Going by the headlines, Labor’s election review blamed the party’s election loss on a weak strategy, cluttered policy agenda, and an unpopular leader.
But the 91-page report has given every pundit and politician enough room to argue a point.
Ahead of the official release, Shorten got in early with his statement.
Were the universe to grant re-runs, I would campaign with fewer messages, more greatly emphasise the jobs opportunities in renewable energies, and take a different position on franking credits.
Announcing yesterday’s drought package, the prime minister kept it brief:
The Australian people know the answer to that question, and they’re still not listening to them, the Labor Party. I mean, it’s six months after the election and Labor is still talking about themselves.”
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Internally, Shorten’s wing is upset over the emphasis on the former leader’s unpopularity. Penny Wong praised the report’s honesty, while Chris Bowen called on the party to listen to workers and acknowledged the need to review franking policies in the wake of successful Coalition attacks.
Today’s Oz offers multiple takes, from a news report that labels the party as “weak, risky and unpopular”, to Paul Kelly’s dissection of Shorten’s statement — “full of import” demonstrating “his ambition is undiminished” — to Simon Benson’s triumphant takedown of a campaign machine that “believed in its own genius that there was no prospect of losing”.
The Daily Telegraph
Columnist Tim Blair ran through the report almost point by point, displaying typical restraint: “When you win the Greta Thunberg vote, you lose the normals.”
Over at the less gleeful end of the commentariat, Guardian Australia’s Katharine Murphy dissected Labor’s core challenge of walking both sides of the street.
The ABC was typically straight down the line: political editor Andrew Probyn honed in on Albo’s “salesmanship” challenge on climate action, while national affairs reporter Greg Jennett explored how Labor, according to the report, went “too hard too early”, resulting in both a big and inflexible target.