federal election 2019 labor
Bill Shorten at the 2018 Labor Party National Conference (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Your correspondent’s first ely* of the year was courtesy of AM -- that programme that comes through our half-waking, half-sleeping moments, the whisperings of our hopes and fears.

Mathias Cormann had been on the previous day, in both attack dog and John Howard-bot mode, snarling that Labor can't be trusted with the economy. The next day it was Chris Bowen’s turn and, man, if he wasn’t smoking a pipe and tapping it on the leather patches of his tweed jacket, he sure sounded like he was: 'Well Fran, I think it’s pretty clear that when you take the doobie ratio into account on the franking credits, the valutron you’ll find the potrezebie ratio…' and OK it was less jargonistic than that, but it didn’t sound like it.