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A brutally effective campaign ruthlessly exploited Labor's mistakes

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For the last three years federal politics has been consumed by government chaos and the opposition prospered in the role of ringside commentator. But during the past five weeks Labor agreed with the Coalition that it should instead talk about itself.

In another piece of unexpected generosity it also readily conceded the Coalition’s main talking points, with only minor caveats. Yes we are planning radical reform (but we do know what is best for you). Yes we are going to pay for that by raising billions in new taxes (but only on the “top end of town”, i.e. anyone earning more than $180,000 a year). And yes, alas, we do have an unpopular leader (but he leads a nice team).


While Bill Shorten will bear the brunt of Labor’s public humiliation, internally the guns have turned on his handpicked national secretary Noah Carroll for running what is now being described as the worst campaign in living memory.

One long-time Labor strategist recalled a session from a 1988 campaign boot camp that was just one of many now apparently forgotten lessons. The budding apparatchiks were shown an infamous 1980 federal campaign poster of then Labor leader Bill Hayden flanked by Bob Hawke and Neville Wran.

The underlying message was “we know you........

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