The ghosts of governments past were haunting Bill Shorten yesterday, and the Opposition Leader won’t be able to shake the lines of his predecessors when it comes to selling his climate change policy. In a press conference yesterday, Shorten invoked Julia Gillard when he started “there will be no carbon tax …” and then a pause long enough for us all to ask, is he really going to say “under the government I lead”? Instead he ended with “under Labor”. The full grab is, “There will be no carbon tax under Labor, there will be no fixed price under Labor”. It’s close enough that the Liberals already have a scare campaign ad (with a weird circus jingle) shared online.

Gillard’s climate policy wasn’t the only spectre hanging over Shorten yesterday, with a journalist asking “Mr Shorten, is climate change still this generation’s great moral challenge?” The Labor leader didn’t come as close to quoting Kevin Rudd, avoiding the moral element all together:

“Climate change is the great challenge to household cost of living, and to our economic performance in the future. If we don’t start acting on climate change and doing our bit along with the rest of the world to tackle the harmful effects of climate change, we’ll pay the price. Increased insurance premiums, irregular and inconsistent supplies of food caused by drought, we’ll see it through impact on tourism and loss of jobs.”

Close, but no cigar.

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