By Andrew Bolt ~
Telling points from Labor’s launch:
Chris Bowen lavishly praises the Labor Left’s Tanya Plibersek in his speech – more than he does Bill Shorten. A tip about Labor’s post-defeat line-up?
Three former Labor leaders are at the launch – Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. Kevin Rudd, the unwanted one, mails in his apologies. Note that Gillard, worst of the three, gets the loudest cheers. Labor loves the losers most. Remember when it cheered Whitlam at these launches but only clapped Hawke?
A welcome to country speech. When will we end this divisive ceremony, a ritual more suitable for an apartheid regime?
Symbolism over realism. There’s a woman on-stage signing for the deaf. Most of the time she’s not on screen.
Plibersek mentions Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as laugh lines. They just happen to be two of the greatest post-war leaders of the West, whose policies rejuvenated their countries. And they are jokes to Labor?
But Plibersek on Tony Abbott: “At least he believed in something.” A moment of truth.
I am sympathetic to Labor’s desire to seem community-focused. People first. But the stage and backdrop make the event seem a bit low-rent, as if Shorten is running for mayor of some inner-city council.
Redemption! The three ex-PMs are introduced again by Shorten. This time Hawke is perhaps cheered a little longer. He is, of course, by far the greatest of the three, and it is heartening that Shorten from the stage gives him the biggest build up.
“We will not be a big-spending government.” Except the figures show it will.
The speech was more a laundry list of promises than a narrative. The centrepiece: a big (fake) scare about Medicare.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.