This has become a depressingly predictable line from various anti-Abbott camps.
Presumably the line arises out of the old “Noalition” line (which I quite liked, actually) – but does relentlessly opposing whatever the Labor government does translate into the Coalition having no policies of their own?
Let’s start with the Coalition Policies page on this very site. I clicked on it planning to count them, but it’s such a long list I can be bothered.
Here are a few examples:
- We will re-introduce the use of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs)
- We will act immediately to abolish the carbon tax
- We will establish an Emissions Reduction Fund of $3 billion
- We will do a fully transparent cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network
- We are fully committed to helping people with disabilities and their carers and delivering the NDIS
- We will immediately establish a Commission of Audit to identify savings and efficiencies
- We will continue current levels of funding for schools, indexed to deal with real increases in costs
- We will introduce a genuine Paid Parental Leave Scheme
- We will establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean-up the environment
- We will fully restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)
- We will abolish the mining tax
Those aren’t “aspirations” or vague goals – they are promises. You may think they are stupid promises, or that they will be bad for Australia (you’d be in good company) – but there they are.
If Tony Abbott gets away with not talking about his policies because journos would rather discuss Rudd v Gillard, that’s a shame. But it doesn’t make the Coalition’s policies simply disappear into thin air.
Moreover, you may believe that Abbott has no intention of keeping any of these promises. That would not be unreasonable, given that it was the Coalition that first gave us non-core promises, and it was Abbott himself that told us not to believe anything he says unless it is written down.
But to trot out a line about having no policies whatsoever is plain dumb. At least we know that it is only the megaphones who would say something so stupid.
Well. Let’s just hope that Rudd has used his time away from The Lodge to think of some better lines