Liberal diary: Labor’s ruthless robotic machine
Note: Labor MP Richard Marles and Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella are among our favourite contributors to The Punch, and we have asked them to write a piece every Friday during this five-week election campaign giving their take on events.
‘In the 70s, the Labor campaign director was well-liked, a fair dinkum Aussie larrikin, not a member of the detested caste of ruthless robotic machine men that run Labor’s campaigns today’. - John Della Bosca, former NSW State Labor Minister and General Secretary of the ALP for 9 years, writing in the Daily Telegraph last Saturday.
It is somewhat ironic that Labor stalwart John Della Bosca’s frank assessment (above) was published on the same day that Labor’s campaign seemed to go completely haywire.
In fact, the photo shoot with Rudd and confrontation with Latham last Saturday were so bizarre and outrageous that Della Bosca’s comments didn’t get much coverage.
Australians around the country were left shaking their heads on Sunday morning at images of the real Julia’s campaign being derailed by both the men she had campaigned fiercely for in the two previous elections. Both men she had unequivocally backed for the highest office in our nation and pledged her support for.
Her history with Rudd puts a big question mark over those recent declarations of loyalty, and her history in backing Latham as Leader just seriously brings into question her judgement!
But the irony comes that the low point reached last Saturday has actually been a catalyst for Labor to crank up it’s “ruthless robotic machine”. The campaign has turned decidedly nasty and, far from throwing out the rule book, Julia has let her ruthless robotic machine men off the leash.
Having not gained any real traction in their campaign so far, the Labor machine has now turned to a personal attack on Tony Abbott.
To suggest that a Rhodes Scholar with a degree in Economics has somehow limited capacity in understanding budgets is utterly laughable. Tony Abbott was a Minister for 9 years, ran one of the most important and largest Departments (Health), and never once had a stuff up that wasted billions of dollars like the Building the Education Revolution (BER).
Give me a break. Please spare us from an economics lecture by the Labor Government that has admitted it is clocking up$100 million every single day on our nation’s credit card!
Labor now seems to think that endless personal attacks on Tony Abbott’s intellectual capacity is good politics. And the sad thing is you can bet we’ll see more “smear and scare” tactics in the coming week. Labor’s machine men are desperate, they know how to play dirty, and they will say and do anything to scrape across the line.
I’m not pretending that negative campaigning doesn’t have any place in an election. But let’s base it on facts and on records and policies.
Julia Gillard is running a mile from her Government’s record, and she’s yet to put up any substantial policies - amazingly she won’t even launch her campaign until Monday, less than a week before the election.
I guess all the smokescreens are understandable when just seven weeks ago Julia declared Labor had “lost it’s way” - and the only direction they have been heading since then is at each other’s throats!
This was so clearly seen during the town hall meeting at Rooty Hill RSL in Sydney on Wednesday. The depth of concern that the Australian public has about the deep divisions within the ALP and their past policy failures was obvious. The public record shows that Labor makes big promises but doesn’t deliver.
Julia would much prefer we forget about the past 3 years and focus instead on her good intentions. It’s a strategy that worked for Labor’s machine men at a State level in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.
But real Julia needs to get into the real world.
It’s not about “wanting a world class education system” – it’s about whether you can deliver it. It’s not about “believing in a better public health system”, it’s about creating one and making sure you’ve got the money to fund it.
What Australians want is real action. (For a full list of Coalition policies go to www.liberal.org.au)
Julia promised to throw out the campaigning rule book. If she was serious she would call off the “smear and scare” campaign that her ruthless, robotic machine men are planning for the coming week.
But more importantly, she needs to articulate clear policies (instead of glib slogans) and also explain to Australians how she will actually deliver them and how she will pay for them. How will her approach differ from the “lost” Rudd-Gillard Government?
Because Labor’s record over the past term suggests that they simply can’t implement policy effectively and efficiently. There is example after example.
It’s no wonder Julia’s machine men will spend the next week attacking Tony Abbott.
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