For those of us resident on this, our many-splendoured sceptred isle, a democratic election might be a concept that exists only as a lingering memory. Some 10,000 miles away in Australia, elections still seem interesting if only because Australia is a proper country, not a Eurosatropy. Many of us have watched either with bemusement or, in my case, amusement as PM after PM was unceremoniously removed from office. An old acquaintance described the political situation very well: “Australians are ruthless c***s”. Rudd, Juliar, Rudd, Abbott, Turnbull, ScoMo.
It seemed as if this election was a foregone conclusion, a mere formality. Prince Billy of Maribyrnong was awaiting his coronation to be King of Australia. The old Abbott-Turnbull War had cost the Coalition dearly. There was precious little unity and constant bickering. The conservative faction and the Nationals were made deeply uncomfortable by the Labour-light policies of Turnbull and his faction, the Turnbull faction believed that “history was on their side” and that they had to “hold the centre”. Never mind, of course, that most indications — including the results of March’s New South Wales state election — showed quote the opposite to be the case. The only thing the Coalition had left was the fact that ScoMo was far more trusted than Shifty Bill. Fifty polls in a row showed a Labour majority.
Labour were far too confident. They adopted a platform that reflected their worst interests. They intended full well to re-engineer Australian society, to commit to plebiscites without firm plans of how to proceed. One was for indigenous recognition, one was for a nebulous republic. In both cases, US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s “You’ve got to pass it to see what’s in it” come to mind. To the last minute, despite a general tightening of the polls, the ALP was confident. And then, Australia voted. As of the time of writing, the Coalition had won or were ahead in 76 constituencies — enough for a majority. With Bob Katter, a true blue Queensland conservative unlikely to do much to block the government’s agenda, there’s a government and it doesn’t belong to the Australian Corbynites.
13 thoughts on “Daggy Dad vs Shifty Shorten”
G’day Christopher – you beat me to it!
My headline would probably have been “Shorten’s down the gurgler” or something similar, but no matter, yours is fair enough. 😎
We all knew that Labor would win, but I have to admit that there was a little quiet voice at the back of my mind that kept on whispering that the polls might be wrong. When at about 9:00 pm Boadicea told me that Anthony Green was sure that Labor couldn’t win, the little voice started shouting with glee. Anthony Green (look him up) is hardly ever wrong.
I don’t see ScoMo as particularly daggy = he’s done pretty well in my book since he took over, and he does it with a pleasant smile. Infinitely better than Turnbull, who did more to harm the Liberal party than anyone else, and ScoMo appears confidently unflappable.
I am disappointed that both Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop chose to run away and hide, but there we are, I may have liked their performances to date, but clearly they are both lacking in staying power “when the chips are down”. Shame about Tony Abbott, but nice to see Peter Dutton hanging on (our local member until we moved); bit of a weirdo in some ways but a good solid Aussie with old-fashioned values at heart.
The best bit by far is that we have seen the last of Shorten – an evil puppet controlled by the Union thugs and bullies. You could tell when he was telling lies – his mouth was open. Straya will be a better nation with Shorten out of the way politically.
It’s going to be an exciting coupla months!
Bearsy: ScoMo’s minor missteps were never malicious and they made him come across as human; for example, when he said “ni hao” to an East Asian woman only for her to turn out to be Korean. Those are things that the best of us could, would do.
My gut feeling was that the Coalition would win. I wasn’t about to put any money on it, but Shorten should have been able to capitalise on chaos in the Coalition. He never really did. Not only that, but he never once was the preferred PM. Looking at the polling data, with the exception of the few weeks after Turnbull was ousted as PM, ScoMo always had a commanding lead in preferred PM. His coalition might not have been that popular, but he had the acceptance of the Australian people. Living in the UK limits my exposure to Australian opinion past my Australian mates. What I gleaned from them and from discussions I’ve had with Australians whilst there and from the UK was that Australians have their priorities and their concerns. Rapey Bill’s social-engineering plans, proposed tax policies and economy-wrecking fantasies were nowhere near the top. In fact, they are in direct opposition to them.
Pyne and Bishop were excellent MPs, but perhaps it was for the best that they left. They were too involved with the Abbott/Turnbull chaos. They played their cards very badly and that nearly resulted in the Coalition losing the election in 2016. Turnbull was a calamity as opposition leader, he was a calamity as PM. They should have known better, but didn’t. I’ve always liked and respected Abbott. At the same time, he was also part of the political chaos. It seems fitting that voters ensured that both were thrown out and allow a new crop of leaders to take over. Whatever their travails, the Coalition have one thing going for them: they’re not as toxic as Labour. Albanese is likely to be the next leader, but if someone that close to Rapey Bill is expected to do much better, then there might be more shocks.
Christopher – spot on! I’m in total agreement with every word you’ve written!
I didn’t want to watch the results coming in – it was all going to be so utterly depressing. Shorten was so confident of winning that he’d already worked out (and boasted about) what he would be doing today, his first day in office.
Then I checked Abbott’s result and found that Anthony Green had predicted a Coalition win – I went back and followed it through to the final speeches – I’m a bit of a political junkie at times!
I feel heartily cheered this morning to know that my fellow Aussies have voted for a party that seems to understand that helping people to help themselves makes far more sense than taking from those who have done that and then redistributing it around. Especially when that ‘redistribution’ is being made by a man who’s never done a day’s ‘real work’ and is reputed to be worth some 60-odd million dollars.
For some reason that I’ve never quite worked out most Aussies really, really don’t like their governments to be in debt. It’s a good principle but I’m not sure that many other countries have quite the same passion as here in Oz. The debt that the last Labor Government left will have been paid off, some few years earlier than predicted, next year. And I certainly read a lot of comments from Ozzies fearing that Labor’s promises (many of which were uncosted) would send Oz reeling back into the red.
As for capitalising on the chaos of the Coalition last year – I don’t think that would have worked. From what I could see, many people thought like Bearsy and I did – that the Coalitions worst mistake was to put Turnbull in as PM, the next biggest error was to leave him there as long as they did – and the best thing they did was to correct that error by booting him out!
Well we can all relax for the next three years and trust that ‘being in surplus’ will allow the Government space to do more than it has been able to do while being in debt!
Boadicea: I was prepared for the worst when I switched on the 7 News live stream. When I saw an LNP lead, I thought that they were discussing the 2016 election. But within a couple minutes, I realised that things had turned out very differently than expected and I was overjoyed. In fact, I was jumping up with glee, pumping my fist in the air and shouting “Yes” and “Aussie, oy, Aussie, oy”. Naturally, I received some very confused looks from people around me. Oh well, they wouldn’t understand. Australia is only for the most discerning of tastes.
I’ve found that Australians, for all their outward confidence, possess a natural caution. Australia is vulnerable. It’s a resource-rich country with a small population in the world’s most populous region. Jokowi is sane and rational, but Indonesia has a merry and very vocal band of nutters desperate to call the shots. Indonesia also has a history of showing its neighbours aggression. The South China Sea is a geopolitical flashpoint of growing concern. The Chinese are playing by their own rulebook. I can’t despise them for it, they’re more than willing to give you their rulebook to let you know what the game is — they always have. The problem is, short-sighted “leaders” can’t be bothered to read the text and then find themselves snared up. Debt leaves a country vulnerable. The Americans with their nuclear arsenal and citizen army can get away with it, the Japanese do everything “in house”. If Australia’s debt dynamics spun out of control, they’d quickly become China’s plaything. Those who’ve seen China’s statecraft in practice in Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia and Taiwan are not keen on getting too close! Contrary to stereotypes, Australians are far more tuned into their region — and the world. Quite a few Australians I’ve spoken to over the last few years have said that as the world is growing increasingly unpredictable and volatile, they’re not about to take any gambles.
The chaos of the last few years seems to be over. It’s far harder to remove PMs. Turnbull is out of parliament and nothing but a bad memory for the Liberals. Morrison is a very likeable man who has done remarkably well as PM. I hope that Abbott, the Tony version, not the Dianne, will be like John Howard — an elder statesman and moral authority in his party. I trust that Abbott, unlike Howard, will have the judgement not to encourage toxic figures to remain. I firmly believe that John Howard’s greatest political miscalculation was encouraging Turnbull to remain in Parliament after Abbott ousted him as opposition leader.
It would appear that internal polling within the two parties was giving a very different result from the public polls and they both knew it was going to be tight – but even so the final outcome has been a shock to both parties!
Morrison’s campaign was very much a one-man-show. And he kept the message very short and clear: A Fair Go for those who are prepared to Have a Go. Of course, he managed to sweeten the message with some pretty good tax cuts in the Budget just before he called the election!
Shorten’s message was also quite clear: massive spending, tax cuts, increased foreign aid and immigration all paid for by attacking self-funded retirees, removing negative gearing and not actually bothering to spell out where the rest of the money would come from. The Unions here have been calling for the imposition of an inheritance tax, and I don’t think that improved his chances – especially since the Unions have far too power with the Labor Party. Allying themselves with the Greens didn’t do the Labor Party much good – especially in the mining areas. Add to that – very few people actually liked him as a person!
But odd things happen at election times – and some of us were pretty worried!
Ian tells me that, despite Shorten initially agreeing to match the Morrison Budget cuts – he withdrew that pledge later – must have missed that.
Hello Christopher. I was in Australia when ScoMo won the premiership from Turnbull. I confess I rather enjoyed the discomfort it caused some of my more liberal acquaintances. Even better that he has won the election.
Please forgive my pedantry, but the Labor Party really is spelled without a ‘u’. I found this.
“The ALP adopted the formal name “Australian Labour Party” in 1908, but changed the spelling to “Labor” in 1912. While it is standard practice in Australian English both today and at the time to spell the word “labour” with a “u”, the party was influenced by the United States labor movement, and a prominent figure in the early history of the party, the American-born King O’Malley, was successful in having the spelling “modernised”.”
As a proper noun, one should adhere to the correct spelling, just as one would for Pearl Harbor. It is only polite to do so. Unfortunately, American media do not extend that courtesy to the British Labour party. They insist on dropping the ‘u’ despite the fact they recognise it as a proper name. I would have no objection to their saying that, “the Labour Party represents the labor movement’. I have given up writing to them. They just won’t listen, the ill mannered tykes.
Boadicea: Shorten and ilk were swept up in the lunacy surrounding the rise of left-wing populists. Like in Britain, like in the USA there is this sense among many on the left that they are on the right side of history and those nasty old conservatives will just have to suck it up. Shorten moved to the left to gain their support — or at least get people who’d normally give the Greens their first preference to give it to Labour. It was reckless, dangerous and destabilising arrogance. It was, ultimately, self-defeating arrogance. Australia is not unique. The USA has been in the throes of this since 2016. I’m not holding out much hope for Labour. They haven’t taken their lessons and their leadership candidates are promising to be as bad, if not worse, than Rapey Bill.
Sipu: I knew all that. I just happen to like twisting the knife. King O’Malley was a nob.
I think you mean “knob” (dickhead) rather than “nob” (member of the nobility). Pronounced identically, but virtual opposites. But I could be wrong . . . 😎
Bearsy: It’s a play on words — the nob knob King O’Malley.
Does not compute ☯
Bearsy: King O’Malley was a peasant knob with a name reflecting a nob.