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MYEFO ... and Tony and Joe's favourite lie

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Like a mantra (the repetition of a sacred word over and over again) Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey keep telling their favorite lie: that the Labor Party left a dirty big black hole in Australia's finances.

I was almost going to write 'Abbott and Costello (Bud and Lou),' a mental blunder about the two famous comedians of the 20th century. That would have been appropriate, because Peter Costello made the same claims that Australia was dead broke when he became Treasurer.

The Coalition parties have been using this line about Labor since Bob Menzies was still a schoolboy. He would use the same later when he became prime minister.

It is the oldest trick in the political book. Tell the country it is in a mess and we have to fix it by cutting incomes and increasing taxes and make the rich richer and the poor poorer because that is "good politics".

What Labor did in fact while coping with the first big international financial blowout of the 21st century was eliminating the horrid John Howard Work Choices program, increasing wages, increasing necessary incomes for the poorest families, building better school facilities, adding the Gonski reforms, raising employment to the largest level in Australia's history and beginning the layout of the NBN, now a crippled wreck of a glorious dream.

All of this was carried out under a hung parliament and an abusing, screaming, sanctimonious opposition that nevertheless passed all the legislation that the Coalition now wants to remove, along with the jobs of thousands of Australian workers.

Labor was under more media pressure than ever before in our history. Rupert Murdoch had sealed his newspaper monopoly and owned most of the media and used it savagely, driving his automated slaves to follow his commands from whatever part of the planet he was inhabiting at the time.

The Business Council of Australia was leading its own cheer squad against Labor as it always does.

Wayne Swan, Labor's Treasurer throughout its term, has written more explicitly about the blowout swindle and I commend him for it.

In the meantime, what has also to be said is critical of Labor: political party infighting always turns off voters and that's what Labor did last year in a big way and the Murdoch media made a meal out of what were leaking internal matters.

A party that does not have internal arguments is not doing its job. A party that agrees with everything its leaders say is a dictatorship.

Australian politics, like every other free nation, has differences on policy and very occasionally has changed a leader. When a rampant media is determined to destroy one of the parties, the opportunity is there to be exploited.

The more both parties can keep their internal disorders within their own meetings rooms, the better for the nation. If you have to change a leader, do it quickly, quietly and with a short, simple explanation.

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