We have fought the good fight

Opinion 2Thank you to our candidates, our volunteers and everyone who worked on a campaign. Thank you for the many, many hours of phone calls, door knocks, street stalls and every other possible way people helped on their local campaigns. There aren’t enough ways to say thank you! The time everyone has freely given makes us proud to be Labor. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Even before the election date was formally announced, this allegedly “new age, innovative, small ‘l’ Liberal,” Malcolm Turnbull revealed his true colours. Our TV screens were reacquainted with terror warnings about suspicious packages and people, at tax payers expense. It revealed the Turnbull/Morrison government’s election campaign strategy, fear and negativity. Revealed too, an almost religious adherence to their own campaigning traditions.

In doing so Turnbull not only wallows in the old discredited political morass of the past but he treats the intellect of the Australian electorate with contempt. He is a man who cast aside his principles at the sound of first car horn.

Hardly a policy worth two bob has fallen from his lips and now, a few minutes before the election the culprits for their budget despair must be found in their dusty old playbook;. and so it is announced that there will be tougher rules for welfare recipients.

Despite public opinion polls running at 78% support for marriage equality, they’ll spend $160 million of taxpayer’s money putting the issue to a plebiscite – a plebiscite whose result, if unpalatable, they may simply ignore.

In attacking welfare recipients and preparing the way by stealth for the ultimate introduction of an American style healthcare system, by outsourcing Medicare and Veteran’s Affairs, they again stay true to form and their traditions. We say they can’t be trusted and we say that, purely because of their record and performance. Their propensity for lies and exaggerations knows no bounds.

Earnest right wing, Scott Morrison, is their most enthusiastic exponent. His attacks on Labor’s financial record are made as if our management of the GFC or the Keating/Hawke reforms don’t exist. He extolls the Coalition’s virtues as economic managers when the truth is the opposite – it was the Coalition whose economic vision, their plan, gave us state income tax and a series of other misconceived economic policies quickly withdrawn because they were so out of touch. In their policy vacuum they have, as their tradition demands, attacked organised labour while many in the corporate sector rip off workers and pay little or no tax. To them is offered a $50 billion tax break!

The Turnbull/Morrison government accuses Labor of big spending and deficits when the Abbott/Hockey/Turnbull/Morrison governments have presided over the biggest budget and deficit blow-outs in our history. They have also presided over a fall in hours worked to its lowest level since 1993. Under the Coalition, underemployment has also taken off and our standard of living has fallen. They claim that Labor is the high tax party and yet it was the Rudd/Gillard government who had the lowest tax as a percentage of GDP on record.

While extolling the benefits of their negotiated trade deals Australia is actually in a record trade slump with 13 consecutive months of trade deficits. Australia under Turnbull/Morrison has the worst trade figures of 34 OECD nations.

They refuse to discuss ‘operational matters’ but are happy to do so during an election campaign to raise the spectre of Barnaby’s ‘boat filled horizon’. They use the dark fear of refugee waves but then abandon the integrity program designed to make sure the corrupt aren’t guarding our borders. Then, under their watch, there are serious corruption allegations involving the black kitted Border Force.

Putting on a serious and portentous face, and it would appear John Howard’s glasses, Malcolm warns of the global instability of Brexit from which we can only be saved by electing him. What nonsense! Even the doyen of the right, Alan Jones, thinks that is utter nonsense.

It gives me a great sense of pride that we on the other hand, have fought the good fight, fought it honestly and well and put to the Australian people a suite of 100 well considered positive policies that put people first. Labor works for the greater good of the greatest number while the Turnbull/Morrison government stands for so much for so few and, as for Malcolm Turnbull, if he can throw away his principles so easily what faith could you have in his policies or election promises. They’ll disappear faster that a dog at the Dapto races!

Claire Moore, Labor Senator for Queensland

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