ALP probe: crash repair or total write-off

It’s the final day for submissions to the Labor Party’s inquiry into its recent federal election thrashing. The Bug‘s ranter-in-residence gives a glimpse of what his submission might have been if he could have given a fuck.


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Remember the motoring couple in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, shouting across the darkened highway and trying desperately to warn Steve Martin and John Candy that they are “going the wrong way!?

That’s how I feel about the Labor Party’s post-mortem examination into its federal election loss. Submissions close today but I keep asking myself the question: “Why the fuck should I try to help them out?”

Why bother shouting: “You’re going to kill somebody!”

Themselves most likely, for Labor in its post-election malaise appears clearly intent on going down the entirely wrong path in this probe into how it managed to lose the unloseable election.

Labor is now a fucking joke, although few are laughing. They’re heading in the wrong direction and looking at the wrong things to try to explain that fatal head-on crash on the night of May 18.

They are motoring their way to political oblivion.

Those charged with this forensic examination should have ignored the campaign proper and looked at two entirely different periods of travel to sort out Labor’s current chronic malaise – the three years up to the starting gun being fired for this year’s poll and how Labor has slammed into the ditch since May 18 to the point where they’ve consigned themselves to political insignificance for at least two more terms.

If anyone doubts that, I reluctantly present as evidence comments this week by the Lying Rodent, aka The Man of Steel, aka The Unhanged War Criminal. That’s right – John Winston Howard.

There was the little runt on the ABC doing what Tories do best. Barely two months after the poll, sprouting the usual lines that only the Liberals can manage economies well and Australia should once again thank its lucky stars that it had the good sense to reject Labor whose high-taxing policies would have ground the country to a halt.

The next election is three years away and the Tories are still relentlessly doing what they do best: campaigning 24/7, selling that risible shit every time they open their mouths. It’s in their DNA. It’s what they do best.

It’s why, if at the time of the next poll Australia is facing an apocalyptic economic meltdown with every business in the land boarded up, the jobless rate at 25% and families starving to death in the streets, the final poll before voting day will tell us Australians believe the LNP manage economies better, that they always have and always will.

And that, sadly, was the bottom line of the red-hot porkies the government and Clive Palmer told about Labor’s policies. Just as Mediscare was effective because there was an element of truth to it, LNP’s tax distortions swayed those who have been inculcated with this “Libs do economies best” bullshit.

And it’s still giving me the absolute squirts that Labor luminaries appear to whole-heartedly agree with this assessment. Hence the argument: if they don’t fucking care, why should I?

A long time ago, I came to the conclusion that both sides of politics are quite capable of running economies well or fucking them up. Both sides can squander the assets from the selloff of a public asset.

In the decades since I left the ALP, I have studiously examined all the expert opinions on various economic policies as they’ve been presented and I believe Labor’s record on such matters is superior to the Tories – especially the macro economic stuff. And, more importantly for this debate, that Labor’s 2019 election policies were perfect for the times.

How many times have I begged Labor leaders to give us a fucking sign they believe that too. That every time they open their mouths, they should start with: “The LNP will always stuff up economies. They always have and they always will”.
Sadly. they never do.

Now, let’s speed out of control past the campaign crash site and the post-election period that has outraged many Labor supporters – actually, make that ex-supporters.

I’ve already ranted and vented long and hard over Labor’s approach since the election.
I’m bitterly disappointed how they’ve cowered like whipped dogs and pleaded for forgiveness from the Australian people.albanese in the doghouse - net

That bullshit “listening tour” by Anthony Albanese; his “we won’t use the word liar” edict. Even the ranga, the best prime minister we might have had except from the day she got the job, was quick to criticise the campaign.

What a shit few months. Being played off a break by Morrison. Supporting laws they are totally opposed to in the Parliament because they’re shit-scared what voters might think – THREE fucking years out from an election.

Why it’s true that the party probe hasn’t determined what, if any, policies will be jettisoned, Labor just doesn’t seem to have grasped the basic concept that politics in Australia has been changed fundamentally forever by that last election outcome.

A litany of lies wins. Party disunity no longer means a loss. A sustained attack on character wins. Almost completely negative campaigns win. Having fuck-all policies wins. Running a shit economy wins.

Labor is pursuing an out-dated, old-fashioned view that it needs to show contrition.

I’ve argued before they should have gladly worn the “poor loser” tag for as long as it took. Don’t ‘listen’ to people. Tell them they got conned big-time and Australia is going to pay a big price for that.

A fat lot of good it did Bill Shorten as he sat there for six long years smiling benignly as the Tories poured “we’re great; you’re shit” all over him. Memo Albo: the one thing about politics that hasn’t changed is that the nice guy still comes last.

So finally, let’s rise upwards spirit-like from that fatal wreckage of the night of May 18 and drift back to the campaign itself – that period that Labor seems intent on shoving a painful redhot probe up its collective cloaca to see how and why it all turned to shit.

You already know what my submission would be: There was nothing wrong with your campaign or your policies. (Oh, okay, in the cold light of morn, maybe somethings might have been grandfathered even though it wouldn’t have changed the outcome).

They were well-thought out policies and right for the times. You were done over by an unprecedented pack of porkies, a complete distortion of Labor’s tax and spend policies, and a $60 million anti-Shorten ad campaign by the fat man.

Your opponents campaigned against your retiree tax, your pensioner tax, your rent tax, your car tax, your property tax and your death tax. You had none of those things yet feel the need to apologise fulsomely for not having them.

I’d submit that it’s a crying shame that you have so quickly lost the red-hot anger that many of us still feel over this election outcome. That it’s a absolute pity you’re not all out there kicking and biting and scratching for all your worth. I and many others still are.

And if you decide the big-target strategy must never be tried again, that Labor must ape the LNP if it ever wants to win, that Labor has to act more like Morrison and his mob, that attacking ‘the big end of town’ is now off limits, as is the noble ambition of trying to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots, then my advice would be to not even bother putting together your final report.

Head to your vehicles right now. Fire up those engines. Sing The Internationale lustily as you take your hands off the steering wheel and once more press the pedal to the metal.

That ‘don’t crash through but smash’ mentality would have poor old Gough spinning in his grave.

FOOTNOTE: Here is the link for submissions to the Labor inquiry:

The Bug understands “Bring back Bill Shorten!” is trending highly.