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Well after the result in Gippsland I suppose that Alexander Downer can feel rather more sure that his seat of Mayo is not very likely to fall to the red army of Brother Number One…
He has taken a parting shot at Brendan Nelson, questioning the Opposition Leader’s political strategy on petrol. Mr Downer, who was in London last night, warns that the Liberal Party has lost the ability to sell its core message on individual freedom, and needs to construct a “broader narrative” to compete with Labor.
He tells Albrechtsen: “What they need to do, which they have not very well so far, is develop a better narrative – both a negative narrative about the Rudd Labor Government and a positive narrative about the Liberal Party.
“They need to build policies around that narrative. It is one thing to start barking on about reducing fuel excise by 5c, but what’s your point?
“Why would you want to do that? You need a broader narrative. The Liberal Party does not have a story to tell at the moment. Just a bunch of ad hoc comments.”
Mr Downer’s retirement from politics, to be announced after his return to Australia tomorrow from meetings in Britain and the US, where he was offered the role of UN special envoy for Cyprus, will trigger a by-election in his Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo.
Downer may well be right about the current failings in the Liberal party but I does take time to rebuild after losing an election as comprehensively as they coalition did last November. The ALP do however seem to be doing a good job of injuring themselves with the ideologically driven madness of their emissions trading policy and poor reaction to the cost of necessities and energy for ordinary Australians so maybe it will not be such along time before “Kevin 07” tee shirts are relegated to being polishing rags for the car.
PS i wonder if this means that Alexander will have more time to play with his Clubman ?