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Day to Day Politics: Inequality, unfairness, and other emotions.

Sunday 9 April 2017

1 I was alarmed to read yesterday that there was an internal struggle within Labor over its approach to inequality and other policies leading up to the next election.

At the moment Labor are benefiting from the public’s opinion of what is a deplorable government but with two years to go anything can happen. It’s easy for an opposition to lay back and let the consequences of bad governance take its course. Labor is effectively in cruise control post-election thanks to a Government almost on its knees. But being proactive is far better than reacting to daily issues, and more effective.

Positive polls are a reflection of a party without division, in permanent campaign mode unified with a common purpose. Labor cannot afford to lose sight of the many challenges confronting it to attain government.

But behind the everyday machinations of government as Labor begins the always challenging task of recalibrating key policies there are signs of decent.

Labor must not lose sight of the turbulence that exists in politics, worldwide. People are protesting that they are being left out. That they no longer have a say in their future. There is a dissatisfaction with mainstream politics. In their naivety communities are turning to the very people who have no interest in helping them.

There are those on the party’s left who believe in a more robust approach to inequality. Although on the right former Treasurer Wayne Swan is leading a chorus of voices in favour of a more aggressive one.

The contentious issue seems to centre around what’s known as the ”Buffett rule” where high income earners would pay a minimum rate of tax.

Creating a more equitable society will not be an easy task. There are a multitude of issues like the future of work for example that will need to be addressed. The Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen is on the “No Buffett tax” side and is adamant that it will not be on the party’s platform.

Whatever the outcome it is to be hoped that the Labor movement brings together a bit of the old Labor fire in the belly campaigning.

”From each according to his ability to each according to his needs”

If Labor cannot command the electorate’s attention on inequality and fairness then it doesn’t deserve to govern. The ACTU under the leadership of Sally McManus seems to be intent on taking advantage of a growing anger with what is seen as tax rorts by the rich and privileged. It may in fact be the catalyst that brings home those who have left the party and gone to the Greens or otherwise have joined the three million who have dropped out altogether.

2 Speaking of fairness, the man who knows not when to close his mouth was at it again yesterday, defending himself against the Robb Report’s conclusion that the party was “policy underdone” when it came to power. Something that I have been saying for many years. He believed that so long as the conservatives were in power that alone was a sure-fire answer to all the country’s ills.

“I’m happy to stand behind the 2014 budget,” Abbott told 2GB. “It was obviously a budget that was sabotaged in the Senate but it was a budget of sustained structural reform.”

”Had those measures passed through the Senate, our budgetary position would be vastly better, our future I think would be much more secure because we would be living within our means.”

The mind of a silver spooned capricious fool like Abbott, lacking any understanding of the word altruism, would I think be prevented by his own narcissistic qualities in admitting that his 2014 budget was condemned universally as the most unfair ever.

3 The one thing that is clear about our current situation is the trajectory. We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott’s leadership,”

Are you absolutely sure that the quote above was said by Prime Minister Turnbull.

“When I challenged Tony Abbott, I referred to the fact that he had lost 30 Newspolls in a row. That was not the only basis for my mounting a challenge, I made a number of other points.”

He is being asked the very reasonable question of what should take place when and if he reaches 30.

Mr Dutton, considered a potential future leader from the party’s right, agreed 30 bad Newspolls in a row would present a legitimate trigger for leadership challenge.

You see now he is saying that what I thought he said is only a figment of my imagination. That what I think I thought he meant is not what he meant at all. That when he says something and I take it to mean one thing he has the option of saying that what I thought I heard was not what I heard at all. It was only my interpretation of what he meant. I mean, did he say what he meant or did he mean to say what he meant or was what he meant really what he meant.

I know that I am 76 and I have the odd senior moment but usually I know what I mean and what is meant by what I say. I also know that people understand what I’m meaning.

My thought for the day.

“Bullshitting is bad enough but when someone believes their own, that is intellectual dishonesty”

PS: I will be taking a short break leading up to Easter.

 

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39 comments

  1. Freethinker

    I am not sure if I am pessimistic or realistic but IMO (an I have said that many times in the pass) as long as we have people in the ALP with neoliberal ideology and people in the left that do not have the guts to once for all to start a 3rd front we do not have a hope.
    The right faction in the ALP is closer to the moderate Liberals regarding neoliberals macro economics.
    The left faction members in the ALP it is guilty as the moderate right in the liberals because both are not prepared to risk their seats.
    Their position is their seat first, the party second and the country third.
    Are we going to see a left faction in the ALP that will said enough it is enough?

  2. wam

    No smiles today but I am with you lord.
    Kennedy’s approach is not one to be followed. Labor needs to be seen as the alternative and that is achieved by using the electorates long term memory and keeping trumble et al on the front foot. We should forget the history of ming and little johnnie and the unlucky success of ploys that they used….

    Sadly, the words, of your senior moment on ‘meaning’, were articulated by the rabbott. Yet he, the least able PM in my memory, including Billy, was elected by using the long term tactic of calmly watching whilst the lemon, and his monkey fits, covered all gillard’s good with a coating of @@&&%&#.

    ps
    Lord, in our time, we saw a buddhist monk self-immolate to protest the war in vietnam, the IRA, the Basque, and when we were young the Mau Mau, These, and many others, were all separatist movements, with a clear motive for terror.
    What was the motive of the drivers in Germany, England and Sweden or the youth who murdered Curtis Chen?

  3. Barry

    “You see now he is saying that what I thought he said is only a figment of my imagination. That what I think I thought he meant is not what he meant at all. That when he says something and I take it to mean one thing he has the option of saying that what I thought I heard was not what I heard at all. It was only my interpretation of what he meant. I mean, did he say what he meant or did he mean to say what he meant or was what he meant really what he meant.”

    My head is still spinning after reading that, but then all pollies do that.

  4. helvityni

    Abbott did not understand altruism, agree.

    Nor does Turnbull, even less so.

    His first speech was about Domestic Violence. He has not built any safe houses for the victims.
    He speaks of child-victims of chemical weapons in Syria, he hasn’t increased the intake of Syrian asylum seekers in the past, like Trudeau did.
    He does not understand that sticking to Negative Gearing is not helping our young to buy their first houses.
    He promotes ‘clean and nuanced’ coal, he does he not care about our Environment either.
    Republic is forgotten, and he’s in no hurry to allow our gays to marry…
    Where is his concern for the pensioners, disabled, jobless and the sick…

    Talk and hand-waving is cheap, positive action is needed.

  5. Alan Baird

    You’re doing very well, John. I’m trying to shepherd my marbles too.
    I endorse Freethinker’s remarks above, particularly those concerning the Left’s alarming propensity for cloning policies from the Right. Observing actual words and actions when in government, Left representatives seem just as neo-lib as the Right. Indeed they can be thoroughgoing conservatives, unable to disengage from that which the capital C conservatives have wrought in govt. Only this week a prominent Labor Opposition person having a lot to do with Treasury matters was making VERY conservative noises about tax and “leaving be”. As it happens he’s from the Right but a leftie could say the same the next day. Labor left the very expensive “Priests in schools” scheme untouched with full funding in budget straitened times and that was with a supposed “Left wing atheist” in charge. Just what does the Labor Party pretend to stand for? Why do the so-called “conservatives”, the ones in government actually go to such trouble to keep the Labor Party out when we know that with the ALP (Another (neo) Liberal Party) occupying the govt benches, there will be dozens and dozens of Kim Beasley’s “safe pairs of hands” busily doing bugger all? Yes, “that” Kim Beasley who adopted the “small target” policy while hiding his bulk behind a blade of grass and being anointed “the best Opposition Leader ever” by that repository of Left Wing Thought, Gerard Henderson, on account of Kim’s admirably ineffectual leadership. All the ALP has to do is to eschew all of the above habits. A tough ask looking at the members.

  6. Jaquix

    I think you meant “dissent” not “decent” John. Katharine Murphy write the article you read with alarm. Relax a little, she loves to have a go at Labor and constantly let’s the Libs, esp. Malcolm, off the hook. But you are right, inequality is a huge issue and Labor needs to push it as a point of difference. At the same time they need to not “scare the horses” and stifle initiative and innovation. I think they’re probably onto it.

  7. passum2013

    The Liberal Nationals no Action Lies parties need to implode. Please dont cause problems for Labor as it is good for democracy for all party members to be of various ideology. It helps debate and gives a wider base of voters to have their representatives to air their views that they voted for and into parliament. The Labor party represents Unions and all others that vote labor the United party for all Australians not just the rich tax bludgers that the average person in now subsitizing with their tax ,gst etc

  8. helvityni

    Jaquix, I too have noticed that especially when appearing on Insiders, KM lets Mal off the hook…

  9. burniebobthe_b

    John youve done exactly what the LNP lovers would have hoped for and that is carrying that Labor hating Katherine Murphys yarn to a different audience
    So now we have some imaginary drama surrounding different bodies getting together to discuss potential Labor policy before reaching a consensus that everyone adheres to? Where’s the sniping, the holding up of tiny fists, shouting, incoherent babble, plans to have a plan, killing terrorists …

  10. Freethinker

    burniebobthe_b, excuse me please if I understand you wrong.
    Are you suggesting that we should not bring this issue up for discussion between well informed and politically educated readers in this site and keep everything ” steady as we go” ?
    For the good of Australia the ALP have to change, other ways will be not an option.
    Like Gough said” It’s Time”

  11. David1

    Anything from the keyboard of Katherine Murphy I now take with a grain of salt. The woman is a close friend of the Turnballs and it’s not the first time she has come to his not so disguised defense, by attacking Labor. I note the ability to respond to her article in the Guardian was cut very short when the vast majority of responses were negative. I am sure she would be welcomed by the ABC. or Murdoch’s gutter media.

    I recall when she attempted most unwisely, a ‘gotcha’ question to Sally McManus new National Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions at The National Press Club recently, she was politely but so pointedly put in her place.
    Anyone who didn’t hear Sally might find it educational to have a listen to her speech and responses to the oh ‘not so smart’ journalists with their mainly loaded questions from 39 minutes approx.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-29/national-press-club:-sally-mcmanus/8398130?pfmredir=sm

  12. burniebobthe_b

    Freethinker I just think John bought Katherine Murphys pot stirring as fact when it isn’t like that
    Labor has internal processes where “different bodies getting together to discuss potential Labor policy before reaching a consensus that everyone adheres to.”
    Discuss it all you like amongst yourselves but don’t just take what Katherine Murphy has to say as gospel.
    Labor are discussing lots of things within the Party, and they have tactics committees policy committees branches and caucus all putting in there thoughts that will be the Policies it takes to the next election and of course during the discussions because Labor is so diverse there will be disagreements debate and finally a policy
    I question just how “well informed and politically educated readers ” are of the thoughts and processes of the internal workings of the Labor Party

  13. Freethinker

    burniebobthe_b I criticised Katherine in nera all his articles and posts in her blog during the election campaign. She was and is bias in the comments and I do not take any notice of her opinions about the ALP or the Greens for that matter.
    Further more I sent many times my views to the Guardian editor about Murphy’s posts covering nearly 90% the coalition campaign in her blog news.
    My views about the ALP are since Bob’s leadership and have not change.
    When I come to Australia, Gough have made a speech (October 1969)that made me think that I have landed in paradise ( http://electionspeeches.moadoph.gov.au/speeches/1969-gough-whitlam), now the ALP it is not the same.
    We need another Gough IMHO
    I know about the debates that you are mention but at the end as I have said before, the policies are in many cases against of the fundamental ideas of few that are not prepared to risk their seat in the party to propose them to the electorate by opening a 3rd front with those that are sharing the same values.
    Self political preservation and the party come above the interest of the masses.

  14. David1

    burniebobthe_b all excellent pertinent comments, I am reminded of Abbott’s often made remark when leader of the Opposition similar to, ‘it is not the Oppositions job to announce policy until an election is called’. i wouldn’t agree as a rule of thumb, \as in some areas it wouldn’t do any harm as Labor in fact is doing. But certainly major policy announcements should be made when the situation demands and in many cases that would be closer to an election, in my opinion.

  15. burniebobthe_b_

    David1
    I saw a tiny bit here on the news and it seems NSW had some by elections which would make Malcolm feel a bit uneasy
    Labor wone one but I don’t think they ran candidates in the other 2
    North Shore Liberal Party -16.2
    Manly Liberal Party -24.7

    Gosford Labor +11.5
    Liberal -12.4
    Isn’t Manly part of Tony Abbotts electorate?
    He better start chewing onions and riding fire trucks and building a wall to win some hearts and minds back

  16. burniebobthe_b_

    Freethinker
    We have to move past history and what happened with Gough as that was a different time different world.
    I’m an import to as my lot are from Greece but I got a trade {Turd Herder} Plumber and have did alright
    Labor need policies for the 21st century not the 20th, but I think Gough was a legend for his time as was Chifley

  17. burniebobthe_b_

    David1
    If labor announced a policy today it just gives the Liberals and the Media that much longer to lie cheat distort and plunder it all the way to the election and Labor hardly gets the Media space to defend of correct the lies.
    Keep policies til close to an election and surprise the bastards and keep them guessing I think

  18. Freethinker

    burniebobthe_b_ I brought Gough and his speech as an example of what it is needed, but having said that many of his ideas are relevant today.
    Bill give me the impression that in many cases he seat in the fence and he is not clear with his position in many important issues.
    I am not in favor for a party to disclose they policies in the last couple of month before an election, it give the impression as a party that do not have a clear view and just will go with what can be a winner in the last moment.
    IMO it is an insult to the intelligent voters. I would not vote for that type of party, I would not vote for a party with leadership team with neoliberal ideology
    Give me a plan, a set of policies that are clear and set.

  19. paulwalter

    There were in fact two concurrent articles in the Grauniad, the first by Van Badham and then a corollary of sorts from Katharine Murphy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/06/australian-labor-led-centre-left-parties-into-neoliberalism-can-they-lead-it-out#comments

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/07/labor-has-been-cruising-comfortably-but-an-internal-battle-looms

    You can’t get the Murphy article without first reading Badham and together they explain John Lord’s take, actually a brief summary.

    The point is, either Bowen is playing a tactical and strategic small target game against the government this far out from another election, eg not allowing Labor to fall into the trap of arguing Turnbull’s agenda on Turnbull’s terms, and/or playing very selfish politics at the cost of a serious issue and policy. This would involve the ALP’s future direction and the influence of irrational neoliberalism within Labor and how that relates to factionalism within Labor. This is in relation to control, perhaps involving a misplaced faith in (pragmatist? defeatist?) Third Way politics and neoliberaiism that precludes a leftist analysis and response.

    John Lord taking a little time off is of no surprise to me, as I also find politics increasingly depressing at this stage in proceedings.

  20. burniebobthe_b_

    Freethinker
    “I would not vote for that type of party, I would not vote for a party with leadership team with neoliberal ideology”
    That is your right to not vote for who you don’t like, so don’t vote for Labor.it is a democracy and you have free choice
    Me, I joined the Labor Party to have a say and support the only real opposition to the Liberals and I’m happy enough with most things Labor
    “IMO it is an insult to the intelligent voters”
    How many intelligent voters do you think there are?
    Everything I’ve ever read shows most voters don’t even give politcs a second thought til an election is called

  21. stephentardrew

    Good one John. Have a great break. Looking forward to hearing from you after Easter.

  22. David1

    burniebobthe_b_ ..you last post is a very good example of individual ‘free thinking’ and for the most part ‘freethinker’ exhibits the same. I rarely agree with his/her comments, but never the right to express them

  23. guest

    Freethinker,

    you have used a number of point to complain about the workings of the Labor Party:

    “Give me a plan, a set of policies that are clear and set.”
    “…the ALP have to change, other ways (sic) will not be an option.”
    “opening up a 3rd front”
    “the interests of the masses”
    “neoliberal ideology”

    You seem to hark back to the days of Gough and his policies which impressed you. You seem to have arrived in Oz when those plans were being implemented. The 70s are long gone. If you want a “set of policies which are clear and set”, then you need to look at the policies which Labor presented at the last election. Labor was clearly distinguishable from the Coalition, and still are.

    Remember that Labor came within an ace of winning government with those policies in the last election.

    But you are worried about “the interests of the masses” and the presence of “neoliberal ideology”. And you are right to say that politicians keep an eye on what keeps them in power, because not much can be achieved from Opposition. So we see that Labor runs with some neoliberal policy because that is the sphere in which the unions have to work. But Labor works to support the workers in that environment and will oppose what is not in the best interests of the workers. See what Sally McManus says.

    As for neoliberal ideology, that is pervasive almost world-wide. That does not make it right – and its faults are being seen more and more. But the “interests of the masses” is what capitalism has instilled into the thinking of the masses, so they believe that “jobs and growth” are what it is all about.

    So we see even Labor in Qld. being willing to entertain the idea supporting the Adani mine to achieve what the masses want. The environment takes second place because there is the belief that “safe-guards” can be put in place, that capitalists know what they are doing. Well, may be, may be not.

    So also, Labor was wedged with the Coalition border policy because it was clearly true that refugees drowned under Labor policy. And the Oz citizens have been brainwashed against “illegals” even when they are not illegal.

    There are those in Labor who oppose the border policy, but to suggest as you do that they form a “3rd front” is to create dissension and division. We have had enough of that. Labor presents a united front; it is the Coalition which is in disarray and dividing into opposing factions.

    Surely Labor needs to be supported – and by all means offer constructive criticisms – but let us not think that Labor is sitting about, twiddling thumbs.

  24. Freethinker

    guest, I do not compare the ALP with the Coalition because I detest and oppose the right ideology (personal experience) but at the same time to me good enough opposition it is not enough and therefore I cannot support that ideology and polices that started by Bob and Paul and continuing now with Bowen who going by his statements thinks that he is the leader.
    Regarding the third front, IMO Australia is heading (politically minors military dictatorship) to what I have experienced in South America, specially in Uruguay where the political landscaping was nearly the same as the one in Australia with two parties with moderate members on it among other factions.
    The difference is that in Uruguay the progressive moderate members in both parties realized that the parties were not serving the people with their polices and left that ” safe seats” to form a broad front with other progressive parties.
    I guess that you are thinking that the present ALP serves the interest of the workers but remember was that ALP Hawke/Keating they literally with the help of the leader of ACTU sold the interest and right of the workers. The one that you remember was before Bob’s government.
    Since then under ALP and Coalition governments the workers have lost their rights and conditions that were in place thanks to the sacrifices of the previous generations of the union movement.
    The ALP does not have to work with neoliberal policies and the unions do not have to work under that sphere, that it is an ideology imposed in the roots of the macroeconomic education of many economists that are not capable to think outside of it.
    Your post in this issue is a clear reflection of why we cannot have much changers within the ALP.
    The ALP in Qld is not supporting Adani because it is what the masses want it is doing for self interest or just plain incapability to find solutions regarding employment and sustainable growth.
    The same applies in Tasmania with logging and the Liberal state government.
    ” Labor presents a united front;” ? have you realize how many members the party lost?
    Labor will be supported by their own merits and not because the appalling Coalition government when they make a change to the way that they are going.
    If you look at the polls not only look how bad is performing the present government but also look how bad it is rated the present ALP leadership.

  25. Trish Corry

    What BurnieBob and guest said. ^^
    Happy Easter John have a good break. I’ve been on one myself. It’s not as easy as people think! Relax and Enjoy xx

  26. burniebobthe_b_

    Freethinker
    How come you keep peddling the untruth that the Greens and Liberals keep pushing about ALP membership
    “have you realize how many members the party lost?”
    Membership reforms see recruits rally to Labor cause

    Every state showed an increase in Labor members since 2012.

    Party reform, coupled with the unpopularity of Tony Abbott, has seen the ALP enjoy a resurgence in membership over the past 18 months.

    Under Bill Shorten’s leadership, the party’s rank and file has grown by more than 10,000 members to almost 54,000.
    The substantial lift in people joining Labor comes after a number of internal reforms that have given members a bigger say over policy, candidates and leadership.

    The most important was the decision in mid-2013 to allow rank-and-file members to cast a vote for federal leader. This reform has now been adopted in most states and territories.

    Between late 2012 and mid-2015, NSW and Victoria had strong membership growth, but Queensland had the biggest proportional increase

    Now please stop that falsehood

  27. guest

    Thank you, Freethinker, for your reply. Much to think about. But I cannot really understand what exactly you want from the politicians. In fact, I am not sure there are many people who could say what they want from politicians which politicians could easily provide.

    We can clearly see the problem when we look at the wishes of people who head off from the major parties and put their faith in minor parties such as One Nation. For example, there is the problem of employment. You say some governments (QId, Tas) are unable to think of jobs other than coal mining and logging. And yet the Federal govnt cannot think past “trickle down” economics, which is not very convincing. In the USA Trump promises jobs for miners, but there are no jobs for miners.

    You say workers’ rights have been lost despite the unions, but the use of individual contracts has cut off the influence of unions, but without unions it could be worse. Now we have so many people in part-time work and contracts which might not be renewed. Wages here in Oz and elsewhere have stagnated. So you speak of “macroeconomics”, which might also be called globalisation, and we see that the problems go beyond any one country and its government.

    So we see the problem of employment being trapped in the argument about old and new technologies; eg, coal and renewables – and the influence of ideologies (economics, climate change, nanny state, democracy, socialism, etc). And the emerging technology changes in the work-place.

    You have dismissed the Right as choice of ideology and you place great store by a 3rd group of like-minded “moderates”. Good luck with that. And then you would have the problem of leadership among a group of ambitious politicians. What of the Opposition? Who are they? We have had plenty of splinter groups in Oz and we see that in the composition of the Senate.

    So you criticise the leadership of Labor. You accuse Bowen of appearing to be the leader when he is in fact proposing a position beyond merely applying a Buffett minimum tax. It is a matter to be discussed within the party.

    As for Shorten, despite not being the most popular candidate for PM, nearly won the last election. Turnbull, meanwhile, riding high in the polls at the time, has turned out to be fizza. That Shorten did not win might well be because of the chaos within the party 2007-2013. It is the kind of problem which Turnbull now faces – which must please you very much. Look at the polls to see what people are thinking.

  28. Freethinker

    guest, that you for your reply, both know that it will be impossible to put in a small reply what I really want for the politicians.
    No one can dispute that the current macroeconomic polices, world wide for that matter are failing is such dramatic way that the gap betweek rich and poor it is increase, that the environment it is damaged to perhaps a point of not return, that the harmony between the classes and race is deteriorated.
    Based on that I guess that you would agree that we cannot continuing with the current models.
    I am not a politician an have not volunteered to be one or participate in the run of a country so it is not up to me to come with the solutions of some one expect it.
    It is not only me that believe that the current model is a failure, in Australia politicians that introduce it ( Keating) and current union leaders are saying that it have to be bury and look for new policies.
    I do not expect or ask for an easy solution but yes I expect for politicians or parties to come with policies that dramatically change the current situation. Bowen and those that agree with his policies IMO do not provide them.
    I accuse Bowen of appearing to be a leader base in his statement that the Buffett policy it is out of question when he know that are several members in his party that would like to contemplate it.
    He said, quote: “This approach isn’t the best way to address inequalities in the system. A Buffett rule won’t be something we take to the next election,”
    Anthony Albanese has moved to impose higher income tax rates on top earners by amending the party’s policy platform to adopt consideration of the “Buffett rule”, Jay Weatherill proposed the Buffett rule, Pat Conroy think that it will need a very strong consideration, MP John Graham said ” it is a common sense principle. It deserves public debate”
    On the ACTU 2015 congress, quote:
    THE BUFFETT RULE
    18. Congress agrees that Australia should introduce a rule (also known as ‘The Buffett Rule’) which imposes a minimum average rate of tax on very high income earners based on their total income. Estimates by The Australia Institute and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling suggest an additional $2.5 billion per annum could be raised from a minimum average tax rate of 35 percent.
    End of quote:

    Now tell me if Bowen is not acting like an arrogant leader.
    As for Shorten, he supports Bowen.

    I do not like the bias articles of Katherine in the Guardian but not one can denied that there are important disagreements within the ALP that have to be resolved.

  29. guest

    Freethinker, you are getting yourself into a frenzy about one policy statement from Bowen which Shorten agreed with. Is not Bowen entitled to make a statement? Does it make him the leader?

    I direct you back to Labor’s policies at the last election which were fairer and more targeted for ordinary people than the vague non-policies of the Coalition.

    The problem with collecting tax from the wealthy is that they have means to avoid tax. That needs to be addressed – and I suspect that Bowen (and Shorten) see that a Buffett tax could be avoided too.

    So, what to do? Still working on it, so let us not get too hysterical.

    As for Murphy’s reference to an apparent disagreement in Labor at this time, it is just a balancing comment for her article so that it is not too biased against the Coalition. But if you see catastrophic dissent among Labor people, it is nothing alongside Coalition chaos.

  30. Freethinker

    guest, why you keep mention the Coalition like if am supporting it or think that it is the only alternative to the ALP?
    Bowen it is entitled to make a statement but not in the way that he did it giving the impression that was in the nae of the ALP when it is not.
    It is not up to him if the Buffett rule will be taken to the next election he only has one vote.

  31. Mick Byron

    Freethinker
    Who do you think should be making statements other than Chris Bowen who is Labors Shadow Treasurer and previously served as Minister for Financial Services and was LaborsTreasurer.
    Chris is a senior member within the Labor ranks and did at one time serve as acting Leader.
    It seems to me he is the exact person who should be making comments on Tax, Budgets or other matters financial on behalf of Labor
    Bowen would have a big say in future Policy

  32. Freethinker

    Mick Byron, he is not the exact person to make that comment on a tax policy when hes views has not approved by the majority of the Caccus
    On the 2015 ALP national conference the document in page 30 “Future Tax Reforms Will”reads:
    Remove opportunities for tax avoidance by wealthy individuals, trough consideration of measures include a rule (also known as the “Warren Buffett Rule”)…………….

    Do you know if that have been over ruled in following conferences?
    If not, Bowen should not ignore that.

  33. burniebobthe_b_

    Freethinker
    Of course Bowen has a right to an opinion and a say in Labor policy after all he is Shadow Treasurer. What do you want, every comment approved before it is made?
    You are getting all too excited over something that hasn’t even been determined yet
    The reform was discussed a week or so ago by Labor’s national policy forum
    Labor’s national policy forum has progressed the Buffett rule as a “priority issue” for discussion
    From then if necessary it can be raised at the ALP National Conference
    the last Conference didn’t make it binding just to “consider”
    “the conference agreed to consider”

  34. paulwalter

    I think, in the end, this sums up the point I tried to make when including two very recent Guardian articles on appalling Bowen and Labor.

    Lenore Taylor argues that we are indeed in d.s when politics becomes more about “perception than policy”, everyone loses.

    fwiw, I’ll include the piece:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/08/when-politics-is-a-game-of-perception-not-policy-everyone-loses#comments

    Sad to see some who claim to know better were unable to contribute more substantially to an understanding of the problem John Lord draws attention to.

  35. thebustopher

    I am one who after nearly twenty years in the ALP left it thanks to Gillard’s Malaysia “solution”, and the overturning of branch decisions by Sussex Street. I spent a couple of years with the Greens, but gave up on them as they forget they are a political party. So for the last three years I’ve not been a member of any party. They all have internal ructions. Any room with at least two people in it will. (and if there are two economists in it there’ll be four ructions).

    These are par for the course for ANY association of people from the local golf club to the drama group to a political party.

    It’s how the differences are dealt with that is the publicly viewed problem. Leaking and backstabbing aren’t helpful, as a media will jump on that and amplify the differences, rather than what unites.

  36. guest

    paulwalter,

    the problem John Lord alludes to is failure to “command the electorate’s attention”. It seems to me that a 6-10 point lead in the polls tells us something about who the electorate favours at present.

    Lenore Taylor in her article says a great deal about Coalition problems and then tries to make a great deal about a poll which says that some respondents could not distinguish between Labor’s and Coalition’s policies on child care.

    I am not surprised. Which policies are referred to in the poll, current policies or past policies? Where would the current punter see such policies explained recently and how many would remember back to the campaign for the election July last year?

    Look at the media: Murdoch dominating with its right wing propaganda, the MSM obsessed with 10 second sound bites and advertising for their vapid entertainment – where does real discussion of political policy get any real airing?

    Thank heavens for the independent media. And Bill in his red bus.

  37. David1

    Guest…hear bloody hear.

  38. Alan Baird

    Look, what we need is for the Labor Right (no, not identical to “correct”) to put together a “mission statement” which will be decided by a committee over a weekend. May I suggest St Kevin be invited to run the thing. Kim can proof read it as a safety audit. Just as guidance, it should have NOTHING prescriptive and vague terms would be preferred so as to give the incoming government plenty of scope for inaction on inequality so as not to disturb the Tories. Regular consultations with the membership should be arranged with questions submitted beforehand for prioritisation to ensure pleasant experiences for fronting Labor MPs. See you there! Bring your safe hands with you.
    PS. The Daily Terror is getting ready for Mal to “mongrel up”. I STILL don’t know why they’re so worried by Bill and Chris. Nothing to see there.

  39. Freethinker

    Interesting numbers in the last poll. The over 50 withdraw support of the Coalition by 10% which was a gain to One Nation.
    It is a sample of over 6000 people so I do not know how good will be.
    Quote: In Queensland support for One Nation increased from 5.5% at the last election to 16%. Nationally, support for One Nation doubled to 10% since late last year, equal to the primary vote maintained by the Greens. End of quote
    That do not surprise me at all when there are some many people there that still thinking that Joh was the best politician ever to run the state.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/10/older-australians-turning-against-coalition-as-one-nation-support-grows-polling-shows

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