Chris Trotter says Bill Shorten will go down in Australian political history as the Labor leader who lost the unlosable election by underestimating the extraordinary defensive power of the big end of town

Chris Trotter says Bill Shorten will go down in Australian political history as the Labor leader who lost the unlosable election by underestimating the extraordinary defensive power of the big end of town

By Chris Trotter*

It's a lesson that no Centre-Left politician can afford to forget. If you go after the “big end of town”, then the Big End of Town will come after you. Bill Shorten will go down in Australian political history as the Labor leader who lost the unlosable election by underestimating the extraordinary defensive power of the Big End of Town (BEOT).

It’s amazing that he did such a stupid thing. Especially when the evidence – both Australian and international – is there for every Centre-Left strategist to evaluate and absorb.

The advice which the Labor Party should have been given, or, if it was given, chose to ignore, hardly constituted rocket science. The Liberal-National Coalition Government has lost its way. It is beset by a number of extreme ideological obsessions, such as climate scepticism, which are highly detrimental to Australia’s long-term economic and environmental interests. Labour’s political mission was, therefore, straightforward and simple: to restore the requisite measure of rationality, reasonableness and decency to the business of governing Australia.

That was all that was needed. Because, in very large measure, that was also the conclusion which a comfortable majority of Australians had arrived at all by themselves. Crucially, it was also a position which the BEOT could easily accommodate. Not least, because a substantial number of business leaders not involved in the mining industries shared it.

Had Shorten and his Labor colleagues limited their pitch to restoring good government to Australia, Scott Morrison and his colleagues would have had bugger-all to shoot at. In their six years at the helm, they could hardly claim to have presented Australia and the world with a sterling example of rationality, reasonableness and decency. To the contrary, for most of their time in office, the Liberal Party appeared to be channelling the morals, strategy and tactics of the five New York Mafia families during the 1980s. The bloodletting may have been a little less, but the body count seems about right.

It was this recklessness; this inward focus; that offended so many Australians, who, not unreasonably, expected the politicians they had elected to run the country to do so sensibly and in their interests. That was what the polls were telling the Labor Party all along: just convince us that you can run Australia in a grown-up and inoffensive manner, and we’ll give you a whopping great majority and let you get on with the job.

Simple enough, one might have thought, but one would have been reckoning without the extraordinary tone-deafness of the post-Hawke/Keating Labor Party. Instead of interpreting the poll data as evidence that, if they played their cards right, a win might just be possible, Shorten et al regarded it as proof that, since a loss was impossible, they could play their cards any damn way they pleased.

“We’ll never get a better chance to do all the things we’ve been promising ourselves for the past decade than this”, Labor told itself. “So, come on Comrades, this time we can quite safely bet the whole farm!” Which is pretty much what they did: promising to raise taxes and increase spending like it was going out of style. (Which, of course, it has been for the best part of three decades.)

Not only did they ignore the fact that the BEOT has untold billions invested in the farm, but they also thought it would be good politics to construct their campaign narrative around the idea of putting the inhabitants of the BEOT in their place. Unsurprisingly, the BEOT had a better idea.

Winning a general election requires a political party to achieve three critical objectives: 1) Convince the voters that, economically-speaking, your team has got the right solutions. 2) Convince the voters that your opponents haven’t got a clue what the right answers even look like. 3) Convince the voters that, unless they do something to stop them, your opponents have a better-than-even chance of winning the election. In just three words: Reassure. Undermine. Terrify.

Clearly, winning an election involves an awful lot of convincing. The only question that matters, therefore, is: by whom?

In the past, it was entirely possible for a winning percentage of the electorate to be convinced solely through the efforts of a single political party. Politicians stood on street corners, and the stages of small country halls, and spoke to the electors face-to-face. The party’s printing presses never stopped spewing out pamphlets, posters, and even newspapers. Activists delivered these to people’s mailboxes and argued for them on their doorsteps. For the parties of the Left, this level of organisation was essential, because most of the mass media was owned by and spoke for – you guessed it – the BEOT.

Alas for the Centre-Left, the mass parties that made it possible to get around the BEOT’s near monopoly of the means of mass communication are things of the past. In today’s media-saturated society any political party that enters a campaign without the serious and effective support of at least two or three major media entities will find itself at a major strategic disadvantage. Winning over those entities has thus become one of the most critical factors in a successful election campaign.

In the Australian context, convincing the Murdoch family-dominated News Corp to back anything other than the Liberal-National Coalition will always be a struggle.

A struggle, but, not impossible. In the run-up to the 1997 UK general election, Labour’s Tony Blair convinced Rupert Murdoch that he had nothing to fear from New Labour. Consequently, the Sun shone beneficently on Tony’s “Third Way”.

Had Bill Shorten’s Labour not given the BEOT’s most aggressive supporter the middle-finger would it have made a difference? Given News Corp’s position on climate change, probably not. What a less aggressive policy platform might have achieved, however, was the offsetting tolerance, even cautious support, of a number of other media entities in the service of the BEOT. As it was, Labor’s decision to bet the farm on its supposedly inevitable victory ended up uniting the BEOT’s principal media outlets in an all-out effort to head them off at the pass.

Just how vital the mainstream media is to the success of a modern electoral campaign was driven home to David Cameron and George Osborne in the run-up to the 2016 Brexit Referendum. For the whole of their political lives the Tory press had had these right-wing politicians’ backs. During the period of campaigning, however, practically all the right-wing red-tops and the Telegraph were aggressively touting the Leave cause. Cameron and Osborne very soon came to understand how it must feel to be on the Labour side during a general election.

Saturday’s astonishing win for the Australian Centre-Right was not, of course, entirely due to Labour’s self-defeating over-confidence. Full credit must go the Liberals’ leader, Scott Morrison, for sticking to the tried-and-true script of Reassure. Undermine. Terrify.

The failure of the punditocracy to grasp the ultimate impact on Labour’s chances of the proliferation of small, far-right parties – particularly in the ideologically volatile state of Queensland – was also an important factor in allowing the Liberal-National Coalition to pull off such a stunning victory. Vote Right was always a lot bigger than the polls – and the pundits - suggested, and Australia’s preferential voting system made every one of those votes count.

Then, there was Shorten himself. As Churchill said of Clement Attlee: “A modest little man, with much to be modest about.” If you’re going to bet the farm, best to do it under the leadership of a Gough Whitlam or a Bob Hawke.

Unfortunately, both of those great Australians are now dead. As dead as the hopes of the Australian Centre-Left for at least the next three years – and probably many more.


*Chris Trotter has been writing and commenting professionally about New Zealand politics for more than 30 years. His work may be found at http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com. He writes a fortnightly column for interest.co.nz.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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'1) Convince the voters that, economically-speaking, your team has got the right solutions'.

An increasing cohort realise that continued pursuance of 'economic' solutions kills off our species.

Sounds like a potential to 'terrify' to me.

The problem is the prospect of large scale unemployment in large and capital-intensive industries is equally 'terrifying'. Just because those blokes aren't popping into Melbourne cafes for a flat white doesn't mean the jobs they do don't exist. People can't feed their families with 'the greater good'.

and that about sums it up. I think someone said (paraphrase a bit) 30% of voters care about CC, 30% dont and 30% cant afford to. That's a 2:1 defeat right there in your face.

Of the 30% that in theory do care many seem to be in the "Melbourne cafes for a flat white" brigade who have bought a new and very expensive EV as their sole contribution to CC mitigation. Now even claiming the moral high ground looking down on the rest in disgust that "we" have not taken on huge debt to do the same thing.....

The likelyhood of 3-4 degrees just got...likely...unless... they do some reading.

"3-4 degrees" warming is cynical alarmism from scare profiteers. Global air temperatures are rising at about 1.25°C/century over the last 40 years (satellite era). No sign of speed-up: https://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ Predictions of temperature sensitivity to CO2 are steadily decreasing over time as we get longer and longer high-accuracy global temperature data: https://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Climate-Sensitivity-... most empirally based predictions now in range 1-2°C/doubling. The heavily promoted apocalypse has been cancelled.

@Foyle ..........Thanks for pointing this out , the likelihood of such a massive increase in average temperature has no basis in any credible paper I have seen so far .

So just carry on not looking. Even RS's number at 1.25C is per century means it just takes 300~400 years to get 3 to 4 DegC rise...

I mean this is simple math / science, didnt you do any at school?

Oh good grief. It is a highly non-linear system, heat radiated into space from the upper atmosphere is proportional to the forth power of temperature!! So a 3°C increase in temp increases radiated heat energy by about 4.5%, which, given global 340W/m² - means on the order of 14W/m²! Current energy imbalance is only about 0.5-1W/m² as measured by ARGO buoy system ocean heating. That imbalance would have to magically rise by 15-20x to allow that much warming, and from what we now see of water-feedbacks that is so far from being credible that it isn't even funny. There might be another 0.5-1°C of atmospheric heating, but ocean will severely limit speed (ocean only warming at 0.15°C/century so will increasingly clamp air warming) and we are beginning economic transition to pv battery as it is now the cheapest form of energy.

Um, I dont think you understand or want to. 3 or 4 degrees will at our current rate happen. Even the 1.25C per century touted by a climate denier just means it takes 300 ish years to get there instead of 80 or 150 years, but it gets there.

In terms of no sign of speed up I guess you are looking at the graph yourself? On the other hand,

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-chan...

" Since 1901, the planet’s surface has warmed by 0.7–0.9° Celsius (1.3–1.6° Fahrenheit) per century, but the rate of warming has nearly doubled since 1975 to 1.5–1.8° Celsius (2.7–3.2° Fahrenheit) per century, according to the international State of the Climate in 2017 report. "

and then this,

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/DecadalTemp

Just looking at 100 years graph we can see a difference in the rate of change.

Dr Roy Spencer a well known climate change denier. Do you think maybe taking your news off one of a handful of deniers makes sense v many thousands of climate scientists that say otherwise in academic level papers?

https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Roy_Spencer.htm

Of course RS's data / graph only shows the second period, somehow the first period isnt shown and hence you cant compare with your eye ball.

You graph shows same warming rate from 1900's to 1940's as now, inconveniently CO2 didn't start to rise appreciably till after WWII so not sure what earlier periods are supposed to show, other than perhaps some of the continuing? recovery from the little ice age that ended in the 19th century (but is now idiotically taken as some sort of 'best' or baseline temperature for the earth). Or perhaps the dominant effect of the 60 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation cycle that swamps most of the supposed modern warming signal - leading to the 30 year cooling from 1940's to 1970's but that has also caused massive over-estimation of CO2 effect on last 40 years. Either way IPCC Global Climate models are running massively too hot, and whole edifice of climate alarmism is crumbling.

nah, if CC gets rough in Oz they'll all expect to jump on a plane and come to NZ, now that would suck.

After countless PMs in just a handful of years. I think Aussie's are sick of change, particularly when that change has not seen any increase in quality of their Government. So they just voted for what they have.

Better the devil you know, so to speak.

I thinks it’s more because labor went too far left. Elections are always won in the centre regardless of what anyone says. I think our Labour Party were smart enough (or lucky enough) to realise this.

Menzies and then Howard. The coalition has provided two longstanding continuous and stable governments. Hawke and Keating were something else though in terms of the dynamics of change but like our Lange and Douglas counterpart, self destructed with in fighting, lots of it and public to boot. Shorten did not offer stability but instead, open ended spending of the public purse. Didn’t work, people expect accountability even if they don’t often get it.If he can keep the ship steady, Morrison will be there for a while, just like his above two predecessors.

"" such as climate scepticism, which are highly detrimental to Australia’s long-term economic and environmental interests"" - but voters are influenced by short and medium term - quite rightly they don't give much weight to long term because unexpected things happen. So that should be written "climate scepticism good for short term economic but bad for long term environmental".

He over values the BEOT meaning media and party political donors. Horrific Trump won despite all media and most donor finance against him. Brexit had most media pro-remain except for the Telegraph that changed its mind after it saw the survey polls.

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Labour governments don’t stand for looking after the worker nowadays!
They stand for taxing more the worker and giving it to the nonworkers!
Fortunately for Australians they saw this, unlike Too many New Zealanders last time!

Contrary to that, it was Labour in NZ who sought to give workers a break by asking capital owners to share the load as Labour governments of old did (remember who introduced land tax in NZ the first time around to break up land banks and give ordinary Kiwis access to land). But people who benefited from both the old and the new situations were screeching indignantly over historically effective Labour solutions being brought forth again.

If CGT or Land Tax (better) were introduced again the load on the backs of working folk could be lightened through the more equitable treatment of income.

Don't you think people who own land, work? Or they didn't work to own it? From what I've seen, you have to work hard to own land, you have to be smart with your money and you have to pay a lot of tax to get there.

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It also helps if you're born at the right time, or born into a wealthy family.

Luck definitely plays a part in everything. But I don't think it should be punished.

Is land tax 'punishment' though?
If anything I would have thought the young being persistently farmed by the rentier class was more synonymous with 'punishment'.

I don't think we have the issue with Landed Gentry of yesteryear. Most Baby Boomers own a single house (if even that), it then generally gets sold with proceeds split between the kids (plural) when they expire. Hardly rorting the younger class is it?

By taxing it and/or removing it, you are essentially making everyone start from scratch when they are born.

Yes that is theoretically fair, but all you are actually doing is punishing those that worked hard to achieve a better life for themselves and their family.

I don't necessarily disagree but you could just as easily flip what you're saying argue that by not making things balanced you are choosing to punish the children who are born to parents without significant wealth to hand on. At least with a level playing field if people become successful they could actually factually claim 'it was down to hard work and skill' (as opposed to having family connections or wealth as the largest determining factor).

Agree. I just think that luck is luck.

Most of the luck has come from hardwork at some point. We can reset it, but within a Generation or two, you will have some who float to the top, and others that sink to the bottom.

You're arguing against each generation being in a meritocracy.

Of course they do. However, before land tax in NZ working NZers had little opportunity to own land because it was monopolised by land bankers foreign and domestic. Land also receives value accruing to it from the activities not only on it but around it, hence the idea of taxing some of that.

As others have noted, being born at the right time to benefit from both the earlier tax and policy regimen AND the later liberalisation has been very beneficial for some, so they're incentivised to push for taxes to be applied to other folk instead (those who work for a wage or salary). The fact is, homeowners today benefited from land tax that made land banking nonviable.

Land tax would have the added advantage that it's unavoidable and tax on productive enterprise could be reduced rather than having to bear too much of the load.

Land tax is a great idea - the first steps could be reinstatement of unimproved-value based rating by local councils. This was the predominant method of rating prior to well organised yuppies getting rid of it in the 80's when they were buying more expensive houses. It increases the efficiency of land and reflects the cost of land banking where a council has invested in infrastructure.

Labour used to be the cream of the working class focused on helping the workers, now it is the dregs of the middle class focused on helping the beneficiaries.

Sounds like a Leighton Smith sort of quote.

The parties that the suckers and permanently naive voted in are being unmasked as totally useless and unable to fulfill their grand promises.

"climate scepticism good for short term economic but bad for long term environmental"

Could that be an oxymoron?

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With Trotter it is always a groundswell of popular opinion when the left wins and a corruption of democracy by big money when the right wins.

Media as usual had an unrealistic take on the views of the hoi polloi. Older voters have been inured against the tales of climate catastrophe that have failed to materialise for 3 decades, and other left wing hobby-horses obviously leave a majority of the population unimpressed.

Atmospheric physics is to my knowledge, non ideological.

If by "Inured" you mean "only watch Fox and listen to talk back" then you are correct.

"extreme ideological obsessions, such as climate scepticism" actually plays very well to the battlers faced with rocketing electricity bills, and with disappearing industries which are electricity-intensive. The latter can take only so many potlines gone west when the demand managers turned their power off; and the former are reminded monthly of the failures of energy policy via their power bill. SA is the poster child for such failures: it blew up the Playford coal power station, experienced a cascade-failure black system event in 2016, and has installed massive diesel gensets in the former Holden factory in Adelaide.

Some energy policy, eh? And the battlers, directly exposed to the results of this diddling via disappearance of jobs and appearance of tripled power bills, are in - shall we say - a Fractious mood.

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Suddenly being skeptical of global is an extreme obsession. I find that an interesting statement, given the repeated false alarms voiced by climate alarmist, and the fact that said alarmist never seem to get around to making any changes in their lifestyles except for going vegan.
The more hypocrisy I see on the left, the more I appreciate conservative culture.

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I think ignoring 97% of climate scientists view (and the other 3% have very dodgy funding sources) is an extreme view. Do you feel the same way about gravity? Lucky NASA have this handy website to take you through it all - https://climate.nasa.gov/

Yeah, but others have PragerU

Ahh, the old '97%' lie that was, is, and ever shall be, complete and utter garbage:
https://climatechangedispatch.com/97-articles-refuting-the-97-consensus/

Ahh the old "set up fake website purporting to be real science but actually funded by the fossil fuel companies/Koch Brothers" website. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/climate-change-dispatch/

Try again :)

I googles "97% of climate scientist" and the top result was
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2015/01/06/97-of-climate-scient...
I'm sure your right and it's all a big conspiracy to hide the fact that Al Gore was right and the arctic sea ice disappeared in 2013.

I hate to break it to you but that's because the Google alogorithm has probably 'learned' you gravitate to denier or pseudo-scientific articles.

When I search the same phrase I get https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

Hmmm, Forbes (article by someone with no scientific training from a paid think-tank with links to the coal industry) or NASA, who would know more about climate....

"Consensus" is a weak argument and they are overturned regularly. Take recent revelations in the genetic depression consensus. "First, what bothers me isn’t just that people said 5-HTTLPR mattered and it didn’t. It’s that we built whole imaginary edifices, whole castles in the air on top of this idea of 5-HTTLPR mattering. This isn’t just an explorer coming back from the Orient and claiming there are unicorns there. It’s the explorer describing the life cycle of unicorns, what unicorns eat, all the different subspecies of unicorn, which cuts of unicorn meat are tastiest, and a blow-by-blow account of a wrestling match between unicorns and Bigfoot."
https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/05/07/5-httlpr-a-pointed-review/
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/waste-1000-studies/5...

Are you alright? Nothing you've linked to has anything to do with climate science.

Yep - doing good Pluto - basking in the inter glacial - thanks for asking.
https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/figure-115.png

That article was written by Alex Epstein the author of the New York Times best-selling book "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels." So, again, you'll need to try harder. BTW the United Nations University review of his book is AMAZING..... https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/review-the-moral-case-for-fossil-fuels-really

Quoting climate scare profiteers, getting rich off the >$100billion a year climate scare industry, is hardly a way to strengthen your case. VAst numbers of experienced grey beards, with lifetimes in hands-on science and data analysis, who aren't getting rich and no-longer have career progression to worry about seem to think that the data is at best equivocal, and getting less scary with each passing year as longer more accurate data series accumulate. Argo data is particularly damaging, because merchants of doom can no longer pretend heat is hiding in the oceans. Credulity is for the young, religious and unsophisticated.

Explain exactly how these government scientists on a fixed salary get rich from this?

Noble cause corruption. How many mortgages and schools fees do you get for a $1.5 Trillion per annum gravy train? "Interest in climate change is becoming an increasingly powerful economic driver, so much so that some see it as an industry in itself whose growth is driven in large part by policymaking.
The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal."
https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/07/30/377086.htm

Also the sea temperature is rising faster than all modeling had suggested. https://skepticalscience.com/ocean_temperature_part1.html. Please go and have a look at some of the links I have posted to ACTUAL science. You'll find it enlightening.

I think the whole 97% is a bit of BS to be frank, and it still doesn't change the fact that they have been very wrong with their predictions. It's depressing to see so many people who can't think for themselves.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2015/01/06/97-of-climate-scient...

Says the guy quoting an article from a person from a think-tank with links to the coal industry. Now that's depressing.

You are entitled to your own beliefs, just not your own facts. It's absolutely true. https://skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-robust.htm.
Indeed, if you WERE a climate scientist, the one sure way to make any money would be to disprove the whole climate change argument. You'd be a millionaire. Sadly, no one has been able to do that in a robust, peer reviewed paper. Like how science ACTUALLY works, not just an article from an obscure blog. I wonder if any of the sceptics above and below me can actually post such a paper?

Well, for a solid example of the untrustworthiness of climate 'data' (leaving aside entirely the trustworthiness of the 'scientists'), take Dijibouti......

There's also the delicious stampede of Thermometers to the Beach....hear them hooves Thunder. Who needs high-altitude weather-measuring sites? Not many peeps Live there.....

"2) Convince the voters that your opponents haven’t got a clue what the right answers even look like." Shorten demonstrated his own party didn't have a clue which can't have helped. Couldn't even be bothered to cost his climate polices which were going to gut the economy for no determinable benefit.

"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. “That is such a dumb question to say, what does it cost without looking at the cost of inaction,” he said."

"Inaction" is working out just fine. "From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change ".

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/questions-on-climate-ac...
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-g...

''DEWEY WINS''

When will the NZ electorate wake up? After the wedding? "A report commissioned by New Zealand’s government to study its promise of carbon neutrality by 2050 found that the annual cost of meeting this target in 2050 and each subsequent year would be higher than the country’s entire current annual budget. Moreover, this estimate assumes that policies are implemented as efficiently as possible. In reality, no government manages to do that – so the cost of becoming carbon neutral could easily double. (The New Zealand government is steaming ahead with its policy regardless.)"
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-change-emissions-rh...

If the environment was the top concern there are simple changes that could be made today such as requiring all bottles and cans to be returnable - meaning milk and soft drinks. That change would be unpopular wth business, increase prices slighty and create low paid manual labour. Instead we have an attitude to waste that seems to be ship it to China and when that doesn't work just heap it up. Other countries are way ahead of us with recycling and incineration. More action now and fewer plans for 2050?

Yep, all for incineration. The recycling industry is black hole of time and money and achieves jack.

You hit the nail on the head. Any actual change is always unpopular with Business. i.e. the Non-voters that must be appeased at all costs.

You know the writer is biased and slanted by the use of (dopey self created) monikers and acronyms to label the "opponents" to his beloved ALP ... even though chris is a kiwi labour chanting lackey. Let's have non-biased articles or at least something not so overtly anti one versus the others please.

Good reading CT, and it makes sense. Fundamentally what you are saying is that Aussie Pollies are the same as pollies anywhere else in the world, elitist, self-entitled, arrogant and thoroughly out of touch with what being in a democracy means and therefore totally out of touch with the electorate. They all think they are in a dictatorship or oligarchy where they only have to suck up to the power and money. Corruption by any other name is still corruption, and at the end of the day they work for the tax paying voter! Them chickens will always come home to roost eventually!

I find it funny how horse race commentary always paints it as the politicians who suffer as if this is some game completely unrelated to our lives. Labour may have gone big and failed but if you assume Australia needed those policies (I’m no expert on their politics) it’s the Australians that really lose out not the Labour Party. In horse race commentary the cynical get the glory but nobody talks about what the real people lost as all the people who voted for the status quo pat themselves on the back.

Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian has the best summary:.

Morrison described the win as a victory for “those Australians who have worked hard every day; they have their dreams, they have their aspirations — to get a job, to get an apprenticeship, to start a business, to meet someone amazing. To start a family, to buy a home, to provide the best you can for your kids. To save for your retirement and to ­ensure that when you’re in your retirement that you can enjoy it because you’ve worked hard for it.”

This is a victory for everyday people who dream of being rich. That dream is now better than ever, in the dream they will pay lower taxes and can drive a V12 Aston Martin without fear of climate related petrol taxes. If the own a pool or a mansion, their power will be a cheap as possible, because nothing says unfair like having to pay the true cost of burning dirty brown coal. So the every man should sleep sound at night knowing his dreams are safe, safe and harder to realise than ever before.

Did anyone tell them, Waymad, that they have worked less per head per time, than any generation ever?

They've just levered themselves using a once-off energy source. And they're over the crest. And increasingly in trouble. Triage time it is - except for economists who think there are infinite efficiency-gains to be had, of course.

The sense of entitlement is mirrored only by those who think we can/should grow to 9-10 billion head. Arrogance and ignorance are common bedfellows.

The election was only ever only"unlosable" to city lefties blinkered by their ideological obsessions of climate change and taxing the economy to a standstill. No one ever seems to bother asking the silent majority what they are thinking. This is why democracy is so precious.

So doomed to die, if it chooses mass avoidance.

Proper knowledge - ie the truth - is the only valid yardstick to make decisions by. Relative hip-pocket fullness is a long way from that.

Chris Trotter , you're delusional mate . Aussies , like Kiwis resent the left's obsession with taking more from the productive sector in TAXES than they need to run the country .

Its that simple.

We want small Government and less taxes , not a bloated, bottomless -pit nanny state.

I don't doubt there is climate change , but the hysterics by Labour over climate change was a smokescreen, a red herring , and Aussies saw right through it .

Did you read the article Boaty? CT analysed the ALPs performance and provided a good rational analysis of why they lost when they should have won. There is bugger all analysis of policy beyond voter interest and acceptance or aversion. In short he called them arrogant and out of touch.

People tried to give the productive sector a break and tax CGT instead but ohhhhh no, the squeals of indignant landlords that windfall gains might be taxed put paid to giving the productive sector a break.

Outstanding result in Oz in the weekend. Emigration numbers bound to be up for the second half of the year. Hopefully a lot of new New Zealanders will be motivated to join the exodus. Might get our country back yet!

.............................. and those left behind in OZ will have more money in their pockets to invest in NZ property.