This morning, a Newspoll illustrated that Scott Morrison was indeed the better PM. The reporting around it didn’t tell the full story, which is indeed a story itself.
This morning, there was movement at the station, as we were approached by the news that Scott Morrison reverted course, and controlled the thrashing Newspoll equine away from the glue factory and toward the shimmering waterhole of political suitability.
— The Australian (@australian) 28 January 2019
It’s seemingly official, as Morrison is the “better PM”. Strangely the two-party preferred figure (which shows Labor leading 53-47) was buried, which lead numerous outlets to roll out the barrel, and claim that the end was nigh for Bill.
Newspoll has Labor ahead federally 53-47. A detail this article manages utterly to ignore. https://t.co/UMP49vcE58
— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) 28 January 2019
I’m not saying that it’s not, nor am I saying that Shorten is the best option, but elevating what side of the story and masking the other has a strong pungeance to it. Especially if you consider the landscape around it. A number is easy to drag meaning from. It’s an absolute figure. (+1) seems important. But consider the week that Morrison had. Last week gave us peak-jingo Captain Cook Morrison, which, sure, could have resounded in a bump, but it was also the week when Kelly O’Dwyer walked out, citing womanhood as the reason for her resignation. It was also the week where he circumvented the process of the Liberal Party, installing Warren Mundine as a local member of Gilmore, despite not being a local, or being a member of the party. Whichever way you cut it, one scandal invariably reminds you of another. In this instance, O’Dwyer’s exit instantly reminds you of the other women who left, particularly Julia Banks, who jumped ship, describing the treatment of women in Parliament as “years behind” the business world. It’s either that, or a lot rode on that ship he launched.
Simply, I don’t buy it. That much negative noise cannot possibly produce a net benefit. Moreover, I don’t want to point fingers or suggest anything, so I’ll just leave the link for a particular story below, and leave you to join the dots.
— Greg Dickin (@PluckaRM) 28 January 2019
I suppose the lesson here, is that we need to heavily salt our peepers (if they’re already not crusted over). Back in the halcyon days of our cynicism, we gleefully counted off the days until Malcolm Turnbull would surpass the number of Newspolls Tony Abbott lost. It meant something, if Malcolm eclipsed that number (the number that he used to kick Tony out), then something grand and perfect would happen. It didn’t. It became an arbitrary signpost on the yawning highway of our disappointment.
The Newspoll is borderline that rambling gentleman with a sign at the train station. You doubt the reputation of his doomsday theories. I’m not asking you to ignore it, no. I’m asking you to call out bullshit when you read it. If these soft obfuscations of the narrative is the path we’re set to walk toward the election, so be it.