Bill’s big, dumb election campaign

Vote first, ask questions never seems to be Bill Shorten’s attitude to Australian voters. But if he has to answer a question, Shorten has gone beyond even his notorious “zingers” to outright insulting voters.

Hey, it worked so well for Hillary Clinton, after all. Quote:

Bill Shorten labelled questions on the cost of his climate policies “dumb” last night as he faced off with Melbourne voters on a special edition of the ABC’s Q&A program.

The Opposition Leader made the case for change to an audience at Monash University, but he was repeatedly asked about the costs of his big-spending agenda and his proposed tax changes to negative gearing and franking credits.

And when challenged by host Tony Jones on the costs of his environmental policies, which Labor has not modelled, Mr Shorten ­attacked the question itself. End of quote.


Shorten is promising everything to everyone and refusing to say how much it will cost; in fact, flatly claiming that it can’t be costed. Which is a lie, of course: anyone with half a brain can see that it’s going to cost a whole lot – and all out of the taxpayer’s pocket. Quote:

It almost defies belief that when Bill Shorten was asked in the last leaders debate what his energy policy would cost the nation he replied: “The cost to the taxpayer of our policies is practically nil.”

Now, as untruths go, this is gold medal stuff. When the Labor leader was pressed about the veracity of his answer, he repeated: “First of all not a cost to the taxpayer.” End of quote.

We’re all pretty used to dumb answers from Shorten by now, but this is not just dumb, it’s insulting. How are taxpayers not going to pay for government-mandated electric cars and charging stations? How is Labor going to fund their climate policies without a carbon tax? Quote:

Well, the bad news for Mr Shorten is that this “costing” has all been done by Brian Fisher, a key adviser to Australia in the Kyoto climate change negotiations. Dr Fisher also has been a lead author for the ­Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was the former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics under both Labor and ­Coalition governments.

Dr Fisher released his report on the cost of the energy policies of both parties. Put aside the fact distinguished economist Professor Warwick McKibbin has suggested Labor’s energy policies would likely cost Australia’s economy $60bn more than those of the Coalition…Dr Fisher argued that by 2030 the annual lost GDP would be up to $542bn. Depending on the international price of carbon dioxide permits, the cost to the economy could be $1.2 trillion by 2030. Job losses would be between 166,500 and 330,000. Lower wage growth could be between 3 and 11 per cent. That means if you are on $106,000 your wage would fall by between $3000 and $11,000. End of quote.

Shorten is notorious for his “zingers”: incomprehensible answers to questions from journalists, but this week he threw out a double-zinger with cheese and extra-large fries. Quote:

When Mr Shorten was pressed on radio on the same issue of the “cost” of the absurd energy policy of a 45 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 50 per cent renewable energy target, the best he could do was this: “This issue about ‘give us one number’. I don’t think that’s possible. If you had a friend who was perhaps on the large side, the chubby side, and they had 10 Big Macs a day … there is a cost to not eating the Big Macs”. End of quote.

That…is quite possibly the most bizarre political non-answer I have ever heard. Firstly, not eating Big Macs doesn’t have a cost, it has an immediate saving and almost certainly a long-term benefit. Secondly…what the hell? Seriously? Quote:

Can you believe this is the alternative prime minister explaining the cost of his energy policy[?] End of quote.