Opposition Leader Shorten has fought back by apologising for lying to a 3AW interviewer about his decision to switch sides in the battle for PM under Labor and endorse Rudd for the second time. But despite attempts by Labor journalists to counter with reminders of Abbott gaffes before the February challenge, and attempts to construct new ones by him, it seems unlikely that this will “wash” with the electorate. The problem now is, as One Last Post at The Australian said, “Bill Shorten admits lying but I still don’t believe him”.
Also as the editorial in The Australian suggests below, “Bill Shorten’s problems run deeper than lying”. He built up a succession of bad policy decisions for Labor and, although he has suddenly recanted on some, that in itself poses the question –why can’t you do more to help the budget as your predecessor (eventually) did in the 1980s?
His position has also become more difficult with the revelations that, when head of the AWU, he was in effect able to impose union “taxes” on businesses in return for guarantees of no disruption of their activities. More of that will now emerge in the near future when he appears at the trade union commission inquiry.
He also faces the problem that one of Labor’s allies – the ABC – is itself in difficulties with its management of the Q&A program which helps to feed left wing views into the community. ABC head Scott has also adopted the apology response but added a free speech defence. Shorten himself has attempted to attack Abbott for his strong criticism of the ABC but, by contrast with Albanese, does not appear to have criticised the programming by ABC itself.
As another Last Post has suggested “It is not very hard for jihadists and extremists to spread the message to the public. It’s as easy as the ABC”. Even The Age has accepted that there is a serious threat and I managed to get another letter published there drawing attention to the inept management of the ABC