PLAY HARD: MAKING INTEREST RATES WORK FOR LABOR
Is it just me, or has the ALP advertising team dropped the ball on the whole interest rates thingy? Howard says Labor's bad for interest rates 'coz you've only to look at what happened last time, and all Labor responds with is a series of ads which
(a) keep reminding us of Howard's 'message';
(b) cite mostly unnamed 'experts' to claim they'll be no different to the Libs (claims to authority are a dodgy proposition in Australian political culture at the best of times, unless they play cricket - and 'we'd be no different' is not a claim worth paying money for if you're an opposition trying to differentiate itself in a campaign); and
(c) leave Howard's own dodgy record, both as treasurer and prime minister, right out of the picture!
Why not fight like with like
Q. What happened to your interest rates while John Howard was treasurer?
A. They rose from 10% to 13.5%!
Q. Which party has presided over the greatest fall of your interest rates since the War?
A. Labor, under whom the rate fell by 9.45% between March 1990 and March 1996!
Q. What's John Howard done to your interest rate since he became PM?
A. Well, it stood at 7.55% when he came in eight and a half years ago. Do the maths!
Q. What are the dangers to interest rates?
A. Exactly what Howard's been doing for eight and a half years! (cite damning list here, including lack of industry policy to diversify and hence secure Australian economy against commodity price fluctuations in international bubble environment, record national debt, record consumer debt, structural current account deficit etc)
That transfers the job of answering questions to Howard et al, punctures his carefully inflated image of competence and trust, makes Labor look like they're more than more of the same, and appeals much more directly to the practically cautious hard-head that resides, to a greater or lesser degree, in every Australian bosom.