There’s a disaster facing the Australian economy and, unfortunately, the best the Liberal–National Government can do is blame the Labor Party – even though they haven’t been in office since 2013 – or blame the Reserve Bank of Australia, or talk about the Sea of Tranquility which, according to the planetary atlas, is somewhere near the dark side of the moon.
Why is Josh Frydenberg talking up the first current account surplus in 44 years? Or the 2.6% increase in employment numbers? Because the economy is tanking and the Government needs distractions, left, right and centre. Anything to avoid responsibility.
The “compassionate conservative” does seem like a contradiction of terms. And it is. You can virtually add “compassionate” to anything to make it seem better and so it is with a wide range of harsh and destructive neo-liberal social policies that the LNP Government wants to introduce.
The Indue cashless welfare card, drug testing of social security recipients. Masking it as a process of compassion means the electorate will more readily swallow these programs that realign social capital to private interests, never to return to the public.
Do we need to talk about Albo? Anthony Albanese has been the leader of the Labor Party for just over three months but, already, under his leadership, Labor has waved through tax cuts for high-income earners, embraced the coal industries in Newcastle and Queensland, offered support for the Government’s religious discrimination act and now, is supporting the current levels of public funding for private schools.
There are limits to how much an Opposition can mimic the government of the day: the Labor Party base is unhappy. How much is enough and is this a high risk strategy?