Liberal party launch: policy salad

I had been going to go through the Liberal party launch and do some policy analysis, but Grog’s Gamut has listed all the announced policies, and analysis is, quite frankly, superfluous. There’s no there, there. Snark is all that is left.

It’s all point-scoring about issues that have become part of the media’s soap opera narrative but which have no actual substance behind the rhetoric, like:

– Act to stop marine parks

Yes let’s overfish the sea so that the next generation of fishermen will have nothing to do.

– Suspend Building the Education Revolution payments to states and redirect the money to school communities

Yes, so you should after all a 97.3% satisfaction ratting is pretty crap, unless you compare it to … well.. any other program ever undertaken by a Government.


– Mr Abbott would chair a National Security Committee meeting with full attendance by ministers

A pathetic swipe at Gillard, but about as weighty in policy as Greg Hunt’s credibility on climate change.

– Establish a debt reduction taskforce

Oh my God yes – because we must quickly pay back a debt which is the smallest in the western world and easily manageable. A debt which has Asutralia struggling with a AAA rating and according to Moody’s”: “Australia’s strong institutions and low government debt levels mean the country is highly likely to keep its valued triple-A rating for years to come”. Yeah we really need a taskforce…

It goes on.

I continue to be gobsmacked that one of the most light-weight Oppositions in this country’s history can make so much headway in the media and the polls. I am so angry at the ALP for botching the last year of media management leading up to this election campaign, too – how on earth could they let it get to non-policy announcements like these being seen as in any way viable? As Annabel Crabbe writes, the Opposition cannot believe its luck in how Labor is making the press narrative all about them, so that all the LibNats need to do is emphasise that they “are not the Labor Party”:

Tony Abbott thinks this is all about Labor too.

Why else would he spend half of his speech talking about his opponents?

Why else, in fact, would he elect not to use his party’s policy launch to launch any policy?

There’s not even any zesty policy dressing on the Liberal table – there’s nothing at all to get one’s teeth into. Here’s how Abbott’s speech started:

Isn’t it great to lead a united political party with a deputy I can trust, a predecessor who’s a friend and a former prime minister who’s a hero!

The emphasis on Labor’s perceived weaknesses rather than any alleged Liberal strengths only got worse as the speech went on. [full transcript of Tony Abbott’s speech]

What really burns me is that it’s inevitable, if the COALition manages to squeak in forming a government, even if the country does (as I expect it will) quite deliberately not give them a majority in the Senate (because they don’t really trust them at all, especially not on WorkChoices), that they’ll charge forward with the usual “we’ve got a mandate” crap. At least I trust the Greens not to fall for it – they’re used to getting bad press and pushing on regardless. That’s what principles are for.

I’m mildly encouraged by today’s Galaxy poll results: Less than half of voters consider Tony Abbott fit to govern, says Galaxy poll – plus it gives Labor the 2PP nudge at 51-49. Please, Labor – can we have some more?

Categories: culture wars, parties and factions

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7 replies

  1. That launch was super creepy. Julie Bishop took the cake for Tom Crusie spookiness though.

  2. Are the state Liberal party machines in any states other than WA running a “slag off Labor” clandestine campaign for their Federal buddies? I know I’ve been receiving regular little postcards authorised by a name without a party in West Perth (which just coincidentally seems to be the same as the name of the person who authorises the “vote for me, I’m wonderful” letters I’m getting from the Lib’s candidate in the marginal seat I’m living in), as well as some wonderful radio ads by the same people. They’re positively secessionist in their tone – all about how if Labor gets back in, we’ll all be taxed more and Western Australians will be paying more than our share, and oh we’ll all be rooned, etc. I’m starting to really get sick of ‘em.
    Honestly, given the “policies” listed above, and their previous efforts (they’re going to cut the debt and still give large sums of money to all these various groups… has anyone asked them which ones are their “core” and “non-core” policies yet?) I’m starting to suspect the Libs have given up on participating in the process of sensible politics, and instead they’re trying to woo the tabloid vote. Has anyone explained to Tony Abbott that people *other* than white male Murdoch journos are allowed to participate in the voting process?

  3. And now we have ‘all children will know how to read the bible’:
    If Jo Tamar is about (and/or others who are interested in Constitutional Law) I seem to remember that the only protection of ‘religious freedom’ was that the state could not use state funds in an attempt to start up a ‘state religion’? I don’t have the time to look it up – but I reckon there’d be a fair shot at getting this ruled unconstitutional: if the state provides education to anyone who needs it/can’t afford the other options, but at the cost of religious indoctrination with the aim that ‘all kids will know the bible’ I think there’s a pretty strong case that they’re attempting to create a state religion.

  4. I guess the difference is for me, before they were the rantings of someone who didn’t have access to all that much direct power – now they become warnings of the proposed policy of a possible PM. That response is gold, though on a serious note it makes *adults* leave the church, possibly teenagers – but small kids in primary school? It’s indoctrination that takes years to unlearn.

    • FP, if you look more closely, both your link and mine point to the same statements made in December 2009 as Opposition Leader. He hasn’t actually said much (anything?) about it lately, although I’m sure his opinions haven’t changed.

  5. Hmm, on revising suggesting an MP and leader of the opposition doesn’t have ‘that much power’ is absurd. I guess I meant that I kept telling myself that he was a place-filler opposition leader, that he’d never be PM…I still think (hope/pray in an athiest fashion) that he will not be voted in, but the reality of him as possible PM became a hell of a lot more real over the last couple of months, therefore it made this stuff more scary.

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