These are fighting words:
"In a desperate attempt to find an election life raft, the prime minister is beginning an unprecedented propaganda blitz using taxpayers' money. This soiled government is to spend a massive $14 million of taxpayers' money over the next two months as part of its pre-election panic. If the full communications barrage runs its course it could reach $50 million …
"This grubby tactic will backfire.
"Taxpayers will see through it. They don't want their money wasted on glossy advertising designed to make the prime minister feel good. It is time a brake was put on this fraud. There is clearly a difference between necessary government information and blatant government electoral propaganda.
"In any other business, the shareholders would revolt and throw out the management which wasted their money. The problem for the government is not communication. The problem is that it is tired, it has broken too many promises, it has hurt too many people.
"This propaganda blitz will make the electorate feel even more angry."
He might just be right, this time.
He was right before.
It was John Howard, September 5, 1995, speaking about the last minute desperate behaviour of his predecessor Paul Keating six months before the voters rebelled and kicked him out, making Howard Prime Minister.