A no-punches-pulled poll

So, the cat’s been let out of the bag.

And undoing the tying and letting the mangy moggie bound free is The Australian’s political editor Simon Benson.

In a comment piece in Thursday’s national broadshit, Benson details the tactics Prime Minister Scott Morrison desperately wants to apply to “sucker-punch” Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Labor over climate-change policy.

The strategy is summarised thus: Morrison goes to the election with some cobbled-together, net- zero emissions target by 2050 that the Nationals have reluctantly agreed to after being showered with taxpayer billions. He might even be allowed not to use the world “preferably” so he doesn’t get completely laughed out of Glasgow.

He goes there with an ironclad promise not to change in any meaningful way his government’s existing piss-week, concocted commitment to achieving four-fifths of five-eights of fuck all on emissions reductions by 2030. That’s already locked in.

He returns home, steps into the election ring in his shiny blue Climate Change Man fight gown and proceeds to swerve and sway as he taunts Albanese to do even better than he is on the clearest and most present danger to the world right now.

Morrison drops his guard, looking a little weary and glances slyly over to Albanese’s corner as Albo’s trainers urge their man to go in for the kill. Go hard and go fast, they scream. He’s gassed!

And Albanese falls for it! Lurching forward, he bellows: “I’ll knock your net-zero by 2050 clean off and beat it with a 2030 commitment even stronger than the 45 per cent reduction by 2030 commitment Shorten took to the 2019 poll”.

A wry grin spreads slowly over Morrison’s face, replacing his usual smirk, and he drops his guard, rests his gloves on his paunch, looks a little bewildered and scared, and urges a puffed-up Shorten forward.

Benson does caution that one of the biggest dangers of Morrison’s sucker-punch plan is that Albanese won’t fall for it. And Labor has certainly learnt its lesson for going to the 2019 election with policies.

But if the Grappler from Grayndler does get sucked in, an important part of Morrison’s winning 2019 template remains in place.

And the MGH knows what you Bugsters are thinking.

Won’t Rupert Murdoch’s new, improved, green, media outlets spend every waking moment from now to polling day lauding Albanese and Labor for any 2030 target they might foolishly commit to?

That page after page of his “newspapers” are going to be chockablock full of photoshopped images of Morrison lampooned as a man out of time and well past his used-by date? The poor prick shredded nightly by SkyNews after-darkers? Savaged by the radio shockjocks?

That on election morn, the Dirty Digger’s papers will all have a cartoon of Albanese on their covers, cradling a damaged earth with a 400-point splash: HE’S OUR MAN! With the next 10 pages detailing why it’s Labor’s turn for power. Big headings such as NATION NEEDS SOME ALBO GREASE!

Boy, we have taken a few to the old noggin’ here, haven’t we? Let’s shake our heads clear and think this through. Back to reality, please!

Communicating to the masses this story of how clever Morrison, the master marketer, has been in this toe-to-toe with the hapless Albanese will be the mainstream media’s task as usual and, sadly, not just Newscorpe. Newscorpse Lite (the Nine Entertainment mastheads) will be doing their fair share of the lifting.

And it’s the way it should be. The Liberals will go into the election claiming they’re broke even though they won’t be and, besides, they loathe spending their own money to get re-elected when others can spend their money instead after the glowing taxpayer-funded ad blitz has to cut out once the writs are issued.

The new, green, Newscorpse will still be able to prove their earth-loving credentials by showering Morrison with accolades for his courageous stand on climate change. SCOMO BRINGS PARTY, AUSTRALIANS TOGETHER!

Albanese and Labor will again be smashed relentlessly with “how much will it cost and how many jobs will be lost” questioning. Trust Labor to overstep the mark when saving the planet!

Clive Palmer will step into the ring with another $90 million ad spend attacking Albanese’s zillion dollars worth of taxes and charges that his climate-change policies will impact on average Australians, leaving them penniless.

And Morrison will do his usual photo-op stuff as Labor takes a merciless beating.

Now the MGH knows what you’re also thinking out there in Bugland. How could this title bout be very much a rerun of the 2019 fight, especially with Newscorpse bragging about its green-is-great epiphany?

Surely attacking Albanese would make the organisation look totally hypocritical, a laughing stock, a sad joke, a media outfit with no basic journalism principles and devoid of logic or ethics?

But why should the looming national poll be played out any different from the last one? Or so many others before that?

Don Gordon-Brown