All parliamenteary members of the Liberal Party should be prepared and on high alert to answer questions about the election from early in the New Year. The paper makes it perfectly clear though, that back benchers should avoid interviews and that Cabinet members should ignore all media except for News Limited, Maquarie Radio and Sky News. These are referred to as “preferred media” on the basis that “favourable questions will be circulated in advance” so “Ministers can answer questions and be on topic.”
If you have any friends that think the criticism of NewsCorporation is a left wing plot, this document may help to convince your friends. Although the media strategy is unsurprising, it is still shocking to see it in stark black and white.
The admonition to Repeat, Repeat and Repat the parties (sic) message of the day and stick to the Coalition’s perceived strong points, border security, immigration, power security and a strong economy are equally simplistic. There is clearly no desire to maintain the correct use of the apostrophe as it is left out a number of times through the document. We are all going to get sick and tired of the phrase Bill Shorten and Labor who will destroy the economy, spend your savings and open the flood gates for people smugglers. Shorten himself will be depicted as being of poor character and unfit to lead this “great nation”. The MP who leaked the paper has helpfully noted in the margin that Shorten is Godless, as well as providing key names of the News, Macquarie and Sky journalists who are working for a Morrison win. God gets another mention in the margin notes, offering to help Murdoch win the election for the Liberals by simply being with them. In this black and white world he is obviously against the ALP.
We can do this, appears to be an oft repeated phrase in the briefing session at which the document was handed out but has not yet made it to official campaign slogan status. No doubt the focus groups are busy rolling it off their tongues as I type. “We can do it” was a second world war slogan in the USA and “We can do this together” is the basis of a number of community and self help campaigns. The full phrase is the title of book by Kate Sutherland launched in September 2017 and subtitled, “10 tools to unleash our collective genius.” No doubt the Liberals’ lawyers’ efforts match that of the focus groups, working hard to determine the resolve of Incite Press to protect their collective genius from pumping up the fortune of the Liberals. Any analysis of the collective genius of current conservative politics in Australia is likely to be marred by today’s story that Andrew Broad poses as James Bond while stuffing his face with prawns and complaining about the prices on the menu while he attempts to seduce a young woman advertising on a Sugar Daddy website that she does not engage in intimacy on professional dates. His text messages to her further drag down the collective genius rating of the coalition and justify his withdrawal from parliament on gross stupidity alone.
The leak conveniently comes in the middle of the ALP conference so that the ALP can determine what parts of its nascent campaign it wishes to release to counter these creative gems without even having to convene an unexpected meeting.
We await developments with interest.