Wasting the Win

Andrew Bolt looks at something that New Zealanders will be familiar with…a government that has won, and won handsomely wasting the win.

Tony Abbott’s biggest danger now is not losing the September election, but wasting the win.

The Opposition Leader has long worried his contest with Julia Gillard will get very tight. He’s a fretter.

So he’s been risk averse, making few promises to end what shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey called the “Age of Entitlement”, with an astonishing six million Australians living off benefits or state salaries.

He does not dare risk the fear campaign Labor would wage among public servants and pensioners.

Nor is he promising big changes to Labor’s controls over workplaces which are strangling productivity. He’s stuck mainly to promising a crackdown on rogue unions, fearing another union scare campaign if he went much further. 

He is even sticking to the expensive renewable energy target that jacks up power prices without cutting the global temperature, which hasn’t risen in 16 years anyway.

Worse, he’s still promising to waste billions on green schemes, including a whacky plan to close “dirty” coal fired power stations, for fear of further enraging green voters.

Fear has kept Abbott from promising all the cuts and workplace freedoms this country badly needs.

That may be clever politics in a tight contest. But it means Abbott is not winning a mandate for change. He is not getting a “to do” list with the voters’ tick of approval.

Yep very familiar. John Key in 2008 was ever so cautious and the following 3 years even more so. 2011 was more bold promising asset sales, fighting the election on that ans winning.

On The Bolt Report yesterday, he argued voters want a “no surprises” government, and he is right if he means voters truly hate politicians promising one thing but giving another.

Remember the “no carbon tax” promise?

But Labor is now so dysfunctional, and the Prime Minister so despised, that chances are Abbott won’t simply win, but win big.

It would be a shame, a waste, for Abbott to be Prime Minister with a huge majority in Parliament but a tiny mandate for change.

Few Governments get braver in their second term than they were in their first. So Abbott’s first term is his chance to make big changes – changes he needs, too, if he is to galvanise this sluggish economy and make the savings he will need.

True, six months is still a long time. It may be wise for Abbott to be cautious for a few more opinion polls.

But Australia desperately needs reform.  Unless Abbott tells us soon what that reform will be, we won’t get the government to do all that needs doing.

If you win big never waste the win…Jim Bolger was like that. While voters still despise the exited party the new government should make changes before the winds of politics change.

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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.