| 15.01,12. 10:49 AM |
Labor needs 'time out' to rethink: Liberal director
January 15, 2012
FEDERAL Liberal director Brian Loughnane has laid out the Coalition's battle lines heading into the next election, arguing Labor needs ''time out'' of office to consider who and what it is.
He also accuses the ALP of running ''an unprecedented negative campaign'' of personal attacks on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to deflect attention from its own flaws.
In a rare public speech yesterday, the party's campaign chief gave the Young Liberals convention in Sydney a preview of the arguments his side will use in its bid to shunt Labor from power.
Advertisement: Story continues below A recurring theme was the charge that Labor no longer knows what it stands for, as evidenced by what he dubs the ''mindless twaddle'' of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's much-criticised speech to Labor's national conference in December. ''Quite simply, Labor has lost its way. It needs 'time out' to consider who and what it is,'' he said.
Mr Loughnane argued Labor ''cannot run on their record and cannot run on their policies. Consequently they have resorted to an unprecedented negative campaign; one particularly and very personally aimed at Tony Abbott.''
He also defended the Coalition from charges that it also has been relentlessly negative, arguing it has voted for 87 per cent of government legislation, only opposing ''bad'' policy.
In an acknowledgement of its potency as an issue, he concedes the Coalition will need a specific mandate for its policy on industrial relations.
The conservative-controlled Young Liberals yesterday adopted a series of controversial policies, including a call for the repeal of tobacco plain packaging laws.