July 06, 2016 | Graham

Where are the “Children Overboard” pamphletts?

Labor perpetrated one of the great frauds of Australian politics when they persuaded some voters to accept the proposition the coalition was planning to privatise Medicare.

They’ve boasted about the tactic.

Now they are trying to justify it on the basis that the coalition has allegedly lied to win elections too.

Senator Dastyari downplayed concerns about Queensland Labor on election day targeting voters with messages purporting to be from Medicare.

“Honestly, I am not going to get lectured to about those kinds of campaign tactics by a political party that was responsible for ‘children overboard’,” he said.

Apart from the illogicality of this claim (they did it, and it was wrong, but that makes it OK for us to do it) it is patently untrue.

For there to be any parallel, Dastyari, or anyone else, would have to produce evidence of television ads, billboards, and pamphlets all making this claim. They won’t find one, let alone one distributed in the dying days of the campaign.

It was a mistake at the time, as admitted by Peter Reith, and never formed a part of the campaign.

In fact, when I go over my qualitative research records for that election the words “children” and “overboard” do not appear.

Labor has form in lying which is much worse than anything the coalition has ever done.

Remember the 1993 “sweetest victory of all”, won off the back of the L-A-W “law” tax cuts which were repealed almost as soon as the ballot papers ha been counted.

This was coupled with a dishonest campaign devised by Wayne Swan, of “Jobs not GST”, so it is interesting to note that his daughter was the author of the Mediscare.

And they spent the last term of parliament saying the government had cut the budgets of health and education when in fact spending was at record levels and increasing, and anyone could see that in the budget papers.

In Queensland we saw the ancestor of the Mediscare campaign when in 1995 Labor claimed the coalition would privatise the public hospital system.

At least you can privatise a hospital system, unlike a government payments system, but the lie had no basis.

But in 1995, Joan Sheldon, Deputy Opposition Leader, took it personally. We even took the ALP to court in an effort to prove conclusively the lie. Our efforts were so effective that we eventually had the media onside.

The icing on the cake was when it turned out that Labor was planning to privatise some functions at the Nambour Base Hospital.

It was one of the contributing factors to our win at that election with a swing away from the Labor Party of 7.5% which occurred during the course of the campaign.

Turnbull and Nutt should probably have been on the phone to Sheldon about Mediscare before it got legs.

Labor’s been at this particular lie for a long time, so they certainly should have been ready.



Posted by Graham at 9:28 pm | Comments (11) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Lying is second nature to all politicians, but Labor, I have to say, have turned it into an artform.

    I think however it must be stressed that Labor’s vote (I have read) wasn’t that great, at least their numbers don’t reflect people swarming to them. Last Saturday people walked away from all three major parties. The Liberal vote crashed, Labor didn’t do much better, and the Green’s vote was low as well.

    I think if any conclusions can be drawn it must be the following:

    People now believe all three major parties stink to high heaven.
    The Liberal base was told that they don’t matter, and so walked away to other smaller parties, or spoiled their ballots entirely.
    Labor gained seats, but that was to be expected after Abbott gained so many in 2013.

    The big winners were the small parties, especially One Nation, and also the Nats increased their vote, picking up another seat.

    Comment by Rose — July 7, 2016 @ 5:43 am

  2. Oh perleeeaassseeee! One political party griping because the other mob used a grubbier (and successful) tactic than they did. This is proof that politics today is no longer the art of compromise but rather the art of hypocrisy.

    And yet the political elites continue to ignore the fact that nearly one third of voters turned away from them and blame the other mob for dirty tactics.

    Comment by AlanR — July 7, 2016 @ 8:46 am

  3. Hi Graham,

    I think those responsible should be charged. A scare campaign around the potential privatisation of Medicare was all well and good since the government certainly had form in this area. Remember Pyne’s discussion about privatising student debt.

    However presenting as being from Medicare was simply fraud. It ranks alongside Liberal MP Jackie Kelly’s bogus election pamphlet portraying Labor as sympathisers of Islamic terrorists.

    It should be investigated and fraud charges brought.

    Comment by Steeleredux — July 7, 2016 @ 11:57 am

  4. Actually the children were thrown overboard. Of course they were, the b%&dy boat was sinking as it was scuttled by the
    passengers as they could not then be sent back.

    Comment by Brad — July 7, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

  5. Dear Graham
    Please Medicare was going down the privatization road you would have to have been a dyed in the wool Liberal not to see that.
    Now getting down to lies and Liars John Howard Reith Abbott any number of Liberal ministers from Howards Govt,Dutton(Mutton as I call him)
    Raising Lying to an art form, come on down every Liberal PM since Menzies he was a liar as well,you want a bald faced liar look at Howard and IRAQ please we need an inquiry into that lie as well

    Comment by John Ryan — July 8, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  6. Of cause the greatest and easily the most destructive fraud and down right lie ever told to the people of Australia was told by John Howard in his bogus justifications for our involvement in the illegal invasion of Iraq.
    Destructive in that it resulted in the loss of countless tens of thousands of lives, the destruction of vast amounts of property and infrastructure, and the waste of countless billions of dollars. And of course the explosion of the phenomenon of world-wide terrorism and political chaos.

    And is not the campaign director for any election, wherever it is held. to one degree or another a professional liar. Such being the essential nature of all election campaigns.

    Comment by Paul — July 8, 2016 @ 3:20 pm

  7. Of course the originators and the senders of that pamphlet must be fully and thoroughly investigated! Just to be sure it’s not another Gordon Gretch affair?

    As for lying? What about the never ever GST and myriad non core promises?

    Bill Shorten was apparently caught out numerous times during the campaign and simply modified the message. And ably assisted by the coalition and some of the proposals leaked, it would seem, by someone trying to help?

    Nothing however comes close to diabolical disingenuous mendacity than just forcing stuff through that has never ever been flagged and for which there clearly is no mandate; (Bligh Newman Howard) then facing the peoples’ judgement three years down the track!

    I thought a better approach was the fireside chats that took the people into the Leaders confidence and informed the nation of the true state of affairs and what seemed the most effective and timely manner of dealing with it?

    And it worked better when the opposition were properly briefed and their bipartisan cooperation sort? The fact that this never ever happens in today’s blame shifting shape changing politics! Probably explains the drift away from the major parties?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 9, 2016 @ 11:38 am

  8. Look, on the subject of Leader’s fireside chats, I’ve decided to try my hand at a little wordsmith’s work and here is my contribution.

    My fellow Australians, men ,woman, boys and girls. I thank you for your attention, and understanding of my role here tonight.

    Which is to inform you and after some consultation with the opposition, that the national interest would be served by a period of sustained stabilizing certainty.

    That also means accepting some of the opposition’s policy paradigms through gritted teeth, but amended, so as to be still affordable. Therefore negative gearing as applies only to the residential housing market will be phased out over the next decade.

    Gonkski will be fully funded and rolled out, but only as a means tested education endowment controlled by the parent or guardian who will direct it to the school of their choice, wherever practical.

    The NDIS will also be fully implemented, but only as a means tested direct funding entitlement that is then directed by the recipient or the carer.

    Public health will never ever be privatized, but seriously modernized and once again become a means tested entitlement linked exclusively to outcomes; that ensures only those who cannot afford low cost affordable members health fund insurance are the ones supported by generous health charity or medicare rebates.

    While it is true that a measure of a nation is how well it treats the least among them! It is also true that such care as is meted out must needs be affordable.

    To that ultimate end we envisage some unavoidable budget repair. In both increased revenue raising and as outlined as some spending curtailment and rationalization.

    On the revenue side, we simply have no other choice than replace an avoidable tax system with one that simply isn’t and one the is equitable and entirely fair.

    Currently the average business bottom line is savaged by a 7% rip out and strictly as tax compliance costs. This money would serve the nation better as part of an unavoidable flat tax rate, which then makes tax compliance costs completely redundant and therefore able to be redirected as outlined.

    This additional cash flow to consolidated revenue would be immediately available and allow company tax to be collected as an also unavoidable 4% making a grand total of an unavoidable 11%, but as an effective 4% only!

    This is what genuine tax reform looks like! Anything else is merely tinkering at the edges. Naturally the unproductive parasitical multi billion dollar tax industry will be incensed and vocal!

    Nonetheless genuine tax reform was both entirely unavoidable and ultimately essential! I do hope you understand and approve of the changes and policy paradigms we’ve sort or agreed to for the sake of sustained stability going forward; and indeed absolutely essential in these days of uncertainty and turbulence elsewhere.

    I thank you for your attention and wish you well and goodnight. An address by the right honorable fix it and contributed by regular contributor. And I hope you find this suggested contribution useful?
    Alan B Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 10, 2016 @ 11:42 am

  9. Some notes: Our tax system is arguably not only the most complex, but has more holes than Swiss cheese! We invented something that is hugely and unnecessarily complex, then pay experts, no two of who seem to be able to agree, to unravel it for us! We need it and them!? Really!?

    It beggars belief why so called “intelligent folk” would not only sit still for this nonsense that just would not look out of place at the mad hatters tea party, but that our legislators are so afraid of the power of the group we pay to unravel this asinine man made complexity, that they act as if completely powerless to effect real meaningful change!?

    It’s scrambled eggs the most common excuse for not doing the now needed than ever before in the course of human history, real reform!

    Why? Because believable reports inform us that only for major corporations now pay the bulk of locally collected company tax? That the average company tax averages between 1-4%? That up to 95%+ of former Australian corporations have off-shored their operations taking their tax liabilities with them!?

    And the excuse trotted out by (economic illiterate, quote unquote) John Howard for introducing his GST. Quote unquote. Which ought to be replaced by the only other alternative rejected by him on the grounds it was regressive, a transactions tax. Quote unquote.

    Experience and history shows that the GST has proved far more regressive and could be replaced by a much smaller transactions tax that could also be leveled at all international transfers or remittances? Which would then make big (taxpayer supported and guaranteed) very profitable banks the only unpaid tax collectors in Australia!

    After real fair dinkum tax reform the government needs to get back into the business of business as (first choice) financiers and facilitators.

    Which could just as easily be set up as competing duopolies, governed by the same rules as all other locally headquartered corporations, and paying tax and appropriate fees as any other enterprise has to.

    And could be rolled out as employee owned and operated cooperatives to gain all the competitive advantages that particular private enterprise free market model and Australia offers.

    The aim ought to be to get our energy supply down to the lowest costing in the world (doable) and could be if rolled out as large scale solar thermal projects that would for example power rapid rail another project that could easily be rolled out as employee own co-ops?

    Similarly cheaper than coal thorium reactors that are the only nuclear industry we ought to contemplate, on the grounds there are no weapons spin off from this now dated technology! And we have enough of this material to power the world for 700 years?

    And ourselves for considerably longer if we are simply sane enough to use this abundant material here as our exclusive energy supply, if only to open the doors on the considerable commercial advantages this energy supply paradigm would open up for us?

    And exactly what we need to have the high tech energy reliant enterprises of the world queuing to gain the advantages that would come with the lowest costing energy supply coupled to a really smart low cost tax system as outlined above; that would likely be the envy of the developed world?

    As for implementation? Can’t died in a cornfield over a century ago!

    And made possible by the issue of self terminating thirty year bonds, that are completely sold out by giving the returns a tax free status? Parenthetically, co-ops were the only free market private enterprise model that largely survived the Great Depression intact!

    Government involvement could be limited to financiers and facilitators?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 11, 2016 @ 8:49 am

  10. I believe that regressive anti growth taxes like payroll tax and stamp duties need to be outlawed And simply replaced by less regressive transaction tax, which as mentioned could also apply to all international transfers and remittances.

    This would likely make some state governments howl as their role would and could be spectacularly reduced by eliminating their current if regressive ANTI GROWTH FUNDING MECHANISMS.

    Moreover there is nothing they currently do that can’t be done better and far cheaper via the federal government VIA DIRECT FUNDING or councils!?

    Thus saving the budget bottom line some 70 billions plus per, which could instead be redirected at the infrastructure deficit and shortfall!?

    I’d imagine a redirected 70 billions plus would go a long way to rolling out rapid rail and in the following year roll out the new power complexes we’d need to see them run at a REASONABLE PROFIT!

    I put it to you, we need basically stalled economic growth far more than crisis laden corruption laden STATE GOVERNMENTS!? Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 11, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

  11. Not long after he was installed as P.M. Bob Hawke held a tax summit. Which apparently reached the following conclusions? That company tax averaged between 1-4% and that 40% of our guest corporations paid no company tax to anyone?

    Now it strikes me if all the folk; off-shored enterprises and multinationals had to pay a fair and reasonable flat rate unavoidable tax of 11% ? Our budget bottom line could be virtually not only doubled but the very low tax take would set us up to effectively compete with the other ultra low tax states?

    I’ve read where one socialist economist claimed that just one third of one percent would replace PYAE? Naturally it was popular with the workers and rejected by the employers, who saw it as giving a de facto pay increase across the board to the workforce? And not necessarily so! Given the take home pay packet would remain the same and the employer would still front up with the PAYE component, just via a much more efficient means that included far less computations and paperwork!?

    An American visitor on Q+A, some little while ago, a republican Senator remarked when he addressed our tax system, “at some point complexity always becomes fraud!” Quote unquote.

    I sincerely hope some of these forgoing ideas and suggestions will be useful, Given God only know our tax system need to be thoroughly overhauled and reformed from root to branch! If we would avoid becoming a banana republic with stilled or reversing economic growth? Of all the things we can avoid, genuine tax reform and thoroughgoing tax reform is just not one of them!
    Alan B. Goulding

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — July 13, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

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