The expressions of lexical metaphors provoke negative evaluations of entities from the field ‘Labor’. In the selected editorial text, these provoked positions either strengthen the inscribed negative evaluations of the Labor government, or form contrast with the inscribed positive evaluations of Labor members, Labor policies and ideal candidates. The contrast strategically subverts these positive positions, as the provoked attitudinal values are more rhetorically effective and therefore more difficult to resist.
Reinforcing inscribed negative evaluation of the Labor government
This editorial text inscribes negative evaluations of the Labor government, as shown in example . Labor government is negatively evaluated through the expressions of plunge further into crisis and defeat.
His standout contribution in public life was being one of the plotters who removed a first-term prime minister in favour of his deputy, only to see the government plunge further into crisis [−judgement:capacity] as it lost its parliamentary majority. It still languishes [t.-judgement:capacity] in the polls as defeat [−judgement:capacity] looms.
The two instances of evaluative couplings of [negative capacity + Labor government] identify readers taking negative stances towards the Labor government as its members. They construe the community of Labor government haters. This community is further strengthened by the provoked negative evaluation of the government in the lexical metaphor languishes, as well shown in example . Through treating the Labor government as a person losing strength and energy, languish invokes negative judgement:capacity of this government. The inscribed and invoked evaluative couplings work together in effectively affiliating a large number of readers into this community of Labor government haters.
Subverting inscribed positive evaluation of Feeney
This editorial text inscribes positive evaluations of Feeney, as shown in examples  and . Feeney’s behaviour of getting the seat of Batman is positively evaluated as capable through the attitudinal lexis triumph. Feeney’s performances in public life are positively evaluated as appreciation:reaction in the lexis standout and key.
If Labor awards Senator Feeney with its safest parliamentary seat, it will mark the triumph [+judgement:capacity] of the faceless man. His standout [+appreciation:reaction] contribution in public life was being one of the…
This is not surprising, given he (Feeney) is one of her (Gillard) key [+appreciation:reaction] numbers men.
These three evaluative couplings are all concerned with positive evaluation of Feeney. They construe the community of Feeney supporters in the text.
However, this position of positive evaluation of Feeney is not the real stance of the newspaper, for this text also proposes a negative evaluation of Feeney to the readers as shown in example . The Labor Party is characterized as a machine and Feeney as a party-machine man.
He (Feeney) has worked as a state and federal party-machine man [t.-judgement:capacity], trade-union employee and ministerial adviser.
Machine is the equipment which is used to perform a particular kind of intended work without any flexibility. When described as a party-machine man, Feeney takes these inflexible features which should not have happened to a candidate of the seat of Batman. This forms contrast with the inscribed position of Feeney as capable. The common knowledge about machine covertly affiliates the readers with the negative position rather than the positive one. It is the community of Feeney haters that is the intended stance of the newspaper. The management here implies that even Feeney was awarded this seat, he is not capable enough to do the job well.
Subverting inscribed positive evaluation of Labor policy
This editorial text encodes explicitly positive evaluation of Labor policies as shown in example . Labor’s policy in economic reform in the 1980s and early 90s is positively evaluated by landmark and the modern Labor project is positively evaluated by national interest.
Mr. Ferguson was part of the modern Labor project which aligned the unions and the party behind the landmark [+appreciation:reaction] economic reform agenda of the 1980s and early 90s. That spirit of co-operation in the national interest [+appreciation:reaction] is no longer part of Labor’s DNA.
Both of the two evaluative couplings are concerned with positive evaluation of Labor’s policies. They propose the community of Labor policy supporters to the putative readers.
The positively evaluated policy applies to the past rather than the current Labor government. This is illustrated through the use of the negation marker no longer. Negation here explicitly distances the readers from the positive evaluation of Labor’s economic reform agenda of the 1980s and early 90s in terms of national co-operation. It indicates that the Labor Party does not still consider the national co-operation in its governance now. The disaffiliation from Labor policy supporters is implicitly supported by the provoked attitudinal values in examples ,  and .
Faceless man’s bid [t.-judgement:propriety] for Batman
While most Labor MPs have only one or two of these backgrounds essential for representing Labor in parliament, Senator Feeney has the trifecta [t.-judgement:propriety].
The decision by Martin Ferguson not to recontest his Victorian seat of Batman is a blow [t.-appreciation:reaction] to Labor.
Here we consider the expressions: bid, trifecta and blow. The first expression, bid, from a literal perspective, refers to a competitive offer at an auction or in gambling in card games. Trifecta is a term used in Australia horse racing, where it is a bet predicting the order of the first three horses in the race. To win such a bet would be considered very lucky. Blow refers to a hard punch, as in a boxing ring. Metaphorically in the editorial text, they refer to the Labor Party’s election prospects for the electoral seat of Batman. Sequentially, the lexical metaphors associate election prospects with trying to win, the possibility of luck, but likely to lose. This characterization of election provokes negative evaluation, in particular negative judgement of the Labor Party in terms of capacity to win. The use of lexical metaphors here covertly distances the putative readers from the capacity of the Labor Party.
Subverting inscribed positive evaluation of ideal candidate for Batman
This editorial text inscribes positive evaluation of the ideal candidate for Batman, as shown in examples  and . The ideal candidates for Batman are positively evaluated as capable through talent, stellar and good. These evaluative couplings propose a community of capable candidate to the putative readers.
The Labor Party must recruit from a wider talent [+judgement:capacity] pool.
The seat of Batman should be quarantined for a stellar [+judgement:capacity] candidate who would make a good [+judgement:capacity] minster, or perhaps prime minister, one day.
However, the Labor Party members are constructed as incapable through the lexical metaphors in example .
Instead, the party has been taken over by an exclusive club [t.-judgement:capacity] of operatives [t.-judgement:capacity] with a cloistered [t.-judgement:capacity] world view that a party machine, a union or ministerial office provides.
Literally, these expressions (exclusive club, operative, and cloistered) refer to people who are secluded or shut up from the outside world. In the present editorial text, they are applied to describe the characteristics of the Labor Party members. When the members are enclosed, they cannot work efficiently and correctly for the public. They form contrast with the wider and talent features of the ideal candidates. The use of lexical metaphor here implies that the Labor Party members are not the ideal candidates for Batman.