In Murdoch’s Melbourne tabloid, the Herald-Sun (aka ‘the Hun’), an article appeared, supposedly written by the apparently unnamed Federal political editor of the Murdoch rag from Brisbane, the Courier-Mail. And it was headed ‘Queenslanders turn to Scott Morrison after leadership spill.’1
The first paragraph of this article is worth relating: ‘Bill Shorten has spectacularly failed to capitalise on Malcolm Turnbull’s political beheading as Queensland voters turn to Scott Morrison and provide motive for the coup’. Of course, in a Murdoch rag, it is always Bill Shorten who is at fault, so it is unsurprising that there should be some sort of blame apportioned to him. However, perhaps the funniest bit of this is that the demise of Malcolm Turnbull was motivated by the desire to increase their popularity among Queensland voters1. That is a long bow to draw.
The author of the piece seems to think that Morrison’s blokey, cap-wearing, fair dinkum style is resonating with Queenslanders and the mythical ‘LNP base’, which it says was turned off by Turnbull and led to a membership decline and donors closing their wallets. The article states that Queenslanders have repudiated Shorten’s negative gearing and dividend imputation policies. This assertion is based on a poll of 839 voters taken late last week during Morrison’s jet/bus “blitz of Queensland”1,2. However, then the results are given and it is claimed that the LNP’s primary vote has climbed by 1% to 38% from the previous poll three months ago, and that Labor’s primary vote had “stayed stagnant” since the last poll. Given the small sample size and the nature of errors in statistics, this means that nothing has changed. It also states that on a two-party preferred basis, the major parties remain neck and neck at 50% each. This they state would cost the LNP eight of its 21 Queensland seats it holds1.
Perhaps the most glaring idiocy of this piece is that it states that Morrison accused Labor of wanting to smash the “biggest investment most Australians have – their home”1. While the changes to negative gearing will not directly affect the price of houses in Australia as it only relates to investment properties, it may decrease the price of houses over the medium term. This change in negative gearing rules, according to Saul Eslake, is something that is essential to improve housing affordability3. It is funny how the government often talks about improving housing affordability when it is their policy4, but smashing house prices when it is Labor policy, when the object is the same; to reduce house prices relative to incomes.
You have to laugh at the position the Murdoch media find themselves in. They will support the most corrupt and incapable government in living memory simply because they think it will be to the financial advantage of their proprietor. This government are so rancid, that no matter how hard the Murdoch ‘ruperters’ lie, it seems to be having little effect
PS: As I was writing this, the results of the latest Newspoll were published. It shows a further slide in support for the Coalition, with a two-party preferred vote of 45%. Stagnant indeed.