Scripting bad news

Things are getting worse for Labor in Australia. They are now scripting their MPs and a memo has been sent out, not unlike Trevor Mallard’s memo, telling Labor MPs how to respond to inconvenient questions about Craig Thomson.

LABOR MPs are being instructed to play down the allegations against Craig Thomson and praise him as a “dedicated local member” in the daily script given to all Gillard government members.

Confidential Labor talking points, obtained by The Australian Online, instruct MPs on how to tackle questions on the allegations confronting the besieged MP for Dobell.

When asked if they have confidence in Mr Thomson, Labor MPs are instructed to describe Mr Thomson as “a dedicated local member working hard for the people of Dobell”.

Questions over why he was preselected, given the allegations against him of misusing a union credit card , should be tackled by describing him as a “hard worker”, the advice says.

The script features specific advice on how MPs should react to a Daily Telegraph report today suggesting Mr Thomson lobbied a NSW Central Coast firm to give his ex-wife a job while the organisation was seeking his support in securing millions in federal funding.

They are advised to dismiss the story as weak. If pressed, the suggested line is: “His ex-wife didn’t get the job, so I’m not sure there’s much to talk about here.”

MPs are instructed to remind questioners that “many people under investigation end up having nothing to answer”.

The advice suggests Mr Abbott’s interventions on the matter be rejected as “grubby politics with a huge splash of hypocrisy”.

The incomplete document – two of 12 pages are missing – also coaches Labor MPs on how to answer questions on the carbon tax, asylum-seekers, the manufacturing jobs crisis and Labor’s poor showing in the latest Newspoll.

Gee I wonder if Labor advised Phil Goff on his damage control tactics. Those plays are identical to the one Phil Goff uses every time he gets caught out…right down to blaming his opposition.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.