Misfiring PM grabs the starting gun

The title is courtesy of Laurie Oakes’s column. I’ll come back to that.

The ABC is live-blogging here, and The Guardian here. The Conversation has an Election 2016 heading, and an election policy explainer. The ABC also has an election site.

Actually there is an argument for going to sleep for the next month because they say that people really only start to take interest in the last two weeks. I might get some climate blogging done!

On the polls, Kevin Bonham has it 50.2 to the LNP including the Galaxy May 8 poll, with seats 79 to the Coalition, 67 to Labor, and 4 Others. That leaves Turnbull probably one or two short for passing stuff in a double dissolution joint-house sitting.

For the Galaxy poll I can only find Samantha Maiden’s article in Newscorp papers. It has Turnbull fighting for his political life at 50-50 2PP. There are 22%, however, who want someone other than the two major contestants, split exactly between Greens and “other” at 11% each.

Obviously too close to call.

Only 48% of respondents knew that Scott Morrison was Treasurer, and only 18% knew about Chris Bowen. Nine out of ten recognise Swannie, but only one out of 10 recognise Terri Butler who replaced Kevin Rudd as the member for Griffith, although she’s frequently interviewed by the ABC.

It makes you realise that people have lives to lead and those lives are not spent attending to politics.

Bernard Keane reckons the “class war” thing is being beaten up by the LNP, The Australian and the Australian Financial Review. Here’s what Galaxy found:

    a ­majority of voters, 62 per cent, believe it is unfair only workers earning more than $80,000 a year received a tax cut in the Budget.

    Two-thirds of voters earning less than $80,000 believe the Budget is unfair. Surprisingly, 49 per cent of voters earning over $80,000 agree that it isn’t fair to lower income households.

Do you know that Labor is going to vote for the tax cut for those on $80K plus?

But Turnbull and ScoMo made sure that we all thought they were being unfair by their silly stunt to withhold the full tax cut costings. Here’s what Laurie Oakes said:

    Turnbull, who is a Rhodes Scholar, apparently didn’t see the questions coming and therefore failed to get himself briefed on the detail. That is one explanation, anyway.

    Another is that he didn’t want voters to know the extent of the Government’s generosity to companies in a Budget light on benefits for anyone else.

    If that was the case, he overlooked the inevitability that slip-sliding on the issue would call attention to the fact that he was hiding something.

    The third possibility — the one the Government now claims to be the truth — is that Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison decided to withhold the information temporarily in a too-smart-by-half trick intended to embarrass Labor.

The headline writer called it “playing silly buggers with the truth”. In any case, it was an own goal.

Possibly we’ll all forget about it by election time, but it is making the Government look mean and tricky, and that may endure.

19 thoughts on “Misfiring PM grabs the starting gun”

  1. Shortens fake emotion Autobot/ Decepticon election pitch should fool a few voters, as will Prince Wentworths.

    Good to see at least one of them trained out the speech impediments and the other pretend he has goolies as big as Abbotts.

  2. Thanks, BilB.

    The latest:

    Turnbull is introducing GP co-payment by stealth, doctors say

    Doctors are accusing the Turnbull government of trying to enforce a GP co-payment by stealth by extending the freeze on Medicare rebates for another two years.

    They claim it will put patient health at risk, because GPs will be forced to introduce a co-payment to cover the ever-growing funding gap – and that will increase costs for patients.

    They have pledged to campaign against the government’s decision, which was revealed in the budget, all the way to the election.

  3. For those who prefer not to watch QandA, a good digest of Duncan Storrar and the panel written by Neil McMahon is in the Sydney Morning Herald online.

    Admittedly, Neil takes Duncan’s side.

  4. What does Duncan buy at the Supermarket that attracts tax ?
    If its meat and vege he only pays the tax second, hand passed on by the producers, transporters and retailers as input cost.
    If it’s durries and grog, well, that’s a different story.

    At any rate, any direct income tax he incurs is more than compensated for. If he’s on $40k he get’s tax withheld of around $4k, with his ( apparent ) concessions, he’ll get it all back as a refund +part A and B.
    Everything else that sustains him an an his comes from successful people and Companies.

    His question should have been ” The people that maintain the standard of living that my daughters and I enjoy, because I can’t, how can we say thanks? “

  5. Too right Jumpy, what an ungrateful wretch he is.
    Bring back the workhouse, the undeserving poor need to be kept in their place.

  6. Na, just a ” thank you rich, successful people for helping me ” would do, no need for silliness.

  7. Word on the street is that Marx wanted to turn the world into a workhouse.
    I don’t like that idea.

  8. This article has a bit more about Storrar, a 45 year-old father of two who lives at a housing commission property in Geelong, and takes truck-driving jobs when they are available, often as a subcontractor.

    He’s also studying and receives Austudy.

    There is no reason at all why he shouldn’t have his say and bring a bit of reality to the situation.

    One could argue that everyone under about $35K in a family setting is going to get some kind of assistance and making them pay tax is churning.

  9. Jumpy, I only did a bit of Marx in studying about education. My impression is that his analysis of capitalism was brilliant. But he had a gaping gap in his understanding of human nature, which makes his prescriptions for change and the ideal society problematic to say the least.

  10. On the election generally, I think it was a shame that The Greens kicked off their campaign by talking about a possible coalition with Labor. Shorten was talking about about the vital importance of needs based schools funding, and made a significant announcement on Indigenous education, but the media was focussing, as it always does, on politics rather than policy.

    The Greens want to attack and take over Labor’s left. Labor main battle is for the centre. The attacks from the left could ensure a Turnbull government. Please, Adam and Richard, the tories are the enemy

    They may find that Shorten means it when he says, tell him he’s dreaming.

    Labor had its own problems with candidates free-lancing on asylum seeker policy, causing all sorts of bile and lies to run out of Peter Dutton’s mouth. Again, not helpful.

    Elsewhere Getup looks at what taking $57 billion out of health over 10 years means – equivalent to 37,000 hospital beds that can’t be funded, or 68,000 nurses or 33,000 doctors that can’t be paid.

    Finally Katherine Murphy has done a brilliant piece on Bill Shorten and what Labor has been doing in the past three years. It’s probably the best thing you’ll read this election.

  11. Brian, thank you for the link to Katharine Murphy’s piece. I’ve been avoiding the election commentary (8 weeks of tedium) so I would have missed it. As you say, it is brilliant; an example of real journalism.
    I’ll be interested to read what she has to say about Turnbull and DiNatale.

  12. I’m saving my time and energy until Sunday, 3rd July, when this State-Of-Origin-Without-Footballs or Referendum or Pretend Democracy is over.

    I shall vote, of course, because I can still vote AGAINST rather than vote For. I will not waste my time with an informal vote – because party back-room manipulators and polling-booth scrutineers alike love informal votes.

  13. I was going to make a comment on my annoyance about the focus on politics rather than policy in the media, but the first version ran to over 300 words, so I did a separate post.

    Further on Duncan Storrar, Kelly O’Dwyer in her answer to him mentioned that the company tax cuts could help a food business buy a new $6000 toaster. A crowd-sourcing fund was set up and by this evening it had raised $40,000 to help Storrar.

    Emma Griffiths on local ABC radio here took talkback on the Storrar issue this afternoon. From callers, I’d say being poor can be quite miserable, and there are people worse off than Storrar.

    OTOH an accountant rang in and along the way said that some of her clients where there were two salaries in the $60 to $80K range were doing it quite tough.

    Poor things!

  14. Brian I guess if the couple each on 60-80k had two or three kids and a hefty mortgage (as they would in Sydney or Melbourne) they’re not exactly doing it tough, but they have to be careful.

    As we all know, the price of housing in Sydney and Melbourne has departed from usual cost of living indices. I guess there will have to be a correction, but I hope it happens gradually.

  15. Yes, Val, I know that but I find it difficult to understand how families get by on $35 to $40K pa, but they do. On talkback the other day, one of the first things that goes is kids’ sport. They can’t afford the gear and the lessons. Can also be school trips, dancing lessons and stuff.

    The pensioners that I have worked for live very constrained lives.

    On the property market, my brother pointed out that Gatton, for example, is down by 30% and Emerald by 50%. It can happen.

  16. Ms Credlin has fired a nasty shot across the PM’s bow, as “Mr Harbourside Mansion”.

    Not full Class War, but seemingly a Class Skirmish. ( I don’t mean classy.)

    Will she now be accused of engaging in ‘the politics of envy’? Probably not.

    She claimed the local MP should have been prepared with a scripted answer to the question about the leadership ballot last September. Why? Are you no respecter of secret ballots, Ms Credlin?

    Or was it just another example of her view that every public event should be scripted and rehearsed to the nth degree? A practice that the voters are likely thoroughly sick of, whichever Party engages in it.

    She implied that the PM should have done his ‘shopping street tour’ even with gritted teeth. Are all politicians/advisers as afraid of the unwashed as she?

    Shades of PM Gillard’s excruciating Venture into the Interior of Rooty Hill…….

    Duncan’s question was like that time a theatre-goer stood up and yelled ‘this play is rubbish!’ at which the actors on stage started mumbling, gasping; then the lights came up, and the audience wandered out into the evening wondering what they had just seen.

    It couldn’t happen, could it?

    The absurdist play “Election” will likely sputter along, a few audience members leaving early, the directors giving the actors encouragement. Why look, that one’s wearing an earpiece! Perhaps that’s why he said “You bet you will!” instead of “You bet I will!” Take him off. Bring on the Matinee Idle.

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