes yes and yes again.
    The Coalition (operative word, as in a group) did NOT win a massive landslide, they have a paper thin majority. They will however ram through any old plan they come up with cos they didn’t say what they’d do beforehand.
    It’s up to Labor and the Greens to shout them down, AND to sell what they have to offer to all those who didn’t choose them this time. Explain, outline, detail, educate.

    They only need to win over the floaters, the swingers, the rest are rusted on right or left.

    One thing, don’t sink to character assassination, personal attacks or any other grubby tactic – leave that to the masters in the LNP.

  4. New England Cocky

    Agreed. The shock of the election result has put Labor very much on the back foot at present. It will be up to Albanese to whip them back into gear and get back onto the important strategy of promoting a better Australia for everybody, not just the foreign owned multinational corporations that legally minimise taxation to zero while benefitting from the peaceful opportunity to trade in OUR AUSTRALIA.

  5. Christopher J Ward

    Stop acting like losers? You mean tossers. AIM writers still don’t get it – ALP policies put many people offside. I thought it would be a narrow margin, from last year but when the ALP is in trouble, they toss the word “mandate” around as though it’s the Holy Grail. I voted for my local member – ALP – but the Senate paper was a metre wide and devoid of talent.

  6. Regional Elder

    With massive support, from the Murdoch media, particularly in Queensland, and from the $60 million mining magnate Clive Palmer, the LNP, yes, has won by a just slender margin.
    Morrison ruthlessly pursued his ‘ Kill Bill ‘ strategy, putting in the minds of many electors his opponent’s name as synonymous with Labor having higher taxes.
    He has no other mandate than achieving that, as he offered no policies other than higher tax reductions for the wealthiest people in Australia.

    Yes I agree Kaye, the ALP seems to have fallen victim to the LNP and their financial backers’ hubris following the election.
    It echoes the post-election period in 1996, when following Howard’s win, the ALP allowed the Liberals to control the political narrative completely.

    Opposition to such an appalling government should begin on Day 1 after the election.

  7. Kaye Lee

    At the moment, there are 213,582 more first preference HoR votes for Labor and the Greens than for the Coalition.

  8. totaram

    Keitha Granville: “One thing, don’t sink to character assassination, personal attacks or any other grubby tactic – leave that to the masters in the LNP.”

    Sorry, but this nice guy approach does not work. Do as they do and do it worse. There is no other solution. All the evidence tells you that this lies and nastiness is the only thing that works. USE IT!

  9. whatever

    Scotty and the LNP had the clandestine campaign of many Mini-Murdochs on Facebook spreading random fear and loathing about Labor, as well as TalkBack radio with their 24/7 hatespeak.
    That is why he smirked and obuscated all throughout the actual campaigning you saw on TV, all the real messaging was happening in the anonymous postings of people who don’t have to answer to the Electoral Commission.

  10. lawrence winder

    Exactly, they should be out and selling their agenda and importantly exposing the corruption inherent in the Ruling Rabble…

  11. Paul Davis

    Wow, is this so Kaye Lee, thought that LNP were well in front overall. but …… even though their policies are similar, Labor and Greens are highly unlikely to merge into one party on what i thought were their actual numbers, eg 36% + 10% will always be less than a majority. Secondly, as separate parties and assuming they each preference the other, same scenario. It raises a question about our proportional representation voting system that a party supported by 10% of the nation has just 1 seat in the HoR while another party with 4% have 6+ seats. And what about the ridiculous senate situation based on numbers of states not population? Perhaps a rethink of the system is due…. not a chance of course as this unfair almost gerrymander suits the majors. Maybe when we become a republic we can change the system, maybe even rid ourselves of the states….. since we’d be amending the constitution..

  12. John L

    It’s why I liked the NZ MMP system. 2 votes – 1 for the electorate MP, and 1 for a party. The total MP numbers comprise electorate mps and “list” mps -mps who represent their party, not an electorate.Any party that garners 5% or more gets a list MP ( it should be around 3-4%) It has been known for right wing electorates to elect a labor mp, just because they were seen as the best choice and better for their electorate.

  13. Matters Not


    Perhaps a rethink of the system is due

    Indeed! But as the (Irish) joke goes – If you want to get to (take your pick), then I wouldn’t start from here. And that applies across much of the developed world. For example, the US Electoral College arrangements are profoundly undemocratic as are … do you want a list or an essay?

    But the fact is, certain arrangements do exist (and have for some time) and they are not going to change in the foreseeable future. Why – there’s not even one political party that has it on the agenda. So it seems we have to work with what we have. While moaning about unfairness, acts of bastardry, lies etc may be good for the metaphorical soul they are not solutions or the way forward even in the medium term.

    But perhaps we are not really supporters of democracy (broadly defined) after all? Is Australia ready for a revolution – any radical change – when it’s not even up for discussion? Get real.

  14. RomeoCharle29

    Interesting timing in the announcements regarding the diplomatic appointments of Seenodonors and the unlamented ABC destroyer, Fifield. Artie had somet houghtful suggestions for Morrison on election night and might be a bit of a loss, Fifield getting a raise beyond his level of competence. That both are Senators deprives us, sadly, of a couple of by-elections but will we see a Jim Molam back? I reckon.

    On the main topic I agree Labor should not abandon any of its policies, just spend three years hammering why they are best for the vast majority, and yes, go the mongrel. These lying bastards have lowered the bar to the point where anything goes and we, the Labor voters, should take every opportunity to let them know what we think they have done to our democracy. No liberal/national speaker at a public event should go unheckled for the next three years. That should go for Palmer too.

  15. Anon E Mouse

    Labor has time to go through this as they sort through some unfinished internal business. The way I see it, Labor has presented a united front but it hid the internal friction – a carry over from the disunity that began with the knifing of Rudd. (Please no mention of polls because we know that they are far from accurate etc.)
    They are hardly going to come out and say that they should have listened to the people who simply did not like or trust Shorten remembering his part in the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd saga. For those who listened to the policies and decided to vote Labor in spite of Shorten, there were many who couldn’t bring themselves to do so.

    Morrison was crafty enough to tap into Labors weak spot – a distrust of Shorten – and when to the advertising blitz by Palmer, and the outlandish lies spread by the Libs, it was just enough.

    Morrison will have to face up to his failings soon enough, though I doubt anything would wipe that grin of his face. Already the Libs are talking about adopting/adapting some of Labor’s policies.

    Hopefully Albo will be able to unite the party, and foster the abilities and experience of the upcoming generation of Labor leaders.

  16. Zathras

    It’s a ridiculous over reaction to a phoney media question.

    It wasn’t a devastating electoral defeat, just an unexpected one. The government won 2 seats, the ALP lost 2 and there is now 1 more Independent, hardly a landslide.

    Is the ALP really saying they will no longer consider raising Newstart or closing tax loopholes and now won’t increase funding to schools and hospitals and will dump all their other platform ideas and hope they get lucky and find the right mix?

    If so then they are as opportunistic as the neo-conservatives who will do whatever it takes just to get into power.

    Labor’s long term problem is that it stopped standing for those things that made them worth voting for, like jumping onto the “me-too” wagon in the case of refugees and just chasing poll results.

    It’s one thing to say you’re simply responding to the will of the people but another thing entirely to lead a country into the future, even if it requires unpopular decisions.

    The Liberals stand for lower tax and deregulation – that’s all – even if it means less services and widening the gap between rich and poor. Everything else is just window dressing and the means to that particular end. From poverty to public health – the “free market” will fix everything.

    If the ALP is about fairness and social justice they had better make it known and show how their policies are better than those of the government. Now is not the time to be dithering and cringing in fear of what may happen years from now.

  17. John Hermann

    The issues that decided this election were job security and income security. They trumped all of the other important issues that Australians are confronted with. Which is a pity because Labor had a set of good expansive policies, particularly in health and education, that the Coalition was unable to match. Labor did not think their policies through to the extent of being able to convincingly address the fear campaign and distortions of the Coalition parties relating to job and income security. They should have anticipated that such a campaign would be waged. They apparently did not, and therefore the Coalition was able to gain political capital from Labor’s ineptitude. Labor should have had a plan for re-employing those likely to lose their jobs from the full implementation of Labor’s announced policies, and then they should have sold that plan to the electorate in language simple enough for the average person in the street to understand.

  18. Peter F

    Zathras, You are correct: one of the great disasters of our time is the fact that the ALP under Rudd declared that Climate change was the greatest moral issue facing us, and then proceeded to allow the coalition to use a scare campaign to defeat everything they stood for.

    If they now move away from the issues they took to the electorate, we are faced with nowhere to go. Bill Shorten and his team presented hope and opportunity, and were beaten by lies which appealed to greed.

  19. Joanne Sullivan

    Absolutely 100% agree Kaye. They should stick with the great policies they had and bloody well sell them better.

  20. James Cook

    Labor was beaten by a lying Media. And they’ll be flogged in the future unless they somehow take on and expose the rampant bias, especially in Murdoch’s harem of pseudo-journalists. I’m also dumbfounded at Labor strategists inability to even imagine the lies the Coalition would manufacture in the campaign. Didn’t anyone sit down and think “OK, here are our policies. Now, how will the Libs twist all this around to scare voters”? Then plan a counter strategy! Basic Campaign Tactics 101.

  21. Yvonne Robertson

    Labor has taken a body blow and needs time to heal and re-organise. They had reason to believe they had it in the bag – a completely dysfunctional government over the last 5.5 years and 3 prime ministers. They had a suite of policies they were rightly proud of in the face of inept governance and corruption. Whatever they’re saying now will morph into what they take to an election in three years time, so hardly time to get the whip out about the things being said to inane media questioning. I suspect they’ll do what Hawke advised Hewson after the event – they’ll keep the progressive, hard to explain stuff in the bottom drawer until after the next election. Who could blame them.

  22. wam

    PHON/anning 259167(the greens 217697).. The greens are extremists to the phon anning and vice versa. The lnp have the luxury of steering away from the former but labor is stuck with the greens in every media outlet inescapable so bobby’s romp was disastrous because every time anyone on tv/radio/print said labor it was followed by ‘and the greens’. The is the slogan that reinforces labor and the greens are one. Funny that labor and the unions is also a negative slogan. These associations disturb the workers who fear the greens ie deniers and those who are not unionists ie subbies making them vulnerable to campaigns like palmer’s toxic adverts.

    The 3rd of the trinity and the holy ghost of true lies in politics is labor cannot manage the economy true because the lnp have made it believable ergo true and a lie because labor are the managers the lnp trade off their work and at best maintain.
    wow Zahras 23 to 6 is not disastrous??

  23. helvityni

    Gillard achieved plenty by working with Bob Brown and the Independents, why couldn’t Shorten and di Natali do the same…?

    The Liberals and the Nationals make the Coalition, plus they are assisted by the likes of Hanson and Palmer….

  24. Winston

    I should have always been Albanese as leader all those ago as he knows how to communicate with Sydney Shock Jocks and many conservatives including Bolt.Many Blue collar workers vote LNP. Shorten didn’t connect with them.

  25. Kaye Lee


    At the moment, first preference votes in Queensland for PHON/Anning 270,811. The Greens in Qld, 255,899

    But this was a federal election and nationwide, PHON/Anning got 463,561 to the Greens 1,287,429 at current count of FP votes.

    To compare the Greens to Pauline Hanson or Fraser Anning is completely unjustifiable in my opinion. The Greens have actual costed policies, none of which include bigotry, persecuting minorities, destroying the planet, or increasing inequality.

    Perhaps it would be more palatable to you if we spoke of the progressive vote and the conservative vote though for the life of me, I do not understand the hatred. You don’t have to merge parties but working together towards good policy is what we progressive voters deserve.

  26. Peter F

    ALP / Green makes more sense that LIB/Gnats, but the Greens seem determined to destroy what the ALP offer.

  27. Des and Ros Watson

    Scott Morrison now has the audacity to say “we took it to the voters in the last election”—when he says he will lower taxes for ALL Australians? What happened to the promises he made to the low to middle income families. Surely his friends from his church are an example of all income levels? What do they think?

  28. Wayne Turner

    Labor should keep all the great policies they took to the election. They need to admit that Murdoch runs the show,and a vote for the Coalition is a vote for Murdoch,and that the MSM has corrupted our former democracy.

    If Labor dumps these great policies they have already lost,and rolling over is wrong.They lost because of the MSM (And the gullible idiots that fell for them.) ,not their policies. Alot of the electorate got conned by the lying Coaltion,Palmer and MSM.

    Labor has to fight against their enemies even more ie: The Coalition and their MSM. We and Labor need to fight to get democracy back.

    Labor has to stop taking crap whenever the biased MSM talks to them.

    Labor has to make the next federal election the uglist and trashiest federal election.HARDCORE NEGATIVE AND LIES TOO – Coalition voter’s clearly have no right to complain about this too.

  29. Jack Russell

    The election is over.

    The Labor Party needs to stop talking to the media. Now is NOT the time to be granting access to the hostile MSM. Any necessary statement can, and should, be a precisely worded, brief, written, official press statement.

    The media focus should be on the newly elected government.

    It’s not.

  30. Zathras

    All it will take is for a government on-the-nose with the electorate within the next 3 years to lose two bi-elections to the ALP and we’re back to where we were before the election. The anti-ALP Palmer preferences are also no longer there to bail them out and the Adani mine may yet be stalled. Even if it isn’t halted the extra coal flooding the market will drive down the global price and affect miners everywhere through job losses.

    It’s been strongly suggested that we’ll be in a recession in a couple of years and if there’s any hitch in Freydenberg delivering that magical surplus in the next budget their credibility will be shot and I doubt even Morrison will be able to talk his way out of that (again). He has also given away his option of increasing taxes to meet that target and can’t cut services much more.

    It’s up the the ALP to continually remind voters they probably voted against their own best interests in many areas and not blame and abandon sound policies and they should ensure that this post-election honeymoon period will be the highest point the government can reach.

  31. John Ford

    It was a near run thing. But why not add the votes of One Nation and the UAP to the LNP side of the column if thats where all their preferences ended up? And it looks like this world is going to be well and truly at war by the next election. John Curtin and the ALP won two thirds of the seats in the HOR when they were the incumbents in 1943.

  32. Trevor

    Whilst ever Labor continues with its we will not lower ourselves to challenge the lies, distortions, personal attacks from the conservative forces it will remain as a party of loosers.

    It’s almost seems that Labor would rather be in opposition unless it can be given the result their way.

    After 6 yrs of Libs denegrating Labor, I waited, waited, waited, waited for Labor to fire back, but nothing but if ya don’t like us don’t vote for us crap.

    Labor has lost the plot like the latest banks ad advertising that they don’t want to talk about themselves by talking about themselves.


    As for those who whinge about the gerrymander, want change to occur, can you pls understand that Australia’s failed experiment of Representative Democracy has one HUGE roadblock to change.

    The Politoxics get the final say. They have to agree before any change can occur, no matter what the public want, ask for or petition for.

    If you think the major 2 party alignments are gunna agree to dimunition of their cutesy 2 party preferred scam, then you look foolishly like Nicholson’s cartoon of Abbott’s head in profile.

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