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Printed: 27 March 2023 4:07 PM


14 Apr 2022 - Hedge Clippings |14 April 2022



Hedge Clippings | Thursday, 08 April 2022


Following Anthony Albanese's clanger on Day 1 of the 2022 election campaign, former opposition leader Bill Shorten tried to pay Scott Morrison a compliment by warning his Labor colleagues that ScoMo was, or is, a formidable campaigner and not be underestimated.

Bill Shorten should know.

However, he either forgot or didn't want to accept responsibility for losing the 2019 election which everyone, including the polls, expected him to win. For those with short memories, or those understandably distracted by the almost biblical-like dramas of the last three years (bush fires, COVID, floods, and now war), Shorten and his then shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen came up with the dopey idea (at least going into an election) of proposing to do away with franking credits.

At that time (March 2018) Hedge Clippings suggested this was a dangerous move, and became a little creative, even penning a poem, the last verse of which ran:

But Willie's got his facts wrong, as pollies often do,
Didn't understand the people his franking tax will screw,
There's lots of Labor voters who he forgot to note,
Have also put some shares away - and bloody hell! they'll vote!

Bowen then doubled down by suggesting that those voters (many of whom were pensioners) likely to be disadvantaged by a return to double taxation of dividend income, could vote Liberal instead.

Which, as history recalls, they did!

As a result, Bowen has hardly been seen since, and certainly not heard of from an economics point of view. But why would you need a former shadow treasurer when Albo, the leader of the opposition, is - or claims to be - a former economics adviser to Bob Hawke? Not being across the most basic of current economic statistics is possibly forgivable, although a clear indicator of where his interests really lie, but to follow that up with a false and easily fact checked claim, smacked of desperation.

Albanese's been keen to maintain a small target heading into this election, hoping that ScoMo's missteps over the past three years will see him living the life at the Lodge and Kirribilli House after occupying the Clocktower at Sydney Uni. There's still five weeks to go, but he needs to lift his game, or Shorten's warning may prove correct.

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