In a time of unprecedented deceit, telling the truth has become a revolutionary act.
Whether an early election is imminent or not, the signs suggest the ALP should get ready. The Liberals have already fired the first salvo with an advertisement on YouTube, trying to paint Bill Shorten as untrustworthy. If that is not the height of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
Given the government’s own untrustworthy record over the past two years, any reference to trust by them is really stretching the limits of our imagination. It goes beyond hypocrisy; it is pure evil, born of guilt.
One can only imagine what further acts are in the planning stages, all designed, no doubt, to try and blunt anything that Labor might let loose on Tony Abbott. And as we all know, there’s plenty to choose from.
Labor should, and can, absorb any existing and future propaganda that comes from the Liberals and blow it right back at them. The Liberals will focus on Bill Shorten and it will be weak. Bill Shorten is up to the task. And as for not backing the government’s pension changes, that is a mixed bag.
Those that lose out might well admire him. Regular polling tells us that those that would have lost out if he had been successful, don’t vote for Labor anyway. But who really knows?
The Royal Commission into Trade Union corruption has been a disappointment for the government and particularly, Tony Abbott. So far, nothing of any damning significance has been uncovered. As yet, there are no scalps. Abbott is desperately hoping Shorten’s upcoming appearance will change all that.
It won’t. It will be an anti-climax with nothing of significance discovered. So, what of the issue of being trustworthy?
At a time when deceitfulness by this government is being advanced to an art form, telling the truth has become a radical act. There certainly won’t be much by way of truth coming from the conservative side of politics in any upcoming election campaign.
And when deceit becomes the Liberals default position, Labor should grab it by the throat and vigorously demonstrate by example, the two year history of broken promises and the cheap and nasty way they approach the most vulnerable in society. They simply need to expose the Liberals for what they are, and ask: who do you trust?
The behaviour of the government over the past two years, in what they have said and done should provide not just a smorgasbord of material Labor can use to remind voters of how untrustworthy they are, but also how they have failed to act in the best interests of the nation.
Whether it be in the area of social services, the economy, defence, education, health, climate change or international diplomacy, the government has demonstrated not just how untrustworthy they are, but also their immaturity and vindictiveness on a whole range of levels. It is sufficient to capture one’s breath.
The extent of their ignorance, arrogance, ineptitude and opportunism has been extraordinary.
Little wonder therefore, that all their attention and energy is currently invested in national security. It is the only issue they can engage with any confidence. “It’s coming after us,” Tony Abbott says in a threatening reference to the Daesh ‘death cult’. What a churlish remark.
This is the message the prime minister has for us and it is this sort of extreme rhetoric that is directed squarely at those who might be sufficiently frightened as to change their vote.
If the issue of trust becomes central to any election campaign (and it should), Labor should have a field day. The treachery of the government, particularly on the economy, health and education is so blatant that it cannot be ignored or played down.
The question to be asked of Labor is, how well can they exploit it? If the government fails to get a poll boost from this week’s unrelenting efforts to win support on national security, Labor can capitalise by making sure the central issue of an election remains Tony Abbott’s deceitfulness and broken promises.
On the issue of national security, what more can be done that is not already being done? National security should not be an issue. The current campaign by the Liberals is a desperate attempt to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty and to deflect attention away from their abysmal record of dishonesty. It is gutter politics and should be exposed as such.