From the diary of a Labor Tragic

By Vijay Badhwar

I must admit right from the outset that I am a Labor supporter, dismayed and disappointed, hurt and even angry that a much anticipated win was snatched from Labor Party’s grasp so masterfully: doing nothing.

The art of manipulating public opinion by simple messages is now perfected after its application for Trump success in the US by Cambridge Analytica. In Australia, it was put to good effect by aiming at seniors’ hip pockets, of course many times hyped up and exaggerated.

While the team of Labor leaders were caught in their web to explain their vision and lost in their roadmaps of creating a fairer Australia, there were no such complexities in the Liberal leader’s lone march by Scott Morrison: there was simply no vision, not a need to disturb the status quo – the rich could keep the lot; damn the rest.

Still, to Labor’s credit, the party retained 49 per cent of the two party preferred vote. That’s despite all the Liberal’s negative campaign and big spending by their notorious partner with whom they traded preferences against Labor.

There is no Liberal vision for policies on climate change, no vision for the indigenous upliftment. The issue of a Republic is out of bounds for them (even when the staunchest monarchist Tony Abbott is ousted). The implementations of recommendations of the Banking Royal Commission may be diluted, even shelved on to the back burner, the future aged care Royal Commission findings could be easily passed by.

The Liberal win may not be a complete surprise for the party insiders as the conspiracy theorists are asking questions about the possibility of a deal with Clive Palmer’s UAP that a debt is owed to him for the loss on advertising costs which cost Labor the election.

Palmer is a shrewd businessman who won’t do anything for nothing. If the reality of a deal comes true following the money trails, that would be indeed gutter politics, overshadowing even the ethics of trading preferences with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. Should the Government at least question Palmer’s ”˜Wrongful Advertising’ full of lies and deception.

Scott Morrison’s beer drinking comparison of being a people’s PM with legendary Bob Hawke on Q&A on May 20 was farfetched: one a compassionate human being to allow 20,000 Chinese students permanent residency in Australia following the Tiananmen Square massacre and the other letting the desperate refugees rot on Manus Island! Even the slogan feed for media briefings ”˜Stop the Boats’ was coined at the ramparts of 2GB (where else).

Perceptions – true or false – are hard to be corrected. An Indian proverb, ”˜Bad se badnaam bura’ (a tainted person suffers more than a bad person) applies aptly for Bill Shorten. Hardly anyone could explain to me: why Shorten could not be trusted. But he is stuck with the perception and continues to suffer!

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