Bill Shorten’s back flip on midsize business tax cuts generated a torrent of ink last week, but almost none of it focused on the real reason for both the initiative itself, and its embarrassing reversal at the hands of shadow cabinet. Which is, of course, that the policy had nothing to do with policy at all. It was simply another in the increasingly humiliating series of ritual dances that the would-be next prime minister must perform in order to satisfy his unlikely alliance stablemates, the CFMMEU and related "industrial left" groupings.
The push for a bit of old-skool class warfare was wholly internally focused: a test shot to see how much authority Shorten has. The killing of it in shadow cabinet was an equally abrupt response -- not a lot. That a Labor leader from the Catholic right has a high-corporate tax policy knocked on the head by the Victorian Socialist Left and National Left shows how devoid of content the war of position is.
Joe Hockey helped Helloworld despite personal, financial ties
Good morning, early birds. Ambassador to the US and former federal treasurer Joe Hockey reportedly helped facilitate a meeting with Helloworld prior to it winning government tender, despite being a major shareholder in the travel company. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.
Michaelia Cash: a portrait of a politician under oath
While giving testimony on 2017's AWU raid scandal, Cash seemed to have one brief: 'don't give them a headline'.
Labor, crossbench deliver historic loss to Morrison government
Good morning, early birds. The government has been delivered its long-awaited historic loss in parliament over medical evacuation legislation, and the Coalition and Labor continue to duke it out in a jam-packed start to the sitting year. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.
Hakeem heading home after Thailand drops case
Good morning, early birds. Freed Bahraini refugee Hakeem al-Araibi is expected to be home in Australia within hours, and Bill Shorten faces the year's first parliamentary sitting day having backflipped on support for medical transfer legislation. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.
Shorten tipped to falter on medical transfer support
Good morning, early birds. There are warnings that Bill Shorten is set to ramp down his support for Kerryn Phelps' medical transfer legislation, and a NSW Liberal power broker backs Labor. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.