HOW TO WIN: The ALP needs to make it impossible for voters not to notice that “Tony Abbott is trying to pull a fast one”

The ALP can still win this election, and the way to do it is to take a leaf out of John Howard’s book.

That leaf is cunningly shifting concerns about your honesty into concerns about what the hell this crazy opposition leader might do. The trick Howard pulled before the 2004 election, when even his own party was calling him a “lying rodent”, was to audaciously turn that around by making the word “trust” not about his general dishonesty and “non-core promises” and shiftiness, but about the fear people had that Latham might be a bit of a loose cannon as PM.

Same thing applies to Abbott. It’s clear from polling that even those voters who don’t like Gillard don’t like Abbott much either – and the reason for that is that their gut tells them not to trust him.

Which is why hammering the “fast one” he’s trying to pull will resonate. Tony Abbott is trying to pull a fast one.

What is this “fast one”? You know already. It’s that he’s trying to trick voters into thinking he can cut taxes, reduce revenue, whilst not creating a huge deficit, and not cutting any services voters care about either. Which, when you stop to think about it, is not just too good to be true, but absurdly so. And isn’t the thought that he thinks you’ll buy it more than a little insulting? He thinks you’re an idiot!

And you can’t console yourself that maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe he’ll just cut stuff you don’t care about – because if that were the case, he’d come out and say it! If he’s trying to keep it quiet, it’s pretty obvious why. Because it IS the stuff you care about.

Once you’ve thought about it, it’s impossible to miss. You can’t help but notice every time you see him. Every interview Tony does, every speech he gives, he dodges the critical question about what he’ll slash to pay for his promises. Every TV appearance he refuses to specify the slashes to public services that he must be planning to engage in to balance the budget.

And every press conference he physically flees to avoid the questions gives the ALP fresh material for a devastating montage of Tony Abbott running away from scrutiny like a gutless wuss (particularly combined with that footage of Abbott scrambling to the House of Representatives exit with the “gazelle-like” Pyne), which also conveniently neutralises the “strong bloke” image he’s been attempting to cultivate.

Make him confront the same problem that confronted Gillard in 2010 – that everybody strongly suspects he’d do what he’s trying to avoid admitting he’d do. Make it impossible for him to get over the line without nailing his colours to the mast and making some promises that would haunt him in government.

“Tony Abbott is trying to pull a fast one.” It will resonate because it’s true, and because it’s what people actually fear about him anyway. Give a name to their fears, and make it not matter that the media cover up for him – because every evasion reinforces that he is, indeed, trying to pull a fast one.

ALP MPs need to dismiss the crap about Craig Thomson (the response is: Thomson is not an ALP candidate, and he’ll be out at the next election – what will actually affect voters is whether Tony Abbott gets to pull a fast one or not) and ALP MPs resigning (when should they retire? After they’ve committed to another term?). Point out that these are questions about the past, and the big question is what could follow the 2013 election if Tony’s shifty gang slips over the line into government. How confident can you be that you won’t be the victim of his cuts when he doesn’t want you to know what they are?

Tony Abbott is trying to pull a fast one. Remind everyone you know.

PS Another phrase we should hear a lot of: “just like Campbell Newman has done in Queensland”.

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80 responses to “HOW TO WIN: The ALP needs to make it impossible for voters not to notice that “Tony Abbott is trying to pull a fast one”

  1. Hmmm, I get the feeling that the MSM would then focus on the “negative campaign tactics” of the ALP. When they’ve chosen their prefered narrative in advance, it’s difficult to win either way.

  2. That’s fine. The point is to change the way people look at Abbott every time he ducks a question or runs away. Make the fast one he’s trying to pull the albatross around his neck.

  3. Pictures of Joe Hockey in the treasurer’s chair would give any sane voter chills…

  4. But is it more powerful than simply playing that infamous clip of Gillard declaring there will be no carbon tax under a government she leads? Tony Abbott might be trying to pull a fast one, but in the eyes of the general population Gillard actually did.

  5. They’re ALREADY doing that. Point is that’s a past fear that’s no longer scary. What Abbott does next is a future fear. And it greatly reduces the sting of “Juliar”.

    Once the thought that Tony is pulling a fast one sinks in, it’s impossible to watch his performances without thinking of it. He’s being tricky right now.

  6. And there is no carbon tax. There’s a carbon price which is entirely different. A carbon tax takes money from taxpayers and gives it to big polluters which is what Tony Abbott is going to do. A carbon price puts a price on pollution where polluters pay for the pollution they cause. She didn’t bring in a carbon tax. She brought in a carbon price which is what she said she would do. “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead but I am determined to put a price on carbon”

  7. narcoticmusing

    The issue is, and has been for a long time, that many believe Gillard deserves to lose. The problem is that the Australian public do not deserve to be punished with Abbott for whatever real or perceived wrong has come from Gillard.

    Frankly, regardless of your view of the carbon tax, her government has not been honest with the people and this has been a repeated issue. The most recent case in point the cuts in Health based on spurious population data that the ABS disagree with and that the Feds won’t release the basis for their calculations – if you want to look at right NOW, the Gillard government may be the first ALP Fed govt to lose Victoria since forever.

    This is on top of her making immense cuts to public services and masking these with stupid lines like ‘record funding’ – well, fund $1 more than last year and it is a record, but it doesn’t mean it covered the costs from wage and non-wage indexation pressures. Have a look at her last budget if you don’t believe me – a huge injection into aged care that was almost completely “offset”. Offset = funding reprioritised from existing revenue. But from what? She doesn’t say but the budget papers do because they show the net increase was pretty much zip – ergo, she announced new $ but it was just her re-badging old dollars. That to me is deception. How is this any different to Abbott?

    But this here is why your approach won’t work Jeremy. All of them (governments) do it which is why they are careful about pulling each other up about it lest they get caught out too. So the opposition won’t ask that question and seeing how the media now have no analysis and it is basically ‘he said she said’ they won’t even know to ask (not that they ever did). If no one, especially the dumbed down media, ever ask this question, why would they of Abbott?

  8. Howard didn’t have a hostile media, Gillard does. This strategy is clever, but could backfire – I can imagine the JULIAR HYPOCRISY SHAME headlines now.

  9. narcoticmusing

    Marian – facts won’t fix a perception problem. It matters not that it is not a carbon tax, only that people think it is and that it feels like one. It is pretty much the situation of a person charged with a crime. Even if they are found not guilty in a court, many will still suspect they are guilty. It is only when the guilty party is really found that the innocent party is exonerated. There is nothing to replace this with yet so it matters not what the facts are.

  10. I think there’s some point-missing here. Obviously we’re not going to make the cranky, noisy wingnuts like Gillard. But they’ve never accepted losing the last election either.

    The point is to undo Abbott as an alternative in the minds of swinging voters. And once the fast one he’s pulling is in their heads they won’t be able to help seeing it every time they see him. Because that’s what he does. Even if hack journos keep giving him a pass, once you’re worried about what he’s likely to do, avoiding answering will annoy and worry you.

    Of course Labor have been unpleasant and treated Australians like shit – both big parties are bureaucracies run for the benefit of the privileged who have access. But they’re in government, and every one of their announcements is already scrutinised. At the moment that’s not happening to Abbott and he’s getting a devastating free pass.

    This destroys his free pass. This destroys his ability to pull that fast one, which is what he’s relying so heavily on.

    Keep in mind, too, that Abbott collapses under pressure.

  11. Splatterbottom

    This is a real hoot. All this political parsing and posturing is for naught. The whining and wailing of the intelligentsia, the ABC and Fairfax, the lickspittle luvvies of arts community and all the other leftist poltroons infesting this country will be of no avail. This wretched lying hollowed-out wreck of a human being that masquerades as Prime Minister will be turfed from office as soon as voters get the opportunity.

    No amount of bullshit and lies from the left can hide the fact that her hideous regime, built as it is on blood and lies, has been a disaster for the country. More importantly it has been a disaster for political decency and dignity.

    When the people have suffered a government as bereft of principle and propriety as this Green/ALP coalition they will vote for anyone else, even the unlovely Abbott.

    But in one sense at least the approach advocated here is the only option – all Gillard and her cronies have left is the politics of personal vilification. What is the point of demanding honesty from Abbott when the Greens aided and and abetted Gillard in breaking her promises?

    And who knows, now we are on to the umpteenth “real Julia” – Julia with glasses the people might be fooled, but I suspect that not even the Machiavellian McTernan can burnish this stinking turd of a PM.

  12. Utter garbage, SB. There’s the ordinary political promise-breaking, that both big parties engage in. And there’s the sneaky fast one Abbott’s trying to pull, where if he sneaks over the line there’ll be all manner of serious victims who presently have no idea what’s coming.

    It’s perfectly straightforward: in order to fund his giveaways to the Liberals’ wealthy mates, he’s going to have to devastate the poor. The poor have more votes than the rich, being more numerous. If they wake up to what he’s planning, a carbon tax they’ve long since realised isn’t actually anything like the terrifying disaster Abbott said it was will be the LEAST of their worries.

    “Non core” Howard was much more dishonest and tricksy than Gillard, and he pulled off an election on “trust” with this strategy. Gillard could do the same.

    The alternative is an Abbott who can do anything to anyone because he’s never had to promise anything else.

  13. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “in order to fund his giveaways to the Liberals’ wealthy mates,”

    Look at yourself! What has become of you? when did you stop thinking and start mouthing mindless slogans?

  14. That’s their whole bloody reason for being!

    Look at Campbell’s efforts in Queensland for a recent example that all voters should be examining very carefully.

  15. As for “mouthing mindless slogans”… I’ll just direct readers to your first comment above.

  16. Marian – facts won’t fix a perception problem. It matters not that it is not a carbon tax, only that people think it is and that it feels like one.

    We’ve been over this so, so many times. The current scheme, until it switches to a variable price scheme in the 2015-16 financial year, is a carbon tax.

  17. Splatterbottom

    “That’s their whole bloody reason for being!”

    Do you really believe that? The best example I can recall is Howard changing the import rules for ethanol to suit his Manildra mates.

    Obviously those of us from NSW see a lot more of that from Labor, as ICAC is now disclosing, and the Greens don’t seem averse to lending a helping hand to important wealthy donors when it comes to ecotourism.

    The thing is that the Labor pollies I know are decent people but completely beholden to unions for their pre-selection. The Libs I know are in it for ideological reasons – standing against the anti-democratic surge of leftism that is engulfing our society.

    As far as dipshit dishonesty goes, the Thomson saga has tainted all parts of this hideous government,

    We had to listen to the PM mouth her confidence in and support for Thomson for a year before he crossed some imaginary line that she could not identify, other than to say ”I don’t think this is a chemical formula about one molecule plus another molecule gives you an answer.” We all know she was just pissing in our faces, not wanting to lose his vote.

    During that year any ALP member or Bandt, Windser Oakshott or Wilkie could have demanded Thomson explain himself to parliament. But none did because they all wanted to cling to government. They are each individually as grubby and tarnished as Thomson himself. For that reason alone they deserve the undying contempt of the Australian people and come election time they will get it.

  18. Suggesting that MPs should stop debating policy to go digging into each other’s private affairs and if they don’t they’re somehow “corrupt” or “dishonest” or “tainted” makes you appear to be a shameless partisan hack with an absurd focus on “scandal” and personality bullshit at the expense of what actually affects voters.

    THAT is negative campaigning that makes politics worse. Unlike pointing out the fast one that Abbott is trying to pull, which goes to the very heart of policy and what will happen to all of us after September, your game (and the Liberals’) is basically distraction and diversion. And the victims would be most of the Australian electorate.

  19. Splatterbottom

    Since when has the matter of theft of union funds been a “private affair”?

    The negative campaigning these days is the vile character assassination of Abbott. It all began when a few grubby feminists applauded Gillard’s hypocritical and dishonest parliamentary shreikfest. They have deluded themselves that this is somehow effective. Let’s see when polling day comes, shall we?

  20. Calling Abbott on what he’s done and will do in Parliament isn’t “character assassination”, it’s entirely relevant to what would actually happen to voters if he became PM.

    In contrast, the ALLEGED theft of union funds by a backbench MP who’ll be out at the next election is a matter for the courts, not parliament.

    I’m in no way suggesting the ALP’s job here will be easy – the Liberals have access to a hell of a lot more money, and the commercial media in particular have been at war with them since they dared to form a government.

    But that doesn’t mean the rest of us should lie back and accept as inevitable the disaster that an Abbott premiership would be for Australia.

  21. Now I’m back at the computer, I’d just like to note that the main point of the “pulling a fast one” reference is to destroy the free ride Abbott’s getting. It fits what our guts are telling us, and it will be reinforced every time they see him, because that’s precisely what he’s doing. Even when the media give him a free ride, that actually reinforces the point.

    On previous form, Abbott’s response to pressure will be to fumble and make an arse of himself. He’ll both freak out his party, and demonstrate to swinging voters that not only is he trying to trick them, but he’s actually flaky and unreliable – the guy who freezes and stares creepily at a journalist when stuck.

    And once the ALP isn’t being contrasted with a magical opposition “plan” that can cut taxes, increase spending AND improve the deficit situation without slashing anything, the ALP can start selling its credentials as actually a government that’s done pretty darn well in difficult global economic times.

    It also gives them a chance to highlight one of the big differences between Gillard and Abbott – she’ll stand there and tackle the questions until the journalists run out of them. Abbott flees after giving a speech.

    It all starts with opening voters’ eyes to what Abbott is trying to pull.

  22. Or, in short – the ALP needs to be able to start dealing with the economy and its own reputation. But it can’t do that while its opponent can be all things to all people. It has to tackle that FIRST.

  23. Splatterbottom

    “the ALP needs to be able to start dealing with the economy and its own reputation. But it can’t do that while its opponent can be all things to all people.”

    The Coalition need only demonstrate one thing to win this election – that they are not Labor (nor Green).

  24. “Non core” Howard was much more dishonest and tricksy than Gillard, and he pulled off an election on “trust” with this strategy. Gillard could do the same.

    Howard was only able to get away with that because he had an accepted record of strong economic performance. As dishonest as he was (and boy was he dishonest) he was still able to convincingly ask voters to “trust” him on the economy because it had consistently performed well under his leadership (although not, in my opinion, because of his leadership).

    Gillard doesn’t have that record to run on. She can’t win a battle of “who do you trust more” against Abbott because she can’t deliver the same message that Howard did – i.e. “the words coming out of my mouth may be lies but you can trust that I’m a good performer”. Gillard has almost no credibility left on any level.

  25. But they actually do have a good story to tell on the economy. They just need to get the space to tell it, by dismantling the too-good-to-be-true image of the alternative.

  26. Calling Abbott on what he’s done and will do in Parliament isn’t “character assassination”, it’s entirely relevant to what would actually happen to voters if he became PM.

    In contrast, the ALLEGED theft of union funds by a backbench MP who’ll be out at the next election is a matter for the courts, not parliament.

    Jesus Lefty. Compare and contrast those two paragraphs. Do you realise that your theories about what Abbot “will do in Parliament” are also allegations?

    You demand that the public entirely ignore the (very likely) guilt of Thompson (and the revolting stench of union/Labor corruption that his case raises) all on the basis that the allegations are unproven – but in the same breath you insist that your equally unproven allegations that Abbott wants to steal from the poor and give to the rich should be absolutely central to the Labor election campaign!!

    The reality is that both sets of allegations are a form of character assassination and both sets should be freely aired and discussed. You can’t get up on your high horse and declare questions of Thompson’s character invalid while you’re doing exactly the same thing to Abbott!! The double standard is completely untenable.

    It’s no secret that you and I have drifted apart politically but, at least in my opinion, it’s not because our core ideologies have shifted. For me it’s because you’ve stepped into the political septic tank and actually started to shill for a ‘side’ – which has required you to perform the same sort of logical and moral contortions we used to decry in others.

    The Labor machine may be slightly more ideologically aligned to us than the Libs but its utter corruption on a political level should never be denied, and should certainly never be declared off-limits.

  27. But they actually do have a good story to tell on the economy.

    You know what – on second thoughts I think you’re right about that. With some clever messaging Labor can at least claim as much credit as Howard and Costello did, and probably more given the GFC they had to deal with.

    Your strategy probably does have legs – I guess the real question is whether its successful pursuit is in any of our interests.

  28. Mondo, if it were Thompson vs Abbott his out of parliament behaviour might have some relevance.

    But he’s leaving! Abbott isn’t!

    And Abbott’s plans dictate what will happen to our country over the next three years. Thompson’s past misdeeds don’t.

    I’m not distinguishing between them bc of any partisan preference – I’m distinguishing bw things that will affect the laws that get passed and things that won’t.

  29. Btw The ALP corruption thing, which is no better or worse than the Coalition’s, is one more reason not to vote for EITHER big party.

    It’s one more reason to vote for the Greens.

  30. which is no better or worse than the Coalition’s

    Naaaaaah. I’m definitely more an ALP supporter than most people here, from a family of many generations of ALP supporters. It might be true historically that the Coalition had as bad or worse corruption as the ALP – I’m thinking particularly of Nationals (Joh being the obvious case) and the Country Libs in Darwin. But at the moment, across the country, there is no doubt its a much more serious problem for Labor.

    The party isn’t institutionally corrupt, but it contains a fair dose of institutional corruption, that will take I reckon at least another electoral cycle to purge.

  31. You’re right, of course, to point out that the immediacy of the Thompson issue will soon go away for Labor (when he goes away for 10 years for massive fraud) – and that is a valid distinction to observe.

    Nonetheless the stench of union/personal corruption that he represents, and the entrenched culture of factional fraud and political patronage he highlights, is an issue that should continue to dog Labor until it is somehow resolved and removed. It is an issue that deserves widespread discussion. It is an issue that all honest observers – even those with a vested interest in seeing the Liberals defeated – should embrace as valid and relevant to the Australian political discussion.

    Because until Labor is forced to face its demons they will continue to ruin the party from within. The same party that benefits from a vote for your treasured Greens.

    The reality, Lefty, is that corruption is a far worse problem for Labor than it is the Liberals. Where is the Liberal equivalent to Thompson? To Obeid, Macdonald or Tripodi? Where is Abbott’s personal scandal involving the fraudulent creation of a slush fund to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from ordinary Australian workers? He has his own scandals to be sure (what he did to Pauline Hanson deserves particular criticism), but corruption doesn’t seem to be one of them.

    Maybe they exist and we haven’t heard about them yet – maybe all the calamities and social injustices that you predict will come to pass under an Abbott-led government will, in fact, come to pass. Maybe.

    But hell, if painting him as a dishonest, woman-hating, religious fundamentalist, anti robin-hood is now a valid electoral strategy – your preferred strategy it would seem – then I’m struggling to see how you can so glibly dismiss questions about how Thompson affair reflects on Labor as “negative campaigning that makes politics worse”.

  32. Howard was only able to get away with that because he had an accepted record of strong economic performance.

    And in what ways has economic performance under the current government been weak? According to which economic indicators has Australia suffered during the ALP’s time in government (particularly during the GFC) that would have been improved had the Coalition been in power? I’m really curious.

  33. Well, I suppose it depends on how you define “corruption” – is Barry O’Farrell working hand in glove with Packer on the casino to the point where they were exchanging announcements “corrupt”? Is the ludicrously close relationship between Liberal politicians and big business “corrupt”? I’d say it bloody is – even if it’s not technically criminal, it’s still about the powerful getting privileges at the expense of ordinary voters by virtue of their access.

    I don’t like that from EITHER side. From any politician or anyone else.

    But it’s hardly a differentiating point between the big parties, and what’s vastly more important is what legislation they vote for in parliament – and that’s what the election’s about. Which is why Thompson, or even the more general question about the grubby way big party politicians gain and sell power, are distractions from the real issue. A stint in the wilderness isn’t going to fix Labor any more than it’s fixed the Liberals. That’s an inevitable side-effect of two-party systems and majority government, where matters aren’t decided on the floor of parliament – they’re decided in the back rooms of government offices, and parliament just automatically rubber-stamps them.

    The real issue, what the election is ACTUALLY about, what the voters are actually voting on, is what type of parliament will we have after September. Not “will the MPs be arseholes”, but “what will the MPs do to the rest of us”?

    And that’s why we need to look at the con Tony’s trying to pull. Because if he gets away with it, that’s the country we’ll be living in for the next four years. It’s all about what legislation the parliament can pass. The only relevance of Tony’s misogyny is how will his legislation affect women. The only relevance of his question-ducking is what legislation is he planning to pass that he doesn’t want us to know about?. The only relevance of his economic illiteracy is what exactly would his government do to our economy?

    It’s not about point-scoring and getting my preferred team over the line. It’s about genuine concern with what the next parliament will do.

    PS how does Labor “benefit from a vote for my treasured Greens”? It benefits from a preference above the Liberals, but it certainly doesn’t benefit from my voting Green. My Greens vote takes funding from the ALP and teaches them not to ignore progressive voters. It teaches the Liberals that there are progressive voters out there, too, and it stops Tony Abbott from being PM, so to that extent it helps the main alternative – but that’s the best that can be achieved in our present system.

  34. Wisdom Like Silence

    This whole thread is just depressing.

    Gotcha! and Watch Out! politics is so mind numbingly thoughtless.

    Two evils living in glass houses with black pots and kettles waiting for someone with their pants on fire to cast the first stone does not a democracy make.

  35. Obeid, Macdonald or Tripodi

    Tripodi always got lumped in with Obeid et al, and he was part of the political/factional problem, but he’s not actually corrupt.

  36. WLS, I’d also prefer we didn’t have to play this game – but sadly we’ve made it the means by which we determine who’s in government and what they do. And that’s critically important.

    Throwing up our hands and not caring if Abbott and the Liberals sneak back in – not only with the horrible plans they’ve already promised, but the freedom to do what they want because they haven’t been required to promise anything to their victims before the election – will result in an enormous number of victims after September, many of those who will least be able to afford it.

    “Watch out” is entirely legitimate when you’re talking about a flim-flam man who’s dependent on getting away with convincing everyone he can be all things to all people, but who in reality will have to slash and burn the poorest and most vulnerable in our community to pay his debts.

    Hell – it’s not like he’s even ruled out a rebadged WorkChoices.

  37. is Barry O’Farrell working hand in glove with Packer on the casino to the point where they were exchanging announcements “corrupt”?

    No – unless the O’Farrell family is receiving kick-backs from Packer.

    Is the ludicrously close relationship between Liberal politicians and big business “corrupt”?

    Again no. Not unless those businesses are somehow funneling money to personally enrich the politicians who are shilling for them.

    There is a difference between actual corruption and political decisions that prioritise the interests of big business in a way that is ideologically unpalatable to you. Perhaps you need to have been exposed to NSW Labor for a few years to understand why real political corruption is so much more damaging than the sort of behavior you are confusing it with.

    Abbot and the Libs may have policies you (and I) disagree with – and the scare campaign you appear to be advocating may indeed cut through with voters and get Labor across the line – but you should not deceive yourself. Labor is rotten at its core and does not deserve to retain power at the next election.

  38. Wisdom Like Silence

    …What? Mondo either you disagree with their policies or you want them in power.
    We don’t have the luxury of being morally outraged by Labor’s percieved corruption if we are legitimately concerned about the Liberals under Abbott’s leadership if they win.

    I don’t like being so facile, but it’s one or the other.

  39. Splatterbottom

    “Labor is rotten at its core and does not deserve to retain power at the next election.”

    This is the bottom line for most voters. Obviously the Greens have a different view since they have been able to exploit the abject lack of principle of the ALP to their advantage. Precisely because they have been so influential and people have seen more of their idiotic policies they will lose votes at the coming election.

    Under the influence of the Greens Labor introduced an utterly useless carbon tax Gillard promised not to, threatened press freedom with fascist speech laws (basically because Bob Brown was too thin-skinned and too dumb to remember his idiotic statements) and let the unions off the leash. Actually, being a subsidiary entity of the unions, Labor did not need much encouragement but they had it anyway.

    And the Greens are monumentally hypocritical – look at the whining here, yet the Greens would not release their policy costings and fought an FOI request for them (nice transparency eh?), nor would they allow the press to glimpse their annual conference and of course a big donor wanting an ecotourism resort can count on the Greens for support.

    It really doesn’t matter how bad Abbott will be – he can’t be as bad as the loathsome maggots currently infesting the government benches.

    Come September voters will have their say. Then this rotten government will be driven from office and we will see if the other lot are any better. They can’t be worse.

  40. “Again no. Not unless those businesses are somehow funneling money to personally enrich the politicians who are shilling for them.”

    Wait, so as long as the personal benefit – publicly-funded power and post-politics well-paid private gigs – isn’t in the form of cash paid to the individuals whilst in power, even if it’s in the form of cash paid to the individuals’ campaigns to maintain them in power or in the form of cash paid to them afterwards – that’s not corruption?

    “There is a difference between actual corruption and political decisions that prioritise the interests of big business in a way that is ideologically unpalatable to you. Perhaps you need to have been exposed to NSW Labor for a few years to understand why real political corruption is so much more damaging than the sort of behavior you are confusing it with.”

    Perhaps you do. Because to me it looks like both are similarly devastating to the public. Actually, no – the Liberals’ form is worse, because the union hacks are just ripping off union members. The Liberal politicians are ripping off the whole state/country.

    “but you should not deceive yourself. Labor is rotten at its core and does not deserve to retain power at the next election.”

    We’ve talked about this before. Both big parties are rotten to the core because that’s the essential side-effect of trying to be a “broad church” party that stands for everyone and consequently no-one.

    I don’t want Labor to win the election either – I want another minority government, because there is no party that represents more than 50% of the electorate, and so no party deserves to have control of parliament.

    As noted above, if you’re worried about corruption, then the last thing you should want is majority government, where parliament is nothing but a rubber stamp.

    SB – whatever.

    “Precisely because they have been so influential and people have seen more of their idiotic policies they will lose votes at the coming election.”

    Hardly. It will be a tough election for all smaller parties but that’s mainly because the media have done such a good job of pretending that the parliament no party controls has been some kind of “chaos” or “disaster”.

    The Greens’ vote will grow again at the election after.

    “And the Greens are monumentally hypocritical – look at the whining here, yet the Greens would not release their policy costings and fought an FOI request for them (nice transparency eh?)”

    Jesus, so much bullshit in two short paragraphs. But for a start – the Greens will release their policy costings of their actual policies. Proposals that were being considered aren’t accepted policies and so the costings have no relevance to anyone except an opponent looking for a smear. It is to the benefit of all of us that parties can consider ideas and then drop them if they’re more expensive than they’re worth – but if we shame them for even considering them (and we all know perfectly well how News Ltd would run a story about a Greens proposal even if they’d decided not to proceed with it), then innovative proposals won’t get considered.

    “It really doesn’t matter how bad Abbott will be – he can’t be as bad as the loathsome maggots currently infesting the government benches.”

    Oh, he’ll be great for captains of industry and the very wealthy. For everyone else – here’s hoping we don’t find out just how much worse he can and is very likely to be.

  41. Splatterbottom

    If Abbott is great for private enterprise everybody should vote for him. Every cent the government spends comes from the private sector.

  42. Yeah, because when the rich get richer (which is by no means off the backs of working people) it magically “trickles down” to the rest of the community.

    How much better off is a country when the kids of the poor get a second-rate education and underfunded healthcare, where the talentless kids of the rich inherit wealth and privilege and politicians don’t have to pay attention to anyone but those with the money to fund their campaigns.

  43. Splatterbottom

    This is really simple, Jeremy – you can’t pay for all of that shit unless the money comes from somewhere. This is not a zero-sum game. Even if you confiscatge all the ill-gotten wealth of the rich it wont last long and then you will have nothing. Wealth is created by private initiative. When you kill that you can’t afford any decent welfare system at all. Getting conditions right for wealth creation is a social good. All the left do is their level best to destroy the system which has lifted so many out of poverty.

    There is plenty of money spent on education in this country, but the teacher unions have ensured that most of it is wasted. You want to improve education then give the principals more power and hold them accountable for the outcomes. And instead of teaching the victim studies view of the world teach something useful – like the virtues of honesty, social responsibility, thrift and hard work. Like how individuals can and should take responsibility for their own lives, that their first duty is to support themselves and their families and that they will get more satisfaction from that than from sucking on the teat of the nanny state.

    The whole leftist schtick these days is addicting more and more people to welfare so that they vote for the dropkicks who promise the most handouts. Leftism is for drongos who think they know better how to rule the world and want to spend everybody else’s money pursuing their grotesque dreams, notwithstanding that leftism is always and everywhere an abject failure at producing the wealth it so readily spends. Not to mention that it also produces the most murderous regimes in human history.

    And now there is a rancid festering class of poseurs that bludges on the rest of us – the whole fucking intelligentsia, writing reports on how to curtail free speech, or union leaders living large on the funds extracted from the meagre wages of their members. The parliament is full of them. What worthwhile contribution can those miserable bludgers make? Every year there seems to be fewer and fewer people involved in actually producing wealth and an ever larger number of losers carping and whinging and demanding more and more handouts.

    If you design a society to be the perfect place to accommodate bludgers and losers then in the end that is all you will have. There will be no one left to pick up the bill.

  44. LOL. Yeah, the right-wing fantasy where the rich all earned it through hard work, where they didn’t build on what they were given by those who came before – where it’s some kind of meritocracy although they insist on their offspring inheriting their privileges. (Your Ginas, your Ruperts – I mean they just worked their way up from the bottom with hard work, didn’t they? They certainly didn’t inherit newspapers or vast tracts of land from their dads, did they?) Where wealth is only gained by creating and producing things, and certainly not by, say, whatever it is that the Wall St types do to get very rich. Where the rich get richer and the working poor can spend their lives actually building things while those with the capital to own their efforts make off with the profits.

    I suppose you read through Atlas Shrugged and thought it an inspiring utopian vision, SB?

    PS I like the way you fudge the blame for education disadvantage on “teacher unions”, rather than say a system that encourages the powerful to underfund public education because their kids don’t use it.

  45. Mondo either you disagree with their policies or you want them in power.

    Wisdom – I think that statement is facile, although (to the extent it’s possible) I don’t mean that as a personal criticism. To me the statement poses a question that fundamentally underpins my personal political dilemma, and one that causes me no end of trouble.

    Should all manner of political misdeeds be excused simply because the politician’s professed ideology is closer to my own than the alternative?

    There’s a practical argument against that position: for example integrity is relevant – there’s no point favouring a party’s policies if you can’t trust that they’ll actually pursue them once elected. And certainly managerial capability also comes into it – policy that is less than ideal but managed well can be better than policy that is ideal but completely mismanaged.

    Nevertheless I don’ think that’s the reason I would be capable of voting Liberal despite holding a left-wing perspective on the majority of political issues.

    In the end I believe I could do it because I’m not certain that my political views are , for lack of a better phrase, ‘necessarily right’.

    Take Jeremy and SB’s argument above as an example: I mean I think that allocating taxpayer money to welfare programs in preference to tax cuts for the wealthy will be better for our society, but I don’t actually know that to be true in all cases. I’m sure there is an element of truth to the Randian trickle down flatulence floated (oh so elegantly) by SB on these pages – there must be some level of government largess past which an economy will tank – and I’m not really confident that I can definitely know the right balance.

    Same principle with global warming, same with refugees – hell, same with any political issue you care to mention (except for gay marriage equality – that one’s a no brainer).

    I guess because of my uncertainty a Labor Party filled with incompetent and dishonest careerists can be a worse option to me than a principled and capable Liberal Party operating very slightly to its right. As long as they don’t go too far into religious nut-job territory or cut too deeply into necessary services I could vote Liberal – and in the process keep pressure on Labor to be bigger and better than it currently is.

    Although in the end maybe that’s the truly facile position.

  46. As long as they don’t go too far into religious nut-job territory or cut too deeply into necessary services I could vote Liberal

    Well, that would be the point of applying pressure to Abbott until he has to actually tell us what he’ll do. What makes you think he won’t “cut too deeply into necessary services”? Isn’t it likely that the whole reason he won’t tell us what he’ll cut is because he knows those things are necessary to many voters and slashing them will lose him votes?

    At the moment the easy ride over the line is giving Abbott a blank cheque to do pretty much whatever he wants once he gets there, because he’s not being required to commit to anything, or explain anything, and there’s every risk he’ll be able to just ram stuff through both houses.

    Do you think the situation in Queensland is healthy for democracy, Mondo? That’s what we’re looking at federally, and that’ll be as much of a disaster for the rest of the country as it has been for them.

  47. “If Abbott is great for private enterprise everybody should vote for him. Every cent the government spends comes from the private sector.” – SB.

    Such a lovely delusion.

  48. “What worthwhile contribution can those miserable bludgers make? Every year there seems to be fewer and fewer people involved in actually producing wealth and an ever larger number of losers carping and whinging and demanding more and more handouts.” – SB

    That’s no way to talk about company board members.

  49. By the way, I reckon that the fact that SB in this comment thread has been reduced to the “takers vs makers” far-right drivel indicates that what I’m suggesting actually does turn the debate back into one the non-LNP forces can win.

  50. Wisdom Like Silence

    “Should all manner of political misdeeds be excused simply because the politician’s professed ideology is closer to my own than the alternative?

    In essence, yes. That’s kind of the whole point of politics…

  51. For the vast majority of people who are not political/ideological warriors, it comes down to a simple question: do you want things to stay the same, or are you prepared to risk a change?

    Low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment, a massive investment boom, a “safe haven” currency, growing labour productivity, and a sharemarket up nearly 20% since a carbon price commenced.

    All the rest is sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  52. Splatterbottom

    ‘Gadj, I speak the truth. The miserabilist agenda of the left consists entirely of spending wealth that it has no clue about how to generate. This is no delusion.

    Jeremy: “what I’m suggesting actually does turn the debate back into one the non-LNP forces can win”

    Yes, it is a debate that will be won on the whiny leftist blogs and on the ABC and in the academy and at Farifax. It will be overwhelmingly and decisively won among the ranks of the welfare dependents looking for their share of Gillard’s stash.

    But the vainglorious power-crazed left will never win the debate among ordinary decent hard-working Australians who have had a gutful of this grubby lying wastrel government and its sleazy Green enablers.

  53. … nothing to your average non-politics-junkie voter, I mean.

  54. Wisdom Like Silence

    Would that were true, defixio. Labor’s always had a difficult time reminding everyone that they aren’t fucking everything up, even when they’re doing pretty bloody well actually. They’re just incapable of explaining the good stuff because they think that it’s all self explanatory, and that Tories are bastards so why would anyone vote for them?

  55. What makes you think he won’t “cut too deeply into necessary services”? Isn’t it likely that the whole reason he won’t tell us what he’ll cut is because he knows those things are necessary to many voters and slashing them will lose him votes?

    Perhaps – it’s certainly not an illogical assumption.

    But perhaps he is just using the same playbook that every opposition party has used since the mid nineties – i.e. if you don’t release policy detail until the last minute then you keep the focus on the Government for the majority of the election campaign. They all know the adage: oppositions don’t win elections – governments lose them.

    I agree that the Libs are likely to make cuts, and that some of those cuts are going to create individual hardship – however I equally understand that the purpose of those cuts is not to specifically punish or to deliberately disadvantage. It’s obvious that the Libs genuinely believe that shifting the balance in favour of a more unfettered free market will benefit the country overall (even though their prescription includes a bit more ‘tough love’ than I am personally comfortable with).

    Take SB as an example. Sure his posts above suggest he may have been reading a few too many conservative US websites over Christmas, but does anyone here doubt that he truly believes what he is saying, or that his goal is the same as our goal (i.e. a happy and prosperous Australia)? If, as SB would have us do, we started taking individual familes off welfare are any of us so confident in our policy preferences that we can state with absolute certainty that every affected family won’t benefit from that decision in the long term?

    I’m not. Obviously some families need welfare and should continue to receive it – but it’s equally obvious to me that others would benefit from its loss. It’s not about retreating to an ‘absolutist’ position and then yelling at your opponent across the gaping chasm you’ve deliberately created – it’s about recognising that the right position at any one time is somewhere in the middle and then working to get the balance right.

    You’re obviously correct to predict that an Abbott led government will shift the ‘spending’ needle to the Right but I don’t believe that they will make extreme changes. After all this is Australia and not the US – the party of Turnbull, Brandis and Hockey is hardly going to go looney tunes Republican on us.

  56. In essence, yes. That’s kind of the whole point of politics…

    Not for me it isn’t Wisdom – for all the reasons I’ve listed above.

  57. Wisdom Like Silence

    So the LibNats genuinely think that what they plan to do is good for us all. Whatever cuts and taxes and anyhing else down the line they propose.
    You do not agree with them, perhaps in part or completely, but there is a disagreement.
    Yet you claim the Labor parties policies, or at least ideologies, are more closely aligned to your own.
    In terms of governing, that’s a valid, reasonable and certainly explainable position.
    In terms of campaigning, for the two are almost certainly mutually exclusive, the stance is meaningless.
    There are two camps. They are the opposite, hence ‘Opposition’. They have different approaches to government. Fundamentally different approaches.

    Christ, I hate when that happens, I was building up to a good point, one that evokes thoughts and reflections on our own ideologies, but I got interrupted and now I can’t remember what it was.

    Tony Abbott scares me.

  58. “‘Gadj, I speak the truth. The miserabilist agenda of the left consists entirely of spending wealth that it has no clue about how to generate. This is no delusion.” – SB

    I have nothing but respect for SB’s commitment to spew venomous ignorance over every topic on which he expounds.

    A wonderful example of hard-right loony-ism.

  59. Wisdom – ideological leanings do not (for me at least) translate into abject certainty that the party most closely aligned to those leanings will offer the best prescription for Australia at all times and in all circumstances.

  60. Here’s an article by Maxine McKew that might put some background to the position I’ve been arguing here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/absolute-power-destroys-labor/story-e6frezz0-1226570253457

  61. Wisdom Like Silence

    I understand that the Labor party is factional and that is annoying. But on the whole, they’re not doing such a bad job.

    The Liberals either think they’re magical or they’re frighteningly incompetent when it comes to how money works.

  62. The Liberals either think they’re magical or they’re frighteningly incompetent when it comes to how money works.

    Wisdom – you do realise that statement is simply a Labor Party talking point, don’t you?

    The Lib policies may not be your ideal – or indeed at this point they may be aimed more at the 24 hour news cycle than at the real world – but the idea that one party has some sort of a monopoly on economic management is as farcical now as it was when Howard and Costello were trying to sell it to us six years ago.

  63. Look at yourself! What has become of you? when did you stop thinking and start mouthing mindless slogans?

    Says the man with nothing but Liberal Party talking points to contribute to the discussion.

  64. Splatterbottom

    This is a Liberal party talking point?

    “When the people have suffered a government as bereft of principle and propriety as this Green/ALP coalition they will vote for anyone else, even the unlovely Abbott.”

    You know my style, Buns – fair and balanced.

  65. narcoticmusing

    Isn’t it likely that the whole reason he won’t tell us what he’ll cut is because he knows those things are necessary to many voters and slashing them will lose him votes?

    Jeremy, you still argue as if other government figures say what they cut.

    Please advise what the Feds cut in the last budget to fund the multi-billion additional services platform with the pittance of borrowings and a net position at near zero. Essentially they cut the living crap out of all services. Any NGO worth its meat knows this. Gillard and Swan didn’t say where they cut it from and no one asks.

    No one asks because if they do, someone will then ask them. The media don’t ask because they are either stupid or too sick of the same answer: don’t ask. It is a Pandora’s Box and no one wants it open. You certainly didn’t ask. The States asked, but that was all behind closed bureaucratic doors. Why? Because State governments ‘offset’ and ‘reprioritise’ too – it is called responsible fiscal management. Budgets aren’t infinite. Nevertheless, if you want to hold Abbot accountable, you should make the same standard of the current folks.

    I don’t want Abbott in either but merely pointing out he’s not saying what he is going to cut to fund his policy platform is a bit disingenuous when no one is asking that of the current government. No one asked in the 2012-13 Budget in May, no-one asked when MYEFO was released. And no one will ask when 2013-14 budget is handed down this May.

  66. narcoticmusing

    If, as SB would have us do, we started taking individual familes off welfare are any of us so confident in our policy preferences that we can state with absolute certainty that every affected family won’t benefit from that decision in the long term?

    Mondo, I’d make two responses to that question.
    1. The golden rule, which the right appear to believe in, translates in a in the context of law abiding citizens in a democracy from ‘love thy neighbour’ to ‘do not harm they neighbour’.
    2. To be fiscally responsible with tax payer dollars we must maximise benefit and minimise harm.
    These combine to create this conclusion: The mere chance.that some might benefit, when we know the vast majority would be harmed, is thus defeated.

    This principle exists regardless of how much the right would like to piss on the poor from above and call it a trickle down effect.

  67. narcoticmusing

    When the people have suffered a government as bereft of principle and propriety as this Green/ALP coalition they will vote for anyone else, even the unlovely Abbott.

    Yes, SB, that could have come straight out of the LibCo handbook. The Libs aren’t stupid enough to think that Abbott is attractive for every voter, but they are aware selling the lie of a Green ALP “coalition” being evil – a lib-hack position you fall into constantly. You also talk about the left bitching and whining and yet that is all I’ve seen the Fed LibCo do. Why aren’t they acting? Why aren’t they doing anything?

    All this obvious irony despite that:
    a) LibCo IS a coalition of two parties who are fundamentally opposed to each other on many issues (much like ALP/Greens) and are aligned on other issues (much like ALP/Greens)
    b) LibCo IS actually a coalition and ALP/Greens aren’t.
    c) A minority government is legitimate despite what LibCo and News Corp want people to believe. LibCo is just cut that their offer of every soul they could afford wasn’t accepted by the independents.
    d) Compromise and negotiation in a minority government both ensures representation of the other elected members AND moderates policy implementation – so that it is not merely rubber stamped.
    e) LibCo could at any point take advantage of the minority government situation and introduce legislation, they could use the same methods as the government and negotiate with independents to get their Bills past and the govt of the day would be obliged to enact it via the public service. But they don’t because they are too busy bitching and whining.

  68. This is a Liberal party talking point?

    So you found one sentence that wasn’t a Liberal Party talking point? Wow, well done. So balanced. Although yes, even among the Liberal Party, Abbott is unpopular. You got at least one thing right!

  69. The funny thing about the left / right talking points that are passing for this debate (between SB and Jeremy in particular) is that they do not even actually contradict one another.

    Private initiative is responsible for the creation of most wealth, and no system that replaces Capitalism (as opposed to ameliorating it) has yet been invented which can outperform it on the “making us all materially richer” metric.

    Nonetheless, lots of rich people are rich primarily or entirely because of luck. Not just inherited wealth – simply being in the right place at the right time is at least as important as merit to the creation of many personal fortunes (as was recognised when that word was coined in English….) Thus it is both morally justified and economically efficient to tax the wealthy and redistribute it to the poor. Ideally you’d rather tax luck directly, and let the Sergey Brins of this world keep more of their wealth relative to the James Packers, but in practice that’s really hard to achieve.

    I don’t think SB doubts this at any fundamental level; the contrarian in him just makes him act like a right wing ideologue in the environment of a left wing blog and a left wing government :P

  70. In reality the difference between Labor/Greens and Liberal/National governments is Federal spending at 19% of GDP vs 22% of GDP or whatever. Which of these is ideal for society as a whole isn’t some deep ideological question with a simple answer; its a simple empirical question with a complex and messy answer.

    For me the main reasons not to vote Liberal are not that I expect them to be particularly worse for the welfare state. Its that in the few areas where they do have clear policy alternatives, they tend to propose populist but manifestly stupid ideas: like ‘direct action’ on climate change instead of a carbon price, which no one who knows anything about this subject takes seriously (if they came out and said we think climate science is crap or uncertain and so we want to hold off acting altogether, that’s of course an entirely different debate). Abolition of the MRRT is equally stupid although not nearly as important. Then there’s the shit that’s both stupid and unconscionable, like intercepting Sri Lankan asylum seeker boats and refouling the passengers without any attempt to check the validity of their claims or the odds of the Sri Lankan government persecuting, torturing, imprisoning or murdering them on their return (and on a similar vein, the cuts to the overall humanitarian intake, etc.) And finally, there are issues that aren’t on the policy agenda at the moment, but if they are to come up for debate, its reasonable to expect a Labor led government to do much better than a Liberal led one. Drug decriminalization (or at least more modest reforms along those lines) is the most obvious example.

    Its not that I want the Coalition to reveal their entire policy package right now. I hate that Oppositions (and governments) don’t do that, but I understand why they don’t. And I’m not worried about nasty hidden surprises. I’m concerned at the fact that seemingly every single thing the Coalition currently stands for, explicitly at least, is a bad idea.

    Whereas the main reason to vote Liberal is the same as Mondo’s – Labor has real problems with corruption and internal processes. Not factionalism – all the parties are factional – but dysfunctional factionalism run not just by faceless men but stupid faceless men and greedy faceless men. This really matters, way more than the Abbott-is-the-devil element here seem to want to acknowledge.

  71. The mere chance.that some might benefit, when we know the vast majority would be harmed, is thus defeated.

    But Narc – as Jordan alludes to above, the questions isn’t a black/white “Should we have welfare programs or not?”, it’s “Where should we draw the line in our welfare programs?”.

    SB’s glorious pot-stirring aside, only an insane fringe-dwelling ideologue would argue against all forms of welfare – just as it would take a monumentally deluded fool to proscribe a 100% tax rate. The issue comes down to one of balance?

    Are there people currently on welfare who would benefit from its removal? Yes – of course there are. Are there people who deserve greater support than they currently receiving? Again – clearly yes. So what’s the solution where there is truth to both sides of an argument?

    I’ll tell you where the solution doesn’t lie – and that’s in political ideology. It’s idiotic to reduce such complex situation to mindless (and meaningless) ideological absolutes, and I’m increasingly coming to realise that ideology based politics really is just a pointless shout-fest.

  72. Which of these is ideal for society as a whole isn’t some deep ideological question with a simple answer; its a simple empirical question with a complex and messy answer.

    A shorter and better version of what I was trying to say above.

  73. Wisdom Like Silence

    I’d rather have a bunch of people who are bad to eachother secretly than people who want to be bad to me openly.

  74. Obeid may have in effect stolen $100 million or more worth of mining license value from NSW taxpayers. And that’s just the main allegation out of what ICAC currently knows about. That’s not bad to “each other” secretly, that’s bad to everyone secretly. Corruption in Australia is actually very low by global standards, but if you want to see the logical endpoint of tolerating that sort of thing, consider some estimate the richest man in the world in recent years has not been Bill Gates or Warren Buffet but Hosni Mubarak.

    And while the value possibly lost to Obeid is not the same magnitude as say the likely medium term MRRT revenues, its also much clearer that its entirely a loss; there is no rational arguments in favour of corruption but are some not-obviously-wrong-ones for removing the mining tax.

    Are there people currently on welfare who would benefit from its removal? Yes – of course there are.

    I have a (very smart) doctor who would abolish retirement and take a bunch of people off the Disability Support pension – not for financial reasons, but for the sake of pensioners’ wellbeing…

  75. The simple things are always the most complicated.

    Australia under Abbott, if his few stated policies are enacted, and if his oft stated opinions become policies that are then enacted, will be a disgusting place to be if you are poor. If you are rich it’ll all be fine. Nice balance there, and as mondo constantly and quite reasonably reminds us, it is the balance that counts, after all the ALP have test run that nice even balance themselves for a while now. Should be relatively easy for Abott to make it better/worse depending on how much you earn/own.

    The options that the Australian electoral system offers its citizens are locked into this idea of balance as if balance is and of itself is the main goal. A nice “mixed” economy of rich and poor living side by side all happy under the red, white and blue flag ruffling gently in the wind and all happily attending the Board Room or the Centrelink office and knowing full well that to be rich you need the poor and to be poor you need the rich but we are all ‘stralians here and we should be thankful to have such a great balanced society.

    Like: only half of working Australians meet basic literacy and numeracy standards….and…. the OECD places Australia among the most expensive nations to attend university; so that all works out well.

    It’s the balance that counts after all.

  76. the OECD places Australia among the most expensive nations to attend university;

    Where’s the study on this? They are talking about domestic students, right?

    I hate HECS bashing (or HELP or whatever the acronym is now.) HECS is one of the most left wing programs Australia has going. Its a progressive tax on people who A) have substantial current income; B) have even more substantial expected future income; C) as a direct result of a publicly funded service.

    But cap the total tax liability over a person’s lifetime, and all of a sudden “its a looooannnnn! Waaaaahhhhhh!!!”

    Its not a freaking loan. It may well walk like a loan but it damn well quacks flies runs shits and swims like a tax.

    If the OECD paper is talking about doesn’t at least acknowledge this point, and is talking about domestic students, then its not worth the paper its written on :P

  77. THE “WRONG” CAMPAIGN STRATEGY

    Abbott has cornered the market with the “liar” slur. He’s pasted it on his opponents so it can’t work on him. “Shifty”, “deceitful” labels lack traction if the populace think it also applies to Labor. We all know him as the “No” man but it is possible to paste over that.

    However “Wrong” is one word I see that has the immutable power of truth behind it to summarise his history, campaign, character and candidacy.

    Chairthing
    WRONG

    Carbon Tax
    WRONG
    (its not a tax)

    She lied
    WRONG

    Wrecking ball
    WRONG

    Front bench
    WRONG

    Ashbygate
    Very Very WRONG

    Electricity bill
    WRONG

    Whyalla
    WRONG

    $100 roasts
    WRONG

    Died of shame
    WRONG

    Direct Action Plan
    WRONG

    Yes our budget is audited
    WRONG

    $70 Billion Hole
    VERY VERY WRONG!!!!!!

    Price on carbon won’t make a difference
    WRONG
    (8% reduction first 6 months)

    Character
    WRONG WRONG WRONG he’s just plain WRONG.

    The LNP has thrown us a wrongun.
    Toss it back.

    These are straight off the top of head. More fun to be had.

    Please continue…

  78. I find it rich that liberal supporters get on here and make out Julia to be a particularly dishonest prime minister, even if you take lies to be omissions of truth or just bending it an independent media watch body tallies the actual lies of politicians and it has Julia at three and Abbott at 17 and counting. Abbott has lied to parliament, lied to the AEC, lied to the media and lied to the public. One thing Julia does not share with Tony is his astounding ability to have either the wrong facts or simply no facts at all. On no less than 36 occasions he has either put forward simply incorrect information, out of date information or simply has no information. Abbott has also contradicted his own opinions several times and flip flopped like an old thong. He has more or less openly admitted that you can’t take anything he says at face value unless he’s reading the liberal party script supplied to him.

  79. Splatterbottom

    Rick, that is all very well and good but I don’t think this is a chemical formula about one molecule plus another molecule gives you an answer.

  80. Wisdom Like Silence

    That wasn’t more or less what he said, that’s exactly what he said.

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