The ‘real’ Shorten there all along

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SYDNEY: Who is the real Bill Shorten? That was the intriguing front-page pointer to News Corp columnist Miranda Devine’s latest column appearing in today’s Daily Telegraph and some other Murdoch fishwrappers.

What in-depth research had this highly paid columnist done before writing what promised to be the definitive view on the Labor Party leader and would-be Prime Minister?

devine shortenWould Miranda change her mind and shift from the view expressed in all of her previous columns, namely that Bill Shorten is an awful man who shouldn’t be Prime Minister of Australia and by contrast Scott Morrison is truly a living saint whose policies are absolutely right for the country, oh and by the way, everyone should vote Liberal on 18 May?

Miranda spoke to and quoted “a friend from university days” who said he or she didn’t recognise Mr Shorten these days because he had sold out all his old beliefs and moved far to the left just to keep at bay those pesky lefties like Albo who want his job.

She also quoted “old friends” who revealed Mr Shorten’s speech impediment — swapping an “ff” for “th” in some words like “wiff”, I mean “with” — was actually an affectation he bungs on. Wow, with “old friends” like that you don’t need old enemies.

Other “friends”, or were they same “friends” gave Miranda details of the Shorten family background including the significant role the late Ann Shorten played in the role of her sons Bill and his twin Robert.

Remember Ann Shorten? Last week Murdoch papers the Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail told us her son Bill had deliberately distorted her life achievements for political gain.

Miranda helpfully frames those stories in her latest column as merely “fleshing out” Shorten’s depiction of his upbringing while also mentioning Shorten’s “tearful overreaction” to the Tele and Courier bucket jobs.  Thanks Miranda.

In a nutshell, Miranda Devine’s quest to find “the real Bill Shorten” led her to conclude that he is an awful man who shouldn’t be Prime Minister of Australia and by contrast Scott Morrison is truly a living saint whose policies are absolutely right for the country, oh and by the way, everyone should vote Liberal on 18 May.

Were we really expecting anything else?

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The Bug the other day had some fun with the Daily Telegraph’s Sharri Markson and her rather fanciful take on a possible path to victory for Scott Morrison on Saturday.

She wrote then that the Labor seats of Dobell (NSW), Solomon (NT), Cowan (WA) and Bass and Braddon (Tas) were “all in contention” as possible Liberal Party gains, while Corangamite (Vic) and Gilmore (NSW) were “at this point” likely to stay with the Liberals.

A check with Sportsbet and Ladrokes late on Thursday morning shows that Dobell, Cowan, Corangamite and Gilmore remain safe bets for Labor – as they were when Sharri wrote that piece of shit – Solomon and Bass look good for Labor still, and the bookies have the Libs with their noses in front in Braddon.

Now, admittedly Ms Markson is in her rights to argue that the fairy-dust predictions in quotes in her yarn were from Liberal sources (Scott Morrison?). Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean she had to believe any of it or that it warranted the angle and prominence she gave it.

Nor does it excuse her for not getting Labor’s take on those seats.

The Bug will stick with its gut feeling that Markson knew full well she was writing shit when she wrote that shit.

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There have been lot of signs that the LNP have really struggled for momentum over the closing weeks of the campaign – and have lacked solid arguments to run with other than tax scares – and comments by campaign spokesperson Simon Birmingham this week were classic examples of that. 

Looking at the state of the polls, Birmo argued on Radio National that if Australia had first-past-the-post voting, the LNP would be doing very well as they were ahead of Labor by a few points in most of the surveys.

Brilliant! Birmo simply ignores the fact that the Nationals and the Liberals are two separate parties and that over recent decades, the left vote has been increasingly shared by Labor and the Greens.

Birmo would fail any logics course by not adding the sizable slice of the voting pie that the Greens now enjoy (around 9 to 12%) to get a realistic look at the left-right divide, seeing we do, after all, have a compulsory preferential voting system.

It was a piece of total twaddle, a desperate diversion, a bubble burst of bullshit from Birmo that just about sums up the LNP ‘s 2019 campaign.