The press gallery echo chamber is cock-a-whoop at the triumph of Coalition fiscal vandalism, Phil Coorey:
It should not pass undocumented that on Wednesday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, had to tell the Coalition backbench to stop cheering the Prime Minister so loudly.
For the second successive day, Malcolm Turnbull was sticking it to Labor for being anti-aspirational after Bill Shorten vowed to repeal tax cuts for middle- and high-income earners if he won the next election.
And for the second successive day, all bar a handful of hardcore malcontents on the backbench were cheering on the Prime Minister and banging their fists on their desks, creating quite the cacophony.
On the face of it, Labor is the loser.
…There’s a popular story that when Steve Waugh was dropped at mid-wicket on 56 he quipped to the South African Herschelle Gibb’s, “you’ve just dropped the World Cup”.
Waugh went on to score 120 that day and Australia did secure the 1999 World Cup some matches later.
The point of that (apocryphal) story is to show how a single moment might turn a larger contest.
The trick is whether these pivotal moments can really be discerned at the time, or merely in hindsight… like via an election.
Thursday might have been such a day.
Malcolm Turnbull secured the most significant tax reform since the GST when the Senate passed $144 billion in personal income tax cuts for 10 million Australians but the Prime Minister faces a new battle in the Senate next week over company tax cuts.
Mr Turnbull will now lead the Coalition into the critical Super Saturday July 28 by-election battles with the most significant political victory of his leadership under his belt.
More than 160,000 voters in three seats the Coalition will contest — Mayo in South Australia, Longman in Queensland and Braddon in Tasmania — will receive tax cuts of up to $530 a year after Pauline Hanson and One Nation colleague Peter Georgiou voted with the government to pass the historic reforms.
This is neither here nor there for the election. There is no tax cut for a year anyway. Nothing has changed given Labor will repeal the package. The election will still be decided on which tax cuts are better.
No, that’s not the major Shorten blunder, this is, via The Australian:
Pauline Hanson has vowed to do everything she can to keep Bill Shorten out of The Lodge after Labor yesterday accelerated its “Get Pauline” strategy, questioning her understanding of the tax system and launching robo-calls targeting her in the Queensland seat of Longman.
The One Nation leader launched a blistering attack on the Opposition Leader yesterday, declaring, “I think he’d be the worst bloody prime minister we’ve ever had”, and warning him he would have to go through her if he wanted to push legislation through the Senate.
Senator Hanson yesterday fell victim to a robo-call assault orchestrated by the opposition in Longman, a key battleground for Mr Shorten in the five Super Saturday by-elections on July 28.
What on earth is the Labor Party doing spearheading a drive to kill One Nation? As repulsive as Pauline Hanson’s views can be, she represents the single greatest threat to Coalition power since Bob Hawke. She is the shining wedge in the conservative base that could keep Labor in power for a decade.
Love her or hate her, Pauline is the symbol of resistance to the number one sleeper issue in Australian politics: the consequences of mass immigration in weak wages, crush-loaded living and the housing bubble. This is a giant unmentionable albatross hanging around the incumbent government’s neck.
And Bill Shorten is doing his best to shift it to himself instead.
Despite Labor’s class war rhetoric, better tax cut package and negative gearing reforms, Labor is already overburdened with pro-immigration extremists and has painted itself into a corner as a China apologist. If you add a war with Pauline Hanson to that, it kind of starts to feel like it is Labor and not the Coalition that is the blood-sucking globalist in this election, seriously undermining the resonance of its fairness platform.
It really doesn’t matter if Pauline is a jelly-backed turncoat and a fat cat in disguise. The one indelible truth about the Pauline brand is that she is anti-immigration and, rightly or wrongly, that comes with the immediate associations of jobs, houses and assets going to foreigners.
With middle-Australia quietly boiling over at being disregarded on population growth, you get on the wrong side of that at your peril.