THE COALITION NEEDS TO FIRE ON ALL FOUR
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
The timing is out, there’s little spark and what there is is retarded, the mixture is all wrong and it has a compression ratio of 2:1. Where’s the verve, the moxie, the passion from a vintage Party that was swept to power in record numbers? Where’s the ex-boxer with the guts to get up off the canvas, wipe away the blood, get on the front foot and start swinging?
I know Tony Abbott will read this so I’m going to tell him something that’s not in the Peta Credlin handbook:
I didn’t vote for you, but the people who did handed you a record majority, and they are now bewildered and shattered at the prospect of another Malcolm Fraser.
The art of politics is to stay on the front foot and you, Mr Prime Minister Abbott, have been on the back foot for almost 15 months. Forget foreign affairs and trade successes, no votes there, it’s all about domestic issues.
Okay here are a few pointers. Let’s face it, you have told lies, as all politicians do, but never say you didn't tell a lie... that makes two lies!
Next time Bill Shorten asks, “Why, as leader of your rotten stinking Party, did you lie to the Australian people on SBS the night before the election about cuts to the ABC?” don’t drag yourself the despatch box uttering a few ah,ahs, wearing a half-smile and fiddling with your coat button.
Instead, take the despatch box with both hands, pause, lower your head and your voice, face the discredited little man opposite with the stupid ‘gotcha’ grin:
“I’m about to tell you something Mr Leader of the Opposition and I want you to listen very carefully and remember it!”
Now you have the floor, this is unlike you, so ensure the silence remains by keeping your voice low.
“Yes I misled the Australian people on that election eve but I want you to now look over your left shoulder so you can see why. You see that aging man slumped low in his seat with the Coke bottle lenses?
"He’s not on your front bench, and for good reason, you see, he’s the Member for Lilley, the man who repeatedly lied about phantom surpluses.
“But, Madam Speaker (your voice has now risen two octaves) far worse than that, he told every man, woman and child in Australia, including me, that his deficit was a mere $18 billion.”
Now there is uproar, so it’s time to get serious.
“There’s the man, look at him! He even lied to you, his own colleagues, and he lied to us, he lied to everyone. His deficit was in fact $43 billion and debt heading north toward $636 billion!”
Now Madam Speaker is on her feet demanding silence. Perfect! When the House settles wait 10 seconds. Your voice is once again low. “You see Madam Speaker, there sits the man who caused me to mislead the Australian people and I am very angry about that.”
The house is again in uproar but it’s too late, you’ve set the scene, the floor is yours and you really are angry, very angry. There are beads of sweat on your forehead, your face is red, your eyes wild, your body language is all attack, your voice is at its peak ...
“How dare you rabble opposite blame me and my Government for trying to repair six years of your fiscal and moral turpitude? How dare you! How dare you now use the despicable Greens and your dated numbers in the Senate to prevent me repairing the unholy mess you left this nation in! How dare you!”
“Your time is up, Prime Minister”, says the Speaker and you return to your seat wiping the spittle from your mouth, Those behind you are tempted to stand and applaud, but they don’t.
They don’t need to, they have just seen for the first time the pugilist with ticker they asked to lead them and Shorten will not ask that question again.
Politics is about perceptions and theatrics, it always has been, and there are no successful nice guys. Trying to be all things to all people ensures you will be nothing to anyone.