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Why Labor deserves another term …..

…. and why they don’t.

…. and why they won’t get one.

(by Ray Dixon – a realist who really doesn’t care who wins as long as Sophie is tossed out)


If the latest Galaxy opinion poll is to believed (and they have a 100% track record of getting election results right), tomorrow the Coalition will be swept to power with a 53 – 47 two-party preferred vote that would see them pick up anything from 15 to 25 seats.

The only qualifier to that is the poll was conducted BEFORE shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s sweaty and embarrassing announcement yesterday that, despite saying for 3 years that Labor was “wrecking the economy” with “too much spending, too much debt and deficits” and that the budget was in “crisis”, the Coalition is not capable of doing much better and, in fact, will inflict a range of cuts to people for a bottom line that is not worth the pain they will put the lower-end through – in order to give benefits to the top end.

That’s about the size of the Coalition’s economic cred and I’m not going to go into the full detail any further because it speaks for itself , except to say that the coalition plans to cut $40 billion (that doesn’t need to be cut) while spending nearly all of that on over-generous and unnecessary schemes like the Paid Parental Leave Scheme that favours above average earners.

If you don’t believe that then you don’t understand the game they’re playing and that, as usual, the coalition simply wants to redistribute the nation’s wealth by taking more from the lower end and piling it over to those who don’t need it. To their ‘friends’. That’s the coalition way – stuff the poor and bow to the rich. 

It’s no wonder the respected Economist Magazine (which traditionally supports the conservative side of politics) has come out clearly endorsing Kevin Rudd , despite his failings. They simply say that Labor and Rudd’s numbers add up and that their policies present a better plan and vision for our future. Abbott, the Economist says, just doesn’t have it and does not impress them one little bit. 

You see, the thinking and credible economists out there – all over the world – are right: The Labor government has indeed successfully managed the economy over the past 6 years and have wisely used debt and budgetary implements to ensure we remain one of the strongest economies in the world with:

  • High economic growth
  • Increased living standards (see this link if you don’t believe that)
  • High job growth
  • Relatively low unemployment
  • Record low interest rates

And the list goes on. I could mention the AAA credit rating, etc but I don’t want to sound like I’m simply rattling off Labor rhetoric. The reality is that all the crap we’ve heard from Tony Abbott and his supporters at News Ltd about Labor’s economic performance has been just that – utter crap. Abbott has effectively conceded the coalition cannot do a better job and all he’s done is throw the budget around and juggled the numbers to make it look like he has a better plan when, plainly, he doesn’t.

I won’t go into other issues like asylum seekers because it’s been done to death and is about neutral in my opinion anyway.

And I won’t even dwell on the fact that Tony Abbott is planning to WASTE $30 billion on an inferior NBN that won’t work and that will be of no value unless they ultimately adopt Labor’s sensible fibre-to-the-home. As it now stands the Coalition NBN is just a giant gift to Telstra who will still own (and control) the last 200 metres!

No, when it comes to the crunch, there’s only one thing that should really matter when deciding who should run the country.

In the words of Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid“.

And I am saying that on the thing that really matters – the economy –  there are no grounds for throwing out the Rudd Labor Government …. and the Coalition is not offering a better alternative anyway.

It’s no wonder the coalition left its announcement on costings so late because to do otherwise would have risked seeing the polls turn around in Labor’s favour.

And it’s no wonder Joe Hockey was sweating like a pig, looked like he didn’t want to be there and came across with all the credibility of Richard Nixon in his heyday – not even Joe the used car salesman could sell that lemon with any conviction. He even said (without a hint of irony) his alternative budget forecasts were about “growing jobs”, which completely ignored the fact the savings included 12,000 jobs being cut ! 

Talk about telling porkies, Joe’s performance, such as it was, reminded me of the opening line from a famous Jimi Hendrix song,

“Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?” ….

… because Joe Hockey had just shot a huge hole in the coalition’s own economic plans and credibility.

And that – the economy, stupid – is why I say: Labor deserves another term.

Okay, and that said, the fact is Labor looks very likely to lose. Now, I am not one to make excuses because, by and large, I am of the opinion that the Australian public (for all it’s failings) does usually get the decision right when it comes to the ballot box. I can’t think of one election in my time where the result was not pretty much as it should have been so, given Labor seems destined to be dumped, there must be a reason why the voting public has determined that they don’t deserve another term. All I have to do is find it!

Well, it should be pretty obvious. It’s only about 10 weeks since Kevin Rudd was reinstated as Prime Minister when Labor finally realised – much to their surprise but no one else’s – that Julia Gillard was not going to turn the ship around and would lead them to a wipeout of Titanic proportions.

The Gillard knifing of Rudd in 2010 (when he didn’t need to be knifed) and her subsequent trashing of his name in a very public manner over her 3 years as PM is well documented.  It stained Rudd. It damaged his credibility.

And he simply has not been back in the job long enough to regain that credibility and prove that he’s ‘righted the ship’.

People still have doubts about Rudd, especially seeing that he’s been running at a chaotic pace, still making policy on the run (in some cases), and still coming across as autocratic and ‘full of talk’. Because he had to. Because he wasn’t given enough time to re-establish his position as PM before going into the election. Labor left it too late to reinstate him and it has backfired.

And that has created a lack of confidence in Labor’s leadership that makes many voters look at and believe all the so-called economic failings of the government.

It’s an old saying but it’s very true, that Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them. And that is exactly what looks like happening here.

If Labor loses (and I can’t see how they won’t) then in my opinion they deserve to lose … due to their failure to come across as a stable and united party.

I don’t blame Kevin Rudd for that, although the debate as to who destabilised the party will go on forever. I don’t care to debate it – I’ll just say that In my opinion it was patently obvious all along that Kevin Rudd was (and still is) the right person to be Prime Minister of this country. Labor should have realised this much earlier and reinstated Rudd by no later than early this year. But they didn’t. And, as a result, they will lose. And rightfully so – barring a miracle on Saturday.

That’s just about all I have to say, except to reiterate my reasoning, which is:

1. Labor has managed the economy well enough to deserve another term.

2. The coalition does not offer a better alternative and has effectively conceded it can’t do a better job.

3. Labor, however, has suffered from internal squabbling over the leadership and lost the public’s confidence, or at least lost confidence with a large enough part of the electorate to tip them out.

4. On that basis, they will lose and deservedly so – they crapped in their own nest.

Yes, I realise I’ve reduced the whole debate to the simple, base points of the macro economy and leadership.

But in the end, folks, that is what really decides elections.

That is all there is – you see, politics, like football, is really a simple game and it’s just a matter of which ‘team’ the voters have confidence in.


(On a brighter [foot]note, though, I’m reasonably confident that Sophie Mirabella will lose her seat of Indi. In fact, Tony Abbott took the extraordinary step today of telephoning Joseph Thomsen on ABC Local Radio in Albury-Wodonga in a last desperate attempt to pitch for Sophie. He didn’t do very well or do Sophie any favours, btw, and had no credible answer as to why she’s so much on the nose around here. You see, Sophie stinks – politically speaking.)


  1. Tony says:

    I have to give you credit Ray, a fair post, worthy of discussion, if it weren’t for the dredging up of issues, we have discussed to death here on these pages, the last week or so ? All in all though, a good effort. 😉

    I do not want to dwell on these issues, but, your main four are important, so will briefly concentrate on those ?

    1. Labor has managed the economy well enough to deserve another term.

    From a $20b surplus, to a figure now (as they won’t release the correct figure ?) reportedly, over $350b deficit ?
    That doesn’t include the squandering of massive mineral royalites paid by the mining industry throughout the boom either ?
    Before you say it, nothing to do with the GFC.

    2. The coalition does not offer a better alternative and has effectively conceded it can’t do a better job.

    It can’t promise anything YET until those true budget figures are known. All us dumb voters have to rely on is past experience when it comes to labor’s massive debts, and how the libs got us out of them ? That’s not rhetoric, rather historical fact ? We all know how this works ffs. As soon as the new government takes the reigns, they will come in, cry poor, and say the previous government left them in a financial hole, and all promises are out the window. That is also historical fact, labor or liberal ?

    3. Labor, however, has suffered from internal squabbling over the leadership and lost the public’s confidence, or at least lost confidence with a large enough part of the electorate to tip them out.

    The Gillard debacle has cost labor any credibility it had. Man, that bitch did some damage on her way out the door to political oblivion.
    Such classic lines as ? there will be no carbon tax under any labor government I lead > and the all time classic, that still rings in my ears ? not only am I going to contest the next election, but I’m gonna win it ! Aaargh !

    4. On that basis, they will lose and deservedly so – they crapped in their own nest.

    I can’t help but agree, but there are even more to add to that, and those we will hear in the coming weeks, as the electorate comes to grips, with the information that the incoming government will no doubt tell us, as they increase taxes and charges, to fill the massive black hole that is the budgetary mess left behind ?

    The polls have told us, just who the electorate has confidence in. Your figures above state that, even though the figures are not glaringly one sided, they will be enough to show a massive majority.

    My only interest is in rednecks like Christine Milne, and how her party, and other independents fair in this new environment ? We all hope that they, after six years of doing nothing but for this country, but sap it dry to the tune of over $100k a year in pay and allowances, that they are reduced to having to actually start working for a living again. In that instance, can’t wait ?

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    The mining royalties were (and still are) paid to the States, not the Federal Govt. If the coaltion had supported the original Mining ‘Super Profits’ Tax, the govt would have got a lot more out of them. It’s the coaltion who don’t want to tax the mining companies higher in the boom – in fact they’re giving them a massive tax reduction. The current deficit is $30 billion not $350 billion – the $350 billion you refer to is the ‘gross’ debt, not the operating budget deficit and net debt is much lower than that. The debt includes borrowings for major projects like the NBN, which will be worth on the share market, oh, rough guess, about 10 times that debt when finished. And I’ll take the word of real economists worldwide, who almost to a man/woman disagree with your position on Labor’s management and debt levels. Abbott isn’t promising anything better – and he’s going to give handouts to the large companies and above-average wage earners, while taking money away from lower income earmers. Great policies! Great man!

  3. James says:

    Well Ray I have to admit it, this time you have out-done yourself. You certainly do have talent and nobody could possibly argue against that.

    One of the best cut, paste, and change a would here and there efforts from a range of different sources that I have seen.

    I think though, even for your standard this line was one of the lowest I’ve seen you offer up; And it’s no wonder Joe Hockey was sweating like a pig

    It’s been widely reported that Mr Hockey was just managing to stand and in fact shouldn’t have even made the presentation as he was nearly dead on his feet with the flue. He had in fact advised by a doctor NOT to front and get his deputy to do the presentation. NB. Joe refused that advice, there have been shots all over the media now showing him off camera armed to the teeth with tissues, coughing and in a bad way, but he didn’t want to do what a Labor person would have done, play for some sort of sympathy.

    Yes Ray, referring to Joe Hockey as a pig has soared you to even greater heights.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    No “cut & paste” there, James – that’s your style not mine. Your News Ltd copy & paste posts have become a regular feature around here – and they’re a poor substitute for real comment

    As for Joe, he was indeed ‘sweating like a pig’. Flu (not “flue”) or no flu, it’s a correct observation. My main point was on the content of his announcement though, of which there was not a lot to be proud of. No wonder he felt ill, delivering that let down.

    And it’s no wonder you chose only to address the ‘sweating’ remark – I guess even a rusted-on like you can’t defend that bunch of worthless tosh he served up. Then again, you’re not really into debating substance, are you?

  5. […] post is in response to Ray’s post today. Now Ray is a nice bloke, but I think he;s wrong for the reasons that […]

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    The latest Fairfax-Nielesn poll (another good indicator) puts it 54-46 Coaltion 2-party preferred … and that’s wipeout territory for Labor.


    This ain’t going to be pretty.

  7. GD says:

    This ain’t going to be pretty.

    No, this ain’t gonna be pretty, it’s gonna be bloody beautiful!

    Deliverance Day!

    That’s about the size of the Coalition’s economic cred and I’m not going to go into the full detail any further because it speaks for itself

    What?? Hang on a minute..this is the summary we have be waiting for, for weeks, and you’re not going to go into detail?

    the respected Economist Magazine (which traditionally supports the conservative side of politics) has come out clearly endorsing Kevin Rudd

    Ray, did you read the Economist editorial or just the article you linked to in the Age?

    If you had read the Economist article you would have realised, well perhaps not, the irrelevance of such a biased leftist diatribe.

    Mr Abbott’s pugnacious parliamentary performances, and unpopularity with women voters, once marked him out as perhaps the conservative Liberal party’s least-likely future leader, let alone a prime minister. He seized the party’s leadership in late 2009, overthrowing Malcolm Turnbull, who had given the Liberals’ parliamentary support to the Rudd government’s plan for an emissions-trading scheme to fight climate change.

    To use this article as the basis for your argument is a joke.

    They simply say that Labor and Rudd’s numbers add up

    What your esteemed ‘Economist’ fails to recognise is that most of Labor’s vaunted policies are uncosted: the Disability Insurance Scheme, the Gonski School revolution fall beyond the budget forward estimates period and therefore are uncosted.

    And we at the Sandpit know how much credence you put on ‘costings’.

    To blame Labor’s loss of this election on disunity within the party is laughable. It wouldn’t have mattered which Prime Minister was leading, the fact is, in 2013, Labor is all out of options. This generation of Labor politicians no longer represents what traditional Labor voters and today’s pragmatic working voters seek from a Labor Party.

    A dyed-in-the-wool Labor voter like yourself should take solace from this and help re-build your imagined Labor Party instead of pretending allegiance to a party that no longer exists.

    One last joke:

    Rudd simply has not been back in the job long enough to regain that credibility and prove that he’s ‘righted the ship’.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Kudos to you for putting the argument Ray but its a “resistance is futile” situation now because Labor is “dead buried and cremated” and no amount of CPR from Rudd could have saved them their heart is just too far gone.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes it’s “Deliverance Day”, GD – the day Abbott gets to f*ck the lower-end in the lower end. Thanks for putting that title on it.

    Sorry you find my summary “short on detail” but you should be used to that, seeing the Coalition’s policies and costings are also “short on detail”.

    You’re taking it all a bit seriously aren’t you – why don’t you lighten up and tell us which Coalition nong you actually voted for? Was it Fiona ‘the asylum seekers are causing traffic jams’ Scott. Or maybe cowboy Ray King? Come on, cough up.

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