It’s the economy, stupid

Another day, another twist in The Abbottalypse, from the AFR:

The latest monthly Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows the Coalition trailing Labor by just 51 per cent to 49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

…Mr Abbott still remains highly unpopular and Malcolm Turnbull has stretched his lead by 4 points to 39 per cent as the most preferred Liberal leader. Julie Bishop has moved into second place on 24 per cent, ahead of Mr Abbott on 19 per cent.

Mr Shorten’s rating as preferred prime minister fell 6 points in a month from 50 per cent to 44 per cent and Mr Abbott’s same rating rose 5 points to 39 per cent.

Two explanations are abroad, the first is that Abbott’s national security agenda is gaining traction. Strangely, nobody mentions the foreign property investor restrictions which are also very popular. The second is that Abbott is benefiting from the rise of Malcolm Turnbull. That is, Abbott’s imminent departure is making the Liberal Party more popular.

Perhaps it is both, but I see no end to the chaos either way. The reason why is that nobody is addressing the real driver of the shambles, the economy.

As I have explained many times, Australia’s economic model is best understood as a “dig and debt” enterprise. We earn our way in the world via an huge commodity dependency. The income from mining is shared via three channels, high wages in mining sectors, sharemarket equity and, most significantly of all, via the Federal Budget which can run low household taxes and a surplus.

Private income is then leveraged-up in offshore markets by our banks and channeled into huge mortgages and inflated house prices, making us all feel immensely wealthy. This, in turn, feeds spending in the services economy.

This is a current account deficit model of growth that over-invests in unproductive assets but so long as the income from dirt keeps rising so too can the leveraging. When trouble strikes and the external funding is threatened, the Budget surplus is deployed as a guarantee to the private borrowing. It’s been a beautiful machine that evolved very much by accident over fifteen years, three business cycles and two booms.

Returning to the travails of today’s politicians, now consider what happens when the income from dirt exports starts to fall, or even just plateau, and a whole series of pro-cyclical factors go into reverse.  Wages atrophy and the sharemarket struggles. Without new income the private leveraging can only continue by making debt cheaper, which is what we are seeing in falling interest rates. That widens the gap between the income and debt-accumulation, worsening the current account deficit, which is also underway.

But the most obvious casualty is the Federal Budget, which now faces two conflicting needs. On the one hand, its mining revenues tumble and it begins to run large deficits. On the other hand, the ongoing private sector leveraging (that is needed now to grow at all) must still be protected from an external shock via a public surplus.

Thus a virulent Budget crisis is introduced unusually early in the business cycle. Nobody talks about the real reason why lest they upset the “confidence” driving the private leveraging process but the deficit must nonetheless be repaired or in the next external shock there will be no public balance sheet to guarantee the private. Standing behind the government are the credit ratings agencies that can see the massive private debt load and consider it a “contingent liability” for the Budget. So they rather sensibly insist that the deficits end in haste.

And so we come to politics. If it wants to sustain this economic model as commodity income slides, the Government of the day must cut spending or raise taxes even though the other channels of commodity income – wages and shares – are already eroding the economy. Pressured growth slows further, unemployment rises, standards of living fall and people start to wonder what the Hell their leaders are doing. But because the elite can’t tell them what’s actually going on (or don’t understand it) in the name of protecting “confidence” everyone starts to get really confused and pissed off. Confidence falls anyway, growth is eroded further and governments find themselves sinking inexplicably for doing things that used to promote long durations in power. Turnover in the ruling class rises.

The key point is that no matter who is in power as this model unravels, they must raise taxes and/or cut spending. The Rudd Government chose to do it via rent-taxes for the commodity producers. The Gillard Government did it via sharp spending cuts. The Abbott Government tried to do it by “ending entitlement” and stripping payments to middle and lower income earners.

Each was destabilised in different measure by this impulse but each equally had no choice because they remained committed to the current account deficit model of growth which meant their only discretion was to decide who was going to pay to repair the public balance sheet.

So far, when asked to take that pain, nobody has put their hand up except to point the finger of blame straight back at the government. A Turnbull Government will face precisely the same problem unless it comes clean.

Comments

  1. Forget the K ( although, that’s the real problem, isn’t it); it’s 3D’s !
    “dig and debt” AND Demographics.
    If I read others’ interpretation right, Mr. Turnbull will go for – Bigger Australia, to keep the charade going….
    (PS: And here’s the problem in waiting “Australia minted 43,500 new millionaires in 2014 because of strong equity and investment property markets”) AFR. Not from productive effort, but speculation. Now what happens….if…..

    • ThicklySliced

      This is the thing.

      Following on from the ‘government’s’ vicious and incompetent performance ( a deadly combination), the perception was that the electorate was hanging its head in shame and embarrassment and being duped to vote for these barefaced incapabilities…but no; apparently there are sufficient right wing loooooons among are number still impressed by them.

      Frankly, says all you need to know about us as a people.

      • ThicklySliced

        This is the thing.

        Following on from the ‘government’s’ vicious and incompetent performance ( a deadly combination), the perception was that the electorate was hanging its head in shame and embarrassment and being duped to vote for these barefaced incapabilities…but no; apparently there are sufficient right wing loooooons among are number still impressed by them.

        Frankly, says all you need to know about us as a people…….

        And no……..it is not just the economy…

      • Exactly – this popularity is just because the Government have dropped spending cuts. Party today for tomorrow the debt hoards come against our gates…

        Labour thought that the Liberals would stick to their cutting ways and they would get a free ride in to power (e.g Queensland). But politics being politics – the Liberals can spend as well as Labour!

        Pressure is now on Bill Shorten. He may not survive until the next election if Labour drop behind in the polls…

        Australia now like AFL teams – we swamp coaches like our interior decor.

      • Woeful Bill should be replaced. Labor’s problem is Wong is in th Senate and does not have factional support required.

        That leaves them a range of very mediocre party hacks.

      • We are sitting on a 17 year slump in wage increases, it’s actually sensible for people to dig massive debt holes and speculate on property – that’s the only avenue left to anybody to increase their wealth.

        I don’t blame people for trying. It’s the oligarchs running the place that are ruining any and all other avenues for potential success who are buggering the joint.

      • @UteMan As long as you also find it “acceptable” for the double edged sword of leverage to do it’s work on the downside for the greedy and/or incompetent (i.e. anyone that loses big from it) 🙂

    • Stephen Morris

      “Big Australia” is part of the New Elite Consensus. And not only in Australia, but in all developed countries (except democratic Switzerland).

      The New Elite Consensus embodies the program of abolishing the ideals of the modern era – the ideals of egalitarianism, popular democracy and self-determination – and reinstating the traditional Rule of Privilege with entrenched wealth, corrupt government, and supra-national relationships which transcend community (and even national) self-determination.

      One of the unintended consequences of this program (a consequence of reinstating the traditional inequalities of wealth) has been the difficulty of growing aggregate demand in developed countries, and therefore of growing profits in developed countries. If the incomes of most of the population have stagnated (because the returns from economic growth are now going almost entirely to the rich) then it is all but impossible to increase aggregate demand.

      For some time developed country elites managed to maintain demand through loose monetary policy: encouraging people to become indebted in order to keep up their spending. But the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath showed the limits to this approach.

      Some extra demand may be accessed by firms selling into export markets. But for many developed-country businesses this also is limited. Many are uncompetitive, relying for their domestic “success” on favours from political Mates, a competitive advantage which cannot be readily translated to export markets. Others are simply in non-tradable sectors tied to the domestic market.

      If domestic per capita incomes have stagnated, and if the borrowing binge is exhausted, and if export markets are not accessible, there is only one variable left to play with: the number of “capitas”.

      If demand and profits are to grow then the population must be increased.

      This is a problem which affects elite interests in all developed countries. Hence the campaign by Elite mouthpieces to allow uncontrolled population growth through migration. It is the only way in which the profits of the wealthy can be made to grow even further.

      Of course, like all good propagandists they don’t put it in so many words! Like Elites throughout history, they seek to weave a cloak of virtue to conceal the nakedness of their self-interest.

      But putting aside the tortured justifications, that is the brutal reality of what is going on here.

      Of course, such a policy is not without its costs in terms of overcrowding, declining services, and the destruction of a sense of community.

      But the developed-country Elites who are pushing these policies are generally not the ones who will bear those costs. They will retreat to their mansions, their gated communities, and their country estates. They will not suffer the horrors of inadequate infrastructure and services. Their kiddies will have privileged access to the best schools, and to the expensive Elite universities and high-paying professions. They will not need to fight to find a decent job to pay off their crushing debts.

      Under the guise of “public interest” this is actually a policy to further enrich the rich, while transferring the costs to the majority of citizens who have no say in the government of their country.

      At the root of this problem is the lack of genuinely democratic government. In the latter part of the twentieth century the Elite learned how to effectively subvert the corrupt system of elective government through a combination of:

      a) campaign finance;

      b) the promise of lucrative jobs for obedient politicians on retirement;, and

      c) the transfer of strategic monopolies and tax farms into the hands of private controllers, making politicians ever more dependent on the goodwill of the private financiers.

      Corrupt government and Elite power go hand-in-hand. When small businessmen face economic difficulties they go bankrupt. When Elite businessmen face economic difficulties, they telephone the relevant Minister and have the rules of the game changed.

      Wealth -> Power -> More Wealth -> More Power.

      If you care for your children and your grandchildren, look to the system which is destroying their future: the corrupt system of elective government.

      The only remedy is Democracy – genuine Democracy. That is the battle which needs to be fought.

      If Democracy can be won, all else will follow.

      If Democracy cannot be won, any other victories will be short-lived at best, falling eventually to the relentless power of Elite rent-seeking.

      Fight the battle worth fighting.

      It’s the only hope there is.

      • Stephen Morris

        As it happens I spent quite a long time living in a town of the Swiss-Italian border.

        [irony on]

        The Italian side was home to a squalid camp of Swiss refugees living in abject poverty, having sold all their worldly goods to bribe the border guards into allowing them to escape from the horror and privation of life under democratic government.

        [irony off]

        But we can’t expect evidence to interfere with belief.

      • Is this is the country that did not emancipate women until 1971 – and from the 19th century forcibly took children from poorer families and used them as agrarian slaves right up until the mid to late 1960’s to feed the rest of the populace. This is the same country whose largest party is openly Fascist – that post even on bus stops signs that say “foreigners go home…”. This is the country that a family can live for three generations and yet not be entitled for a Swiss passport?

        Are we talking about the same Switzerland? [Irony was never switch on!]

      • Stephen Morris

        Any country which denies the vote to half of its citizens (i.e. women) is hardly a Democracy.

        Switzerland did not become a Democracy at the federal level until after 7th February 1971 (which makes most of the other claims irrelevant to the issue of Democracy).

        Today a majority of its cabinet ministers are women, one of the few such countries in the world.

        As for its other policies, if the criterion for judging the acceptability of a system of government is whether or not it produces the outcomes which one personally prefers, then clearly the only system of government guaranteed to meet that criterion is an autocracy with oneself as the autocrat!

        History is replete with self-important individuals who earnestly believed that they were self-evidently superior to others.

        But just because one has an unshakeable faith in the self-evident correctness of one’s own opinions it does not mean that those opinions are objective truths. It just means that one is narrow-minded.

        What we can say – objectively – about the Swiss democratic system of government (and indeed any genuinely democratic system of government) is this: it has the manifest support of the Swiss people. It is a straightforward matter to call a referendum to amend it, but the People never do.

        Therein lies the categorical difference between democratic and non-democratic systems.

      • Is this is the country that did not emancipate women until 1971 […]

        The last voting restrictions on Aboriginals were removed in in the mid-60s.

        […] and from the 19th century forcibly took children from poorer families and used them as agrarian slaves right up until the mid to late 1960’s to feed the rest of the populace.

        The stolen generations were taken from their parents into the ’70s.

        This is the same country whose largest party is openly Fascist – that post even on bus stops signs that say “foreigners go home…”.

        The Liberals (and more recently Labor) have been demonising asylum seekers for a decade and a half.

        This is the country that a family can live for three generations and yet not be entitled for a Swiss passport?

        It is a struggle to see how when you only need to spend 10 years in the country to qualify for naturalisation (and between ages 10-20 each year counts as two).

  2. When will a government of either persuasion include the public in explaining clearly what our problems are, and how they can be alleviated?
    Retirees, for instance, would be happy to suffer the pain of a cut in income as long as they can be shown that people other than the top few percent actually get some benefit from it.
    For example, if extremely low interest rates actually meant housing for young people (our children) was more affordable, then older people would feel that they are contributing by sacrificing their income.
    Instead we find that government doesn’t have the ability to translate lower interest rates into lower home prices because they continue with the ridiculous negative gearing which also robs the government of billions in revenue.
    The Minister for Communications is a good communicator.Let’s give him a try before we throw this lot out.

  3. If a boost in the polls is what follows a stalinist show-trial of the human rights commissioner, then this country has taken a new and even more sinister turn.

    • +1
      Yes, and too much of that goes on in lieu of “getting the job done”.

      When will either party remember that they are not playing to the people who always vote Labor or who always vote Liberal?
      They are performing in front of the audience of thinking voters who actually come to sites like Macrobusiness, reading and being informed by the bloggers and their commenters.
      Such voters have no allegiance or loyalty to something as crazy as a political party.These are the voters that actually think before they tick the box and change governments.

    • a stalinist show-trial of the human rights commissioner

      Do you honestly believe 90% of the population paid any attention whatsoever?

      • I have a sneaking suspicion that a significant number of them cheered Tony and his colleagues on as they held that ‘left-wing bleeding heart woman’ to account.

      • Two things RT:

        1. She may well have political views diametrically opposed to the LNP. That doesn’t excuse the fact she was treated appallingly in Senate Estimates and QT.

        2. Abbott and the LNP had a good story to tell on children in detention — much lower numbers now than under previous government — but we hardly heard anything about this (apart from Malcolm T) instead we got sustained attack on Triggs.

        This was a strategy to appeal to the hard-right base of the LNP, which is no doubt why it appealed to you.

      • If they are her bosses, how come she’s been more critical of them than the current lot?

      • I did and I am what you classify as a bogan. What on earth was she doing as human rights commissioner? From what I gather she gave away one of her children.
        From Wikipedia

        “Triggs’ third child, a daughter named Victoria, was born in 1984 with Edwards syndrome which left her profoundly disabled and with a short life expectancy. When Victoria was six months of age, Triggs and Clark arranged for Victoria to be primarily cared for by another family. Victoria eventually survived until the age of 21. When asked if she was bothered by the arrangement, Triggs replied “Yes, because you have child and you expect to look after her. But in the end I simply made the judgement that I would rather put my time into my other children and family, because I also never believed she would live to that age.”” [14]”

      • You’re right Lorax. 90% of the population paid no attention to the ‘he said she said’ shenanigans (er, not exactly a Stalinist show trial )

        Most focussed on the obvious and overlooked – the Abbott Government’s excellent and proven record in reducing the number of children in detention from a Labor high of ~2000 to ~160 today.

        No matter what spin you put on it, this is in fact a success story, the Australian public weren’t fooled.

        Only Triggs, Labor and the Greens wanted any kind of show trial – and it blew up in their faces !!!

      • Everyone is going to be dragged down anyway, Rich. This place needs to learn a lesson it never forgets.

      • Brissy for now

        Just desserts will be served but we could all see this coming in one way or another. My plans are in order and I have spread the word with family and friends. The Abbottalypse, the housing bubble, the mining slowdown, Greek crisis, Russian expansionism, oil deflation, climate change etc etc could all be a bee’s dick away from some black swan moment in the near future. Good luck all.

  4. Can’t believe anyone wants to talk about two parties.

    The mantra should be destroy the two filthy corrupted corporate slave two parties.

  5. There is no difference in the major parties on the one main issue and there hasn’t been for years.

  6. I hope Turnbull gets in because the electorate will learn very quickly what and who he is and the LNP will be history.

    I hope Shorten stays in because he’s an idiot and will destroy the Labor party.

  7. In 1983 it was the Drover’s Dog.
    In 2017 it will be Any Independent.
    Get your t-shirt now.

    • Yep. Anyone but LNP and Labor.

      Campaign should go something like “vote out the incumbent”

      “Get rid of career politicians”

      It can be done. Put them both last below the line. Don’t forget to put the other nutters last too.

  8. Revolution is near. We are going to eventually confiscate the wealth of the cretins that took us here.

      • Upset? I’ve been upset with what’s being done to my country for 30 years by the most evil grubs in the country masquerading as politicians, corporate leaders and media commentators.

        This is coming to a head. Australians are finally working out what’s being done to them. Decades too late and I mean too late.

      • ‘Decades too late and I mean too late.’

        Yep! The answers lie back in time. Ant attempt to reverse this process will result in utter devastation for a large part of the economy.

        Anyone who thinks the population is ready or wanting this waste too much time reading and contributing on Macrobusiness rather than living in the real world watching morning television!!!

    • Rich42 “Revolution is near. We are going to eventually confiscate the wealth of the cretins that took us here.”

      Could you be any more or a loser?

      News flash bottom feeders like yourself do not gain anything from a demise of wealth. You will “confiscate” nothing except maybe another ill gotten dole check.

      Getting sick of red flag waving crashnik losers like yourself, revert2idiot and lorax.

      • Next time you’re calling someone that’s a self made multi millionaire a loser, check your spelling and grammar you fucking idiot.

      • Do you really think people posting on MB are bottom feeders?

        What a moron. We are just far more ethical and moral than the evil parasites such as yourself that are happy to watch their country be destroyed for their own gain. You mate are exactly what I detest and hate in human nature.

      • “Could you be any more or a loser? News flash bottom feeders like yourself do not gain anything from a demise of wealth. You will “confiscate” nothing except maybe another ill gotten dole check.”

        And I’m sick of childish insults and lame generalisations passing for commentary, but what are you going to do?

      • Sorry we can’t be a clone of Catallaxy. Simplicity.

        The fact is that starting from Thatcher, the more of the ideas of the neocons we have taken on board, the worse things have become.

        At some time, people generally will start to realise this despite the best attempts at disinformation by the Murdoch press. When people do realise how and by whom they were duped, do you imagine that a reckoning will not have to be paid?

      • @Revert2Mean.

        Why would you want to do that? It’s better to know what the enemy, the FW’s, are thinking.

  9. BTW. A really concise account of what’s gotten us where we are today.

    I reckon it’s a decade before the electorate understand what needs to be done and who’s done what to destroy their country. By then, we’ll have 4 million more people and everything will be foreign owned. We’re fucked. Australia’s prosperity and standard of living is over, squandered in a bit over a generation by very cleverly orchestrated propaganda that got the masses to help hand the wealth to chosen people. The revolution is coming. Australians will not accept the injustice. I’d bet anything on it. One aspect the chosen people have ignored.

    • “BTW. A really concise account of what’s gotten us where we are today.”

      Absoloodle – Post it everywhere! Send it to everyone!

      “cleverly orchestrated propaganda”

      Again absolutely! Somebody runs this country and it isn’t the Parliament. Over the decades politicians have been ‘got at’ One day they are talking about Foreign Debt – the next day it’s as if they have never heard of it. Either that or they disappear from the political scene post haste.

  10. moderate mouse

    No doubt there’s a fiscal squeeze on. But this is as much an opportunity as a curse. Turnbull can seize the centre for a generation if he addresses the budget revenue/spending issues in a fair manner. We all (at MB anyway) now know this means ending the super lurks for the rich, clamping down on negative gearing, and updating the pension means-test for an asset-rich society.

    It’s simple Malcolm: Get in the middle – rule for a decade.

    • Malcolm “Stopping immigration is silly. If you don’t have immigration you don’t have any growth’
      So you mean that Malcolm.
      Malcolm is part of the ‘but…but…Australia is a Current Account Deficit country’ brigade

      Strewth!

    • Not at all. Aussie hate new foreigners and Abbott smacked them down via smashing the foreign invasion commissioner and the scum buying all our houses! He’s getting back on track. Politics man! Just sayn.

    • Sadly its not. There have been three polls in the past week that have shown a strong move back to the LNP. Definitely statistically significant, but I have no idea how to explain it!

      • rich – Aus don’t want their country sold off…maybe….but they don’t want their sense of entitlement interfered with either.
        There is no answer to it.

        Frankly Australians haven’t given a RA about their country being sold off. It’s been going on holis bolis for more than 60 years and I know about five people, in total, who have given a damn!

      • @flawse. Yep, I agree.

        “n holis bolis for more than 60 years”

        People use that as a reason to justify it being okay. Can you believe that?

  11. Stopped dirty foreigners buying up property. Smashed a women protecting dirty foreigners. Wrapped six flags around himself and suggested all Muzzies are terrorists.

    There’s your poll jump.

    • Spot on! Who gives a sh1t about some theoretical economy. Knocking a clearly overly educated chick always wins votes especially from stay at home mums. Getting tough on elitist women while being tough on boat scum at the same time is an election winning strategy. Just sayn.

  12. Good to see Abbott getting back on track. We need him to be in fine form right now. It’s just perfect.

    • Yeah, yeah! I want TestosterTone there and in play, and in the comfy chair, and I think a lot of my fellow Australians feel the same way.

      He (and Joe) deserve this.

      • Could not agree more ,Gunna

        He will go full Monty now ….

        not evenBudgie Smugglers.

  13. Given the Labor victory in states like Qld and Vic, I don’t think there is enough appetite in the Australian population to bear tough reforms like spending cuts and increased taxes. It is very difficult to get out of the boom times of the previous years and take the pain. I think the Liberals will try to balance the budget and risk losing their government. In will come Labor which will spend heaps on infrastructure, housing and roads to nowhere to keep the employees sacked from mining and manufacturing busy. The public debt will balloon from current 30% of GDP to I don’t know what figure, but it will go up. Housing will not crash but have a soft landing or stable prices (which is really prices decreasing but since people don’t understand this concept they will be happy that their house price has remained same). I think this will set it up for the big crash when Australian public debt hits 60-70%.

    Please correct me on my thinking, I am just an amateur and learning.

    • “I am just an amateur and learning”

      Sounds about as good as the rest of us!!!!!

      Re the path (and my view is a bit unpopular here)
      The factor that could upset everyone’s calculations is inflation. Pretty much all here say inflation is impossible however I disagree. We ARE going to get inflation and if the past is any guide the powerful will compensate themselves for it. This will let the inflation genie out of the bottle.
      I’d guess teh RBA will still try to run extremely negative RAT (Real After Tax) rates. However I’d guess almost any nominal rise in rates will cause disturbance in the RE market for a time. That said if you can survive a bit of a nominal fall you’d be looking good thereafter as inflation runs away and is reflected in house prices.

      (Just an alternate scenario)

      • @Flawse, i share your view on this and been preparing for it for a while now… I think the currencies’ war will play a big role in this too and mostly in accelerating the time line.

    • The ALP didn’t win in QLD and VIC because they’re pro-deficit. They lost because the voter bulked at the ‘public-private partnership’ deals that are complete rip offs.

      As to ‘public debt’, the debt has been rising faster under Abbott compared to Gillard. The LNP are not ‘fiscal hawks’, they are fiscal hypocrites.

    • ” I think the Liberals will try to balance the budget and risk losing their government.”

      That’s where I think you’re wrong. I expect them to start throwing money around in an attempt to buy the next election.

      Balanced budget and the budget emergency are gone I reckon.

      • Possible. Theyve realised Labor, the Greens, the Senate and the electorate are only interested in spending.

        Abbott and Hockey have been beaten to within an inch of their lives for what was a very modest, lame even, Budget. There is no appetite for prudence by the profligate. Will they risk such hysteria again.

        Hockey recently rambled on about economic “sunshine”, I thought at the time ‘here we go, reform too hard’.

        Need a new Treasurer (and Morrison looks the goods) prepared to do the job.

      • The stupid gibberer could lay his hands on the budget and speak in ancient tongues on camera, would be about the only thing more entertaining than watching Abbott flop about from one disaster to another.

        Is there a single member of the Liberal party that isn’t a crazed, medievel ratbag?

      • Has the confidence of JB and MT but possesses an ease and affability not greatly shared by the former.

        Except of course he’s detested by everyone slightly left of centre, and by definition the LNP has to win a few of those slightly-left-of-centre voters to win government.

        Again, and again, and again you don’t get it 3d. Just because the hard-right LNP base likes a particularly leader doesn’t mean that leader is an election winner. Turnbull and to a lesser extent Bishop have that appeal in the centre. The hard-right base doesn’t matter because they’re never going to vote for the ALP or Greens. They’ll hold their nose and vote for Malcolm or Julie.

      • Why is he detested.

        He should be celebrated. His focus on the boats issue has prevent a repeat of Labor’s horrific 1000 deaths at sea and ensured massive reduction in the number of children in detention.

        Morrison’s McClure Report presentation at the National Press Club revealed the most impressive political operative in Parliament at present. He was confident, forthright, had communicative clarity rarely evidenced these days and was humerous too.

        Don’t know what you Greens have against success. Other than absence of experience…

      • In fact, Morrison could go all the way

        I say he should go for it. PM Morrison, Deputy PM Brandis and Treasurer Abetz.

        After the social and economic apocalypse they’d unleash on the country, I wouldn’t have to worry about seeing another Liberal Government for the rest of my life.

      • Why is he detested.

        Because some people think when the desperate come to your door asking for help, you help them.

        Not tell them to bugger off and die somewhere else so their bodies don’t clutter up the driveway.

      • Why is he detested.

        See what I mean! You don’t even know how anyone outside your extreme right cohort thinks, so how can you possibly know who appeals to them?

        Yes I completely get the argument that Morrison stopped the boats and therefore saved thousands of lives, and its an argument not without merit, but there are many (especially women) who are horrified by the treatment of asylum seekers at places like Manus Island, who will never, ever, ever forgive Morrison, and will never vote for him.

        Now you may disagree with this position which is fair enough, but you do need to understand it when choosing a palatable leader. Turnbull and Bishop don’t come with this baggage.

  14. How’s all the lefties on MB desperately trying to come up with reasons why they are right and the poll is wrong.

  15. Shorten must urgently get himself out there and start telling the Australian people what he believes in and what he stands for. If this is not a rogue poll, then it’s a message to Shorten that more policy detail is needed. Bill, get up off your arse and start doing some work mate, you lazy bugger.

    • Shorten doesn’t believe in anything except getting to be the prime minister. That appears to be the sum total of his vision.

    • With the ALP in full support of data retention, It has become clear that Shorten doesn’t actually stand for anything.

      He has no narrative and no political prowess. He’s simply there to make himself feel good and collect a fat taxpayer pay cheque.

      He is the Tony Abbott of the ALP.

  16. Seems disingenuous to call Australia a dig up the dirt economy, as if we do nothing else, or as if there is something else we really ought to be doing, but we are not.

  17. Shorten,….could even start by just buying himself a decent suit?
    or Labour should just replace him at the same time that Malcolm takes over. He’s without hope.

  18. The longer Abbott stays, the higher the chance of a Labor victory in the next election.

    My Liberal Federal MP Craig Laundy is a goner under Abbott.

    All those backbenchers from marginal seats who voted in favour of Abbott/Hockey budget deserve to go along with Abbott as they enabled the breaking of the promises, betraying their electorates.

  19. Seriously, one poll (even one week) that moves slightly against the trend and suddenly Abbott is looking good? The lack of analytical ability of this country is staggering.

    There is a (small) part of me that wants to see Abbott stay and really finish the job of bringing the Libs to their knees.

  20. this is what I have been predicting for some time. Another 2 election wins for Abbott, followed by a mid term spill in 2020 with Josh Feydenburg taking over