The federal election might still be seven months away, but things are so grim for the Labor Party that minds are almost certainly being turned to a 2013 version of The Embassy Rooftop Strategy.

How can we fight back, Master Yoda?

“It’s time to start wheeling the choppers out of their hangars,” an ALP veteran said yesterday, in reference to an operation mounted by a handful of MPs, party officials and government staffers before the 1996 election.

There is very little doubt now that Julia Gillard’s government is going to lose on September 14, and lose badly. Labor realists predict privately that the result will be worse than Paul Keating’s 1996 defeat; worse even than the anti-Whitlam routs of 1975 and 1977.

Gillard and those around her don’t share this view, which is understandable. If they lose hope they lose the ability to fight. But someone will have to prepare for the looming electoral disaster.

In 1996 it was a group centred on then ALP national secretary Gary Gray and operating in strict secrecy. I have told the story before, but it is worth repeating.

Gray put together a document headed What To Do When Labor Loses. A former senator and one-time party official, Stephen Loosley - from whom Gray sought advice - added the subtitle The Embassy Rooftop Strategy.

That was an allusion to the evacuation of more than 1000 Americans and 5000 South Vietnamese from the US Embassy in Saigon as North Vietnamese troops occupied the city in April, 1975.

Helicopters plucked them from the embassy roof and flew them to ships of the US 7th Fleet in the South China Sea.

What To Do When Labor Loses was a plan to use the time remaining in government before an inevitable election defeat to set Labor up for opposition. “You save what you have to save,” a member of the group told me later.

It involved, among other things, warehousing of valued staffers in the bureaucracy, earmarking and retention of documents likely to be useful in opposition, and ways to protect the seats of talented MPs so they would be available to help Labor rebuild.

Keating was not told about it. He would have gone off his face had he known. But those involved are convinced the strategy laid the groundwork for Kim Beazley’s near win over John Howard in 1998.

Back in 1996, they didn’t fuel up the choppers until quite close to the election, partly because Keating’s awesome political skills gave the party hope until near the end.

But Gillard’s political skills are not in the Keating class, and voters have given plenty of notice of what is in store for Labor.

Should anyone associated with today’s ALP have the foresight of Gray and his colleagues 17 years ago, covert planning for how best to survive defeat can start earlier this time.

Gillard, meanwhile, can continue planning for the victory that she - unlike most of her Caucus - still believes is possible.

Now it is the May Budget that is pivotal to the Gillard strategy.

On Thursday night the government whip, Joel Fitzgibbon, commented that the Budget was Treasurer Wayne Swan’s best chance to “redraft the message, redraft the plan”.

And he added: “If we don’t get a bounce out of the Budget, we’ll be still in strife.”

Because Fitzgibbon is a supporter of Kevin Rudd, his words were seen in the context of the Labor leadership.

But, setting the leadership issue to one side, Gillard and Swan themselves are relying heavily on the Budget to turn the tables on Tony Abbott.

The idea is to produce a financial blueprint that shows how the government proposes to fund its policies, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski school funding reforms.

That, they believe, will put irresistible pressure on Abbott to explain where the coalition intends to get money for its expensive promises - including which programs would be axed.

The Liberals and Nationals would certainly be vulnerable to such an attack, if the government had the ability to mount it effectively.

But the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have not been able to turn already announced coalition cutbacks to the government’s advantage.

Proposed abolition of the Schoolkids Bonus should have the potential to cause the coalition political pain. So should reversal of the tripling of the tax free threshold.

Effectively the coalition would force many Australians back into the tax system.

But Gillard and Swan struggle with retail politics, and that does not augur well for Labor in a Budget battle against Abbott - one of the most effective populist politicians on the scene.

In any case, Swan has been so embarrassed over the surplus backflip and the mining tax debacle that he will battle to be taken seriously when he gets to his feet for the Budget speech.

That is why the talk in Caucus is about the size of the expected election defeat, not the possibility of victory.

But, amid the gloom, there is just a touch of optimism.

“Even if we lose as badly as I think we will, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be out of office for a long time,” says a prominent Labor MP.

“It only took us eight years to get back into office after the 1975 landslide.”

Laurie Oakes is political editor for the Nine Network

Most commented


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    • acotrel says:

      05:43am | 23/02/13

      ‘That was an allusion to the evacuation of more than 1000 Americans and 5000 South Vietnamese from the US Embassy in Saigon as North Vietnamese troops occupied the city in April, 1975.’

      And the ‘domino effect ’ did not happen. The whole thing was based on lies, and Australia’s involvement was caused by DLP commiephobia, and Mezies need f or their votes to s tay in power.  The price was nearly 600 servicemen’s lives , and thousands of vets still suffering from PTSD.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Europe says:

      06:13am | 23/02/13

      @ acotrel. You are up late or early? I thought I am the only one suffering from jet lag.

      I have read your claim on claim on DLP, Menzies etc..The fact of the matter is that we have been a pawn of the USA since the Korean War.

      If we are not subservient to USA we should (FM Carr) have taken the initiative to diffuse the very serious threats of war between China and Japan over the dispute on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. See:

      A war even a limited one between China and Japan will have devastating effects on the economy of Australia. So why wont the ALP Govt, which seems to be in a zombie state, do something instead of just following USA.

      Australia should publicly urge BOTH China and Japan to fall back on the Peace Treaty between China and Japan signed in 1972 in which both countries AGREED to put this dispute on these islands into COLD STORAGE for future generations to resolve. It is in the best interests of Australia for this to happen. Acotrel with your connections to ALP maybe you can get them to do something useful for Australia.

      For readers interested in some info on these disputed islands please read:

    • Dave C says:

      06:19am | 23/02/13

      Off topic I know but I will bite. There was no dominoe effect hey? I call BS. I guess you think Mao was a hero and not a murdering bastard, I guess you think Stalin was awesome too??? The fact is that Maxists in Asia in the 50’s and 60’s were trying to spread communism (Stalin and Mao style), North Korea as an example, Pol Pot also comes to mind. After the USA lost the war (trying to free the Vietnamese people from a marxist communist dictatorship at a cost of thousands of lives and many more with PTSD so yes you got that one right acrotrel) Vietnam was still a communist dictatorship and still is today. No where near as bad as North Korea but still they are not a democracy.

      For evidence of this go and Google the names “Thich Quang Do and Nguyen Van Ly” who are human rights activists nominated for the 2013 Nobel Piece Prize.

    • Joan says:

      06:25am | 23/02/13

      Meanwhile in 2013 in real time , Swans `Tough as nails` Gillard proudly cuts billions off defence budget, as North Koreans proudly celebrate their new found nuclear power, as Australian soldiers die in Afghanistan,  with China/ Japan tensions over Senkaku/Daioyu Islands, and as people smugglers daily show how incapable Australia is of securing its borders.  Gillard has no plans for a secure Australia and who cares about Labor Mr Oakes.

    • Don says:

      06:59am | 23/02/13

      The re-education camps certainly happened. Big fan of that are we?

    • Muphin says:

      07:13am | 23/02/13

      Goods Morning acrotel,
      Delusional as usual.  The bookies odds are a $1.10 for a Liberal win and $5.45 for a Labor win.  The ‘domino effect’ has started.

    • John says:

      07:43am | 23/02/13

      It didn’t happen because the Amercians stood firm in Korea and in Vietnam and demonstrated their resolve. Easy to sit back with hindsight and assert that the domino effect did not occur.If the West had stood upto the Soviets at the end of WW2 we would not have had the iron curtain.

    • freethrow says:

      08:39am | 23/02/13

      acotrel: did you watch game 6 of the conference finals? Lebron went off! sure there were some shotty calls by the refs, and im a C’s fan, but you cant deny Lebron is the future.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Europe says:

      01:49pm | 23/02/13

      @ Mack. Thanks for the info on the record boat arrivals yesterday, now the cyclone is over and the boatpeople are rushing into Australia before the new Govt stops it.

      I am amazed how the ALP Govt can house these male boatpeople, many of them without ID papers and no info on their background, next to a female dormitory in a university in Sydney. Read story at:

      Have the people who manages this fiasco on the boatpeople also lost their common sense??

    • Joan says:

      06:13pm | 23/02/13


      Luckily we always have Andrew Bolt. I’m pleased to hear that they arrived safely.

    • acotrel says:

      05:57am | 23/02/13

      It’s a bit early to start gloating.

    • Steve Douglas says:

      06:25am | 23/02/13

      I will hold off gloating until 14 Septemer 2013 around about 7 to 8 pm. Until then I will just sit back and observe the circus.

    • Alfie says:

      06:31am | 23/02/13

      Get used to it. Another 6 months of gloating to go…

    • Hugh says:

      06:33am | 23/02/13

      If they changed to Rudd there possibly could be a race on. BUT if the Coalition looked like possibly losing they would bring Turnbull in and then it would be all over red red rover.
      So at the end of the day no matter what way you look at it the Coalition would still win.

    • Zack says:

      07:11am | 23/02/13

      No it is not. The ALP owes it all to Gillard smile

    • Gregg says:

      07:21am | 23/02/13

      Plenty of time for more than one new budget and Wayne can no doubt come up with plenty of versions just like Julias, the plain, the real and the unreal always there.

    • Chillin says:

      07:22am | 23/02/13

      The rest of us aren’t in denial.

    • Stained says:

      07:26am | 23/02/13

      I see you didn’t serve there

    • JTO says:

      07:42am | 23/02/13

      What is they say? Gloat early, and gloat often.

    • charles says:

      07:44am | 23/02/13

      one of the true believers outs him/herself

    • Toady says:

      07:51am | 23/02/13

      There are no talented MP’s in the ALP.  There’s nothing worth saving.  Good riddance to the lying, dishonest, deceitful trash.  Only a total halwift would keep sticking up for them.  Post-election, bring on a Royal Commission into trade unions.  And let’s see some of these thieving bastards thrown into jail.

    • Dovif says:

      07:56am | 23/02/13

      Acetroll it is not gloating. It is the celebration of the end of the most incompetent gov in Australia history and goodbye to their lies

    • TimB says:

      08:44am | 23/02/13

      “It’s a bit early to start gloating. “

      I can only assume that this is in response to the end of the article.

      ““Even if we lose as badly as I think we will, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be out of office for a long time,” says a prominent Labor MP.

      “It only took us eight years to get back into office after the 1975 landslide.”

      You’re right Acotrel. It’s much too early for Labor to start gloating about a comeback.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      08:56am | 23/02/13

      But never too early for ALP sock-puppets to man the barricades for the worst government in Australian history…
      I think your many fantasy-based contributions here pretty much disqualify you from being able to instruct anyone about gloating, or anything else for that matter.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      08:59am | 23/02/13

      Is it too early for a spot of “underminding”?
      Or is that just engaging in hyper-bowl?

    • Max Redlands says:

      09:07am | 23/02/13

      Who’s gloating acers.?

      Laurie is correct tho .How Swan expects to be taken seriously from here on in is hard to grasp.

      As Richo pointed out yesterday Gillard has overseen the destruction of the party as it currently viewed.Just as it was rebuilt and realigned after Whitlam so will it need to be after Gillard.The obvious step , it seems to me, is they must jettison the toxic and disproportionate influence of the union movement.

    • Tubesteak says:

      09:09am | 23/02/13

      Don’t worry. Most of them will have generous super funds to live on for the rest of their lives.

      Maybe they can learn that people want government that delivers on their promises. Either don’t promise something you can’t deliver or deliver what you promise or don’t say one thing and do another.

    • Brad says:

      09:26am | 23/02/13

      Disagree with acotrel. It’s a perfect time to gloat.

      Gloat, gloat, gloat.

    • The Senatr says:

      09:55am | 23/02/13

      ACOTREL: I know how you can make A LOT OF MONEY.

      Sportsbet are paying $5.50 on a Labor win. Money for jam old boy!

      (Tell Janey has Moved if you bump into her.)

    • Jenny says:

      11:57am | 23/02/13

      We’ll see who are the ones who are going to be happy-relax and comfortable after the election.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      12:12pm | 23/02/13

      I’m already gloating and its growing with each week I just hope I’m not gloated all out by september. I’m planning a BIG going away party for Julia with Gillard Pinata I’ve already started making. Making it tough so everyone gets a go to beat the %$#@ out of it.

    • John says:

      12:32pm | 23/02/13


      John Howard’s was the worst government in Australian history.

    • Biff says:

      12:49pm | 23/02/13

      Please, gloat away my friends.  Shout it from the rooftops.  Crack the champagne and do a jig.  Keep telling us how you’ve won, you’ve won!

      Then, we will see.

    • Alfie says:

      03:15pm | 23/02/13

      Thanks for the advice.
      Yes we will do all those things.

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      04:16pm | 23/02/13

      No time to gloat, to much real hard work required to fix the damage.

    • jg says:

      04:59pm | 23/02/13

      Gloat gloat gloat….

    • Christian Real says:

      05:16pm | 23/02/13


    • Tomo says:

      06:06am | 23/02/13

      Even Laurie has packed away his Labor pom poms.

      Gillard will most certainly be remembered for years to come, but for reasons that she will not like, the worst Australian PM in recent history.

      I think most people will be happy to forfeit the carbon tax compo (triple tax threshold) if it means getting rid of it, lets face face it in 2014 it is applied to transport, god help us!
      Roll on September, Gillard or Rudd, it makes no difference, you can change the packaging but the brand is toxic.

    • the phantom says:

      06:10am | 23/02/13

      Its still 7 months to the election———plenty of time for the Mad Monk and his crazed brethen to stuff up an almost unloseable election.
      rLabor needs someone who knows how to tell a good news story.
      Rudd had two of them, so good it’s still mind-boggling that he couldn’t get the message across. The mining tax, which had the potential to turn Australia into the Norway of the south, and the fact that Australia stood alone amid the wreckage of the world economy.
      Does anyone actually think that Australians are stupid enought to vote for Abbot as PM. All Labour need to do is put up a semi credible candidate against him and they will be re elected,be that Rudd/Combert/Cobert
      If Turnbull takes over as Opposition Leader then goodnight Irene for Labour.
      The fat lady aint singing yet but she is warming up!.

    • greg says:

      10:22am | 23/02/13

      One would think that such a fool would know how to spell his beloved Unionist Party correctly - it’s L.A.B.O.R.  Mate, your welfare gravy train is just about gone, so time you S.T.F.U!!

    • PW says:

      10:42am | 23/02/13

      “Does anyone actually think that Australians are stupid enought to vote for Abbot as PM.”

      Of course they are. They voted for Fraser, after all.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      12:17pm | 23/02/13

      Mate Labor has plenty of people who can tell a good news story in their favor theres Laurie and Mal just to name a few not to mention the constant flow of Labor MP and staffer opinion peices on this website alone. So with all thatfavourable coverage, despite being completely incompetant we all still want them GONE

    • Paul says:

      03:32pm | 23/02/13

      All Labor needs to do is find a policy of Abbotts that will scare the living daylights out of the electorate, similar to Hewsons’ GST debacle in the 1993 election, make sure that Abbott can’t explain it properly and then they might have a chance to change the tide.

      Therein lies the challenge. Good luck with that because I doubt any of the current Labor mob could find their way out of a wet paper bag let alone anything approaching a decent election strategy.

    • TC says:

      03:47pm | 23/02/13

      the phantom: The GFC only effected certain countries, namely the US and Europe which had internal financial problems that had been building for many years. Asia and South America were NOT affected. Even Iceland has rebuilt its econonmy. Stop going on about the GFC. We didn’t survive because Labor gave out cash handouts and built a lot of unneeded school halls. We survived because of the mining boom, we had money in the bank, and the Reserve Bank aggressively cut interest rates.

    • Fred says:

      06:20pm | 23/02/13


      If Tony Abbott isn’t enough to scare the living daylights out of the electorate, then nothing is. The Libs know that because Abbott can’t explain them, it’s better for them not to have any policies.

    • the phantom says:

      06:12am | 23/02/13

      Fellow posters just bringing to your attention that foul-mouthed knat The Mad Monk————may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you.———-He really is an idiot!!!

    • Steve Douglas says:

      10:01am | 23/02/13

      phantom you represent all that is wrong about the ALP. insulting personal attacks instead of logical argument.  Some Libs are also insulting but not to the depth that nearly all ALP supporters go I.e read all of your posting especially the comment in this blog.  You represent al that is sad about Australia. 

      You only have to look at the words used by the ALP against Mr Rudd last February to see this. If Mr Rudd is re-installed as leader remember that the Lib’s advertising campaign will only be using all those ALP words.

      Also as an example look at the very comment by phantom.  I really do pity you for whatever it is that makes you think the way you do.  Are these the Labour Values that the ALP constantly go on about. Sickening.

    • difficult lemon says:

      02:56pm | 23/02/13

      @ the phantom

      I think you are confusing him with Paul Howes

    • the phantom says:

      06:15am | 23/02/13

      Teflon Tony that grand impostor, that loathsome hypocrite, that detestable traitor, that prodigy of nature, that opprobrium of mankind, that landscape of iniquity, that sink of sin, that compendium of baseness who now calls himself our future PM?? please give me a bucket!.

    • Jamo says:

      09:48am | 23/02/13

      Yep, then you can put it on your head after you pull it out of the sand. What a totally wasted bunch of clever words that when put together the way you did make you sound like the idiot PH PH PHANTOM

    • Alfie says:

      09:57am | 23/02/13

      So, you are not keen on our next Prime Minister?

      Well, suffer in your jocks!!!

    • marley says:

      10:02am | 23/02/13

      @The Phantom - still haven’t learned the use of quotation marks, I see. 

      Here’s an example: “One could drive a schooner through any part of [your] argument and never scrape against a fact.”

      See? Easy.

    • the Senatr says:

      10:13am | 23/02/13


      And some say the Left has become nasty, sanctimonious & totalitarian*.

      Thanks for leaving us in no doubt, Phantom.

      * Old jungle saying

    • Melanie says:

      10:58am | 23/02/13

      You can leave the country any time you like, phantom - the nation’s IQ will thank you for doing so.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      12:22pm | 23/02/13

      Is that the same man who voluteers for the CFA, surf life saving, charity fun runs? You know the one that actually tries to serve his community instead of milking it for its worth. Its about time we had a PM who wants the job so he or she can actually SERVE Australia. Not one that wants a bigger paycheck and pension than the president of the US and to leave behing her own ‘legacy’ as Australias first female PM and will do anything to get it.

    • Chillin says:

      01:43pm | 23/02/13

      the phantom = acotrel…I thought we all knew this?

    • Christian Real says:

      05:26pm | 23/02/13

      I guess your a Liberal,you actually think your intelligent when your not.
      Phantom does not have to leave the country just to suit you.
      As it is my Aboriginal ancestors country I am proud of it and respect it, that another reason I wouldn’t like to see it trashed by liberal rabble.

    • marley says:

      06:10pm | 23/02/13

      @Christian Real - and just the other day, you were saying you were a right winger.  I wonder how your forebears, aboriginal or not, would feel about that little bit of dissembling.

    • Steve says:

      06:17am | 23/02/13

      I predict that The ALP will warehouse quite a few staffers in the ABC.

      That way, those staffers can start the re-writing of history 2007-13.

    • RAZOR SHARP says:

      06:17am | 23/02/13

      Last night,  I struggled to sleep, pondering in despair the depths to which our major parties’ leaderships have plunged.  I considered that voting to get rid of Labor under Gilliard and replacing it with the Abbotts Coalitions would be akin to trying to step around a dog turd on the footpath, only to slip on it and fall face-first into a pool of drunken vomit in the gutter.

    • Sickemrex says:

      10:54am | 23/02/13

      The kids at South Park Elementary had the choice between a shit sandwich and a giant douche for school captain and now we do too.

    • Christian Real says:

      06:20am | 23/02/13

      I agree

    • gnome says:

      09:47am | 23/02/13

      We already knew that.

    • greg says:

      10:26am | 23/02/13

      Ha ha ha CR - nothing left to say ALREADY!! You, mate, a such a tool - like a little kid sticking up for the class clown. Say bye bye to your toxic union government.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      12:24pm | 23/02/13

      Ofcourse you do your both as deluded as each other even though most Labor MPs themselves can see the writting on the wall and are publicly admitting it

    • LJ Dots says:

      04:23pm | 23/02/13

      @Christian, since this agreement has no direct connection to an acotrel comment,  I can only conclude that your full quote was a tribute to Shorten when speaking about Gillard and should read as:

      “I’m sure he’s right. I haven’t seen what he’s said, but let me say I support what it is he said.”. You do recall that quote? It was even in the UK papers.

    • Dave C says:

      06:32am | 23/02/13

      I am an LNP supporter and whilst I think the ALP will lose it wont be by the margin that Laurie says it will be. The ALP will allege, abuse and smear Tony Abbott with the biggest pack of lies you have ever seen in a desperate attempt to stop voters from voting for the LNP. Of course a left wing press who cannot handle another social conservative as PM (just like the Howard haters cringed but the silent majority were happy with until Work Choices) John Howard. That is honestly all they have.

      The other factor is Kevin, if the ALP get so desperate to bring him back,even though most of them hate his guts and cant work with him because he was and will be a “toxic boss”  then they MIGHT have a chance of victory.

      If not then its an LNP majority by 5-10 seats, ie the LNP will get 80-85 seats in the House of Reps.

    • Debbie says:

      09:52am | 23/02/13

      Anyone who supports any of the current political parties in Australia is as much part of the problem as the parties themselves.

    • Jimmy the Bolt says:

      12:17pm | 23/02/13

      Ooooooh yeah!

      And with Joe Hockey as Treasurer, what could possibly go wrong!


    • youdy beaudy says:

      06:35am | 23/02/13

      I don’t think that it should be automatically assumed that Labor will lose the election. Many commenters on here including reporters think and write so, many with scurrulous intent.

      However this Punch doesn’t speak for the silent majority who don’t say who they will vote for. So, with that in mind we should approach from the point of view that the game isn’t over until the last card is dealt.

      Look, if we had something better to vote for in the NLP then i would certainly consider voting for them, but look at the crummy people they serve up to run for the election. Now, Christopher Pyne, what portfolio would we give him, ” Minister for Peacocking,” that would suit him well. Abbott, “Prime monsterer. Let’s put it like this. Who have the nlp got that are worthwhile to save the country that doesn’t need saving. Not much talent in that lot.

      Let’s vote NLP and continue to go around in circles again like last time. Yes, the merry go round of no new ideas. Same ole same ole achieve nothing policies. Plenty of talk but no substance.

      Well, people will vote what they like won’t they, that’s what they will do but to presume the Labor mob is dead in the water already is not something that is expounded by most in the community. I in going around hear nothing of the sort. As a matter of fact it is not that way where people are expressing it in the negative because if it was that way logic would tell us that we would hear it coming from the lips of all and that is not happening in my world, don’t know about everyone elses. They must hang with the dissenters.

      This country will go backwards under liberal the same as when howard had it. It won’t be much different and we know and if we are honest about it that he did nothing to take us forward. I can’t recall one thing he did to help this country. But he was good as regards promoting Bushes policies in our country. Started a prolonged war in Iraq. This war which was illegal made Australia look very bad internationally and then there are the 500 thousand innocent Iraqis who were murdered by us and the poms and yanks. Who pays for the lives of women and children and ordinary men who were genocided by the coalition of the willing.

      Then there was the boat people overboard lie that won him an election. Lies, lies and more lies fed to the suckers. Then there was the waterfront workers and the dogs, good move. Showed that NLP are just another bunch of Nazis posing as humans. Then there was the GST that was never going to happen under a Government he led. Lies, lies and more lies. And the little hitler has the audacity to stand up these days and give advice. People are prepared to pay him as well. Well, him, blair and Bush should be hanging on the end of a rope in the same way they killed Saddam who was hanged for exactly the same crimes that they committed. Nice being on the other side i say.

      So, we think that Abbott will be any different. Play the cards and see who wins the hand. Maybe Labor will lose but i say that if the people are going to turf out the Labor Government then at least it would be nice to have something better to put in its place. And that we don’t have.

    • T-rev says:

      10:47am | 23/02/13

      Godwin’s Law - knew it would come up early in this one!

    • Mickey T says:

      03:17pm | 23/02/13

      T-rev…Perhaps you should look up the definition of Godwin’s Law before making stupid statements.

      youdy beaudy is stating an opinion, he or she is not debating anyone.

    • Alfie says:

      06:39am | 23/02/13

      Farr, Richardson and now Oakes running the white flag up the pole.

      Sure sign - it’s game over for the Labor circus.

    • George T says:

      06:41am | 23/02/13

      “Even if we lose as badly as I think we will, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be out of office for a long time,” says a prominent Labor MP.”

      Well this comment is Just delusional.

      This is the Party Plan, lose the election, Bill Short will become Leader of the party, Make the Labor brand more Union control, with more Union Boss in the Party and Union appointed members only.
      Cause massive strike action against the government, and shut down the country Using Nurse, Teachers, and Mining/Construction Workers. Make a new Work Choices Issues because that what they need, to win elections. Call the Lib government, Inhuman on Asylum seekers even though they are worse. And the show goes round and round with labor. Reality, labor will be in options for the next 3 terms.

    • Gnome says:

      09:58am | 23/02/13

      After the 2007 election all the experts were saying the next Liberal PM isn’t even in Parliament yet.  Some said the Liberal party needs to fundamentaly change, including probably changing its tainted name.  They almost won the next election, and will wipe the floor of Labor, only two elections after they were written off.

      The opposition frontbench has some pretty poor benchwarmers, and the people don’t like any of the pollies all that much.  I predict a few changes of government over a few elections before the parties get the message and start behaving like the people would want them to behave.

    • Mickey T says:

      10:09am | 23/02/13

      If Abbott wins the next election he will only be a one term PM - why? He will finally have to face the media scrutiny - he can’t keep hiding, he will finally have to produce policies, he can’t - he lacks vision.

      He will most likely be replaced in his first term, the only people that are unable (or don’t want to) to see Abbott for what he really is, are welded-on Coalition supporters, once he is well and truly under the spotlight, and only then, will they realise what a mistake they made.

    • Mark says:

      02:10pm | 23/02/13

      Good point gnome. Quite a few of these guys have a one eye opinion of politics and these days it’s pretty hard for any party to get clear air, you just have to look at Cameron in the UK. The media say he hasn’t got the “narrative” just like here.
      Also notice Tony Abbott’s approval rating goes up when he goes into hiding.
      Gillard is pathetic at selling a political message but it’s a sad state of affairs if all these people are wiliing to vote for someone who runs away from scrutiny.

    • thruthehaze says:

      02:16pm | 23/02/13

      The unknown factor here is the AWU/HSU corruption. Once in power Abbott will/should institute an inquiry into the whole morass which will rapidly turn into a full blown Royal Commission forcing people to own up to all the goings on over the years. There’ll be years and years of new revelations of how Ludwig and McDonald ripped off their members and controlled the ALP. It’ll expand into all sorts of other areas. If Shorten is the leader he’ll be constantly on the defensive and asked to explain why he helped close down the police investigation into JG’s shenanigans in the last 90s. All this while Abbott moves toward a double dissolution that’ll decimate the ALP and the Greens. The ALP will be out of favour and out of power for a decade after that and union power will be broken for ever. And they are terrified.

    • me my mo says:

      03:59pm | 23/02/13

      “he will finally have to produce policies, he can’t - he lacks vision”

      Pretty sure Kevin Rudd’s moniker during his 2007 campaign was “me too” and the crowds love him.

    • Terry2 says:

      06:45am | 23/02/13

      It’s a truism that oppositions don’t win an election, governments lose them. If you are correct Laurie, and I don’t doubt that you are, we must really insist that the Liberals start explaining and costing their policies as it seems to me that what we have is a hotpotch of thought bubbles and vague feel good ideas with lots of repealing existing programs but no ‘meat on the bones’ of future policies. Mr Abbott really has to come out of the shadows and start answering some questions.
      For instance, last week Abbott said , in a rather confused way, that he would reinstate the 30% private health insurance subsidy for high income earners (ie singles over $130,000, families over $260,000) and then his health minister in waiting, Peter Dutton, said that they would have a look at it when it was affordable: that’s not a policy position !

    • T-rev says:

      10:52am | 23/02/13

      It’s really hard to cost things before the budget comes out, champ.

      It’s like me asking you to do my budget for me - you know nothing about the true state of my finances and what my expenditure will be to determine whether I can afford what I would like to spend my money on.

      For example, what should I do to afford the 1 month Africa trip I want to take this year or next, without putting undue pressure on my mortgage? Can I afford to go at all?

    • Bear says:

      06:46am | 23/02/13

      This is about the umpteenth time this week a commentator has said how it’s all been dcided already. Of course if it was a Lib Govt it would NEVER be decided already. Despite media having already decided on your behalf, turns out Rudd would win after all. Obviously they’re a little bit scared of him as the narrative has gone from ‘rudds they’re only hope’ to ‘he’d lose too’, the galaxy poll says different. And anyway Abbotts policy to be policy free should mean Rabbit is no certainty over the woman you hate uncontrollably, mostly due to an inconsequential tax.

    • Alfie says:

      09:49am | 23/02/13

      “This is about the umpteenth time this week a commentator has said how it’s all been dcided already.”

      It is mainly for the benifit of you thickheads. You just don’t get it…

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      12:35pm | 23/02/13

      Actualy theres a lot more to it than what you call an ‘inconsequential tax’ Gillard has proven to not only be dishonest but vindictive, cunning and absolutely ruthless without a shred of ethics.
      The tent embassy scandal
      Craig Thomson
      Lying about knowing about the rhinehart workers deal
      The mysogyny campaign
      The character crucifixion of Rudd and leaking of embarrassing videos (That one really got on my goat I don’t like Rudd but that was the lowest act I’ve everseen in politics to attack a fellow party member like that)
      The lies about the Rudd back stabbing
      The AWU scandal that once again she lied about
      The puny 8 page Gonski reviewed we paid so much for
      The budget black holes
      The failed surplus
      The threat to remove from preselection MPs that voted for Rudd which is nothing short of Blackmail and Bullying
      Disregarding democratic processes by replacing MPs intheir seats at will
      The asylum seekers over 700 dead at sea now and counting
      The goes on and on….........................forever

    • John says:

      06:28pm | 23/02/13


      Peter Slipper was an LNP MP for 18 years. Preselected by the LNP and then voted into office by LNP voters like you hypocrites. They even made him Parliamentary Secretary to then PM John Howard.

    • Futureproof says:

      06:52am | 23/02/13

      The drovers’ dog’s fleas have more chance than Gillard.  She is despised, yet her arrogance cannot see that. One of her others problems is Wayne Swan.  He is so one dimensional.  A pull string doll has more charisma than Swan.  Instead of a return to KRudd, ditch Swan and maybe the ALP will hold a few seats at the election.

    • TChong says:

      07:03am | 23/02/13

      Gillard and Co. will lose “badly”, like all incumbants do when they are turfed out.
      In the early 1980s there was the Fraser Govt. with coast to coast Liberals, soundly defeated by Hawke , with all the states going ALP , at about the same time.
      When Keating got turfed, Howard won in a big way, but after aprox 10 years , the mood of the electorate changed.
      Howard even lost Benelong.
      In two or three terms , the LNP will be turfed out…..,
      So the cycle goes round.

    • Zack says:

      09:57am | 23/02/13

      TChong the cycle wasn’t even a cycle. Rudd never finished his term, Gillard couldn’t form an ALP government in her own right. Now the ALPish government will be demolished. It must be hard living in an ALP world as a ALP fan knowing like always you have picked the wrong team to support in life.

      I noticed you didn’t respond to comments about your comment on my comment from yesterday. That is ok, we understand wink

    • sunny says:

      02:36pm | 23/02/13

      Zack - “knowing like always you have picked the wrong team to support in life.”

      Labor have taken the country in the right direction, but have done so without much charisma and they’ve made mistakes on the way. The Coalition want to take the country in the wrong direction and will do so with great efficiency (but even less charisma than the ALP).

      How do you explain the great economic numbers we have? High growth, low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates.

    • Tator says:

      04:05pm | 23/02/13

      To be honest Chongy,
      three terms seem to be about the optimum for any flavour of government, it normally is in the fourth term when they run out of steam and start stupid programs and decision making becomes lazy.  Just look at the NSW Carr/Iemma/Rees and Kenneally government, the Beattie/Bligh government, the Hawke/Keating government and finally the Howard Government.  Many others lost after their third term like Bannon in SA and Cain/Kirner in Victoria.

    • Craig says:

      07:06am | 23/02/13

      So when will the media start speculating about the 2016 election? It looks like the Liberals may be under threat from a resurgent Labor party after a host of Coalition missteps, broken promises & resignations due to misconduct. Or am I thinking of Newman, Bailleu and O’Farrell?

    • Babs of Sydney says:

      07:08am | 23/02/13

      When it happens the sounds you hear will not be “gloating”, it will be a collective sigh of relief.

    • Rob says:

      12:39pm | 23/02/13

      Immediately followed by screams of buyer’s remorse. It’s going to be so funny seeing them jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

    • Zack says:

      07:16am | 23/02/13

      If Labor knows it is going to lose big and the loss is due to Gillard, why not remove Gillard? They don’t have to bring in Rudd, Stephen Smith or Shorten could have some time to win back some votes.

      Everytime Gillard comes into the public focus - we are reminded about the carbon tax, asylum seeker numbers, Craig Thompson, mining tax cock-up etc. If she is that toxic and she isn’t removed then Labor as a party has no one to blame but itself. Labor owes its minority supporters something such as better leadership.

    • gnome says:

      10:13am | 23/02/13

      What about bringing back Simon Crean?  in hindsight, he wasn’t all that bad, and he looks like an elder statesman now.

      It would piss Rudd off mightily, and give the voters reason to reconsider Abbott.  The comparison Abbott/Crean is really quite compelling.  Abbott’s own election as leader wasn’t so overwhelmingly convincing that the Liberals would have a case for “recycled leader” advertising.

      It would reward Crean for his loyalty and his real Labor input, and wouldn’t taint an aspirant to longterm future leadership.  He is different enough for it to work, and even Gillard, when she starts to face the facts, could go for it because he isn’t Rudd.

    • Direct says:

      04:52pm | 23/02/13

      Obviously you forgot what happened last time Simon Crean was leader of Labor party. Labor polled so poorly that he had to be punted and replaced with Mark Latham.

    • Gregg says:

      07:18am | 23/02/13

      The new year has certainly been no better than any other for Julia and probably enough time that we will be asking again and again over many months just how bad can this government get, there being no new low benchmarks for the benches, front and back are sinking in quagmires.

      There does seem to be a level of arrogance in nominating an election date so far in advance and that alone is just another potential suicidal killer blow.
      As for the opposition planning, it confirms Labor have their own interests at heart rather than that of the nation, their own interests being the prevailing stench that ought to have them consigned deep in the quagmire.

    • Stained says:

      07:21am | 23/02/13

      Labor will have a kill fest, the red head will be the first to be thrown out.  Then the Goose, Conroy and the other hand bags.  Its OK for the sheila to say governing should be all about policies and not politics; we all remember her world wide laugh in about the misogyny spew in which she could not recall one incident.  Grandstanding shit.

      Labor needs to rid itself of its criminals, its hate towards each other and actually return to whom they suppose to have represented, the workers.  Their Labor Union funds need to be used for just that, the workers, not slush funds for the evil bastards.  Labor now knows it cannot handle other people’s money whether that be union funds or tax payers earnings.  They have no economic credibility, its just a game to them. Every time these fools are kicked out the Libs are voted back in by the swingers and then the non thinking Labrats whinge about tougher times.  If these bastards were not allowed into the lollie shop in the first place we would all be better off.

      This should all take about two generations then they might be worth re electing, maybe even consider taking in Turnbull.

    • Shane says:

      06:36pm | 23/02/13

      You need to listen to the speech again. “The sheila” not only recalled Abbott’s incidents, she listed them. It’s easy to see why it affected you so much.

    • Mik says:

      07:40am | 23/02/13

      “Et tu, Brute?” Is this the swan song?

      Are the people supposedly voting against the Labor Party because
      a. the government failed them.
      b. they failed the government
      c. they don’t know what is good for them
      d. they are stupid
      e. they actually were not as interested in Abbott as Gillard and Swan fanatically were but now G and S have shown how influential he was in Labor policy, well they might as well have him as leader.

    • The Machiavellian says:

      07:49am | 23/02/13

      The skipper would rather sink the ship than leave the bridge!
      Worse they are laying mines in the hull.

    • Liberal BOB says:

      07:51am | 23/02/13

      what should happen is an inquiry into the media particular news ltd
      for refusing to report fairly and propagandist like oakes is doing in this article

      It is sad when the media takes the freedom do speech away

      as an liberal party member it is disgusting for the liberal party to be in bed with news ltd

      As an liberal party member , the media will be getting a surprise on election night

      people are taking them for a ride in the opinion polling

      People want to see Abbott lose again and this tike pro coalition media as well

    • marley says:

      01:35pm | 23/02/13

      Well, now, you’re about as much a Liberal as Craig Thomson.  And it would appear your ethics are of a similar ilk.

    • JJ of SC says:

      03:27pm | 23/02/13

      Got news for you Liberal BOB. This person can’t wait to vote Liberals and Abbott IN!

    • BC says:

      05:52pm | 23/02/13

      As an Liberal BOB?

    • Bruce Mullinger says:

      08:07am | 23/02/13

      A very impressive deputy-PM has become a very unimpressive PM even allowing for the fact her “big Australia” deception rarely gets a mention.
      The Labor Party has degenerated into a rabble without a cause.

    • SAm says:

      08:25am | 23/02/13

      Doesnt matter what plans they make, Abbott will simply just ‘blame labor’ for all his ills, just as both NSW and QLD governments are doing.
      The previous governments faults are not a blank cheque to do what you want, oh unless your a Liberal government.
      Im still waiting for a reason to vote for either Labor or Liberal but none are forthing coming. Labor has made too many mistakes, with no real plan to fix a lot of stuff, whereas the Liberals offer pointless expensive programs and ‘airy fairy ideas’ that will not be costed and likely not even implemented

    • Alfie says:

      10:05am | 23/02/13

      “Doesnt matter what plans they make, Abbott will simply just ‘blame labor”

      So who racked up a $250b debt…the tooth fairy?

    • JoniM says:

      08:25am | 23/02/13

      This incompetent ALP government has already spent 5 years of preparation strategies for their upcoming long stint in Opposition.
      Surely they can’t do any more ?
      They have already set in train clever strategies like leaving an incoming Coalition Government with $200b debt to deal with, totally porous borders to fix up, tattered foreign affairs, growing employment problems, escalating cost of living pressures and a myriad of divisive policies that have the electorate fuming.
      Yep ! It has been the ALP’s one real achievement this term…..ensuring maximum problems for an incoming government, and that gives the ALP every opportunity to minimise its time in opposition !

    • London Calling says:

      09:55am | 23/02/13

      Well, if that’s the case, I’ll use the words you used a few weeks ago re Mr Abbott and Pauline Hanson.

      Job done.

    • Joe201 says:

      08:30am | 23/02/13

      “warehousing of valued staffers in the bureaucracy, earmarking and retention of documents likely to be useful in opposition, and ways to protect the seats of talented MPs”

      Except this time around, what talent are they holding on to? If the Labor party had any talent, they wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place!

    • tez says:

      10:56am | 23/02/13

      Pyne, Mirabella, Hockey, Bishop & Bishop, Brandis, Payne, Joyce & Truss,ect,ect. Who would the Libs warehouse?

    • Jan says:

      08:37am | 23/02/13

      Again the media are telling voters we don’t need you to vote “we have decided who the next PM will be”. Wow the arrogance!

    • gnome says:

      10:19am | 23/02/13

      It’s called reporting.  Should they be lying about it?  That’s called denial.

    • DJ says:

      05:04pm | 23/02/13

      it’s not reporting, reporting is telling us about the policies being put forward, what they mean what experts are saying about them. This is like watch ing a game of footy and all the commentator does is tell you the score and only the score

    • Mars says:

      08:37am | 23/02/13

      I can’t see how Gillard can lose?

    • Poa says:

      08:38am | 23/02/13

      ....Warehousing staffers in the bureaucracy….do you mean creating high paid jobs in the public service for these people who will lose their jobs with the ALP?
      Ie in clear breach of all PS agreements and protocols?
      Cos if you do an Abbot govt should be able to sack them without compensation just like the Newman and O’Farrel governments should have done to clear political operatives masquerading as public servants.

    • Brian says:

      08:41am | 23/02/13

      We have known for a long time Laurie that Labor is DOOMED…..good to see you are finally on board.

    • TimB says:

      08:46am | 23/02/13

      “But, setting the leadership issue to one side, Gillard and Swan themselves are relying heavily on the Budget to turn the tables on Tony Abbott.”


      Swannie relying on his budget. Good luck with that.Wonder if he’ll be promising another surplus.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      09:51am | 23/02/13

      Given Swanny’s fudget record, it’s a hope slimmer than Acronob’s frail urging for gloating restraint…
      You’ve got to hand it to Jabba. Even if somewhat belatedly, he has at least been able to read the writing on the wall.

    • rayszor says:

      08:51am | 23/02/13

      Nice story BUT.
      Those useless Labor politicians can walk out the front door.
      They have wasted enough tax dollars.

    • AdamC says:

      08:55am | 23/02/13

      You would have to think David Bradbury will be turfed out of Lindsay. Chris Bowen and Jason Clare seem safer in their western Sydney seats, though you never know what could happen. Are the latter two regarded as at risk? Bowen and Clare are the best performing young up-and-comers. It would be a real blow if they left the Parliament.

    • Sergeant Schultz says:

      09:00am | 23/02/13

      acotrel….your comment here is a prime example of a ” voice crying in the wilderness “.  It’s not a matter of gloating to say what Oakes has said in his topic….it is a matter of facing the reality of an electorate’s anger at the trashing of federal governance , loss of respect for the office of Prime Minister and worst of all , the frightening effects of incompetence , loss of confidence and a fading vision of Australia’s economic future.
      The only comfort Labor can derive from the ruins , is that voters are thankful for the advanced election notice allowing them to place their ” baseball bats ” on lay-by.

    • davo says:

      09:04am | 23/02/13

      “Abbott - one of the most effective populist politicians on the scene.”

    • Steve Douglas says:

      10:11am | 23/02/13

      In your humble opinion no doubt

    • Gerard says:

      09:04am | 23/02/13

      Wouldn’t it be good if the ALP accepted that it can’t win the election and decided that rather than spend the next seven months on futile attempts to do so, it would implement some much-needed but unpopular reforms that would actually benefit the country? Abolishing middle class welfare would be a good start. Ironically, this might actually allow them to balance the budget.

    • gnome says:

      10:23am | 23/02/13

      Great comment, but they would still need the support of the Green Party in the Senate to get stuff through, so it would probably be unmanageable.

      Imagine the legacy they would have in history if they had your vision though!

    • tez says:

      09:13am | 23/02/13

      Laurie I know you have been around a while but chickens can still be very unpredictable,

    • Palzy says:

      09:14am | 23/02/13

      So, Laurie, you reckon that if Labour brings down a $20-30 billion budget deficit, after Gillard & Swan promised a surplus on at least 500 occasions, will put pressure on Abbott….you, sir, are delusional

    • Peter Ede says:

      09:14am | 23/02/13

      I’m not counting any chickens until they’ve hatched. Australians have proven themselves mighty stupid since 2007. Stupid till proven otherwise.

    • Jimmy the Bolt says:

      12:08pm | 23/02/13

      Certainly seems a lot of people make noises like the’ve swallowed Abbott’s spin, fibs and spite as “spot on”.

      How many of them will actually bring themselves to vote for the lying lip-licking toad?

      Who knows. We’ll see.

    • Alfie says:

      02:49pm | 23/02/13

      “How many of them will actually bring themselves to vote for the lying lip-licking toad?”

      About twice more than will vote for the lying Ranga and her flying circus.

    • Alfie says:

      02:53pm | 23/02/13

      “I’m not counting any chickens until they’ve hatched.”

      They have hatched, dispatched and are now on the slow rotisserie.

    • Tony G says:

      09:22am | 23/02/13

      I can’t wait until Abbott gets in power. Mass sackings, money removed from all and sundry, slashing and sackings. Great! The bloke can’t put four words together and dodges the media!

    • Burp! says:

      10:09am | 23/02/13

      Tony G says:

      I can’t wait until Abbott gets in power. Mass sackings, money removed from all and sundry, slashing and sackings. Great! The bloke can’t put four words together and dodges the media!

      and the best you can do is rehash labor lines, you hypocrite!

    • OverIt says:

      12:41pm | 23/02/13

      Unlike while JG is in power of course.  Australian jobs lost every day as they are transferred offshore, 40% of the working population in casual, insecure positions, money removed from health, education, defence and overseas aid and STILL a debt of up to $300bn.  Not to mention the vast increase in asylum seekers now keeping our navy occupied with their processing, and the cost of both processing and keeping them on welfare after they are granted refugee status, on top of the increase of refugee places from 13,000 a year to 20,000 a year.
      Tony G
      Under this government we have fewer and fewer taxpayers paying more and more to support people who may never contribute and you’re talking about money being removed from all and sundry if the Opposition is elected. Perhaps if JG & Co had put a little more thought into the likely effects of their policies we wouldn’t be looking at having to make cutbacks to service our current debt, no matter which party is in the driving seat.

    • Christine says:

      01:34pm | 23/02/13

      If the ALP and its supporters continue to fail with policy and use personal misrepresentation and abuse against the Leader of the Opposition, it will certainly be the Coalition team who will be in government. Your scare tactics are over the top and grossly exaggerated. 

      The media has been focussed on ALP lately because there is so much negativity to focus on between leadership questions, internal party squabbling, the Thomson Affair, the Slipper speakership, the NSW Labour party problems, the AWU affair, the Greens divorce, budget deficit, mining tax failure, (ALP spent more than received) carbon tax policy costing more than receipts, stte of hospitals funding, boat arrivals, etc. 

      Mr Abbott is regularly seen on TV and in the news, communicating very effectively as required. After the last election which saw Ms Gillard and the ALP take government, there has been consistent clamouring and regular bully boy tactics from ALP supporters for the Coalition to release their policies nearly 3 years out from an election.What nonsense!  The electorate are still waiting for the May budget and the state of finances report.  The Coaliton has indicated when it will release policy details.

    • tez says:

      04:16pm | 23/02/13

      OverIt : It is Liberals big big business friends that are sending jobs over seas. What government could have prevented that ?

    • Roary says:

      06:03pm | 23/02/13

      Your right Peter people are flocking to Abbot but if you ask them to tell you one of his policies they just look at you dumbfounded. Abbot will do what Adolf Newman did sack people. You don’t have to be a genius to sack people. Instead of sackings etc. no party seems to mention the rampant tax avoidance or that $30b drain negative gearing, that are bleeding this country dry. Abbot will just hit the easy targets. From people I have spoken to if the ALP reinstates the Howard border control the Libs don’t have any ammo at all. So if the ALP did that and put in Bill Shorten it would be a different game. Unfortunately the ALP seems to want to get slaughtered. Maybe a lot of parliamentary pensions are ready for collection.

    • True Blue Ozzie says:

      09:25am | 23/02/13

      Well it’s a fact Labor will lose the next election, the question is by how many votes, and no amount of ” dressing it up ” will cover the loss. The faces we see in Labor now, will have to go and be replaced by fresh new blood if Labor wonts to get back into the game very qickly. If Rudd had been put back into the PM’s position 12 months ago , I dont think Labor would have been faceing the massive deaft that is coming it’s way this year. Never the less Labor will have to pay for there mistakes and there have been many! Labor needs a leader who can engage with the voters, Gillard has failed to do this during her time as PM. After her ungracefull dupping of Rudd, I for one have stopped listerning to anything the PM and Labor sprouk. I made up my mind of who I was voting for at the next election way back when Gillard broke her promise ” there will be no carbon tax under a Government I lead ” and beded the Greens, that view has never changed. As our first female PM, Gillard will go down in history for all and many hudge mistake and blunders by Labor under her leadership.

    • Obvious is obvious says:

      09:58am | 23/02/13

      It appears the punch has turned into one big circle jerk by conservative idiots.
      Rupert would be so proud of you lot.

    • marley says:

      01:39pm | 23/02/13

      The conservatives are gloating as though it were a done deal, the laborites are in denial that anything could possibly be wrong.  We’ll see who’s right in the end.  Both sides need a reality check.

    • Jamo says:

      09:59am | 23/02/13

      Yeah unlike Dillard the Dillberry who clearly has the average Australians best interests at heart. The masses have so warmed to her ! Appeals to the average Australian about as much as Anthony Mundine does. Maybe she should parachute old munners into a seat somewhere

    • Ken Oath says:

      10:15am | 23/02/13

      Laurie you fool. Kruddy has already got it all planned out. His aim is the destruction of Labor as we know it and his enemies. How sweet the sound to him of ballot papers falling on the other side. Vindication of his messiah status is all that matters.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      10:41am | 23/02/13

      Laurie’s down on the ALP this week, but really know the end has come when Malcolm Farr starts writing Saigon pieces, too.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      10:43am | 23/02/13

      You know things are bad for the ALP when acotrel gets surly, instead of just delusional.

      Get ready for a long winter acotrel.  You might have dismissed NSW corruption as “colourful”, but the electorate hasn’t.

    • Jenny says:

      11:49am | 23/02/13

      Time for Labor to plan what to do when they lose

      May be a dose of direct democracy a la Switzerland could save their arse.

      Anyway it is the voter who we’ll be still in strife after the election when the winner will claim to have a mandate from the people.

    • Anjuli says:

      12:31pm | 23/02/13

      Why is Labour still in power ,I thought it was the partnership with the Greens which installed her in government ,together with the 3 independents.I lost interest in the politics when Swan told us why we did not have all the money promised Australia with the mining tax ,I am just sick of all the lies and name calling which is spewed out by politicians

    • Fred says:

      02:56pm | 23/02/13

      You thought wrong. Study.

    • tez says:

      04:55pm | 23/02/13

      Well the name calling is fermenting here on the Punch or don’t you read what your mates say.

    • porloc says:

      12:44pm | 23/02/13

      So the carbon tax is inconsequential? All my input costs are rising, irrigation costs are becoming unsustainable, but the export meatworks I sell to have to pay the tax. It takes a briliant government comprising people who have never run a business to make our export industries even less competitive. My only advice for the election is to go for the wooden baseball bat, it gives a more satisying thunk than the aluminium one.

    • mikem says:

      12:46pm | 23/02/13

      Malcolm, doing as you suggest would make losing badly a certainty.  That would then make it very easy for the Liberals to undo all of the good that the Labor party has done and Australia cannot afford that.

      Instead all Labor members needs to work together to make the next election a real contest.  That means deciding right now who will be the leader and then everyone backing that leader completely.  Labor also needs to get out there and sell what they stand for and make sure voters understand the damage that the Liberal Party wrecking ball will deliver.

      We also need you journalists to cut through the Liberal Party propaganda and get to the reality that they don’t want us to know.  Make sure the next election is decided on merit and not BS.

    • Christine says:

      04:32pm | 23/02/13

      Mmmm!  Someone must be dreaming. 

      Wasn’t it Labor who put the wrecking ball through their inheritance from the Coalition?  No debt, healthy surpluses/reserves, minimal boat arrivals, smaller government and regular personal tax cuts.

      This Labor government has disappointingly acted like a mob of uncontrolled teenagers running from one crisis to another. Leadership battles would be only part of the problem.  Policy failures although sometimes well intended seem to lack responsible delivery programs and more importantly a lack of considered planning.  Taking money from Federal/State Health agreements part way through year, uninhg incorrect population figures. What a way to go.

      Labor was on the nose under Latham and prior to Rudd,  Kevin temporarily had the ability to look like a safe option, however, that was shortlived, hence the Gillard take over. We were inclined to give our first female PM a go. However, that has not provide stable government nor good policy delivery.

      We need an experienced government that is prepared to investigate policy for the long term good of our nation and one that is prepared to be fiscally responsible, while still keeping an eye on those in need.

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      01:39pm | 23/02/13

      I for one do not trust Gillard nor the ALP. I would not trust them with any area of responsibility with the nation, the state a local council or a raffle.

    • Hamish says:

      06:47pm | 23/02/13

      Nor do I. However, I trust Abbott and the LNP even less.

    • Robinoz says:

      02:00pm | 23/02/13

      The sooner Labor goes the better, but what will follow? The LNP doesn’t promise to be much different with the sole exception they will introduce stingency measures to reduce the deficit and associated interest Labor Governments habitually and invariably seem to accrue.

      A new political party called the Freedom Party addresses the needs of many Australians not addressed by Labor or Liberal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that it will have evolved sufficiently to be a serious contender for government at the next Federal Election. We certainly needs some serious improvements in our governance.

    • Bear says:

      02:02pm | 23/02/13

      In the revised history as written by conservative fanatics, it’s always ignored that the swing against Howard was worse than against Keating.They even had to dream up a rigged poll to say he was much better than he was.

    • AJ of Here says:

      02:26pm | 23/02/13

      Another thing that Gillard isn’t when compared to Keating is ethical. Keating would have gone off his face had he known. Gillard would order such an underhanded thing (i.e., retaining vital documents, salting the earth, etc.).

    • pink says:

      02:37pm | 23/02/13

      If Turnbull leads the Libs then Labor will be in opposition for well over a decade. If Howard passed the baton as promised we would have had a few more Liberal terms.
      Abbott at the helm will either lose or win one term simply because he’s a bit of a wood duck and unpopular while people see Turnbull as a can do man and will keep him as long as he’s humble to ALL australians instead of the stupid half percent comments on interest rates being ‘no big deal’.

    • stephen says:

      03:36pm | 23/02/13

      Bill Shorten might want to take the leadership if Jules gets a tap on the shoulder.
      But no Labor man would want to admit to a skiing holiday ... ‘specially when said jaunt was on the expense account of a conman who most likely will be doing the laundry for the next 10 years at the Governor’s expense.

    • Gerard says:

      06:17pm | 23/02/13

      Are you serious? A politician actually being sent to gaol for their crimes? What are you smoking? Try googling Karyn Paluzzano and then then see if you think politicians are subject to criminal law.

    • Thomas the Tank says:

      04:40pm | 23/02/13

      I’m now wondering out loud. Where does Rudd really sit in all this? Is he a vengful man after the way the Unionist ALP dealt with him? (he just loves the Unions doesn’t he) If so, why not undermine them to hell, lose the election then, take up Julie Bishop’s offer of a plum diplomatic post overseas for say, a 4 yr term. Right up his ally.

    • the moor says:

      04:49pm | 23/02/13

      The thwarting of the original MRRT tax by the mining industry must rate as one of the most successful con jobs ever.  The mining industry managed to convince most of Australian that effectively taxing the huge profits they make was a bad idea when it wasn’t. 

      This is the mining industry who:
      - Are 83% foreign owned so most of the profits they are making are going overseas.
      - Account for around 9% of GDP but only employs 1.9% of the workforce (what they pay out in wages is a pittance compared to the profits they make).
      - Receives generous tax breaks that make its effective tax rate 13.9% which is substantially lower than all other industries in Australia.
      - Wherever possible buy their goods and services from offshore meaning the rest of Australia is getting very little benefit from the investment they are making (how many of you have heard the phrase two speed economy).

      And the biggest suckers are us thanks to the dumb Liberal Party who swallowed the miner’s con hook line and sinker.  The real tragedy is that even now after they know the truth the Liberals are still supporting the con being inflicted upon us.

    • Christine says:

      06:35pm | 23/02/13

      Sorry,you are mistaken,  the Libs aren’t in power.

      It was the Labor government who was responsible for the Mining Tax and Labor who negotiated the agreement with the larger mining companies.  The mining companies pay royalties to the applicable State governments and they pay company tax to the Federal government.

      The Labor government wanted to introduce a super tax in addition to tax and royalties already being paid. This mining tax was to be paid on super profits when the mining companies made super profits. To date this has not occurred.  Obviously it isn’t cheap running a mine, with big boy tonka toy machinery, major infrastructure, wage costs plus oncosts, marketing,  research and exploration among all the other costs and taxation incurred.

      Let’s not forget that shareholders including our superanuation funds expect a return on their investment.Many of our superannuation funds would have monies invested in many of the mining companies and the rest of us would receive a return through super. If the government keeps wanting to increase the tax the mining companies pay, then we the ordinary people would lose out as our super funds would lose out.

      We are investors through our super plans. I would prefer a return to us from mining profits through super investments than extra tax for the government to waste.

    • Luigi says:

      05:14pm | 23/02/13

      Time for Labor to bury egos, and do whatever they have to do to the keep Tony Blabbott from being PM.  It would be an absolute diaster if he did.

    • BC says:

      05:18pm | 23/02/13

      F%#k Labor. F@$k Gillard. I voted for Rudd.
      I am a working class man and they make me puke.
      Money for useless shitheads to do nothing. Pander to minority groups.
      I can’t stand Abbot, and even if they don’t bring back Turnbull, they will still get my vote.

    • Huh says:

      06:51pm | 23/02/13


      Why ?

    • Mad Mad says:

      05:56pm | 23/02/13

      The party that wins will be the one throwing the most money at the bludgers, squeezing the treasury tit, doling out the dollars to all the gimme, gimme, gimme “world-owes-me-a-living” add-nothings, take-everything, but-have-an-oh-so-important-THING-to-add-to-the-debate welfare addicts. It’s by no means a foregone conclusion. Nothing surprises me anymore…sadly, I agree with Acotrel on this (can’t believe I typed that!).


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