Media dogs are barking for Albo

Could Anthony Albanese’s time as federal Opposition Leader be done and dusted by this time tonight?

The question is posed on the assumption that Rupert Murdoch has decided to lose even more money putting out The Australian this past week by having one of his new, improved, more-accurate-than ever Newspolls conducted to welcome in the new Parliamentary sitting year.

Discounting the laughable better prime minister figure, the member for Grayndler will remain in the doghouse with the mainstream media “experts” if he hasn’t eaten away at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s sky-high satisfaction rating and lifted his own.

But the key figures will be the primary votes and the two-party one. Albanese desperately needs to lift both, especially the 2PP despite the fact that gap is not outrageously large already and “within the margin of error” crap that’s almost as silly as preferred PM.

A refresher, seeing the last new, improved, more-accurate-than ever Newspoll was a while ago, way back on November 29 in fact. What’s two months if a week is a long time in politics?

Back then, the PM led Albanese on that Better PM bullshit – only one person has the job, for fuck’s sake – 60 (+2) to 28 (-1). Morrison’s approval rating was on 66 (+2), a healthy 36 points above those who disapproved 30 (-2). Albo was still chained up in his kennel, looking for a pat and barely in positive territory at 44 (+1) to 41 (+2).

You almost feel sorry for the poor old dog, don’t you? Widely lauded by those aforementioned MSM experts for being largely supportive and positive of the National Cabinet’s COVID-19 response rather than being a cunt of a rabid dog going for the throat at every opportunity. I’m talking about you, Tony Abbott. And for that matter, the two PMs who followed you.

Now for the important Newspoll figures. The LNP’s primary vote was steady on 43 with Labor on 36 (+1) and the two-party preferred vote steady on LNP 51 to Labor’s 49.

So what will tonight bring? Here’s one Twitterer’s dismal prediction.

There’s no doubt that a really cynical old hack journo could be forgiven for thinking there’s been some caucusing among the MSM political pundits this past week to try to influence the Newspoll result as voters were being canvassed.

It’s been full-on from all sectors: the right (ABC), the further right (the Nine Entertainment papers), the far right (News Corpse) and the so-far-right-you-can-hardly-see-them (the shock jocks and Sky’s after dark line-up).

Typical was Laura Tingle midweek on 7.30 with her “Why do you really bother?” style interview with Albanese.

Ms Tingle should have looked more tired than she did. We got the impression she had canvassed Albanese’s entire caucus and they were all a’gin him – not just “the usual suspects”. Albo wasn’t cutting through; he was too nice, too decent to win the close ones.

And we all know why the LNP win more of the close ones. It’s not by being nice or decent or ethical or principled. The LNP has its own “prosperity doctrine” based on the total belief in their God-given right to rule whatever it takes. Children overboard, anyone?

LNP public relations officer Peter Hartcher took up the bash-Albo baton in Saturday’s SMH. Using his tragic unrealism style of fiction writing, Hartcher reckons Morrison has the next election in his keeping because Albanese “lacks cut-through” while the PM is conquering from the centre. Yes, the PM has moved to that election-winning centre, a move many of you might have easily missed when he ran a mile from criticising Trump over inciting that Capitol riot.

According to Hartcher, an Opposition Leader “can only achieve cut-through in such a national crisis by being irresponsible or ridiculous, or both”. Shame on you, Albanese, for jettisoning the winning Abbott formula and trying to do the right thing! Learn your history, lad!

While Hartcher argued that Albanese was safe because there was no obvious challenger, Dennis Atkins in The New Daily was not so sure. He wrote that Tanya Plibersek has been working hard since December and he wasn’t referring to the gym.

With so many of the MSM singing loudly from the same song sheet this week – DISUNITY IS DEATH! Oh, oh, Labor’s in internal strife again! Another defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory later this year! Riven by discord over climate change! – what will the Newspoll results mean?

If the LNP stays around 43% on primary votes, Morrison will go early. Not that we didn’t know that anyway because he’s told us repeatedly he’s not going to.

The PM has the winning template from 2019. A monster pre-poll taxpayer-funded ad blitz on multiple fronts; the usual litany of lies during the campaign about Labor’s policies if they are stupid enough to release any to send Tim Wilson on another parliamentary road show and, of course, pork-barrelling rorts on a monster scale now going on that we won’t find out about until it’s all over.

It will be the cherry on the top if that worker-hating, job destroying, self-interested lardarse turd from Queensland throws in another $90 million of anti-Labor lies to protect his central Queensland coal projects.

And of course, the media across that entire right spectrum will be there to help, maintaining the myth that Morrison is the Father of the Nation, the best Wartime Leader we might still have, the beer-swilling, sports-loving bloke-next-door who led us fearlessly and brilliantly through the pandemic with such panache that he still had time to get his professional photographer to capture him building some Bunnings flatpack contraption for his two lovely God-fearing daughters.

Don Gordon-Brown