Labor falters and fudges on the campaign trail

Bill Shorten has not had a good couple of days.

The Australian federal election campaign 2019 has been a bit lacklustre so far, but it?s starting to look like the Phony War is over and the gloves are coming off. Whether either party is about to go full Blitzkrieg is yet to be seen. Also yet to be seen is who, if anyone, is going to fold like a French surrender-monkey, but Bill Shorten has been the first to blink. Quote:

Bill Shorten was blindsided ?yesterday when Labor?s official campaign website deleted reams of information explaining his ?signature reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax, and reposted simplified ?fact sheets? with key details stripped out. End of quote.

In 1993, John Hewson went to the polls with a ?big target? strategy of releasing almost obessively detailed policies. Then Hewson fumbled on a detail and wound up losing what had been regarded as an unloseable election. Quote:

Labor previously had almost 100 paragraphs posted on its housing policy, including charts and diagrams explaining the negative gearing and capital gains wind back, but this was reduced to just 10 paragraphs yesterday. End of quote.

Hewson at least had the excuse of being a policy wonk. Shifty Shorten?s policy is to yap at every passing car, promising everything to everyone. He?s also gotten used to a free ride from both the media and the government. Labor?s biggest danger is that he?ll react to campaign attacks like a pomeranian whacked over the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Quote:

The Opposition Leader was also caught out yesterday when he claimed there would be no new taxes on superannuation, despite Labor planning a $34 billion raid on nest egg ?savings.

Ahead of Treasury?s pre-?election economic and fiscal outlook, to be released today, Mr Shorten came under further ?pressure last night when Labor appeared to scrap its superannuation tax changes policy sheet from its online manifesto.

At a tense news conference earlier, Mr Shorten refused to answer repeated questions over how much Labor?s climate change policy would cost the economy. End of quote.

The Coalition are stepping up the attacks. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has already hammered Labor?s franking credits policy. It looks like more pain is coming. Quote:

The move to delete key policy details came only a week after the assumptions underpinning the negative gearing policy were revealed to be based on unreliable figures. The use of the figures could result in an overstatement of budget savings by billions of dollars. Scott Morrison yesterday attacked Mr Shorten for ?lying? over his plans to impose $34bn in extra taxes on superannuation over the next decade, after his rival claimed there were ?no plans to introduce any new taxes on superannuation?. End of quote.


The Coalition are also moving to spike Labor?s guns on health ? traditionally one of its electoral strengths ? by reminding voters of Labor?s shameful ?Mediscare? campaign of blatant lies in 2016. Quote:

Scott Morrison has attacked Bill Shorten?s character in a bid to discredit any Mediscare-style campaign during the election, accusing the Opposition Leader of ?lying all the time?, as a dedicated team of Coalition ?mythbusters? work behind the scenes to challenge Labor?s funding claims. End of quote.


Let?s be honest, this is still Labor?s election to lose. If the Coalition want to win this, they?re going to have to fight hard and dirty. Quote:

Strategists in the Coalition and Labor say that if an election were held today, Labor would win. But there is nervousness in Labor ranks and increasing optimism in Coalition ranks. Labor wants to get back to talking about health; the Coalition wants the campaign to focus on taxation and the economy. End of quote.