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Day to Day Politics: A case of B&A

Saturday 20 May 2017

On Wednesday May 17 I wrote a piece titled ”What if Shorten …?” in which I canvassed what might have been the public reaction had the Leader of the Opposition taken a different tack in his Budget in Reply speech. I suggested that he might have gotten greater traction had he more aggressively said that in essence the conservatives had stolen well known thought out Labor policies. Sure they may have been Labor lite and didn’t represent Labor one hundred per cent but none the less were plagiarised.

I copped a bit of flak for what some thought was a criticism of Bill Shorten. It wasnt , and how people could have interpreted it so is beyond me. But that aside the next day Anthony Albanese in a speech to the Transport Workers Union in Perth, entertained my very sentiments.

There were two distinct approaches. On the one hand Shorten chose to say that the policies bore no resemblance to Labor policy. He was not wrong to do so because they didn’t. It just came over as a Labor lite reply.

On the other hand both I and Albanese reckoned we should say that A, they had stolen Labor policy and B, that we deny that it was the real McCoy.

Albanese said that the Labor Party ”should celebrate our victories”, in this case the ”ideological surrender” of the Coalition.

I had said that ”I don’t think I have ever seen a party so obstinately betray its own ideology and deliver a socialist budget. However lite.”

Albanese went on to say that  ”The way forward for Labor is to accept [the conservatives’] rhetorical conversion and triple our pressure for investment, while continuing to argue the case for further progressive reform.”

Shorten had spent the whole week arguing against the idea that the budget had even the faintest resemblance to Labor’s policies on the NDIS, education, infrastructure and health.

My whole point was, what if he had ripped into them with the truth of it. That they were so bankrupt of ideas that they had to pinch Labor’s, but even then they couldn’t bring themselves to go the whole way. What a bunch of liars and hypocrites they are. After telling us for years that it was only by cutting spending that we could get the budget back in the black.

I was just pointing out that there was an alternative method and, and it’s not too late to attack the Conservatives with it..

“Budget 2017 was an overwhelming victory for the Australian Labor Party and the broader labour movement,” Albanese said.

“It was the budget of ideological surrender”.

“We in the Labor Party and the broader labour movement should celebrate our victories.”

In contrast Shorten said the budget was an “admission of guilt” and fundamentally unfair, and rejected suggestions it was a “Labor lite” document.

He had missed an opportunity to damage the Coalition brand permanently.

Albo put it this way and I agree.

”The way forward for Labor is to accept [the conservatives’] rhetorical conversion and triple our pressure for investment, while continuing to argue the case for further progressive reform.”

Labor, in my view, should over the next few months seek to take back the policy initiative from the coalition and repetitively call them frauds without policies. And talk of a challenge to the leadership is just silly.

My thought for the day.

”I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people would be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two. But they might”



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  1. paul walter

    I would say the time is here for Laborites to resist adopting “conversion” to Tory “rhetoric””.

  2. Jaquix

    I’m overseas, but it seems it must be a slow news week. To my mind Shorten and Albanese were delivering the same basic message – but to 2 different audiences. Murdoch does enough pouncing on “divisions” in the Labor Party.

  3. thebustopher

    I got accused of being “an LNP Troll” and told to f–k off yesterday for suggesting maybe someone other than Bill Shorten might do a good job of leading the ALP federally. My point is with the Libs on the ropes, 53/47 isn’t performing well enough, and my desire is to have the strongest ALP possible to stand up to the Libs and take government.

  4. Terry2

    Labor in Queensland is getting a membership back-lash with quite a few resignations from the Party following the Palaszczuk government’s apparent decision to give in to Adani and defer royalty payments for some years.
    Analysis by the progressive think-tank The Australia Institute this month estimated that a royalty holiday for Adani could cost Queensland nearly $1.2 billion in revenue.

    Premier Palaszczuk would not confirm or deny the royalty agreement, but emphasised the importance of the Carmichael mine for the state’s economy.

    This is not a good look for Labor and comes on top of the push by Adani to secure a $1 billion concessional loan from the very secretive North Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

    All this in the name of 1400 jobs ???

  5. Arthur Tarry

    ‘A Budget of ideological surrender’ – I think not. The conservatives main mantra is to keep Labor out of government, even if you have to ditch long held views and do despicable things to do so. The ends justifies the means, always has been for the conservatives and always will. They don’t let principles, conventions, facts, decency, fairness, or so-called Australian values get in the way.

  6. corvus boreus

    Bill Shorten may consistently rate in opinion polls as somewhat less popular than Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Tanya Plibersek or Anthony Albanese, but Bill Shorten is just the kind of leader that Labor currently…has.

  7. stephengb2014

    Still disagree John

    And yes whilst I am a great admirer of Albo, I think he is wrong in his assesment and wrong to say so in public.

    As I said last time you talked to this matter I said that your approach (and now Albo’s approach) is not, in my view, Bill Shorten’s style.

    And since that time examination, by various commentators, of the budget has revealed the same old neoliberal approach with a shell of sugar coating.

  8. wam

    What has labor done to remove the perception that, compared to the libs, they are the big taxing, big borrowing, big spending and big deficit party full of excuses like GFC?

    The LNP has in our eyes been terrible when compared to gillard’s labor but in the ‘lies’ of the rabbott she was the worst PM in history. Her name is poison and plibersek QED

    needle nardle noo

    What has labor done to justify ‘un-electing’ trumbull?

    yingtong yingtong iddle eye po

    what has billy done to be elected?

    A great movie ‘running jumping standing still’ billy the violinist, tanya as the char and albo playing a record

  9. Jagger

    John, I think you’ll find that the majority of people are sick of politicians “ripping” into one another, they just want someone to formulate a plan for the their future and that of their children.
    It was Bill Shorten who righted the Labor Party, nearly won the last election and will definitely lead Labor to the next election. The talent in the party is not as rich as some believe and I think Shorten is by far the best “herder” in parliament.

  10. havanaliedown

    Albanese would have spifflicated Turnbull at the 2016 election. The only reason Shorten (the emptiest suit representing the interests of the AWU and CFMEU mafiocracy) looks at all competitive is because Turnbull is so worthless and weak.

    As an aside, the news bulletin last night showed Shorten walking down the street – no wonder this horrifying image has been supressed… his gait is even weirder the Abbott’s. Now this crippled cat is out of the bag, it’s game ON with the Labor leadership as far as the media is concerned. Albo has everyday knockabout charm – he must have it if a rabid Dutton jackboot polisher like myself is fond of him.

    Labor had better listen to 60% of their members and get things moving as Mal is slowly growing what he thinks are cojones to in the next election on a softer, kinder Budget, appropriating the Gonski “Brand”, and of course the certainty of Big Power Bills due to crazy green schemes – and Border Integrity.

  11. MichaelW

    Shortens reply to the governments budget I thought was pretty good. As for his delivery when he emphasizes a point it sounds so false, a few times he had me cringing, just be yourself Bill cut out the acting.

  12. wam

    just had a great session in my pool, mind’s eye counted my retirement so far and I am set, half my kids have a house and the other half just sold in brisbane and working for the french in nsw/vic and they are set my grandchildren are smart, strong and healthy ‘fatless’ kids..
    I have a facebook full of anti-union conservatives who take no interest in exploring beyond our murdoch paper and the only local commercial TV ch 9.and I try to widen their narrow parent heritage by reminding them we have an ABC that invokes a labor laugh..
    I am getting close WTFIAAJ.
    But like monkey magic, I’ll be back to normal boring the shit out of everyone on the drive to yarrawonga tomorrow morning.

    ps lord realised why comey got done – nobody looms over trump

  13. helvityni

    Many of my Liberal voting friends/neighbours/acquaintances have at some stage admitted that they quite like Albanese, but seriously dislike Shorten… Many of them found Abbott to their liking ,but are not impressed with Turnbull.

    I can’t say that I like any of the today’s right-wing politicians. I’m trying to find at least one… 🙂

  14. Stephen Brailey

    I voted labour for around 15 years. I only stopped because I realised that not only were they scared shitless of old mate Rupert and his media circus. But they have become neo-conservatives and are slowly destroying the very civil society their own policies are trying to build. My concluaion is that too many of the Labour party are in those who would have been Liberals in an earlier time. They have become disenfrachised from the ultra conservatives (basically neo-fascists) because of their mindless adherence to policies that patently fail the reality test. Shorten is a technocrat he serves the system without any moral input which is why they (The Party) allow such abominations as Manus Island and the steady erosion of the independance of the judiciary, the public service, the police etc etc to suit the wims of those holding political power. So the reason shorten’s voice is so muffled is because he represents a party of convenience, a party of reason, a party that has lost it’s soul. Thus endeth the rant…

  15. Kaye Lee

    I find Labor’s policies, in the main, to be vastly preferable to a Coalition dictated to by Barnaby Joyce.

    However there are many things that make me cringe.

    Why on earth must politicians go running around the streets dragging security with them? Bill is patently not a runner and just looks silly.

    Why do we call parties by the leader’s name? I am so sick of the phrase “a Shorten Labor government.” People don’t like him so why emphasise your weakness?

    Why the lame theatrics when speaking? The acting is dreadful. Do you ever see Angela Merkel carrying on?

    Why persecute the people on Manus and Nauru? We are spending billions having our Navy patrol our north intercepting fishing boats. Stop relying on Trump and bring the poor bastards here.

    Why keep privatising our vital infrastructure and giving away our common wealth? Labor screams for a banking RC but they were the ones who sold the Commonwealth Bank for less than $8 billion. It has since made profits of over $100 billion. And now Labor want to give away our coal to an Indian billionaire without even collecting royalties.

    Why continually say “we will have to look at the detail of the legislation”? Isn’t that a given? Can’t you ever just agree in principle without that lame proviso?

    Why do we have to foot the bill for PR firms? Politicians would do a whole lot better if they sacked all their image consultants and media advisers and started listening to the policy experts. And get rid of the ridiculous “talking points for parrots”.

    I am just getting myself angry….this rant could go on forever!

  16. Freethinker

    When it is come to the crunch the members of the ALP left look after their seat first and after what it is right.
    On that fashion, Albo pulled back
    “It was perfectly consistent with what Bill said in his budget reply,”
    He even went further, labelling the reports “fake news” and said his speech to the TWU had even been approved by his leader’s office.
    So, John, there you go, politicians are all the same.

  17. burniebobthe_b_

    The Labor bagging continues unabated from the same olds .. so when you get Turnbull getting another term would that please you

  18. Michael Taylor

    The Labor bagging continues unabated …

    If you think this is bagging, you should have a look at what we say about the Coalition.

    We are not bagging Labor. We are suggesting how we think they could do things better. And why do we do that? People here want to see them win the next election.

  19. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee
    Bill Shorten is in fact a runner and has done so for many years even at his time with the AWU. Just as an aside he beat that other celebrity runner Tony Abbott by a few minutes in one run they both competed in and I really think there are some positives in politicians setting an example whether it be Howard or Shorten,in encouraging physical activity and the hope that some of the growing numbers of obese in Australia are encouraged to follow the example politicians no matter their age set.George Christensen was hardly a role model for a fit and healthy lifestyle prior to his lapband surgery,or after for that matter,Anyone who visits Canberra regularly will see quite a few politicians around Lake Burley Griffin on a run and and others cycling.
    Anyone who encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle no matter their political persuasion is to be commended I think

  20. Kaye Lee

    As I have said many times, I love my children dearly. It does not mean they are exempt from criticism or from expectations of improvement. I have been living with my husband for over 40 years. We disagree about stuff all the time. It doesn’t diminish my love for him or mean we are getting divorced. I am an avid sports fan. Doesn’t mean I don’t give the Waratahs or the Aussie cricket team a serve when they underperform. Why should a political party expect unquestioning blanket approval instead of listening to the opinions of those who want to vote for them?

  21. Freethinker

    burniebobthe_b_ Australia will get the government that deserve and will have nothing to do with our opinion about the ALP.
    In case that your posts it is in reference to my above post , I suggest to you to read my previous posts in this site to see what it is my opinion about the Coalition or politicians in the moderate or extreme right factions

  22. Kaye Lee


    I understand what you are saying but it so often seems to be done for the cameras. We don’t need to watch them exercise.

    As for Shorten beating Abbott in the City to Surf, Abbott acted as a guide for visually impaired triathlete Nathan Johnston – he occasionally does some good things (when the cameras are around).

  23. Mick Byron

    Some overlook the rules on Leadership and ballots within the ALP with the continued calls for Albanese to take over as Leader,but his leadership capabilities must be in question by those who know,his colleagues,as his own faction voted against him in the Leadership election
    A Leader is elected by an equally weighted ballot of caucus and party members.
    It also has in place “the prime minister can only be removed if 75 per cent of MPs agree to force a ballot. This is lower – 60 per cent of caucus – for an opposition leader.

    Shorten gave a clear indication of his philosophy and direction in the ballot against Anthony Albanese back in 2013

    Bill Shorten vowed that, if successful:

    ” You will hear less about ‘I’ and more about ‘we’. The era of the messiah is over.”

    Bill also enforced the majority decision from within the Labor ranks

    “… the 90:10 rule – let’s work on the 90% we agree on, not the 10% we differ.”

    Shorten intimates an understanding of distributive leadership and an appreciation that power sharing is essential to addressing thorny public policy dilemmas.

    In my decision-making, I have always consulted with the widest array of people and will continue to do so as prime minister … My belief is that effective leadership does not mean accumulating power. On the contrary it has been my experience that devolving power had the potential to provide superior process and policy.

    And further:

    Any government I lead will operate in a collegial, consultative manner where cabinet decision-making processes and caucus debate are taken seriously. To me decentralising power is more than a noble ambition or slogan. It is a style of leadership that works.

    When campaigning for Labor’s leadership in 2013, Shorten declared:

    “If I was to be prime minister, I would like to be known as the prime minister for the powerless, for the disempowered, the people who don’t have a voice in our society.”

    Shorten warns against the reflexive policy nostalgia for that era promoted by those who police the idea that reform must be synonymous with further market liberalisation. He observes:

    “There is no way for modern Labor to simply update and reintroduce the changes implemented by the Hawke/Keating era … Modern Labor seeks government in a different world.”

  24. corvus boreus

    Although Australian elections are, of course, decided by articulation of policy, not parties or personalities, and opinion polls are entirely irrelevant to the conduct of politics, I still find the latest Roy Morgan research findings quite interesting.

    For Labor, Shorten is considered the 3rd best option by the broader electorate, but rates as runner up amongst Labor voters, who seem to favor him over Albanese (although Plibersek is still the clear first preference for both demographics).

    For the Coalition, PM Turnbull trails J Bishop as the second choice for the broader electorate, but apparently still rates as the most popular option for party leader amongst the coalition voter base.

    Former PM Abbott remains electorally impalatable to both his own party base and the wider punters, although Paulines mob seem to like him.

  25. Kaye Lee

    2011 article…

    “Last year he was one of the key conspirators in the plot to bring down Kevin Rudd, and it was he who marshalled the numbers for Gillard, working two mobile phones from a Canberra restaurant on the night of the spill, ticking MPs off his list.

    Since then, he’s been rewarded with the job of assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, which isn’t bad for a guy with less than four years in parliament, and he’s been polishing his Mr Nice Guy image. But don’t be fooled: Shorten has been a factional powerbroker all his political life and has huge ambition.

    ”Bill is a future champion,” the late Senator John Button once quipped. ”I know that because he’s told me.”

    One Power Index informant remembers Shorten grabbing a seat beside Button at a dinner and bending his ear for half-an-hour, at the end of which the shocked senator told the person on the other side that Shorten had been seeking tips on how to become prime minister.”

    Bill isn’t in the top job yet. And he told The Power Index, “I’m a Gillard man. I don’t lie awake at night thinking about whether I’ll be leader.”

    Then in 2013…..

    The former trade union boss made Julia Gillard’s defeat certain when he revealed at a strategically-timed press conference he would be backing Kevin Rudd.

    His announcement was made just before the leadership ballot. It made clear Mr Shorten’s intention, and no doubt influenced the vote.

    Yet we are asked to give unquestioning loyalty to Bill? Policy is what is important for me. Excuse my cynicism about Bill’s branding of himself. His shenanigans helped make Abbott PM.

  26. helvityni

    Whatever anyone says, Labor is still the BETTER option, I’m terribly disappointed with Mal ,I can’t stand Dutton, Morrison , Bishop, Cash, Abetz, honestly not any of them, and I’m pleased that I have not seen Hanson on my screen for a while…..

    I like and respect many of the Greens. I don’t trust Xenophon, and I don’t understand how someone like Hinch and some others get elected.

    …and of course I too like Albo, I preferred him to Shorten when the choice was there.

  27. Mick Byron

    Kaye Lee “Yet we are asked to give unquestioning loyalty to Bill?”
    I’m not sure if that question was directed at me,but no, I don’t expect you to as I don’t myself.
    I am a member and supporter of the ALP and as such I support the Leader on most things but not all and I think that wouldn’t be uncommon within the ALP membership.There are policies I do not support but I still believe that they are the only party with the ability to dethrone the LNP and the majority of ALP policy is worth supporting.
    I raise my objections to policies I disagree with within the confines of branch meetings or within the ALP at other opportunities.
    I do find however that the difference with LNP members or supporters and Alp members or supporters is that the LNP pretty much keep their squabbles and fights in house where the ALP does not.
    My concern with the ALP in that regards is that it just provides aid and comfort to the LNP to attack Labor

  28. Terry2


    Michaelia Cash is busily mentoring Pauline Hanson : just watch the way that PHON vote in the Senate, despite all the posturing there is no more that a whisker between One Nation and the Liberals.

  29. Jagger

    Kaye Lee- “Labor sold the Commonwealth Bank for less then $8 billion” , then why did Howard get $5.15 billion for the remainder of the Commonwealth Bank? Ah fake news.

  30. crypt0

    ”I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people would be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two. But they might”
    I felt a bit like that approaching the 2016 election, John.
    But they did.
    Won’t make the mistake of over rating the judgement of the Oz electorate again !

  31. Florence nee Fedup

    Both saying the same thing from different perceptions. Great to have more than one person capable of leading Labor. Albo is young, his time will come.

    It is about the depth of the team, not the leader that counts.

  32. wam

    kaye what do you mean ‘we’? Surely it is murdoch and his mates on the ABC who tag labor with shorten???

    When the lemon’s law of selection was passed the people selected albo but we got another hayden.
    If there is to be change we must realise albo is no hawk.

    The only hope beyond another gough, is for shorten to remember beaconsfield or albo to make us laugh at trumbull and the son of a small car using the rabbott as a benchmark of lies.

  33. wam

    oops kaye my knickers are down just got onto face book and cfmeu have shorten labor government as a banner.

  34. Michael Taylor

    Mick, that was a vile, faceless, disgusting attack by Miranda Devine.

  35. John Lord

    Was that Miranda. Lovely girl. Just a pity she drinks.

  36. Kaye Lee

    “Whatever anyone says, Labor is still the BETTER option”

    I fully agree and have been typing my fingers to the bone for four years showing why I agree.


    My comment wasn’t directed at anyone specifically. I just find Labor members often see criticism as disloyalty which makes it very hard to have an honest discussion.

    Miranda Devine is despicable….and dumb.

    “fake news”

    Between 1991 and 1996 the Australian government fully privatised the Commonwealth Bank. The first share offer in 1991 was valued at $1,292 million, the second in 1993 for $1,700 million and the third was sold for $5,000 million in 1996. The decision to privatise was Labor’s. Both parties have jumped on the bandwagon for a short term sugar hit to make THEIR budget look better – stuff future generations robbed of profitable assets,

  37. Matters Not

    Why do we call parties by the leader’s name?

    While the reasons may be many, one of the important consequences is that it gives the designated leader some ‘wriggle’ room when elected to government. While the ALP may have ‘policies’, the leader has ‘priorities’. Witnessed the tension between the two on any number of occasions.

    When Rudd was elected there was a raft of policies ‘shovel ready’ for implementation but some were not Rudd’s ‘priority’. (More’s the pity.) The reform of school funding is a good example. What we now know as Gonski could have been commissioned on Day 1 but Rudd ruled it out for his first Term fearing the backlash from the sectional interests who would be losers. He could foresee what is happening now. The Catholics are in revolt – predictable and predicted.

    Of course, the ‘party’ can demand that certain policies be implemented post-haste, but they do so at their peril. Rudd from Queensland knows full well what happens to both the ‘individual’ and the ‘party’ when such tensions erupt into internecine warfare. Labor in Queensland was in power for ‘ever’ until the rise of the Gair Labor government in the 1950s. Under Gair

    reforms were carried out in worker’s compensation, sick leave, and annual leave. Long-service leave was also introduced, while the government’s price controls enabled workers in Queensland to enjoy the highest real wages (adjusted for prices) in Australia.

    Gair and Labor were very popular. There was nevertheless one policy reform, while ‘on the books’, Gair refused to implement. It was 3 weeks annual leave. Needless to say he used the ‘can’t afford’ reasoning. In response the Queensland Branch’s Central Executive ruled that legislation introducing the leave be introduced by the parliamentary party. Gair was not be controlled from outside of the parliament and the result was a ‘split’ which saw the end of Labor rule in Queensland. And for the first time in 25 years and only the second time since 1915, a Labor Government was out of office in Queensland. The ALP would not return to power in Queensland until 1989. A break of some 32 years.

    I lived through those 32 years and rejoiced in that year when the Goss Labor Government was formed. Lots of personal consequences for me as well. Now every Labor Government brands itself with the Leader’s name and every time there is a (potential) clash between the organisation and the parliamentary wing – the leader in particular – the organisation usually gives way. A popular leader’s Priorities triumph over Policies every time.

  38. Jagger

    Kaye Lee, so Howard never oversaw the third stage, Labor made him do it.

  39. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure what you are getting at Jagger. Do you think privatisation, or “asset recycling” as they like to to call it nowadays, is a good idea?

  40. jamesss

    I really don’t believe any party actually serves this country or its people. First of all if you are in service you do it from your heart, always, with every decision. That includes the environment, the indigenous and with complete transparency, to name just a few. The current system has a disingenuous attitude to the above criteria.
    All of the contributors to this web site has suggested on numerous occasions the means to bring to fruition amazing ideas and solutions to many of the problems ailing our country, including the exposing of their skullduggery. It will take a leap in consciousness by what we refer to as those of leadership potential of our nation. That realization I believe is way into the future.

  41. Stephen Brailey

    I can only agree!

  42. Jagger

    Kaye Lee, Howard’s government implemented the third stage of the Commonwealth Banks privatisation, to say it was all Labor’s fault is misleading. I do agree that Labor implemented the policy much to their shame and no I don’t support privatising the taxpayers assets.

  43. Matters Not

    don’t support privatising the taxpayers assets.

    Not sure that’s the best choice of words. ‘Taxpayers’ are many and varied – ranging from companies like Google through Facebook to the pensioner who buys a loaf of bread. It seems to me when it comes to assets, the concept of citizenship should ‘rule the day’.

    The Australian Government is not elected by taxpayers but by Australian citizens who are the legitimate owners of ‘our’ assets.

    And the sooner the citizens realise that the better off we as citizens will ne.

  44. Kaye Lee


    Not being affiliated with any political party is very liberating I find. I don’t really care whose fault something is. I am much more interested in learning from the mistakes of the past to avoid them in the future.

    I see absolutely no point in asking the Coalition to consider the consequences of what they do. I had hoped that progressives could have a discussion but it always becomes “they are worse than us” or “stop Labor-bashing” instead of ‘maybe we should reconsider that’.

    Privatisation has been something both governments have used and continue to support. Blame is pointless. Evaluation is not.

  45. corvus boreus

    I wonder why no-one (not even wam) rates Tanya Plibersek as worthy of consideration?

  46. Mick Byron

    corvus boreus
    I asked Tanya about Leadership ambitions at an ALP functtion we both attended at the Chifley Research Centre some time ago and she indicated she had absolutely no interest in Leadership other than as Deputy Leader.It seems personal and family roles would not allow the dedication needed for leadership and she is quite happy supporting the current leader

  47. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I want to see Catherine King and Linda Burney in the leadership roles. They are people with hearts and spine to bring about change. I also like the fact King is from the Left of Labor.

    Albanese will do until then.

  48. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    Fair enough.
    Despite Tanya Plibersek’s seeming overall general popularity with both the broad electorate and the Labor faithful, a totally unwilling leader may be an even worse choice than an overly-ambitious one.
    Having conducted a little subsequent (curiosity-based) research, I can also further applaud aspects of wisdom and prudence in her decision to remain a loyal understudy rather than an aspirant party chief.
    Aside from the fact that she has the prejudicial disadvantages of possessing both female gender and an ethnic surname, her husband’s ‘colorful’ history could be somewhat detrimental to her personal credibility, giving ready ammunition to Labor’s political opponents and possibly hurting the Labor party’s chances of gaining governance under her leadership.
    A bit of a shame really, because Tanya Plibersek comes across as quite intelligent, articulate, reasonable and personable, and seems to be one of the more credible parliamentary performers.

  49. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick Byron & corvus boreus,

    you have my respect for seeing the elements of Plibersek’s quality. Sadly to my dismay, I cannot agree.

    She has become part of the establishment and even with her perceived power within Labor, she is wishy-washy and insubstantial.

  50. helvityni

    “A bit of a shame really, because Tanya Plibersek comes across as quite intelligent, articulate, reasonable and personable, and seems to be one of the more credible parliamentary performers.”

    corvus boreus, she is all that, but she still has a very young family to be concerned about, We will hear more about her later on when she will be able to take on time-consuming political positions.

  51. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you are fair and equitable in your assumption of why Plibersek acts as she does.

    However, if she was truly deserving of your support, she should be allowing another woman into her position right now to ensure good left policies can proceed on the proviso she gets to come back when her time is right.

    Meanwhile, people are dying on the streets; people are suiciding coz of robo-debt, people are suffering in desperate unemployment, while the likes of Plibersek pretend to try to combat the elements that cause these injustices.

  52. havanaliedown

    “The prejudicial disadvantages of possessing both female gender and an ethnic surname”- I think Gladys Berejiklian smashed that double barrier some time ago. How odd that the party of supposed racist, sexist troglodytes elected a woggy-named female as leader. Oh, single and childless as well. Goodonya Gladys!

  53. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I don’t really think you have an idea what you are talking about as your description of Tanya as “wishy-washy and insubstantial.” couldn’t be further from the truth. Such unsubstantiated and inaccurate statements as yours give you little credibility.
    corvus boreus description of Tanya as “quite intelligent, articulate, reasonable and personable, and seems to be one of the more credible parliamentary performers.” hits the mark IMO

  54. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Normally, I would agree with CB for her/his purity of thought and interpretation but sadly not on Plibersek’s substance.

    Plibersek is inconsequential just as is Shorten.

    Time for modern Labor to stop their petty inner-party constraints, so that true politicians with integrity can shine.

    Since poor ole Labor probably can’t, New AUS Labor must aim to achieve proper democratic socialist representation for all of us.

  55. helvityni

    Jennifer, thumbs up for good women like King and Burney, like both of them…

  56. Mick Byron

    Other views on Tanya

    She joined the Labor Party at 15.
    BRW magazine described her as a “powerful candidate” due to her “warmth, intelligence … and, let’s not be shy, her undoubted charisma”. Then former PM Julia Gillard all but endorsed Plibersek, calling her one of the most gifted communicators in politics.
    Margaret whitlam was one of those who nominated Tanya as a candidate for office which she won in 1998
    She’s Left through and through …
    Back in 2003, when then-president George W Bush visited Australia and spoke to Parliament, Plibersek approached his national security advisor Condoleezza Rice to hand her a book of Labor MP speeches against the war in Iraq. At the ALP’s national conference in 2011, she was given a standing ovation for her speech in favour of same-sex marriage becoming part of the party’s platform.

  57. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mick Byron,

    she deserves credit for those acts and she has received credit for those acts.

    Not much since.

    She has succombed like the rest of them to the cushiness of alternative government.

    No responsibility but a good paycheck.

  58. Mick Byron

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I can only assume you make such ridiculous statements through blissful ignorance at just what this talented womn has achieved and will continue to do,very likely as our next Deputy Prime Minister
    Some links so as to educate you and hopefully stop you from making a complete ass of yourself

    Ministerial appointments

    Minister for Housing from 3.12.07 to 14.9.10.
    Minister for the Status of Women from 3.12.07 to 14.9.10.
    Minister for Human Services from 14.9.10 to 14.12.11.
    Minister for Social Inclusion from 14.9.10 to 14.12.11.
    Minister for Health from 14.12.11 to 1.7.13.
    Minister for Health and Medical Research from 1.7.13 to 18.9.13.

    Tanyas first speech;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F1998-11-11%2F0018%22

    Tanyas last speech;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2Fd2bc0c63-7655-40cd-abda-b573f7b63d0d%2F0116%22

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sorry to say this but Tanya holding various offices doesn’t mean much when she hasn’t done much with them.

    Nothing significant happened in Human Services. I speak from personal experience.

  60. Mick Byron

    “Idiots are of two kinds: those who try to be smart and those who think they are smart.”
    ― Raheel Farooq
    I rest my case

  61. Matters Not

    Mick Byron, you do advance a somewhat hagiographical account of Tanya Plibersek abilities and career to date. And that’s fair enough.

    When she became the Shadow for the Education portfolio I applauded. She has all the day to day political skills that Labor needs. But (and there’s always a but) she has also been somewhat disappointing. Recently Birmingham, in reference to Gonski, pointed out that some schools were grossly underfunded which they are. It was the same ‘truth’ advanced by Latham many years before and for which he was lambasted – ‘hit lists’ – and all that. That political attack made the Labor Party ‘gun shy’ for years. It was one reason that Rudd/Gillard decided that ‘no schools would receive less’ in the Gonski Terms of Reference. A policy mistake of significant proportions.

    When Birmingham made his admission (re overfunding of certain schools and the need to remedy same) I figured that Tanya would recognise the long-term strategic policy importance of same. Here was the opportunity to be strategic and right an historical wrong.

    But no, Plibersek opted for the cheap, tactical, political response. Instead of welcoming Birmingham’s admission that things were wrong and needed to be corrected, she adopted the same cheap shots used against Latham. Rather sad. Particularly when her husband is a former Director General of Education in NSW who is across the ‘problems’. Perhaps it was good short term politics but it was very much a wasted strategic opportunity. Disappointing.

    Further – and here – I remember the past, when Whitlam was elected he had a vision including rather well developed policies for what he wanted to do. In that vein, I ask what does Tanya want to do with Education? While she has been on the front foot in the ‘critical’ stakes, she has been quite mute in the positive dimension. Seems to me that waiting until the election to unveil an agenda is not the way to proceed, Where is the evidence that she is doing the policy homework? And if you say implement Gonski, I will scream. They had a chance to do that and Shorten stuffed it up – big time.

    Substance is required.

  62. Matters Not

    ‘Underfunded’ above should read ‘overfunded’.

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