4BC Drive with Scott Emerson - 16 November 2021


SUBJECTSFederal Election Campaign, Newspoll, Coffee

SCOTT EMERSON, HOST:  And we are always joined each week by Milton Dick, the Federal Member for Oxley, the former ALP State Secretary here and also Opposition Leader in the Brisbane City Council. How are you?

MILTON DICK, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR OXLEY:  Out of quarantine and raring to go to push on to the end of the year.

EMERSON:  I just missed the beginning of that Milton, but you're out of quarantine. I'm glad to hear that now. I want to know now, we were just talking a moment earlier about coffee and tea. How many cups? Now, I know there's long sittings in Parliament. How many would you have each day of either, getting through the 24 hour period?

DICK:  I used to drink a lot of coffee. And as I get a little bit older, I realized that it does keep you awake and all those other things. So I try and have one caffeine hit early in the morning, probably a mid-morning, and then I'll switch to a tea in the arvo. That's sort of my ritual. But I do like a good cuppa, so it's good news that we're on the right track to make sure that we live a bit longer.

EMERSON:  There's only three of them there so you're probably not getting enough in there according to these things. 

DICK:  I might have to double my intake, I might have to rethink that.

EMERSON:  I think I'm a bit like you, imagine if I was hitting six a day. I'd be just fired up the whole time. But as you know, I'm sure you've got colleagues, I did, that have six - more than that - a day, and they are just completely shaking all day. But anyway, let's-

DICK:  I'm trying to find a coffee that costs $3.50.

EMERSON:  Well done indeed for last week, I remember that. Indeed, there will be a lot of tea and particularly a lot of coffee being drunk during the election campaign. No doubt about that. Now, Scott Morrison, he's been out traveling around some of these marginal seats. I'm sure Anthony Albanese has been doing the same, look, for all- what we're seeing is we are really in the pre-campaign campaign, aren't we?

DICK:  Yeah, look, I mean, the pictures tell the story and you're seeing Scott Morrison, and both him and Anthony Albanese getting ready for what I predict will be a really long campaign. Obviously, the bad polling figures continue on for Scott Morrison and his Government. So I think he's flipped the switch to, you know, the campaign shots of making pasta or cooking up a storm or whatever those cheesy cringey shots you normally see during the 33 days, that's been fast forwarded a little bit but I think you know, the people of Australia will have that clear choice going into the election. But the way Scott Morrison is traveling at the moment, Scott, my opinion is he's got a lot of ground to make up, given the stumbles that he's had over the last couple of weeks.

EMERSON:  So you'd agree with him then that he is the underdog then?

DICK: Well, he's-

EMERSON:  You just said that he's got a long road to make up, a lot of ground to make up, surely that does make him the underdog then?

DICK:  Well, I think if you look at the polls at this stage, he is Scott. But you know, he's a really wily politician and some of the nonsense that he's been putting around this week, the test driving all the ridiculous scare campaigns. But I think, when I say he's got some ground to cover, he's really proving to Australia that he can't be trusted from one day to the next. And we've had this conversation on your show before, about the words coming back to haunt him. And he likes to sort of think that people don't remember what he said. And the classic example was the electrical vehicle policy last week where he sort of got tied up in knots over that. So I do think that there is a trust deficit with Scott Morrison. I've seen it in the Parliament for quite some time, but I think it is a problem for him. And if he's not careful, we will continue to remind Australians that this guy can't be trusted because every time he says something, he changes his mind and flips over, but then denies saying it, even though it's on camera.

EMERSON:  Well, you mentioned the Newspoll, well in the campaign I have to say I'm sure that we're going to see plenty of times when Anthony Albanese is donning the high vis vest, or kissing the kids or whatever it may be, the cheesy photo shots. I don't think that one side of politics has a monopoly on that at all. And I'm sure that will be the case during election campaign, Milton Dick, but let's have a look at these Newspoll results, because they were a couple of interesting numbers there. The gap between Labor and the Coalition has narrowly closed. Labor is still leading 53 to 47. But that's one point less than it was previously down from 54/46. The other thing was of course, and I guess you've touched on it, then I'm sure that many of your colleagues will be talking about this, that under this latest Newspoll that Scott Morrison has seen the public's view of him as trustworthy and likeable, has dropped. So is that going to be part of Labor's campaign now? Just by claiming that Scott Morrison, or portraying Scott Morrison as someone you can't trust and is not particularly likeable?

DICK:  Well, you don't need to take our word for it, or any Labor politician's Scott, it's his own words. As I said in my earlier remarks on today's show, they are coming back to haunt him. He does get caught out time and time again. And I guess going into the last election he was a bit of an unknown and his whole campaign was; vote for me and I will  somehow stop Labor, you know, ruining the weekend, you know, all the tax lines that he ran about a death tax - which wasn't true. All of those things, and I think people perhaps now have a little bit of buyer's remorse. Because what we've seen over the last three years is a pattern from Scott Morrison. Never accepting responsibility, always trying to blame someone else. And when that gets exposed, you only need to remember when simple questions were asked about, did he invite his friend Brian Houston to the White House? Now that is just a simple answer. You can say yes or no. And of course that was, you know, a non-answer, you know, he was hiding the truth there and that all then got exposed down the track. Of course he did. And there's example after example, that he's done with this and that's all catching up with him in politics and as a leader, you have to stand by what you say. And if you change your mind, when you find out you're wrong, you do a Peter Beattie, you own up to it, and you turn around and say I got it wrong. This guy, our Prime Minister, Scott, is incapable of doing that. In fact, he doubles down and says, no, I never said that. You play the tape back to him and he says, I'm not accepting that question. I mean, it's getting a bit weird when the Prime Minister of Australia won't own up to what he says. And I think that's what we're seeing with this trust deficit, that we're seeing more and more with Scott Morrison, and you betcha we're going to be reminding Australians about all the promises or the things that he said we were going to do. Being the first in queue for the vaccines, we weren't. Making sure that we were going to do the right thing by all of our vulnerable Australians, which we didn't do. So we're gonna remind people that when Scott Morrison says one thing you can't trust, the next day, what he means by it.

EMERSON:  Well, when you're reminding people about that and attacking the policies, won't the coalition supporters and coalition politicians say, yes Labor, but when you look at the Newspoll, and people are asked, who do you prefer to be Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, or Anthony Albanese? They say Scott Morrison. They don't say Anthony Albanese, he continues to be ahead of Anthony Albanese, as preferred Prime Minister.

DICK:  And Scott that gap is narrowing and narrowing with each Newspoll. You only need to look at the issue around trust and who do you trust more on those latest Newspoll. And you can see the complete sliding a Scott Morrison's figures and Anthony Albanese overtaking him, because what you see with Albanese is exactly what you get, you get someone who's in touch with ordinary Australians. He grew up in housing commission with a mum who was on a Disability Support Pension, who's raised himself, who's lead this nation as Deputy Prime Minister, has a vision for our country to make sure that everyone is not left behind. So I think that is what's seeping through at this campaign, but Scott, we've got a long way to go. And I think the Prime Minister will be looking at a long election campaign to try and turn that deficit around. But we've got a big job ahead of us to win those seats, he's a really tough fighter. He's a really wily campaigner. I reckon he'll say and do anything to try and get someone's vote. We've just got to make sure that we're putting forward a positive agenda. And I'm really confident that Anthony Albanese, and particularly with some of the plans he's outlined for Queensland families, people will trust him and I'm hopeful that we will see a change of Government.

EMERSON:  Well, Milton Dick, as you say, I think it will be a long, long election campaign. I think we've already in it. We've got about six months to go that we'll talk to you again next week and find out the latest iteration about that as well,

DICK:  Look forward to it.