Let Lord Acton be the guide to the memories component of our election campaign. Collect all the images and newspaper headlines of past and present State Labor ministers caught abusing their power. A Crime and Misconduct Commission inquiry in to a former tourism minister in Queensland. Lovely allegations of blackmail. A sacked deputy Premier in Tasmania. A delicious example of rorting the public purse for Labor mates. Good old fashioned sexual sleaze covered up by Labor mates in NSW. Mining developers giving $300,000 loans to help the children of a Labor minister buy houses. Some old fashioned Labor branch stacking involving Muslims. Nothing like some subliminal racial prejudice.

Some truly memorable memories we can use under our simple negative slogan: Imagine what Labor would be like if they controlled the Federal Government as well?

The beauty is we know the message will strike a responsive chord. We can take Paul Keating’s word for that. The former Labor PM has done the numbers and knows that the self interest and greed of state Labor politicians is the biggest impediment there is to Labor winning federally. Where there is a long serving Labor State administration the Federal Liberals perhaps gain a percentage point in their vote.

The people seem to have an inbuilt belief in checks and balances but there’s no harm in reminding them. And how better to end our memories advertisement than with pictures of Kim Beazley and Brian Burke together? All we need to use are Kim’s words – he’s my mate – as we fade out to a background of WA Inc memories.

Peter Fray

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