November 19, 2013 | Graham

Labor underestimates average Australians too

Part of the secret of Tony Abbott’s success is that Labor and Greens underestimate him. The torrent of accusations that he is too dumb to be PM that has followed his election on Twitter and social media generally is proof of this.

For a really amusing example of this genre – Tony as ventriloquist’s dummy – check out “Earpiecegate“.

The allegation is that because Abbott wears an earpiece in some TV interviews it is because he is so slow on his feet he needs “Radio Kredlin” in his ear to tell him what to think. Huge kudos to Peta Credlin, Abbott’s Chief of Staff, but it had me rolling around the floor for a few minutes. Everyone wears an earpiece when interviewed remotely on TV.

Another part of his success is that Labor also understimates, or just plain misunderstands, average Australians, and in this category I include what used to be their core vote – working class Australians.

This may be what Bob Carr was referring to when he accused Labor of not being “cunning”¬†enough.

You get no better example of this than the last week or federal parliament.

If there is one issue that Labor should steer clear of it is asylum seekers.

Sure, the government will make mistakes, but there is no gain, and plenty of pain, for the opposition in trying to exploit them, because every time they raise the issue of the boats all most Australians will recall is that they were the ones that created the problem in the first place.

Now you may argue that it wasn’t Labor’s fault that the boats ramped up while they were in office, and that push factors are more important than pull factors.

I won’t have that argument with you, because as far as average Australians are concerned, their perceptions are set that Labor created the problem. You won’t change their minds, so whether the point is well-made or not, in terms of public relations, it is irrelevant.

Abbott and his team must love it every time someone limbers up on the other side to hurl down a delivery accusing them of failure on the boats.

Tony Burke is probably the best example of a political quick without line or length. His accusations that:

The reason the secrecy is going on is, in large part, they don’t want to admit that the policies they took to the election in this area, they’re not implementing.

are so wide of the pitch that the government gets to score without even moving their feet.

Anyone who was paying attention knows that the Abbott government never promised to buy Indonesian fishing boats, or even turn boats back, except in certain circumstances. They also know that the promise on boats was to stop them coming, and that policies, and the policy mix, will change over time.

Average Australians don’t care how the government gets there (within the law), as long as they get there.

No doubt there is frustration in the Opposition because the Government that made such an issue of the illegal entrant issue when they were in opposition is now denying the current opposition the oxygen to make an issue of it.

They have some justification in thinking that Scott Morrison was doing his best to make their refugee policies fail, but they are mistaken if they think they can get away with the same tactic.

If the Abbott government fails to stop the boats, it won’t be the Abbott government that gets the blame, it will be the former Labor governments.

In trying to sabotage the present government’s policy, all the opposition does is sabotage its own prospects.

Interesting to see the cunning Carr in today’s Australian approving Australia’s donation of two patrol boats to Sri Lanka, surely part of the “stop the boats” campaign¬†but not a policy telegraphed during the election:

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr has described a decision by the Abbott government to give the Sri Lankan navy two patrol boats as “sound policy” and revealed that Labor contemplated doing the same thing.

It’s a lead Bill Shorten ought to think about following.

But wait, what’s that I see in Carr’s ear? Who’s he taking his riding instructions from?

Bob_Carr_Earpiece Abbott_Earpiece

Posted by Graham at 7:32 am | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Also Shorten should not be trying to take advantage of the ‘spying’ scandal

    Who was in power in 2009 ?

    Australia should show a united front to the Indonesians, who are playing this for all it’s worth , for internal politics within Indonesia

    Comment by Laurie — November 19, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

  2. I agree Laurie, but Shorten does appear to be doing his best to be cooperative.

    Comment by Graham — November 20, 2013 @ 6:14 am

  3. As for Labor attacking the Government’s Boat Policy…it is a bit like the arsonist being critical of the Fire Brigade.

    Comment by Kevin Alcock — November 20, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  4. It doesn’t matter much who you vote for, all you get seems to be a self serving politician.
    I believe the current problems we are having with our nearest and most populist neighbor, were created by Mr Rudd.
    Mr Rudd is flawed, inasmuch as he couldn’t, wouldn’t delegate.
    That like almost any other control freak, he has to not only be in charge, but seen to be in charge? [NB, Mr Morrison!]
    A Leader who can delegate, would have told our spy agencies, to look and listen, but if there was no red flag, to simply destroy the (in house) data, and then forget it!
    That said, the PNG solution, Mr Rudd’s creation, does seem to be working, for now.
    Mr Morrison, who seems to be part of the problem, try as he might, can claim no kudos whatsoever from it!?
    The next step for the people smugglers, will be impeccable passports, replete with appropriate visas, for people who arrive by plane!
    Followed by asylum claims and or people who just disappear forever, inside ethnic communities!? And how would a hairy chested, chest thumping, Mr (Admiral Meincharge) Morrison fix that!?
    The coalition created all the problems they are having now, by playing the boat people card and politicizing asylum seekers, in the first place!
    But then, what else would one expect of Tweedledee, Tweedledum and or, Tweedledumber, pea brain tea party type pollies!
    Who can only ever govern through decidedly downright dumb, divide and rule policies?
    When what is required is bipartisan support, and big picture vision.
    We should be writing up a comprehensive free trade agreement with Indonesia, not this current red-neck rubbish.
    And if that needs our PM to apologize profusely on behalf of a previous and highly flawed admin, then that’s what he should do, as well as give an unconditional assurance, that he has ordered all phone tapping to cease.
    What he can’t add is, that the pause is only temporary, that some completely covert eavesdropping will continue?
    Even so, he and the relevant ministers, will be able to truthfully deny that they have no knowledge of any tapping, given they just won’t be told, and no data will be retained!
    We know Indonesia needs us more than we need them, given the situation on their northern border?
    We also need to know and understand the Asian Psyche, and the fact that death is often more desirable than loss of face. Well, we should know!
    We need to be seen eating lots of humble pie, and deferring to the Indonesian President and the President’s men.
    I’d like to see an arrogant, kudos claiming Mr Morrison do that!
    Repeat something often enough and he will even have himself believing he was the Author of the PNG solution?
    And what’s this I hear, a people swap deal with Indonesia?
    Is Indonesia, a signatory to the UN convention on human rights? No? Shock, horror! Surely you jest?
    We need to ensure that we also sheet home the blame, where it belongs, to the former administration and it’s, I believe, have to have a finger in every pie, control freak Leader.
    Unless there is a red flag, we need to have the Indonesians know, that eavesdropping and relaying on of unimportant data, is a thing of the past, no if buts or maybes!
    I don’t believe Tony is dumb, unless he opens his mouth to say he doesn’t need to apologize, and therefore, remove all doubt!
    What would look and sound dumb, is a refusal to supply the necessary humble pie apology!
    And to-date, one has seen nothing to convince one that Tony is any smarter than he looks or sounds.
    He simply has to stop being Dr no, and instead, look and sound like Mr, yes we can!
    I believe the community will give humble, Mia Culpa, Tony, time to find his feet, even if a desperately keen to win back power Labor, won’t!?
    Alan B. Goulding

    Comment by Alan Goulding — November 21, 2013 @ 10:42 am

  5. Politics is like world championship wrestling. It is all staged and the players of both sides buddy up for a drink and make deals behind closed doors.

    We are the fools who turn up to vote for them and pretend that their words actually mean anything to our future.

    Bankers control our Govts because they create from nothing all the money to = our toil + inflation. We are the debt slaves.

    Comment by Ross — November 24, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

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