Ego Trip: US Space Flags and Super-Duper Missiles

US President Donald Trump is much taken with the bombastic and the…

The Circle of Life ...

By Christian Marx  “Let me tell you about my youth,” the farrowed brow…

One Rule for Me and Another for Everyone…

Leaving crises to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s management skills will never disappoint…

Give us a break

By 2353NM  A week or so ago, we discussed the union bashing disguised…

The Hollow Man

We have a Prime Minister who has no idea how to lead.In…

A letter to Michael Sukkar from a Deakin…

Dear MichaelI saw you on the 9 news last Saturday evening telling…

How deep does corruption in high places go?

There might be a 'fine, fine line between pleasure and pain' but…

Budget Cockups in the Time of Coronavirus: Reporting…

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like…



Illustration by Simon Kneebone

For those watching closely this week, Rupert Murdoch’s tweets clearly signposted how the political scenario is likely to unfold over the next six months.

There will be a snap election. The trigger for this will arise from either a leadership challenge or a double dissolution. The latter is the more probable of the two.

Abbott already has several issues on the table to call for an election, including work-place reform, higher university fees, as well as changes to the welfare system and Murdoch has made it clear that News Ltd. will play the obstructionist card for all it’s worth.

The usual bogey men will be trotted out for an airing.

The opposition has fallen under the sway of ‘corrupt, violent unions’ and cannot be trusted. Especially with the economy. Only a truly reforming government under the leadership of Tony Abbott can sweep away the socialist pariahs and greenie jihadist’s smearing the windscreen on the pace car of free market progress, etc…

It will be a short, sharp and extremely vicious campaign in which the ALP will have to battle hard to win votes due to its insistence in playing a ‘small target’ opposition for the past two years.

For governments who find themselves on the other side of the House following an election, the small target policy is practical method of allowing the electorate time to forget past transgressions and the trail of broken promises. It also allows a new government time to establish its own credentials without unnecessary hinderance.

There comes a time however, usually before the end of the first year of the new government’s term, when small target policy must end and genuine opposition begin. Anything less is simply lazy politics.

Indisputably for the past two years under Shorten’s leadership and the over riding influence of the party’s Right wing, it would seem that like the Monkey God, the parliamentary Labor Party is aware of vacuity and very little else.

Last week saw the ALP handed two free kicks – the Border Force farce and the latest unemployment figures showing that the jobless rate has risen to 9.2% of the workforce. 

Shorten’s response to the former, both before and after the event can only be described as tragic.

Of greater tragedy is Labor’s roaring silence over the rapidly escalating unemployment figures and an economic growth rate of 0.2% for the last financial quarter. Any opposition party should be able to make a meal of both issues, yet the ALP seems unable to muster enough energy to open a tube of Pringles.

Similarly to the civil liberties issues surrounding the Border Farce, Labor seems to be content to leave the fight to the electorate, perhaps in the belief that the mounting outrage felt by those unemployed at the acceptance of 1.8 million people trying to exist on a payment 50% below the poverty line will manifest itself in the ballot box as votes for the party.

They couldn’t be more mistaken.

Significantly, the ALP’s web site contains nothing about policies to deal with unemployment and limits itself to motherhood statements about Planned Parental Leave and Labor’s ongoing commitment to defend workers awards and conditions. And ‘Fairness’.

Those out of work simply don’t rate a mention. Nor does any opposition to the exploitative and corrupt nature of the Job Network System.

This is a grave error. It would seem that the lessons of the 2013 election and the rise of independent candidates and minor parties such as Ricky Muir and the Motoring Enthusiasts, and the Palmer United Party have been lost on the party’s tacticians and policy makers.

The fracturing of traditional parties power bases due largely to voter dissatisfaction at any discernible difference between either, accompanied through the use of social media have led to the creation of a new dynamism arising from a grass roots level among the electorate.

As a collective, the unemployed can easily form a voting bloc which urges its members to cast their vote for a party that has a policy of full employment as central to its platform. Should such a party be non-existent, then the jobless may form their own and run for the Senate on a Job Guarantee ticket.

It’s often said that politics is the art of the possible. This is only partly true. At its base, politics is the about having the numbers. Without the numbers, very little is possible in effecting lasting change.

1.8 million is a substantial number, and makes the possibilities for the unemployed to bring about change on their own terms whether as a voting bloc or an independent political party, very real indeed.

It’s there to be done and it is ‘do-able’.

If the ALP or any other party for that matter, think that the invisible army of the unemployed will remain silent and submissive at election time – they’re in for a nasty shock.



Login here Register here
  1. Rosemary Jacob

    The opposition remain a severe disappointment.
    They seem to support all government policies – with a few, lukewarm, exceptions.
    They do not provide anything for people to hang on to and feel they would be a viable alternative to the present mess.
    At best, the next election will see a hung parliament and, as with Gillard, the hope that the Greens and independents will only negotiate with the ALP – and then, hopefully, dictate some decent policies.
    Tony Windsor MUST stand again and should IMHO be Prime Minister.!

  2. way2fargone

    The people had a perfectly good government with Julia Gillard as PM. But no-one was happy with that, she wasn’t perfect and like the advert’s for women’s make-up say, nothing short of perfection will do. The Greens played politics to differentiate their brand from the ALP, and so cut off their nose to spite their face. So we have an Abbott government. Why should the ALP stick its neck out, when it knows the voters will just punch them in it? The Australian voters have what they want. and until they are ready to stick forks in their eyes rather than vote Liberal/National, the ALP should do nothing to save voters from stewing in their own juice. Sometimes the only cure for a case of Right Wing Clap is good does of Right Wind Clap. Another term of Abbott should just about do it.

  3. stephentardrew

    I do think that Labor realise that there are a lot of younger people suffering lack of opportunity, low wages and unemployment and they are the growth group of progressive voters however they are hoping that late timing pre-election will give them the opportunity to gather up this cohort. They need to realise that young people that are abandoned and disillusioned witnessed Abbott’s lying and deception so why would they believe Labor while they endlessly compromise.

    This foolish strategy is bound to alienate many young people. You need to lobby now not hope that last minute attacks and promises are going to convince the young. They see enough sellouts in the way the are treated by employers, Centrelink, Police, schools and often parents and family to be naive enough to suddenly trust Labor.

    You must build trust over time. These voters may well trend towards the Greens because you have not applied yourself to giving them hope and opportunity in the long term.

  4. mmc1949

    It’s got to the stage where we have to show Labor that we are really serious about putting them second last, that it’s time to take the greens and Independents seriously ….. because that’s what we do have to do.

  5. keerti

    If you add a large percentage of those on disability pension (the ones who’ve taken a sideways promtion out of the labour force), then there are more than a few very disenchanted voters who if any party actually gave a shit could be brought onside! Many of these are much better informed than the average voter.

  6. Albert Edwards

    It may be premature to write off the Liberal Coalition just yet, There is one policy debate that has, in the past, been passed with Bi Partisan support and has the ability to polarize the nation and that is the Firearms debate and public safety.This is an observation on how this policy could be used to revive the Governments flagging appeal to the electorate and a possible free kick awarded by Labor.

    The Government will think themselves fortunate for the fact they still have an ace up their sleeve as there is a fear campaign that the majority of Australian’s have been conditioned to accept, through Murdoch lead Main Stream Media, for the last 20 or more years and that is firearms in Australia and the upcoming firearms debate. With the Lindt Cafe Siege review coming to a close and the National Firearms Agreement Review acting on the Cafe Siege recommendations, you will see Abbott and Co. successfully bluff Australia by saying the best way to combat home grown terrorism / lone wolf attacks or criminal firearms use is more Tough New Firearms Legislation and restrictions, or another compensated confiscation, known as a buyback. Tougher legislation and restrictions always appears to be the default response to criminal use of firearms at any level of government. Governments make scapegoats of law abiding firearms owners because they can’t proactively deal with criminals, or now lone wolves, using any of the 260,000 or more unknown and untraceable ‘Grey Market’ firearms like Man Monis used. The outcry over the Adler shotgun is the first part of this public safety policy and with the 20th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre in April next year, the government will seek to play to firearms hysteria and the outrage that Australians justly feel at what happened at Port Arthur. They will time the release of this public safety policy for maximum effect before April and will tap dance on the victims graves to get re elected. Will It be the only Abbott lie that Australia buys and will Australia pay for this illusion of safety with 15% GST and another industrial deregulation scheme.

  7. kerri

    If Labor lose votes it will be via the Greens or from donkey votes!
    My own kids (21&23) have voted 1 donkey and 1 independant!
    They cannot see the point of an opposition that doesn’t oppose and a government run by screwball, lying, imbeciles who haven’t a clue about the world they live in!
    Scott Ludlam runs rings around any other politician where the Internet is concerned and yes! he vastly out intellects Malcolm Turnbull who “practically invented the Internet”!!!
    I will be voting Green and given Abbott’s abject stupidity, my longterm, blue ribbon voting hubby may even change his colours.
    The Greens are the future and the lazy ALP need a bloody good kick in the rear!
    The stupidity in promoting Shorten ahead of Albanese not only shows the whole “showbiz” philosophy of todays Labor but also undermined the rank and file who will not forget!
    When Bill referred to Subway instead of 7Eleven last week he must have lost thousands of votes!

  8. Ian D

    My most likely scenario is this -> Canning sees a >8% swing, Abbott gets dumped, if they get a poll bounce from the new leader (which they will depending on who it is) they will be off to an immediate election.

    Even if this doesn’t happen they will be in an unseemly rush to go to an election because it is almost odds on we will be in a recession by the end of the first quarter next year – without the housing boom we would already in a recession… and if as predicted we are heading for part 2 of the global financial crisis mostly effecting developing economies and China then that will most affect our big markets and we are likely to be hit harder than anywhere else in the world (i.e. it could be a big recession). A bad recession will hugely influence our political culture and a far-right Liberal government (whose only features are capitalist crony-ism, denial of science and inability to tell the truth) in that scenario would be a disaster.

    I’m a Greens voter – have been for a long time. I share the sadness about what is happening to the Labor Party reflected in the article. However, I am also scared for our country. Given the predictions about what we are facing, then another three years of this type of disastrous government could be even more calamitous for many Australians.

  9. corvus boreus

    If one of your progeny voted ‘donkey’ (#1 at top, down the numbers) they could have voted for anything from Lab, Lib and Nat through to PUP, One Nation or Independent, depending on layout of the ballot paper.
    Or do you mean they voted ‘informal’ (left empty/invalidly marked)?

  10. Roswell

    If you think the Murdoch media are bad now, just wait until the election is called. They will be uglier than ever.

  11. jim

    The Labor Herald is barely one month old but that should be no excuse should it? anyhow here is something on jobs I found there….Australia is about to undertake some of the largest and most complex defence procurement projects including for our Future Submarines and the modernisation of our Army through projects such as LAND 400.

    This comes at a time where the workforce at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has been cut by up to 25 per cent. The DSTO’s budget has already been slashed from $598.8 million in 2011/12 to $384.4 million in 2017/18.

    DSTO employs some of our most highly skilled public servants in Australia. They are charged with developing and adapting technologies for our national security, which are both highly sensitive and highly classified.

  12. jim

    Re jobs for us….Again, let’s look at the facts.

    As it stands, the agreement would allow employers to fly-in temporary workers for infrastructure projects worth more than $150 million without having to first check whether Australian workers are available to do this job.

    Through the Investment Facilitation Arrangements, this means that a company could, for example, build a new hotel in the CBD and not have to advertise in the local paper or for Australian workers first. BUT this part really sends it home as how the LNP think of ozzie workers, China has not insisted on the abandonment of labour market testing, by which project proponents wanting to bring in overseas workers must first ascertain the availability of Australian workers to do the job. But the Abbott government has left open the option of not requiring labour market testing, at its own discretion, on a case-by-case basis. Under the agreement the Australian government’s application of labour market testing does not require concurrence by the Chinese side. The flaw in the agreement is not of China’s making; it is there because the Australian government wanted to put it there.

  13. lawrencesroberts

    They are the same party. Tweedledee and Tweedledum; A political elite who wear the same cloths and are barely separable on policy: Stopping the boats, Meta Data etc etc. None of them equated The Entitlement Rorting to common theft or vowed to end it.

  14. M-R

    As Scott Ludlam is the single party politician of worth, it’s the Greens for me, next time.

  15. John Armour

    The flaw in the agreement is not of China’s making; it is there because the Australian government wanted to put it there.

    And the reason Jim?

    There still remains about 20% of the domestic workforce unionised.

  16. Matters Not

    There still remains about 20% of the domestic workforce unionised

    Absolutely shocking. This historical hangover must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

    Collective action, in the form of unions, must be rooted out, destroyed and then confined to the dustbin of history.

    Unless of course one is talking about ‘collectives’ such as the LNP, the BCA, the IPA, the CIS, the NAM, the AMA, or indeed any collective that’s in the business of advancing the ‘interests’ of those who are already in positions of power.

    Sometimes ‘collective action’ is good and right provided of course the …

  17. Pingback: Incoming…! – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: