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Why Labor Should Hang Its Head In Shame!

Ok, let’s skip ahead to next year, Josh Frydenberg is delivering the Budget:

“As you are all aware , this year’s projected surplus will now be a small deficit. There are many reasons for this but chiefly, it’s down to Labor. Not only did they block many of our savings measures but they irresponsibly waved through our tax cuts, leaving a big hole on the revenue side of things. As we’ve always said, Labor just cannot live within its means. The five percent cut in company tax has also been a de facto retirement tax because it, in fact, reduces franking refunds by five percent…”

We cut to commentary:

How do you think this will be received in the wider community, Tony?”

“Well, I think it’s another nail in the coffin for Labor. This just shows why the public found them unelectable at the previous election.”

“What about the argument that the government had a mandate?

“The government had a mandate to return the Budget to surplus and now, thanks to Labor, it won’t return until after the next election!’

Yes, it sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it!

Well, that’s how the current discussions about Labor are sounding to me. Taking the AFP raids as a great example, we now have the media talking about how the Labor Party must take responsibility for the way they waved them through. I don’t mean to suggest that Labor aren’t blameless, but it seems that the media are forgetting that people who live in stone houses shouldn’t throw glasses. Ok, that’s usually the other way around but it works my way too and the media is anything but you can see through a glass house and the media has been anything but transparent lately…

Labor can’t say anything because they did write and ask for an investigation, we’re told. Asking for an investigation doesn’t automatically mean that one wants the AFP to spend several hours trawling through everything in a journalist’s computer. I mean, if I asked for an investigation into that thing that I can’t mention because a certain minister is extremely trigger happy when it comes to threatening legal action, it doesn’t mean that I want to see the said minister publicly strip-searched and interrogated for hours on end until he breaks down and…

Actually wrong example.

Just because I ask for something to be investigated doesn’t make me wholly responsible for any overkill on the part of the investigator.

I don’t want to sound like I’m just defending Labor because I’m a rusted-on leftie. I used to be considered a conservative when I was a student. Within a few years, I was middle of the road. Now, I seem to be a radical. This is strange because my views haven’t really changed all that much, but when arguing that a strong economy isn’t worth much if it comes at the expense of being able to breathe, makes you a soul brother with Che Guevara, there’s something very, very wrong.

I’d much rather be writing and criticising Labor for over-reacting to their loss. Albanese seems almost to be saying, “See, I told you I should be leader because all our policies were wrong and let’s change them”, completely ignoring the fact that it was the thumping in Queensland, combined with Labor not having the landslide expected in other states led to a narrow loss.

If I can flashback to 2004 and Latham’s loss, we were given various different reasons. It was the handshake AND it was the hitlist to private schools AND it was a whole range of things. Of course, this overlooks the problem that when people vote only one party becomes the government… Ok, sometimes it’s a coalition of parties, but the point still stands that it doesn’t mean that the losers were wrong on everything. It’s easy to push your own agenda and suggest, for example, that people didn’t like cutting funds to the wealthiest private schools. One only has to stop and think about that for a nanosecond to realise that almost nobody who isn’t connected to one of the wealthiest private schools would even consider not voting for someone for that reason, particularly if they liked all the other policies that the party was putting forward.

Yes, I’d much rather that Labor had taken a pause and said that they need to re-think all their policies in light of their election defeat and then say nothing for the next six months. In fact, it might be a better tactic to say nothing for the next three years and go in with the simple slogan. “We run positive campaigns, not like those bastards who just call people names and haven’t delivered all the jobs they promised”.

At the very least they could work out which policies people actually liked, which policies they didn’t understand (franking credits) and which policies lost them the election before doing their mea culpa and begging Queensland and big business for forgiveness.

As for Adani, they should simply point out that the price of coal is tanking and producing massive amounts of coal will only depress the price even further, making all our coal mines less viable but Adani is a private company and if it wants to waste its money providing a hundred jobs or so, great, but they’d rather do the following to reduce unemployment in Queensland…

No, thanks to the media’s inability to take any responsibility for the total lack of scrutiny they applied to so much of the legislation that was enacted to protect us from terrorism, I’m defending Labor at a time when I should be telling them to get their act together and rid us of this incompetent bunch of clowns.

As I’ve written before, I accept terrorism is a problem in today’s world, but if one looks at history, many, many more people have been harmed or killed by governments with too much power than by terrorists. We should tread carefully and not simply accept it when governments tell us that technically that’s what the legislation would allow, but hey, we’d never use it like that. Trust us, this is Australia.

And, how good is Australia!

 

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30 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    The media reaction is ridiculous. Every bit of scrutiny is still on Labor despite the fact that the Coalition is embarking on its third term of majority government.

    I too am really concerned about Albanese’s self-flagellation. I liked their policies. That’s why I voted for them.

    The four parties who make up the Coalition received 41.4% of the first preference votes. Labor and the Greens got 43.7% of the first preference votes.

  2. Wayne Turner

    The ONLY time Labor should talk about themselves is to defend themselves.The rest of the time they should be talking about how the coalition are a bunch of serial liars,and how everything bad is their fault NOT Labor’s.

  3. Alpo

    Kaye,
    It’s obvious that the ALP must revisit some of their strategies, after all they have lost. Adopting the Greens’ attitude: Bump your head against the same brick wall again and again (e.g. Adani) in the hope that over time the wall will crumble down, whilst ignoring your increasing bleeding, cracking skull and brain trauma, is stupidity to the max.

    What Labor MUST NOT do is what Murdoch and the vested interests want them to do: “We will leave you alone, and perhaps even support you, if you return to the old Hawke-Keating Neoliberalism”… That MUST NOT happen. Re-adjust the strategies yes, change the broad direction of the Social Democratic program no.

    Now, I do expect the ALP to do that, but there is also a massive responsibility falling on the shoulders of self-described progressive/leftist people:
    a) There is no leftist Revolution coming to Australia in the future.
    b) The Greens are going nowhere in terms of being a credible party of Government.
    c) Our only hope is the ALP.
    d) Stop bashing the ALP because according to some “they are not going far enough fast enough”.
    e) If we don’t support the ALP they will either be tempted to return to their old Neoliberalism-light, or if they stay on their current Social Democratic course, they will remain in opposition forever because they have to simultaneously fight battles against their “natural enemies” on the right and their “alleged friends” on the left.
    f) … and let’s tell Tasmanian and Victorian environmentalists to stay away from Queensland. Only Queensland-based environmentalists should get involved in environmental battles in Queensland. Queenslanders hate “foreigners” to come and shout at them.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Alpo,

    I disagree.

    You are asking me to compromise what I believe in to appease people with whom I disagree. That’s not the way I roll. When you are confident that what you are doing is right, you need to communicate that better.

    Labor were so distracted by trying to justify numbers that they neglected to stress benefits. By sitting on the fence about Adani, they kept it in the news. They should have said ‘Adani is one small limited employment opportunity – here are a kazillion better options for ongoing jobs in Queensland’ and have a specific credible narrative on what they are.

    They really need to get better about talking about the potential for new industries rather than nostalgia for old.

    The Greens don’t have to offer an alternative government but that shouldn’t preclude Labor from listening to their ideas which generally reflect society’s aspirations better than either of the major parties.

    And I am getting very sick of hearing about how Queenslanders don’t like others telling them what to do. They were responsible for returning this shithouse government – we all suffer because of their ignorance. (apologies to the 56.3% of Queenslanders who did not give their first preference to the LNP but the 15% or so of you who voted for conservative minor parties are what got these fools over the line again).

  5. Wayne Turner

    Well said Kayee Lee spot on. Labor MUST stand up for what they believe in,NOT take a backwards step.NO PANDERING TO BS,attack it instead.

  6. Terence Mills

    Labor were far to progessive and gave the coalition the space to label their policies as retirees tax and tax on housing and then they threw in for good measure a scare campaign on adeath tax.

    I liked Labor’s upfront policies and their attempt to reel in the distortions in tax concessions.

    Next time around they will need to foreshadow an independent tax review when in office and then adopt the principal recommendations which will ineviatbly pick up on negative gearing and franking cash payments.But most important is to have on hand well briefed experts who will cut through the coalition’s bullshit and explain what needs to be done : I’m thinking of the likes of Saul Eslake a well respected economics commentator.

  7. Jack Russell

    My view:

    Full-on 24/7 Labor mongrel, both in and out of parliament. No pairs. No bipartisanship. No “conventions”. No playing footsies with the media. Get in, toss the bomb, get out. Call out the crap. Short, sharp, and targeted. Make the government be the ones answering the damn questions.

  8. Terence

    Lenore Taylor writes a good article in the Guardian today and probably articulates the ALP’s biggest problem. The fact that the public and media are so nonchalant around the lies that are told by politicians these days. A problem I see only getting worse as the public become more and more desensitised to it and a media more and more fearful of challenging it.

    Now yes I’m sure many will cry “The ALP need to be clear”, “Hit them with facts” or my personal favourite “Communicate better.”

    But is anyone listening? Or are they just the Hoi Polloi in Bread & Circuses who WANT to be distracted, amused, pampered and fed cake, rather than debate dreary legislation?

    There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day, and life is short.

  9. Paul Davis

    John Setka, the gift that keeps on giving, just like Labor’s feral factions.

    IMHO Labor is unelectable while the ‘quiet Strayan’ punters see the Silverback running amok as well as the factional infighting, power struggles and carve ups that offer astonishingly poor specimens of flotsam vomited up for preselection (you know who they are, they sit in the house troughnosing while contributing ziltch to the nation except the approved vote as demanded, the Labor equivalent of the millionaire ex tennis player). You don’t have to believe the crap farted by Sky to be disgusted by a significant chunk of the Labor party. Would you really want these selfish corrupt cretins as part of a government you elect?

    Meanwhile yet another foreign girl backpacker goes missing…..

  10. Stephengb

    Yes Jack Russell, exactly!

  11. Phil.

    Jack Russell.

    Hoo Rah.

    Spot on my man.

    Shorten getting angry was akin to being savaged by a dead sheep.

  12. Stephengb

    Rossliegh,

    Sorry but your usually excellant satire did not shine through on this post.

    But by heaven the truth shone through bright and clear.

    Thank you

  13. Patricia

    Totally agree, Jack Russell. Labor needs to go on the attack and they need to give back to the LNP exactly what they were given.

    One of the problems is that the media are the most fearful of the voters in this country.

    They have forgotten what their job is, they refuse to hold politicians, on any side, to account when they flat out lie, they refuse to stand up for the people that they are supposed to inform.

    Until the media stops doffing their cap and saying “yes sir, yes sir” to the LNP in every instance and stop bagging labor, even when it is not warranted, we will have voters who will vote for the liberals, nationals or one of the nut job parties because they are not being told the truth.

  14. pierre wilkinson

    “I’d much rather be writing and criticising Labor for over-reacting to their loss.”
    precisely – their policies were good, well explained, costed and of benefit to the country,
    but they could not cut through the MSM bias and the government’s smears and lies.
    Paul Davis, are you happy with the alternative corrupt, selfish cretins, or are you just a liberal troll?

  15. David Bruce

    A strong ECONOMY simply means we can repay our BANK loans. I don’t know why people confuse it with prosperity?

    Labor should stick to their policies and be prepared to negotiate, even to compromise, to get part of a policy implemented!

    I know when businesses have to implement government policies, they prefer to negotiate the implementation. Perhaps the Queensland electors felt the Labor policies would be steam rolled through the parliament and forcefully implemented before the next election?

    No matter what ScuMo and the Scumbags do over the next few months, they can’t solve the problems facing Australia now. They can only function in a BLAME culture, so perhaps we the people can help to fix that and the media claptrap? Turn off the TV could be step 1….

  16. Peter F

    Did you notice that the ‘death tax’ scare advertisements used the overarching image of the scythe, opening the fear expressed in the AIDS advertisements of the early ’90s? I do NOT believe that this was coincidental.

  17. wam

    yes, rossleigh, labor should lay low until a popular saviour cometh that is the usual tactic.
    Billy was an expert at the first part but fell down on the second.

    Sadly, without a challenge to scummo and frydened on the lnp economic weaknesses labor can and will be preyed upon by media, frustrated political parties and maybe the occasional whiteant from someone like funkey monkey, and lose the next election

    Glad you mentioned qld because that shame is firmly elsewhere. Only kaye mention the intelligence of the those who voted for the extremists maybe with a forlorn hope that extremists may have chosen labor in preference to scummo. Sorry kaye rationalise all you want without the brownout labor may have fallen in or at least made it awkward for scummo.
    to the greenies????
    Notice you increased the vote in qld?
    Wonder where those dollars came from?
    Without brownout, dinatale wouldn’t have garnered $9m.
    Was it a calculated money making decision or just unlucky timing?

  18. Zathras

    The ALP failed to pick up the expected votes because they spent all their time talking about their own policies and none defending themselves from the Coalition lies – as usual.

    Morrison had no real policies (except a last-minute thought bubble about underwriting 10,000 mortgages) so all he had was a relentless scare campaign, aided by the likes of Palmer.

    Instead of tackling the scares head-on, Shorten just ignored them hoping their own positive strategy would somehow win the voters over.

    He forgot about the overwhelming self-interest that drives most voters and didn’t warn them most would be actually voting against their own interests – penalty rates gone forever, additional cuts to services, loss of mining jobs when coal prices drop after the market gets flooded with more coal and so on.

    How many more retirees will now be jumping into the share market to get some of that “free money” and then how will they feel when their share values drop at the next correction? How will new mortgagees feel when the housing market falls to a level where they owe more than their property is worth?

    However it seems that the ALP may have dodged a bullet by letting Morrison take responsibility for the flagging economy and are really only a couple of winning bi-elections away from government, despite what the media described as some sort of “landslide”.
    The ALP had about a 1% primary vote swing against them but the Liberals lost about 0.5% and the number of informal votes was the highest on record.

    The ALP must start the new term of Parliament relentlessly attacking the coalition and not navel-gazing.

  19. ChristopherJ

    Kaye (and others who like to bash the poor folk north of the Tweed):

    ‘And I am getting very sick of hearing about how Queenslanders don’t like others telling them what to do. They were responsible for returning this shithouse government.’

    True, but it was a very effective Murdoch campaign which totally flummoxed the vast majority of people who get their news from Murdoch, Sky, Fox, 9, 7 or ABC. All of them here were rabid about the risks of Labor – who were policy rich, but without a coherent vision of the future and Shorten who forgot to take his gloves off.

    I even had people tell me they liked Scottie. How do you counter that without telling the person they’re as dumb as a dog?

    The election was stolen from Labor by the media. Stop blaming Queenslanders. Not all of us go elsewhere for the truth. The way it is and it won’t change until the media ownership is broken up and foreigners severely restricted.

  20. Kaye Lee

    I actually spent the election in Queensland with very dear friends who were manning a small country polling booth.

    I found this to be a very selfish election. Perhaps they always are but this one gobsmacked me. Coal-mining jobs, wealthy retirees, property developers…should these people throw the country under a bus for their own personal financial benefit?

  21. Jack Cade

    As the ‘winning’ team says – ‘Accept the verdict of the electorate.’

    Last evening, after the Q&A programme, a radio caller suggested that the AFP raids were deliberately timed. The radio studio guest, Attard, first of all said they were not raids, then said that had they occurred before the election they would have resulted in ‘chaos’, or words to that effect. By ‘chaos’, she presumably meant a loss of Coalition seats. Proof positive, in my view, that they were deliberately timed.

  22. James Cook

    Jack Russell I totally agree. But…Throwing the bomb should also be supported with “and this is how the Libs will respond to this” – then outline their response – followed by a BRIEF explanation of why this response is crap! Otherwise the media will finish their report with the Lib’s response, and this will stick in the punters’ minds.

  23. Henry Rodrigues

    All many here have said, this was and is a triumph for Murdoch and the rest of the media bastards and whores, but it is clear to see that their campaign was very fruitful and richly rewarded in Queensland, 25 seats for the knuckle draggers and Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts returned to parliament with slovenly Clive Palmer calling the shots. There is something about Queensland that defies normal comprehension. Nothing will alter that impression.

  24. tyrannosauruswenz

    Henry R – that ‘something’ would be the absolute concentration of Murdoch media in Qld. His narrative is the only one. Palmer also concentrated his campaign on Qld.

    Until we collectively admit that propaganda and advertising work on EVERYONE, not just ‘stupid ignorant people’ we will not move past this petty habit of blaming Queenslanders. (or any others of ‘us’) Advertising and propaganda would not exist if they DIDN’T work, and it is hubris to opine as though intelligence shields one from it. It’s exasperating. All I can see is a plethora of blame and othering and division, whilst the pollies sit back and enjoy what such division delivers to them. (free rein)

    How about looking sideways to community groups. Community gardens and co-ops are a great way to foster change, they are already happening as more and more people wish for a return of belonging to a community.

  25. Henry Rodrigues

    tyrannosauruswenz……….. I agree that advertising exists because it has an effect to greater or lesser degree, depending on the targets and the contexts. And yes we can counter it with, as they say, “grass roots” campaigning. I have practiced that and I can claim some vindication amongst family friends acquaintances, but only here in NSW. It is very evident though, some sections of voters are more susceptible than others for the above mentioned reasons.No one condemns or vilifies others easily, but the facts speak for themselves..

  26. CommonA

    “The five percent cut in company tax has also been a de facto retirement tax because it, in fact, reduces franking refunds by five percent”… um no… this statement is also a mis-understanding of franking credits… So instead of a company paying 30c to the ATO (which is refunded as franking credits), and 70c to the share-holder from their $1 profit… they will now pay 25c to the ATO (returned as franking credits), and 75c to the share-holder from their $1 profit… in both cases, the shareholder gets the full $1 of profit, just less of it travels through the ATO…. So if either side claims this sort of thing, they don’t understand.

  27. New England Cocky

    Friedeggburger reminds me of the adage,”A poor tradesperson blames their tools”.

    The AFP raids were obviously a Benito Duddo inspired attempt to scare potential whistleblowers into holding their tongues. Remember the Melbourne identity checks to discover illegal immigrants?

    Also remember that the Lazy Nasty Party misgovernment STILL ONLY HAVE A ONE SEAT MAJORITY, unchanged from 2013!!

  28. Rossleigh

    CommonA, that may in fact be the case, but the company has a choice of whether to pay a higher dividend or reinvest the extra money, and while both of those should benefit the individual shareholder, as the election showed, they may not appreciate the finer detail and just notice that their check from the government has been reduced.

  29. Henry Rodrigues

    Rossleigh….. As any competent share market analyst will tell us, companies that reinvest their earnings instead of distributing them as dividends, more often than not, are more successful in the longer term and add greater value to the share price.Those who prefer the instant reward or ‘income’ are those who have no vision beyond the present, being swayed by their demographic position in life . The ‘free’ cheque in the mail now, is all that matters to them.

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