May 16, 2014

Labor needs to lock in voter perceptions of the government now

The government's post-budget performance has been as poor as its pre-budget one, but Labor must frame the political narrative now, because life will get easier for the government.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

As Labor MPs chattered away animatedly to each other in question time yesterday and their far more numerous government counterparts sat sullenly opposite them, Treasurer Joe Hockey rose to answer a question on the budget from his opposite number, Chris Bowen. His response was to complain that Labor was focusing on the politics of the budget, rather than the substance, to invite Bowen to debate it and to accuse Labor of refusing to support finding “a cure for cancer, finding a cure for dementia and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s”.

Inevitably, Bowen rose next question and invited the Treasurer to debate him next week at the Press Club, when Bowen was scheduled to deliver his budget reply. Hockey got up, delivered a clunky joke about how no one would be there, and declined.

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23 thoughts on “Labor needs to lock in voter perceptions of the government now

  1. Electric Lardyland

    Is there actually anything more inane, than a career politician complaining that their opponent is being political?

  2. Venise Alstergren

    “And there was Peter Dutton, a kind of walking void,”…..

    Priceless, a pearl beyond price, one of the best descriptions of a very pedestrian LNP politician I’ve ever read. Fantastic. Olé

  3. cairns50

    ill be straight to the point bernard

    your article is very poor

  4. AR

    had marked his parliamentary performance as Treasurer.” .. perhaps I was dozing, when was that?
    If it was a typo. for “as Shadow Treasurer..” then I would, again, ask, when was that?

  5. Carroll Frank

    To the contrary. Shorten was electric and fiery, unlike we’ve ever seen him before. The government side looked uncomfortable. The applause throughout, despite admonitions from the speaker, gave frisson to the atmosphere.

  6. jmendelssohn

    Shorten is giving a very good performance of being a reasonable man. Bearing in mind that his opponent is so easily categorized as a blustering bully, it is the right strategy.

  7. leon knight

    Agreed Carroll, I thought it was mostly a great performance too, and the final public applause as the LNP bolted like frightened rabbits was nice finish, as was the final DD dare….Abbott deserves a relentless hammering on the DD issue after his endless jibes at JG on the subject.
    Hockey’s discomfort was palpable, but the battering was not enough to wipe the stupid smirk off Pyne’s face…classic “no sense, no feeling” I think.

  8. Elbow Patches

    Agree, Carroll I think Shorten warmed up as he went and the applause was warranted and yes, a palpable ‘frisson’ as you say

  9. AR

    CarF & LeoK – can’t see anything in Blli Shrotnun worthy of your esteem but would second your suggestion that the best 3 word slogan for the ALP (and country) is “DD NOW!

  10. MJPC

    BK, interesting look at the aitruation however your down the track comments on the next 2 budgets speak of crystal ball gazing. In your next report can you please predict the Ozlotto numbers for next Tuesday? I consider foretelling the future for budgets is just as hit and miss. I seem to recall the day before the wall street crash that heralded the GFC many (particularly the rent seekers) were also predicting continued wealth and prosperity.
    I thought Shorten did very well and finally there was a Labour leader in Parliement that encapsulated what this current, cigar smoking, crown are trying to do to the ordinary australia, not those in Tony and Joe’s electorate, but the rest of us.

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