Wren's week: The Election has finally been called

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PM Scott Morrison has called the Election for May 18 (screenshot via YouTube).

This week, John Wren discusses the upcoming Federal Election, the Liberal's support for Adani and their scare campaign around Labor's electric vehicles policy.

Wren's week


THE LAST WEEK has been an intense Election campaign, even though the Election was only called this morning by Morrison. Everyone had expected the Election would be called last weekend.

However, I received messages on Saturday afternoon that it wouldn’t be called until later this week, on Friday (tomorrow) in fact. Why the unseemly haste this morning then, a day early?

Well yesterday more emails had emerged that contradicted Joe Hockey’s statements on the Helloworld scandal. These were to be tabled in Senate estimates today and would have caused significant embarrassment for the Liberal Party on the literal eve of their formal election campaign.

Estimates was also expected to vigorously question the Minister against the Environment, Mellissa Price and her staff about their approval of water rights for the Adani coal mine issued last week. By rushing to visit the Governor General in the wee hours of this morning, Parliament has been prorogued and that Estimates session has now been cancelled. Labor’s new National Integrity Commission will no doubt pick up the slack after the Election.

But why didn’t they call the Election last weekend? Well the Liberal Party is broke. Donations have dried up. Their donors are largely successful business people and by definition, those people do not invest in losing ventures.

You will recall, the Libs, desperate for money, changed the rules to allow their offices to use office expenditure to “promote the Government’s achievements”, this is of course code for “taxpayer-funded electioneering”. Senate estimates calculated this at around $600,000 per day … so that five-day delay cost us $3 million. If you aren’t angry about that you should be. Once the Election is called of course, that has to stop, hence the delay.

Anyway, the Election is now on and Saturday May 18th will be the most important election of our generation. It is a battle between;

Those who wish to continue with the mendacious rabble that is the current Liberal Government, a Government without policies, a Government that denies climate-change and refuses to address any aspect of it, a Government that seeks to actively depress wage growth so as to facilitate greater profits for its donors and cronies, a Government that treats Australia as a corporation and each of us as mere units of production (rather than its shareholders).

It's a Government so toxic that some of its more moderate candidates have had to re-brand themselves as “Modern Liberals” to differentiate themselves from the toxic Luddites and dinosaurs who pull the Government’s strings.

And the Labor Party, a unified progressive Party ably led by Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek, has developed a sound policy platform with ample grassroots membership input. A party that seeks to act on climate change and make those very actions a positive for the economy. Clean air and water, education and healthcare. It’s what Labor has always and will always stand for.

A party that believe our citizens are not mere units of production, but are people with differing needs, wants and desires, all deserve respect and an opportunity to be their best.

It seems like a simple choice, yet there are still millions of voters who are not engaged with our politics, who source their “news” from radio shock-jocks, Channel 7 news and Murdoch tabloids. We must not take a Labor win for granted, we need to get to those people who don’t read columns like this.

If you are a progressive voter, I implore you. When you come across these voters, engage with them, be polite, do not belittle them, just discuss with them the facts. The next five weeks it’s all-hands-on-deck.

And a brief word on informal voting. This is one of my pet peeves. Our forebears fought for the right to vote, women fought for their right to vote, many of our migrant Australians who have settled here were not allowed to vote in their old home nations, or their political systems were so corrupted that voting was pointless.

Our democracy is precious, we should never waste our votes. If you don’t like the current Government but also dislike Labor, saying you’ll vote informally is in effect a vote for a continuation of the status-quo (in this Election, more of the Liberal party).

Your vote won’t count so it cannot change anything. Saying your informal vote is “a protest vote” is also simply ridiculous. It’s not a protest vote, it’s a wasted vote.

Earlier this week, we also saw desperate Liberals run a scare campaign on Labor’s electric vehicles policy. This was one of the most stupid things I’ve seen in politics. Labor’s policy on electric vehicles is near identical to their own policy, but they didn’t let that get in the way of their scare campaign.

To put Labor’s policy into perspective they have a target of 50% new car-sales by 2030 will be electric. This will mean approximately only 2% of the national fleet will be electric. The scare campaign that Labor will be forcing people into electric cars, and that tradies will lose their utes is just utterly ridiculous.

Not only that but for the last year, the Libs have been actively campaigning for electric vehicle charging station roll-outs. NSW Senator Kristina Keneally went to town on the Liberals. It was comedy gold. Choosing electric vehicles as a hill to die on is one of the oddest political strategies I’ve ever seen. If it’s a foretaste of the campaign to come, I cannot wait!

The battle to resurrect my @JohnWren1950 twitter account continues. The petition is now up to over 1700 respondents. It is still open, please sign if you haven’t already. Twitter employees hide behind their platform. There are no published phone numbers. It is challenging to make contact with the key decision makers. If anyone has a phone number, please let us know! The battle is not over yet!

During the week, we saw the ridiculous situation where well-known Twitter personality @_sara_jade_ had an obvious impersonator, yet Twitter ignored her request (and many others) to have it shut down. All this while the John Wren account was shut-down while not meeting Twitter’s impersonation criteria. Their systems are clearly flawed.

We have also identified who the key players are who worked together to get the account closed down. They are a group of hard-left Green troll accounts, some are anonymous, some aren’t. We won’t "dox" them though, that would make us as bad as them. We move on. 

This will be a dirty Election from the Libs. They are desperate. Labor will contest on policy. When they go low, we will go high. Solidarity comrades. Not long now. The end is in sight.

You can sign the petition to have John Wren reinstated on Twitter here.


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