Bill Shorten energy policy
(Image: AAP/Paul Braven)

It’s been a big year for all of us here at the Crikey bunker, just as it’s been a big year for pollies (for better or worse) — and in particular, Bill Shorten, whom Bernard Keane named the politician of the year. Readers weighed in, agreeing that, while Shorten had notched some wins, he was skating on more than a little luck. Elsewhere, readers mulled over the ABC’s less than stellar 2018, and the continued risk of wage stagnation and credit squeeze.

On Bill’s big year

Pollietragic writes: BK is one of the few journos to acknowledge that Shorten has deliberately avoided operating as a smooth target by creating policies that annoy conservative vested interests and address inequality. Examples are limitations to negative gearing which will help first home buyers, dividend tax credit rort on tax you haven’t paid, capital gains tax, and addressing the tax avoidance rorting via family trusts. Shorten may be seen to have benefited by the incompetency of the LNP, but he has been strong to produce policies well in advance of any election, and give political and media opponents opportunity to tear them apart… which they haven’t.

Metal Guru writes: I have to confess I don’t think much of Bill but he has performed creditably. He has enunciated policies and not been afraid to contest the conservatives in ideas and policy areas and overall administrative competency. He has defended Medicare. He wants to undertake action on climate change which, while not perfect, is achievable.

Bref writes: While Shorten occasionally shines in parliament, it’s out on the hustings that he sounds boring as batshit. I wish one of his minders would just slap him around a bit when he starts saying the same thing over and over and over and over, but the tragedy is they’re probably advising him to do just that!

On the ABC’s bad year

AR writes: The decline of RN is beyond expectations — bad enough what has been cut or abolished but the appalling “new innovations” (seriously, their description of that short lived abomination) drive away people like me who literally had it on from waking to sleeping.

Dog’s Breakfast writes: Alberici’s column was right, and Andrew Probyn was correct in his description of Abbott. Neither was bad for the ABC. In years gone by they would have handled the criticism better, returning fire. 

On wage stagnation

brian cooks writes: Any government or political party that does not understand the link between wage fairness and recession is asking for a repeat of 1929 and a financial collapse.

Klewso writes: If “the best form of welfare is a job”, perhaps this government could try turning their hand to the job of governing in the interests of the welfare of the majority?

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