The Guardian has a huge story on the ‘death tax lie’ from the last election.
No one Guardian Australia has spoken to has argued that Labor lost the election because of the death tax falsehood.
No one inside the Labor campaign knows precisely how potent the misinformation was, or how many votes were lost, or whether the fake news can be separated from the central weakness of their own campaign: an unpopular leader, championing redistributive policies that a number of voters evidently didn’t understand.
What’s that you say? Unpopular leader? Policies people don’t understand?
Well – I think people understood the policies all too well.
Then there is this:
Even if the ALP was inclined to make vociferous complaints, it cannot be holier than thou about aggressively negative campaigns, having spearheaded the “Mediscare” offensive in 2016, which in some respects was a prototype for what played out in 2019. As one Labor insider puts it, the death tax scare of 2019 was a “get square for Mediscare – and then some”.
Astonishingly the Guardian then go onto claim that there was some truth the the Mediscare campaign. But:
The claims circulating from the beginning of 2019 that Labor proposed to introduce a death tax or a pensioner tax or a retirement tax were lies.
It was misinformation: fake news, open and shut.
We’ll never know.
But there is one thing that we do know.