Prime Minister’s national security message rattles opposition leader


Commentary

Australia has returned to election mode, and last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison finally managed to put national security on the 2022 election agenda.

The clearest sign Morrison finally delivered the national security message was how opposition leader Anthony Albanese really began to rattle last week. And, as both Albanese and Morrison know, national security is where the coalition has a lot of trust, so he should rattle. The Australian Labor Party (ALP), on the other hand, is a weak party.

Before the national security breakthrough last week, Morrison seemed to be in trouble.

Indeed, Morrison has been facing a year-long Labor spin campaign that has focused his energy on undermining Morrison’s credibility as a leader by relentlessly carrying out personal attacks on his character. During that time I had a hard time raising his message.

These nasty personal attacks reached crescendo in a speech at Morrison’s February National Press Club. It seems that ALP Spin Doctor has actually succeeded in getting the majority of journalists to their long-term “unreliable Scotty from marketing” spinline.

But in politics, a week was a long time, and the change in Morrison’s fate was amazing. At the end of the National Press Club’s accumulation of journalism, ALP Spin Doctor must have been proud of how their “unreliable Scotty” message came through.

Epoch Times Photo
Anthony Albanese will speak at the National Press Club in Canberra, Australia on January 25, 2022. (RohanThomson / Getty Images)

Still, a week later, it was Albanese who looked worried. His hectic delivery told us that his shoes were on the other leg because the worker lost control of the story.

Albanese’s rattling look told us he believed that bringing Labor’s weak national security record into elections would hurt him.

So what happened to bring Morrison back into the game?

First, Morrison took a lucky break when the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, Global Times, said he preferred the Labor Party to win the election.

There is no surprise there. Of course, they would. They know that Morrison will firmly confront the attack of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Morrison has played a leading role in building the AUKUS and Quad alliance as a defensive barrier to Xi’s expansionist program and Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific.

Not surprisingly, the Chinese Communist Party would prefer Albanese as prime minister, knowing that Morrison would form a military alliance to thwart Xi. Workers’ past tense shows that ALP does not fund the military and wants to negotiate with Beijing rather than oppose the CCP invasion.

Xi knows that under Morrison, Australia will never be a vassal of China. But he will get some comfort from ALP’s weak track record in defense and border security.

The Global Times also revealed that for Xi and CCP, Morrison was not just annoying, as it had the effect of blocking Xi’s plans.

Having helped Morrison by mistake, it would be interesting to see how the CCP propaganda machine is trying to reverse this mistake.

Epoch Times Photo
(LR) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister, Women’s Minister Marise Payne, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Melbourne Federal Assembly February 11, 2022, Australia Office in Melbourne. (AAP Image / Pool, Darrian Traynor)

The second reason Morrison is back in the game is that the press club is enthusiastic about feeding. Went up..

After the event, even some journalists must have had a reason to pause, considering how much they had fallen in a year of ALP’s dirty spin doctor personal attack on Morrison. ALP played a man instead of a ball, and sloppy journalism allowed their spin team to avoid this for a year.

After more than a year of ALP’s relentless anti-Morison attacks in the news, even some combatants who had previously voted for Morrison began to believe in ALP’s spin doctor line.

However, the annoyance of the press club attack seemed to suspend many fighters’ thoughts, as it was so obvious that Morrison was not proceeding fairly. And strange mood swings were seen after the disturbing sights of the press club, clearly closing the ranks around Morrison from many previously upset voters and his own team.

In addition, the stacking of press clubs was so extreme that it re-energized Morrison. Instead of falling into the mountains, Morrison chose to fight back violently to break the Labor Party’s “Scottie from Marketing” belief. And to break this ALP story, he took advantage of the workers’ weaknesses.

For a year, ALP has spent so much time attacking Morrison as a person that it has not set its own policy. Therefore, there was a policy gap.

Morrison forcibly filled this policy gap by emphasizing his national security strengths and the success of his foreign policy. And contrary to his success, he could easily point out the weak achievements of workers in this area.

So why is Albanese visibly rattling with this transition to the national security story?

The reason is clear. Workers have long records of weakening defense spending and border security. When the Labor Party finally came to power, they cut defense spending, reducing defense spending to just 1.56 percent of GDP in 2012-13. This was the lowest level of defense funding since World War II.

The Labor Party’s 2016-17 budget has reduced or postponed more than $ 16 billion (US $ 11.5 billion) from the defense budget. In the last three years of the government, Labor has reduced defense spending by a real 17.9 percent. Not surprisingly, by the time Labor resigned, their own 2009 defense capacity plan was underfunded by about $ 8.4 billion ($ 6 billion).

The above speaks for itself. Australian voters know that Labor always prefers to spend on welfare programs over defense.

Morrison needs to remind voters of this. And given that we live in an era when Putin in the west of China and Putin in Russia are strengthening, talking tough and cooperating, Australian voters have made the world a far more dangerous place. You hardly have to remember what you are doing.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) walk in for a meeting in the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, on September 22, 2021, while joining the military’s Honorary Guard. I passed by. Getty Images)

Given the lack of Labor records of defense, it’s no wonder that Albanese seemed very angry with the prospect that national security would be an election issue.

To make matters worse, Albanese knows that many Labor parties support Paul Keating’s view of national security. Therefore, if Albanese tries to rival Morrison’s powerful defense line, he runs the risk of annoying his team.

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating opposed AUKUS and helped the West defend Taiwan. He has long argued that Australia should transform itself into an Asian country. It seems to involve the Chinese Communist Party negotiating a relationship with China that sets trade terms with Australia. If it is the price of peace and trade, accepting the status of a vassal.

ALP’s track record in defense and border security is suitable for keeting models, so Morrison must continue to hammer national security to cause problems with Albanese.

Labor spin doctors, on the other hand, will probably continue to push their “Scottie from marketing unreliable” line.

Get ready for a nasty election.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Eric Law

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Eric Louw is a retired professor of political communication with a background spanning universities in South Africa and Australia. Prior to that, he was a former activist, journalist and media trainer at the African National Congress, working on the transition to the post-apartheid era in South Africa. Louw is an expert in affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment Policy. His PhD was in the study of Marxism and its postmodern development. He has authored nine books, including “The Rise and Fall of Apartheid and the Legacy” and “Media and the Political Process.”

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