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Dear Labor – enough with the beige!

It’s really hard to find someone who voted for Abbott’s Liberal government who is willing to justify their actions without mentioning the Labor Party. I also find Greens voters share this trait, in that they often position their support for the Greens as being ‘anti-Labor’, more so than they are ‘pro-Green’. When you also take into account the mainstream media’s obsession with Labor bashing, it’s clear why Labor is permanently on the counter-attack from a pincer movement of anti-Labor-for-this-reason-or-another-culture that dominates Australian political discourse. So when people like me try to defend my support for the Labor Party by explaining by deep attachment to the Labor Party’s values and policies that are intrinsically tied to these values, I get a constant barrage of criticism and abuse from the aforementioned pincer movement. It’s fair to say that being a Labor supporter in this country is a fairly unrewarding exercise.

So why does the Labor Party, whether in government or opposition, bear the brunt of so much disappointment, criticism and abuse? I think it’s because the party’s mission is such a difficult one that it’s seemingly impossible to live up to the huge weight of expectation placed on it through its promise to protect us all from the economy that we also rely on for the continuation of our society.

Put simply, in my view, the Labor Party exists to cushion the community from the negative side-effects of a capitalist economy. But just knowing this is not very helpful if you don’t acknowledge the difficulty in achieving this quest. Because there’s an added complication to the battle between labour and capital (workers and those they work for); the Labor Party has promised to be both saviour for the labour side, and defender and concierge for capital at the same time.

A perfect example of the dichotomy between defending labour and capital is the criticism Prime Minister Gillard received for moving single-mothers from the sole parent payment onto Newstart when their youngest child turned eight. It’s worth noting that Gillard didn’t in fact introduce the policy, but rather brought all sole parent payment recipients in line with the policy Howard introduced. Yet the criticism I saw about Gillard making this change was disproportionately fiercer when compared with the criticism the Liberal government received for making the policy change in the first place. This is because Labor is expected to look after the poor, and the Liberals don’t carry this expectation. It’s when those we trust let us down that we’re most upset, but those we expect to let us down just meet our expectation when they do.

But discounting this emotional reaction, when you look at how Gillard’s decision aligns to Labor’s promise to defend labour against capital, the policy change actually does make sense. Because Gillard was no doubt hoping that the change in their pension situation, once their children are at school, would encourage single mothers to go back to the workplace. Workers are better off than people on pensions. Families where a parent works have more money to provide their children with basic necessities. You might think I’m harsh and uncaring for saying this, but I won’t apologise for pointing out that there is dignity in work, and as a society, we should do everything we can to encourage and support those who can work to do so.

In actual fact I disagreed with Gillard’s decision to move single mothers onto Newstart for two reasons – one because the decision was not also coupled with an acknowledgement that the Newstart allowance is not enough to live on, even as a temporary stop-gap between jobs. And the other is because a smarter policy would have been to encourage and support single-mothers into training to prepare them for the workplace, where there is increasingly less opportunity for un-educated people to find work. Gillard could also have focused on the reasons single mothers often can’t work, such as lack of child-care and the availability of stable part-time work.

The mistake Gillard made was wrongly positioning the policy change as a cost-saving measure at a time when her government was receiving constant criticism about over-spending, budget deficits and waste. And here lies the problem for Labor. The party is expected to look after everyone, from the unemployed and single parents, to workers, to the rich business owners, to multi-national corporations and their shareholders by keeping the economy in tip-top-profit-making shape and the budget in balance and also providing all the government payments and services required to stop people falling behind, all at the same time. Talk about an impossible expectation to live up to!

The Labor Party is also expected by many left-leaning voters to live up to the unreasonable expectation of having a policy platform that perfectly aligns with every single left-leaning voter’s policy preferences, bar none. For instance, many ex-Labor supporters on the left, who mostly now support the Greens, seem to have withdrawn their support of Labor due to one or sometimes two Labor policies they don’t agree with. Whether it be single parents on Newstart, asylum seeker policy, gay marriage or environmental policy, it would seem that there are huge numbers of left voting Australians who hold Labor up to an unobtainable standard of perfection. They want a Labor policy platform where they agree uncompromisingly with each and every policy, and anything short of this turns them into Labor haters, blind to every Labor policy they actually support and blind to the fact their lack of Labor support assists the Liberal party to win power.

The community’s belief that Labor can be everything to everyone all at the same time is crushing the party, leaving many Labor politicians, and certainly Bill Shorten, so scared of doing anything to hurt one group over another that they would prefer to say and do nothing at all most of the time.

But if Labor is ever going to get back into government, they need to get over this fear. This beige must end. So what should Labor do?

First and foremost, Labor must be brave. Forget about the pincer movement. The Liberals and the Greens, and to some extent, the media, have a vested interest in attacking Labor whenever Labor opens its mouth. Get used to it and get over it. Bravery also means sticking to your values no matter what the opinion polls say. I don’t know this for sure, but I can bet Labor sided with Abbott to let through draconian ASIO powers last week because they didn’t want to appear soft on terror. But in doing this, they have just looked even softer. So it’s a self-perpetuating problem.

Secondly, Labor must build a stronger narrative. A narrative tied to their values, tied to their policies. Not a slogan. A narrative. Not a beige ‘fairness this’, ‘safety-net- that’ wet-lettuce-leaf-key-search-phrases-white-noise-dribble. A strong and meaningful narrative is what is needed.

For the past year, Labor promised to oppose Abbott. Abbott has given Shorten a dream-run of policies to oppose, and to be fair Shorten has been passionately against Abbott’s budget and the few policies Abbott has managed to get through parliament. However what’s lacking from these policy debates is the overarching story about why Labor opposes the policies. It’s not enough to jump from an anti-Medicare co-payment campaign, to a pro-climate change action campaign, to a pro-tertiary education campaign without a rock-solid chain linking all these micro-campaigns together. Shorten has told Michelle Grattan that the party is working on such a narrative. It’s good to hear him admit this, as Labor clearly don’t have one yet. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts on what this narrative could possibly look like, I wrote about this very subject here.

Labor has two years until the next election to work out how they are going to explain to the electorate that their party is the best option to tackle the problems our community face, whilst managing the high expectations of a broad range of people, all with competing priorities. Labor can’t fall into Abbott’s trap of believing they can win because people will vote against Abbott’s Liberals. Labor needs to be better than this. It doesn’t sound easy. It’s not easy. But if Labor can’t at least start to make some improvements, Abbott will win a second term. We all know what is at stake if that happens.

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  1. M-R

    Agreed, Victoria. The next two years MUST see Labor not only form some cohesive policies but let us know at least something of them.
    I want to jump about and shout and scream what you say in that last par., but somewhat less kindly: “You MUST get your act together, you bloody IDIOTS ! – you OWE it to Australia not to allow us all to be made second-rate citizens of what has already become an oligarchy and only the gods know what it would turn into with a second term !”
    Forgive incoherence: I live in fear.

  2. lunalava

    ” …it would seem that there are huge numbers of left voting Australians who hold Labor up to an unobtainable standard of perfection.”

    Try five years of internal strife, acrimonious leadership change three months out from an election, the loss of 10 senior Labor ministers, replacement of half of the election team, Captain Rats deciding that Labor needed a glossy brochure just like the Libs etc.

    Shorten thinks its important to convince Michelle Grattan of a “narrative” what a joke! He should work on perfecting a simple sound bite before taking on the really tough job of persuasion of parliamentary press gallery hacks.

  3. Emmee Bee

    Labor needs strength in its convictions. It needs to swallow its pride and go into coalition with the Greens. Greens likewise.

  4. marg1

    Well said Victoria, it’s helped clarify things for me. I was feeling a bit disenchanted with Labor but this has helped me understand things a bit better. Why anyone would still vote Liberal is still beyond me though.

  5. George

    Do I get the thrust of your article right, Victoria: we should unquestioningly support the Labor party despite its not living up to our expectations? Do you not understand the concept of democracy?

    I think you’re ignoring the discord between Labor ‘ideals’ and current party ‘policy’: Labor, the party for the working man; for a just and fair society; for social cohesion, welfare and equality, is but a distant memory. Modern Labor, except for its (increasingly tenuous) links with the union movement, resembles nothing of its former self. ALL the big ticket items (not just “one, or sometimes two”), the things that actually matter, that go right to Labor values – welfare, asylum seeker policy, equality (yes, gay marriage), the environment, rolling over on the mining tax, proposed internet censorship, incompetent, self-serving leadership – NONE of these have been advanced by ‘modern’ Labor.

    Yes, I am one of those who defected to The Greens. After 40 years voting Labor, the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd shenanigans saw me jump ship to The Greens in sheer exasperation: the first time ever I’d joined as a member of a political party.

    If you’re still wondering why people like me appear to be ” ‘anti-Labor’, more so than they are ‘pro-Green’ “, it is because modern Labor, in deeds and values, simply does not represent our leftist views anymore. And I thank modern Labor for facilitating my move toward a party that truly holds the welfare of man and the environment as its core value.

    I do agree with you however, “if Labor can’t at least start to make some improvements, Abbott will win a second term. We all know what is at stake if that happens.”

    Maybe Labor can start by mending some bridges with its disaffected fan base.

  6. mars08

    Beige? Beige…?

    What utter crap! At least beige is a well-known, recognisable colour. It clearly stands apart from other colours such as red, violet and blue.

    Labor isn’t beige… it’s f&#king translucent!!!!!

  7. Ruth Lipscombe

    Read John Menadue’s latest blogs on ‘what Labor should do’

  8. john o'callaghan

    I could understand Labors current me too policies if the polls were pro Coalition but they are not,and i dont think they are pro Labor either,so this is the perfect time to show us the two things voters are crying out for,,courage and passion. Labor know the majority of the media are against them no matter what they say or do so why not go for broke and come out swinging with courage and passion and conviction and who cares what the media think because going by the polls the voters are not falling for the media bullshit anyway. I know polls come and go and swing and are a snapshot but they have been virtually unchanged for the last 10 months,so i say to Labor,stand up and be counted and show real courage and passion and you Will”’ carry the people along with you and i get the feeling that the majority of voters are waiting for that very thing.to happen.””’

  9. diannaart

    I also find Greens voters share this trait, in that they often position their support for the Greens as being ‘anti-Labor’, more so than they are ‘pro-Green’.

    No. I. Don’t.

    Nor do any Greens voters I know – we actually check out stuff like policies, such as those on climate change (way more comprehensive), assessing refugees (actually humane) and more.

    Victoria can you write anything where you do not have a dig at the Greens?

    I have written my support of many of the Gillard policies (not all), I was proud of the first incarnation of Rudd (until he lost the plot).

    Right now, though. there is nothing being offered by Labor to change my years of support from the Greens… try a comparison:

    Greens Platform

    http://greens.org.au/policy-platform

    Labor’s

    http://www.alp.org.au/what_we_re_for

  10. kerrilmail

    I usually enjoy your articles Victoria but this one certainly misses the point for me. The reason I feel emboldened to ditch my 40 year devotion to Labor is that it is not sticking to its guns. Since winning with KRudd in 07, Labor has become unashamedly poll driven. This is ridiculous! The polls don’t govern the votes. They are an example. A survey. A small part.
    Labor has moved so far right that many are unable to see any difference between the 2 major parties, and while this is great news for the Greens it is not so good for Bill and co. Labor need to forget the polls. Forget popularity. Take as an example Tony Abbott. By far the least popular Prime Minister in Australian history before AND after the election and yet he won!!! People voted because the LNP seemed more stable than Labor. Labor is again displaying gross inconsistency and that is their problem. They have taken a popularist step to the right to try to cash in on LNP success but why would you vote Labor when they are so similar to the LNP????
    Like I said great for the Greens but Labor seriously need to go back to their roots and say screw the polls we will govern as Labor always has to support the workers and care for most of the population.
    Labor has fallen for Murdoch’s lies as much as many voters. His papers say most people hate asylum seekers, and they believe it. His papers say Australia is full of terrorists and they believe it. What if the people want to hear a better story? A nicer, fairer story? THE TRUTH EVEN.?.?
    Bill Shorten’s greatest moment so far was his budget reply speech. Because he went back to Labor principals and pointed out the gross unfairness in Hockey’s greedy budget.
    This is what Labor voters want.
    Not some beige too scared to rock the boat party as you have defined.
    Labor needs to distance itself from the LNP instead of trying to copy them just for popularity.

  11. mars08

    kerrilmail:

    Labor needs to distance itself from the LNP instead of trying to copy them just for popularity.

    Oh… they’re not doing it for “popularity”. They’re doing it for a few EASY votes. No principles needed.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    One thing for sure, Labor should not be doing what it did 50 years ago. Leave that to Abbott.

    Labor needs to meet the challenges of today, not those in the far distant past.

    We now live in a vastly changing global world. Global in economics,, communication, technology and where we live.

    Labor I believe has moved on from fighting for fair wage and welfare services.

    Labor needs to put in place the infrastructure and education to build a highly skilled, mobile workforce for the Asia century.

    We need to invest in new science and technology. Yes, fibre to the premises and power generated by renewals is only a starting point.

    Yes, the aim of Labor should be to create and build a civil society. Essential for this are cities that meet peoples needs. We need to put in place, he means to protect pour environment, both man made and natural.

    Labor supporters need to look at their own mindset. I am getting conflicting views, from rusted on Labor people about what Labor should be.

    I have no idea what some want. These re the loudest criticisers of Shorten.

    I for one, do not see the role of Labor, creating a welfare state. We have moved on from that concept.

    My guideline for knowing when Labor as succeeded, when the need for charities no longer exist.

  13. billy moir

    How lucky is our resident rabbott? The ‘suppository of all knowledge’ went straight over the rudd’s head and was unused by that lemon or anyone in labor. Labor is an inept organisation that also failed capitalise on the appalling silence when confronted by his silly comment ‘well, shit happens’ about the death of Jared Mackinney, whose father described the rabbott as ‘thoughtless, ignorant and uncaring’. Then speaking to the UN the other day, he was lucky most delegates were not in attendance to hear him tell the world how we may be a small country but look out when Australians get their hands on the ‘ploughers.’ How embarrassing but will labor capitalise? Probably not, they are ‘short on’ opposing the rabbott preferring YES to Albanese’s NO! NO! NO! description of the rabbott.

  14. PopsieJ

    Florence says it all about Labor, its all very well and justified to condemn theLNP but Labor have no definable policy .For instance I cant work out if Labor are for or against our new involment in Iraq.
    So what should Labor do ?
    Become a party for all people, move away from union control.
    Become more social media active, and if necessary move to paid adverts in MSM ( as unpalatable as it may be)
    State now firmly whether they are for or against our involvment in Iraq
    Condemn ( as the UN has done) the policy of bribing poor countries to take Australia’s refugees,( gunboats to Sri Lanka, Uranium to India, money to Cambodia, PNG etc)
    Choose a new leader for New Labor

  15. kathysutherland2013

    I’m still amember of the ALP, but by golly, it’s getting hard! I want Labor to get some policies of its own and to stand up for those policies without apology. I want to be able to see a difference between the ALP and the Coalition, and not be guided by populism or the hope of gaining a vote or two. Labor has no discernible principles, no ideas for the type of society it wants!

    What on earth possessed Labor to let those horrendous anti-terrorism laws? Where was the concern for democracy and freedom?

    Labor is letting the Government get away with everything – including murder!

    Is one allowed to swear on the AIM Network?

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    PopsieJ. I think you missed my point. I was trying to put, is not where Labor is, but what different people believe it should be.

    When it comes to unions and fractions., I see no reason why they cannot deliver. They are just about how a parry works.

    Labor should not be just about a leader. It takes much more than that. All should have an input. yes unions, local branches, MPs. .and officials.

    The truth is, we would be in Iraq. I like to think a Labor PM would show some restraint and refrain from megaphone and over egging, talking up the fear.

    Maybe we could start with what people believe Labor values to be. I believe that Gillard came very close with her policies. Many I believe would disagree.

    If we believe in Labor, we cannot leave it up to one man to carry us through to the net election, We all have a part to play.,

    Criticising the header will get us nowhere. Get rid of him, and the criticism will quickly begin on who ever the replacement is.

    While this occurs, Abbott will go on his way, with the focus off him.

  17. Jeremy Methorst

    I can agree with this. When faced with the asylum seeker issue, besides keeping on jerking to the right and trying to out Liberal the Liberals at it, the problem was they didn’t seem to have much of a plan on how to deal with the issue. So Abbott and the media walked all over them.
    Abbott and co have been surprisingly incompetent to date, with no evidence that it’ll change. What we need from Labor is to start getting that narrative out right now.
    Because right now, if you ask “what does Labor stand for?” I doubt anyone has a good answer.
    And it’s that answer that is needed right now to convince us that Labor is worth voting for. Otherwise I’m going to stick with recommending people vote for a minor party/independents. (I am vaguely considering running for next election because I’m so flabbergasted and shocked at the poor performance from parliament)

  18. Kaye Makovec

    “Get used to it and get over it. Bravery also means sticking to your values no matter what the opinion polls say. I don’t know this for sure, but I can bet Labor sided with Abbott to let through draconian ASIO powers last week because they didn’t want to appear soft on terror. But in doing this, they have just looked even softer. So it’s a self-perpetuating problem.
    Secondly, Labor must build a stronger narrative. A narrative tied to their values, tied to their policies. Not a slogan. A narrative. Not a beige ‘fairness this’, ‘safety-net- that’ wet-lettuce-leaf-key-search-phrases-white-noise-dribble. A strong and meaningful narrative is what is needed.”

    Sure do!
    To me the mistake Gillard and the others made was not in explaining things properly, The WHY.

    “often position their support for the Greens as being ‘anti-Labor’, more so than they are ‘pro-Green’.”

    Yep and it’s because we/some feel Labor has gone too far in trying to appease the racists and bigots and too close to Abbott and Co. Some would say too far to the ‘right’. And feel that it is better to have the independents and/or Greens to act as a stop gap until things are looked at properly. Important decisions are being made much too fast without anybody looking at alternatives or compromises. It’s all gung ho, squeeze out what we can get and bugger the consequences.

    Spoken as one of the pincers who has never been a member of any political party but has had the fleeting thought of joining the Greens lately.

    Especially after this ‘security’ sellout of our Freedom and Universal Rights. That totally floored me and I thought none of them could do that anymore after offshore detention.

    I have seen my elderly MOW people in tears when they talk about how all they worked and fought for is being taken away by Abbott and Co, and now the most important thing in life with Labor’s support.

    PS, I think it was Billy Connelly who said “Beware of beige”

    PPS. I have had trouble even finding the Labor candidate for Ripon and it was only by accident as nobody knew who it was. Given up before even starting as the boundaries have been changed to better Liberals

  19. Kaye Makovec

    Go for it Jeremy.

  20. John Fraser

    <

    @Victoria Rollinson

    " When you also take into account the mainstream media’s obsession with Labor bashing"

    I'm sorry, we must be reading opposite MSM news.

    Because every bit of MSM "news" I read has P.M. Baldrick's gang & his mate Captain Darling (Shorten) & his limp lettuce gang as well as Pup and a couple of Indies attacking the Greens.

    In fact Captain Darling (Shorten) has been attacking the Greens since 2010.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-11-19/shorten3atheanswerisnevergreen/41300

    P.M Baldrick has been attacking the Greens since the day they were formed …. in between terrorising women.

    So prove me wrong Victoria.

    Show The AIMN readers that the ALP is not a poor imitation of the "conservatives" ….. show the readership that the Greens haven't taken the ground that the ALP deserted.

    The Greens may have some radical policies but taken collectively they appear to have reversed the sobriquet of "green on the outside and red on the inside" to ….. "red on the outside and green on the inside".

    In effect they have taken on the mantle of ALP colours and are now more representative of Australians aspirations.

  21. clarelhdm

    Victoria, you need to stop blaming the Greens for Labor’s failure to stick to it’s own platform, particularly on asylum seeker policy. If they keep on agreeing with Abbott, why would left leaning voters support them? Why on earth Labor doesn’t work more productively with the Greens or other progressive I can’t understand. Well, I guess it might be that your ‘impossible expectation’ – to support both the mega rich and the poor is basically ridiculous. When capitalism is structured to create greater and greater inequalities, then the point comes when you can’t keep on defending the indefensible. Labor has to know who it really wants to support and stop sitting on the bloody fence.

  22. sddm76

    This piece is ridiculous and, frankly, you should be embarrassed to publish some of the claims you make here. The notion that left-wing voters are deserting the Labor Party is absurd; the Labor Party has deserted the left! The idea that Greens voters are anti-Labor as opposed to pro-Green is condescending in the extreme, and the very thought that disagreeing with “one or possibly two” Labor policies prompts people to leave for the Greens is specious at best.

    You provide a list of reasons as to why people abandon Labor: “single parents on Newstart, asylum seeker policy, gay marriage or environmental policy”, and yet you choose to view this as the failing of voters instead of where the blame truly lies, which is at the feet of the right-marching Labor Party.

    If the Labor Party shares your view that left-wing voters (i.e. those that Labor have abandoned as they reconstitute themselves as a centre-right party) are “blind to the fact their lack of Labor support assists the Liberal party to win power” then you correctly acknowledge a period of lengthy Liberal Government. How ignorant to blame the voters for not marching to the right with you. How contemptuous to expect the people to dance to your tune having deserted us.

  23. Anne Byam

    @ PopsieJ ….. I have to agree with most all your suggestions. Good stuff. However …..

    I don’t think that at this time, Labor ‘has to define it’s policies’. At least in the past that has not been the norm – for either party – 2PP, at the 1 year in, stage.

    Mind you, while Abbott has his sights set through the windshields of 6 to 8 Super Hornets …. now might be the time to start giving him something else to think about. Just a little – without giving too much away. ….. If you remember the Coalition in Opposition, their attacks were relentless and often personally offensive, and we would not want them to try and focus on the wrong comma, or full stop, or delilvery of a speech that had a miniscule hole in it – would we ? And that’s precisely what the LNP would do – hurl abuse, reprehensible personal insult and aggression at the Labor Party …. just for daring to open their mouths. So no – the Labor Party don’t need to qualify what is on their agenda – at this time.

    ( if they did, Pyne would be put in charge of a Coalition attack – he’s an expert at it – red faced, spitting, gnashing teeth and all ).

    ———

    I do NOT …. repeat … NOT infer here in any way, that Labor are ‘wimping out’ because of fear of an attack from this fascist regime.

    But they do have to find some way to lift their game.

    As for bi-partisanship …. it has always been my understanding, that when any country engages in conflict with another country – ALL members of Government – being government AND opposition …. come to the table – and agree ( maybe disagree on some points ) but agree with conflict if it is considered absolutely necessary.

    Thing is – is it necessary ?. Just a question ! – – – – Not buying into that one.

    Labor are indeed, at this moment, moving into the area of ADVERTISING their thoughts and wishes for a better Australia. Might not sit well with some here, but at least it’s a start – to get the Labor name back into people’s minds and hearts, as a viable and going concern, and particularly as a hope for the return of decent Australian values and ideals. …. our ‘Aussie’ way of life.

    That’s what Labor needs. To encourage a return to the grass roots of decency and respect for all who live within our boundaries.

    ———-

    “Move away from union control ” ? Absolutely yes, if indeed there is still a dominant role played by the Unions. Perhaps someone could enlighten me on this …. my take on it is, that they have already moved away from Union control, to a large degree. But I stand to be corrected !!!

    ———-

    Choose a new leader for Labor ? Only if Bill Shorten cannot continue to come up with the kind of speech he gave recently………That speech was brilliant. — ( the interminable fiddling with papers ( Abbott ) and i-phone ( little Bishop ) from the LNP during this Shorten speech – is the childish side of politics – and there’s more childish than adult these days – most especially from the LNP. ) …. They are such a DISGRACE to our nation.

    I linked to this Shorten speech, through Facebook. The following link DOES seem to work :

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152717980026789&set=vb.307341981788&type=2&theater …. Worth watching.

    He puts Bronwyn Bishop back in her box on several occasions. Good on him. Can only hope there’s much much more of this, from Bill Shorten – or whoever leads the Labor Party in the future ??

    Good luck all ……..

  24. mars08

    clarelhdm:

    Labor has to know who it really wants to support and stop sitting on the bloody fence.

    That’s an interesting way of looking at it!

    But I really don’t see how Labor could possibly be sitting on the fence… since they jumped right over it many years ago!!!

  25. Anne Byam

    @ Florence nee fed up ………..

    ………… ” Criticising the header will get us nowhere. Get rid of him, and the criticism will quickly begin on who ever the replacement is.”

    ——-

    HOW . RIGHT . YOU . ARE . ON . THAT.

  26. BennyF

    No I don’t hold Labor up to some unobtainable high standards. I do expect them to have some balls and to stand for something. I DON’T expect theme to negotiate sleazy deals with the Liberal scum EVER!

  27. marion

    If we are going to rid ourselves of this terrible government the labor party have to toughen up, what we are putting up with this liberal lot is a disgrace. there’s Bill Shorten laughing and cracking jokes with Bishop at the AFL breakfast after what the people of this country have been putting up with for the last 12 months I nearly threw up when I saw that on my t.v. we need a new leader in the labor party

  28. corvus boreus

    Victoria,
    Speaking for myself, this ones attitude to labor is not “anti”, more ‘disappointed with the lack of principles stated and supported and vision shown, as well as lack of address of entrenched/perceived internal and general machinational dysfunctions, to the point of disgusted disendorsement’.
    They have recently, for example, without reflection or remorse, voted against both suggested requirement for consultation of the majority of the populations representatives(full parliament) before declaration of war, and the proposed undertaking of an independent investigation into political corruption.
    While they continue to vote against measures of democracy and transparency, they cannot claim to represent me and will not be my preferred option come election time.
    P.S. If you think the Labor party cops constant slagging and sledging, spare a thought for the (‘loopy’)Greens(aka ‘the devil’).

  29. Kaye Lee

    I agree with cb. I am not anti-Labor – I am disappointed with their current performance and frustrated that they are allowing the lies to pass uncontested. They have failed to underline the difference between the major parties. They no longer seem to have the courage of their convictions.

    Action on climate change is an obvious difference but they are too scared to emphasise it because they let Abbott get away with his carbon tax lies. They are letting Hockey and Corman get away with the $667 billion debt lie. They are letting Andrews and Dutton lie about spending on welfare and health being unsustainable. They have failed dismally to point out the Coalition’s discretionary spending which has seen the debt increase rapidly. They have failed to highlight all the benefits we are losing through the repeal of the taxes. They just don’t seem prepared to fight anymore.

  30. Dissenter

    There is significant evidence now that Labor is transforming as a party with the changes to pre-selection and the valuing of the members vote. However right now as Cooney’s comments reported in the Guardian attest to that Labor should move to become CENTRIST to capture the swinging voter.
    This would be done with the sacrifice of the Values and core beliefs of the left. Already significant numbers have left Labor for the Greens and many were dissatisfied Labor voters.
    One year into Opposition and Labor is struggling with milquetoast leadership and Shorten has been earned many nicknames the latest being Bill the Betrayer for D Donovan due to the changes supported in intelligence gathering.
    I ask WHY would a political party SEEK TO CAPTURE voters they do not have while KNOWINGLY sacrificing the voters ( of the LEFT) they do have?
    My only conclusion is that it is an attempt to destroy the party in entirety. Otherwise it is simply insane.
    Could this be LABOR?
    No it is not the real Labor it is the LABOR under SHORTEN trying to justify their existence and the SUM OF THEIR INACTION over the last 12 months.
    IT is time for new leadership BECAUSE this cannot continue. Labor has to be seen and heard reaffirming LABOR VALUES and strengths and those STRENGTHS are NOT CENTRIST. They are reforming and initiating action and working to the best benefit of all Australians and the national interest.
    I agree Victoria this takes GUTS and DRIVE and COMMITTMENT and these are the qualities we are yet to see from the OPPOSITION .

  31. guest

    It is surprising that people here persist in saying that Labor has no narrative or principles. Julia Gillard, especially, established hundreds of pieces of legislation which tell us what Labor stands for.

    In fact, Abbott adopted a number of key Labor policies for himself as if he was in agreement with them, but only temporarily. He will abandon them in the next 2-3 years. Just as he has dismantled numerous institutions built up over decades – gone for ideological reasons in the guise of cost-saving measures. Yet huge costs for military equipment still to come.

    Look at current events. A meeting on Climate Change and Julie Bishop makes herself look foolish by pretending that the Coalition is tackling the ‘difficult task’ of reducing emissions by 5% by 2020 and is keeping a balance between tackling the problem and maintaining growth. As the Minister from Ghana said, she might just as well have said nothing. This, in the face of world concern for establishing a common approach to carbon emissions. Meanwhile the Coalition cries in the wilderness Coal! Coal! Coal! The repeal of the Carbon “Tax” looks more and more stupid.

    And the repeal of the Mining Tax. In a time of “budget emergency” the Coalition dispenses with income streams.

    The war in Iraq is a dogs’ breakfast. The West supported Hussein against Iran and then turned against him . It claimed the Kurds were terrorists and is now supporting them. It refused to support Assad in Syria, now looks as if it will support him against ISIL. Australia merely follows the USA. Now we have massive unnecessary laws against terrorism taking away freedom in the name of freedom.

    The big solution to boat people, apparently, is to send the Navy to tow them back; drones and aircraft will also continue to keep watch. Why did no one else propose this solution? No doubt the Coalition looked to the Mexican border solution established decades ago – and still refugees get through. Then we have the situation where Labor suggested the Malaysia Solution which was rejected by a court; but the Cambodia Solution is allowable, apparently. We note the Coalition tactic of using trials and commissions as weapons against opposition.

    There is concern about the selling off of Medibank Private. Imminent unemployment disasters. Falling commodity prices. Environmental degradation….

    Compare Labor policies with Coalition policies. The difference is stark. The truth will out. Meanwhile, Labor will be taking its time to attack.

    Hasten slowly.

  32. Anon E Mouse

    Labor took a lurch to the right with Gillard and those who supported her.

    During the Beazley era of leadership, I met Gillard as a shadow minister, in a small meeting. When I asked her, as a long term left leaning voter, what was the difference between the Beazley led ALP and Howard’s coalition govt, she lost it at me.

    It was quite informative, because as Gillard reacted in anger it was very clear that her ideology was actually far to the right. She would have made an excellent deputy for Howard, such were her responses to issues like asylum seekers, welfare, etc. To say I was shocked was an understatement, even though I acknowledge that people will often say more than they mean to say, to me (I must have that kind of a face ).

    I watched with critical analysis, as Gillard was Rudd’s not so trustworthy deputy, and when the plot began to emerge on the ousting of Rudd, I came to believe that a lot of Rudd’s failings were due to his ministers distracted by their plotting to oust Rudd (remember according to wikileaks, Shorten told the yanks about the plot a good 6 months before it happened).

    I believe that Rudd, was unaware that a lot of the spot fires he was dealing with, like the insulation scheme run by Arbib and Garrett, were happening because they had their mind on undermining him.

    Combined with Rudd having emergency surgery for his gall, with symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as heart attack, within weeks of being ousted, I think the Gillard crew knew he was ill and struck while he was vulnerable.

    Shorten was in the thick of all this, but I thought I would wait to see how his leadership went.

    Shorten is holding Labor in the hard right camp, and has returned to the Beazley era.

    Shorten needs to go.

  33. guest

    Gillard was of the Right? Rudd did not know about the insulation scheme? The “Gillard crew” struck while Rudd was sick? Shorten has “returned to the Beasley era”?

    These are weird accusations. With regard to Beasley, he nearly won twice (from the “Right”?)

    Disunity defeated Labor in the end, not so much their policies. To imitate the histrionic ranting of Abbott is not the way to go. We know how Abbott’s so-called careful, considered, mature, adult approach has been revealed as a pathetic sham. The Coalition is in government, not the ALP. That means that we maintain opposition to the idiocies of this government. To rage against Shorten is disunity, the deadly disease.

  34. abbienoiraude

    Interesting run down and observation Anon E Mouse.

    I think you will find Rudd had a valve replacement in his heart. It was after this stunning surgery that he made a concerted effort for organ donations and support for medical research, one of the many things he accomplished in a mere 18 months of his PM’ship.

  35. Lee

    I don’t expect perfection. I do expect respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  36. Don Winther

    @Anon E Mouse
    Labor took a lurch to the right with Gillard and those who supported her

    I always thought that it was Keating who made the major lurch to the right.

  37. Dissenter

    In respect to Guest:
    Labor is under new leadership and is seeking to embrace new core values with the move to CENTRISM. This has been foreshadowed by Cooney and also Shorten himself.

    It is not correct that division destroyed Labors government or base. Labor is a vigorous party with increasing membership. If change or new leadership has to be embraced it has to be embraced.

    It is NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS it is a SIGN OF STRENGTH signalling REAFFIRMATION of core VALUES.

    Labor will not regain government with WEAK leader or CENTRIST POLICIES. They will LOSE THEIR TRACTION.

    If that is carried to the election it will LOSE THE SUPPORT of LEFT wing voters.

    IT is most unwise to believe that it is ENFORCEABLE CHANGE TO GO CENTRIST TO CAPTURE the SWINGING VOTER.
    THe swinging voter is being captured by PUP.
    The VOTER most needed is the LEFT WING VOTER who may have voted GREENS LAST ELECTION.
    The worst possible scenario for Labor is a SCHISM where the LEFT joins the GREENS to form a NEW POWERFUL PARTY or forms a LEFT LABOR PARTY.
    If all else fails and LABOR DOES MOVE TOWARD CENTRISM AGAINST the will of their MEMBERS who are largely left wing then what other options are there?

  38. Kaye Lee

    “To rage against Shorten is disunity, the deadly disease.”

    To unquestioningly accept things you disagree with is a greater disease.

  39. Anne Byam

    Labor sent out an email, under Bill Shorten’s name – to join in a ‘chat’ here : http://www.alp.org.au/onlineforum2?utm_campaign=forum_victas&utm_medium=email&utm_source=australianlaborparty …. ( I think perhaps, it is linked through Twitter ?? ). This link requires name, email address and mobile phone number. It then sends the link to be used between 7 and 8 pm tomorrow ( Tuesday ) …… it is called “Online Forum with Bill Shorten “.

    He wants to hear ideas from Labor followers, as to how to rebuild Labor … and what Labor should do. This might alarm some commenters here, but it didn’t alarm me. It was a genuine request for support and ideas. Many of you might have received it.

    To quote the first line from the email : “The only thing standing in the way of Tony Abbott winning another term in 2016 is our ability to stand together.” The last 5 words were bolded.

    As I am unable to attend this forum myself, I have opted to write an email back to Bill Shorten …. ( which btw ….. has NOT been bounced back, so it has been delivered ) – it was as precise as I could make it, and set out a few ideas of my own. He asked – I answered.

    ===========

    I agree with what “Guest” has had to say in both posts. Especially, ” To rage against Shorten is disunity, the deadly disease.” It is that.

    The Party itself, if displeased with their leader will alter that situation – as has been done many many times in Australia’s political history in BOTH Parties.

  40. mars08

    Dissenter:

    Labor will not regain government with WEAK leader or CENTRIST POLICIES.

    Centrist policies? Hmmm? Seriously? Labor is trying to sell itself as a 21st Century centrist party?!!??!?

    If that’s what the ALP thinks is the “centre”… no wonder Malcolm Fraser sounds so much like a bleeding-heart, tree-hugging, unAustralian, latte sipping, dope smoking, welfare rorting, Chardonnay gulping, flag burning socialist!

  41. guest

    The problem with questioning what you disagree with can too easily sound like questioning everything. We have seen that tactic here: Shorten has agreed with the security laws, therefore Shorten has drifted to the Right!

    All of Oz is drifting into hysteria and paranoia, whipped up by the government and its media propaganda machine.

    Remember that Abbott assumed some of Labor’s policies even though he did not believe in them and will kep them only temporarily. It was a ploy by Abbott and his minions to make it appear that they were in support of popular Labor policies.

    Shorten can hardly say that Labor does not believe in extra security legislation. Other people have already done that. Shorten has to play the political game, which is apparently a game not played by rules of common decency. It is a game in which it is important not to be wedged, not to reveal a gotcha moment, not to put the whole electorate offside by appearing to be against the “public interest”.

    The Greens can play the opponents of everything because that is the role they have always played, but the nearest they have got to government is in a coalition with Labor. Otherwise they are often seen as tree-hugging ratbags with destructive policies, no matter how right thinking they might be.

    Meanwhile, memory of Labor and its disunity and the lies about economic disaster etc etc have prevailed…and yet…and yet Labor is ahead in the polls.

    By all means point out your concerns, but let us not destroy the joint. Keep firing away at the government. Point out how Newman is taking away freedom in QId, even rights to protest against injustices against the environment.

    Thrashing our own because we disagree with something can too easily be destructive. Labor did lose because it as seen as disunited and dysfunctional. The Coalition won because voters saw them as united – no matter how much that was an illusion.

    And another thing: Shorten is not the Labor Party by himself alone.

  42. Anne Byam

    @Guest ….. again a great post – and supportive of Labor. Well done.

    ……….. ” Shorten has to play the political game, which is apparently a game not played by rules of common decency.” ……….

    There is no question that politics is a dirty game – most of the time. I wouldn’t think it would be easy, by any means. Weighing this and that, against various possibilities, responses and outcomes, while appealing to the public – which btw, can be very easily swayed – almost day by day. But yesterday’s news, is replaced by today’s news …. and in the long run, it is the sum of everything as an election approaches, that has most voters having at least a think, if not a damned good think about it all.

    There has never been too much ‘decency’ in any political endeavour, shown as never before, in the current polticial situation we have here … with a Government who plays the filthiest of hands – particularly with their continuous lies and obfuscations. Abbott mentioned the words ” darkening times ” recently ….. Have to wonder if he realised he was describing himself and his attempts to dictate, to keep people in the dark, and under his ruling thumb.

    Despots meet their just deserts – eventually.

    From “The Prophet” .. … by Kahlil Gibran ( born in Lebanon, raised in the U.S. )

    ….. ” And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.

    ….. ” For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride? “

  43. Anne Byam

    Don’t know exactly where else to put this one.

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/mortifying-morrisons-champagne-quaffing-cambodian-disgrace,6946

    IF IT NEEDS TO GO ELSEWHERE ON AIM —- PLEASE ADVISE.

    From Independent Australia – a political online magazine that has a good following. Lots to look at & read ( with horror ) … on this link.

    The Sydney Morning Herald was not in any way kind to Morrison either.

    What an absolute ( ………………………………………) fill in the gaps yourself – be outraged, enraged …. Morrison is beyond comprehension, and has not one iota of decency in him.

  44. mars08

    Shorten can hardly say that Labor does not believe in extra security legislation. Other people have already done that. Shorten has to play the political game, which is apparently a game not played by rules of common decency. It is a game in which it is important not to be wedged…

    Oh… FFS… give it a rest, guest!!!

    And if… by some fluke… Shorten is the next PM… well then, he couldn’t possibly water down the security laws… ah….because he’d look like a weak leader who is making Australia vulnerable. Exactly the same goes for the treatment of asylum seekers. And doing anything serious about climate change would risk too many Australian jobs etc.

    Shorten is pathetic and useless!!! All he is doing is validating and perpetuating the Coalition’s ideological foolishness. He is basically saying that the ALP thinks that this government is making wise and just decisions.

    There’s an old saying “He who rides the tiger cannot dismount!”.

    You can believe what you want, guest… if it helps you sleep at night. But don’t be surprised if people think you’re just trying to put lipstick on a pig.

  45. Anon E Mouse

    Guest, Beazley nearly winning means nothing. If he had had the fortitude to stand up against Howard’s policies instead of me-tooing them, he may well have gotten over the line. But Beazley didn’t and whether it was because of his own alignment with Howard’s policies, or because he was foolish enough to follow the advice of others, he still lost.
    Abbienoiraude, Rudd had gall surgery soon after being ousted. Rudd had a heart valve replacement years earlier and that valve was replaced not long after the Brisbane floods in 2011. I have heard, but cannot verify, that it was while Rudd was exerting himself helping people flee their houses in the rising floodwaters that it became evident that his heart was once again in need of a valve replacement. His heart valve was damaged by rheumatic fever that, in his age group and younger, is known as a disease of poverty.
    As for raging against Shorten, Guest, I hold him in disdain.

    Disunity in the Labor party is not my concern – I am not, nor have ever been a member of a political party.
    What they should be concerned about is why folk like me, who voted Labor in the last election, independent in 2010, Labor in 2007, do not trust them.

  46. Dissenter

    On the online Forum with Shorten: it is purely a stunt. If anyone has any critical comments of any kind they will not be allowed to post them or speak. They will be shut down’
    This is a stunt to present the appearance that member’s views matter when in fact they do not. The members vote was blockaded at the recent NSW Conference. Faulkner could not get his changes up.
    If anything members views matter and count less than before because the RIGHT is in a more tightly organised way HELLBENT on control and preventing all change that will challenge that.
    Labor is also set IN SYSTEMIC FAILURE with the NATIONAL CONFERENCE next year being the ONLY time where policy can be ratified.
    So that is HALF WAY INTO OPPOSITION.
    Now I do not agree with Guest who has argued that Labor has policies because GILLARD led labor have policies.
    We have seen all of these GREAT POLICIES CRUMBLE. We have heard SHORTEN SAY WHEN PRESSURED about the mining TAX would be push for another one THAT LABOR IN GOVERNMENT WOULD NEGOTIATE WITH THE STATES for a greater share.
    THIS IS PITIFUL.
    Shorten is ESTABLISHING HIS OWN WEAKNESS of LEADERSHIP: no-one else is doing it. He is doing it by his lack of capacity to speak, to orate or hold the attention of TV viewers for longer than 1 minute if that. THese are his failures.
    Labor it is true IS ABOUT TEAMS AND NOT just the LEADER but it is difficult to SEE any stars among the RIGHT in CABINET and somehow PLIBERSEK and ALBANESE are muted and our elder statesmen are disparaged.

  47. abbienoiraude

    I bow to your superior knowledge Anon E Mouse.
    I guess my point was an experience informed a passion for a compassionate support.
    I know what rheumatic fever is. I am old enough to know people who lost their children from it.

    I want a leader with passion. Is that such a hard ask?
    I am looking to the young turks Leigh and Clare.

    Let’s start again.

  48. Anne Byam

    @ dissenter …. you have named yourself quite well.

    You and I have absolutely NO knowledge whatsoever, as to whether the ‘forum’ is a stunt or not. Have the guts to at least admit that. We may find out tomorrow … if anyone has the genuine interest to join in. I cannot unfortunately, due to another long standing commitment I made some months back, to attend an expensive ( and I hope magical ) theatre experience.

    As for the remainder of your anti-Labor comments – I am not surprised. There are many on here at this time, that have similar opinions.

    And hey …. you might ALL BE CORRECT. ……….. but do you know for SURE ?

    Gillard managed to introduce so many legislative procedures that were passed …. and accepted, that it is easy ( too easy perhaps ) to compare her with what is seen as a weak, further than centre right, Shorten. Have you listened to ALL of his speeches – that is if he can get past the tarantula that sits at the head – as speaker ? Probably not. And Shorten IS on record as having put the larger Bishop in her place.

    Gillard also absolutely out-did Abbott in her hung parliament turn, that he should hang his head in shame – for ineptitude and inability to pass more than just a few legislative instruments … in the first 12 months. Not that I think for one moment, that his policies were anywhere near absolute or desirable. He managed the Carbon and Mining Taxes. ( a disgrace ) …

    I personally wish that Gillard had remained in some way… … but she didn’t. No use crying over spilt milk.

    We have what we have …. a perceived weakened Labor party … which must find somewhere in it’s history, something to call upon.

    Meantime, we are at the mercy of a totally corrupt Government, intent on ridding themselves of people and situations, that don’t fit in with their own over-blown sense of superiority, and power.

    Get your teeth into what Morrison is currently doing with refugees that are beneath him, below him, and not worth thinking about as human beings. Sending them to Cambodia ?????????????????

    If there’s anyone worse than Abbott and Pyne ( and poor silly little Bishop ) it would have to be Morrison. He is an ogre, a despot, an evil piece of work …… but that’s another matter.

  49. corvus boreus

    Anne B,
    “We are at the mercy of a totally corrupt government”.
    This, above all, is the head of my festering bum-boil regarding the Labor party.
    Given the chance to support a crackdown on corruption, Shortens party chose instead to stand united with the LNP to “defend against the perception of corruption” and deal internally.
    This may have blown a chance to free us from the current ‘policy’ of nepotistic mismanagement, crony commissions and legislature through largesse.
    If federal Labor stopped acting to hinder transparency and accountability in political conduct, they would be a hell of a lot easier to trust.

  50. Sir ScotchMistery

    Seriously, I am so over this idea that when we go to vote there are only two options, ALP and LNP. At some stage we need to grasp as a group that the big two are seriously not in the slightest bit involved in trying to make our lives better or to bring us back to where we were as a thoughtful and compassionate country.

    Neither Shorten nor Abbott are in a position to hold the high moral ground on the development of this country as long as either (or both) continue to fight for the rights of the big end of town over those of us who actually pay our taxes, go to work every day and make the country move forward.

    Sometime back I got an email from Shorten asking for assistance to do something or other and of course I sent a quick email back knowing full well that some minion or other would read it and throw it in the bin because seriously, they are not interested in our views at all. They prove that by offering ALP members a say in who gets to be the boss. 68% of the membership put their hands up for Anthony Albanese, the rest put their hands up for Shorten and look where that got us. Absolutely nowhere. The ALP has no more interest in listening to those of us who make the country work than the LNP do.

    At the end of the day if we don’t make a determination to move ahead ourselves and find independent candidates to represent our interests and our views, then what possible hope can we hold out for any change?

    I also note with some interest the number of people on here who hold the ALP up as the only right way to travel when they have spent the last three years proving that they can’t be trusted any more than the LNP can, so why should we expect anything to change, premised on prior experience?

    We have to understand that career politicians are essentially useless. They are liars and yet we still employ them in the fond hope apparently that they will change. Why should they change? We continue to pay the ridiculous amounts of money to represent us and I’m yet to see one that actually goes out of their way to either listen to or follow the instructions of their electorate. They simply don’t do it and we shouldn’t expect them to. They are there to prevent anything from outside the party’s rules going through the house.

    Julia Gillard is currently being held up as a great victim in the war between the male dominated lower house and females in general but she is no different to any of the others. She had to know the higher percentage of Australian voters felt that for example same-sex marriage was an acceptable process, but she still still held up her view that we weren’t ready for that discussion. That is to say, we are far too stupid to know what’s good for us. She appears to have done that in an effort to appear “all right” to those nutters from the Australian Christian lobby. Why the hell would she do that? What possible benefit can there have been for her to be seen as an acceptable Prime Minister to a group that doesn’t represent most of us?

    We really do need to beat these twats at their own game. We need to find 30 people to sit in the crossbenches in every parliament, and have them represent the needs of their voters in such a way, that the ALP and the LNP are held to account at every vote and some of us have a little bit of an opportunity to be heard. We have to accept that there needs to be change and we won’t get change unless we introduce it.

    I do not believe for one minute that Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten or any of their nutty Jesuit mates have anything in mind that is positive or the Australian population outside of those who are in business.

  51. Anne Byam

    @ Corvus …. I sincerely hope your festering bum-boil has cured itself – or you have dealt with it – somehow.!!

    Bum-boils aside ……I agree ….. with one exception.

    It remains to be seen ( ever optimistic I might be ) …. if they have ‘blown their chance’ to ” free us from the current ‘policy’ of nepotistic mismanagement, crony commissions and legislature through largesse. ” Largesse ? When have the LNP ever been bountiful …?

    Both Parties have had weak presentations in Parliament over many decades. At this time, Labor does appear weaker – although I am loathe to admit it …. but it might only be ‘appearances’. Politics is a dirty – and indeed, underhanded game – by all sides. No matter what.

    There is no glory in politics …. even self initiated glory ( a la the LNP ) ….. and frankly, I would like to see Labor come out ‘fightin’ dirty’. ..If they did – or if they do – it ( hopefully ) will be at exactly the right time. I cannot believe they are sitting on their hands, staring at the ceiling. By the same token, they have no obligation whatsoever, to reveal to anybody ( especially the Libs ) what it might be that they are up to, policy wise. One can hope.

    However, sad as I am to say ….. I am not placing any bets at this stage, even though I won’t leave them. If they unutterably fail, I will have no choice – and many others will be in the same boat.

    Where the HELL that would leave us all, is anybodys’ guess. !!!! Most likely a dictatorship, similar to the old USSR ? One party – obey,,obey, obey ??? Would that be even possible ?

    I am now going to find a bucket ….. cos I think I might need it – – – after my last thought. !! .

  52. corvus boreus

    Annie B,
    ‘Legislature through largesse’ refers to legislative amendment proposed/enacted by politicians in exchange for brown-bagged bounty from lobbyists.
    Currently SOP in parliament, I suspect.

  53. mars08

    Sir ScotchMistery:

    I also note with some interest the number of people on here who hold the ALP up as the only right way to travel when they have spent the last three years proving that they can’t be trusted any more than the LNP can, so why should we expect anything to change….

    Echoes of Obama. Although he actually did make some passionate, inspiring, thoughtful progressive-sounding speeches before he was elected.

    Obama’s main attraction was that he was not GW Bush. But he also made noises about growing inequality, excessive influence of money, overreliance on military force, human rights abuses, and social injustice in the US. He identified those issues and important and needing to be fixed.

    But then… after he was elected… by-golly and gosh-darnit… wouldn’t you know… the EXACT right time or conditions to change things just never came along!!!! Ah, such a pity. So America has basically kept to the same path. And it’s not really a progressive one.

    But wait, say the Democratic Party boosters!! Don’t go voting for an independent candidate… it’s a waste! Stick with the strength. Because, any day now, great things are going to start happening. Trust us.

  54. Lee

    “Seriously, I am so over this idea that when we go to vote there are only two options, ALP and LNP. At some stage we need to grasp as a group that the big two are seriously not in the slightest bit involved in trying to make our lives better or to bring us back to where we were as a thoughtful and compassionate country.”

    “At the end of the day if we don’t make a determination to move ahead ourselves and find independent candidates to represent our interests and our views, then what possible hope can we hold out for any change?”

    Totally agree. I also wish people would stop spruiking all over the internet about how unhappy they are with the major parties (but they keep voting for them anyway) and start talking with their vote.

  55. Dissenter

    @ Ann Byam,
    I would not have written it was a stunt if I did not know from a previous experience of the same.
    Perhaps you should research and get some facts.
    My title is not who I am . I have retained the title because I am too lazy to change it. It was established before Rudd established the new rules which I support. I do not support that the unions have so many votes when they have so few members of the Labor Party in their ranks.
    I do not support Shorten as leader ONLY because he is not effective however.If there was no one else who could lead more effectively I would shut up but the problem is that there are many who could. There are a number of senators most particularly who could lead LABOR with STRENGTH.
    This is what is required.
    Victoria is correct Labor is too “beige” BLAND and nothingness under Bill who is too wobbly and stumbles over rhetoric and is moving Labor towards the right to capture those swinging votes with the preparedness to lose all the Left voters they have. IT is RUBBISH.Swinging voters SWING BECAUSE THEY LIKE TO DO IT.
    THEY will not support Labor any more because they are CENTRIST they might support LABOR LESS and vote for PUP instead.
    WHAT A STUPID idea to move Labor to the right.
    Labor VALUES and CORE ideas need to be REAFFIRMED and Labor voters WILL REGAIN confidence. IT IS NEEDED because many Labor voters LOST confidence and are continuing to lose confidence as we speak because Labor is NOT STANDING UP.

  56. Sir ScotchMistery

    As long as Labor will not address the issues of the moves to the right, and fails to address the removal of jobs both to overseas countries and to 457 visas, nothing will change. Hell, even had a 457 visa holder in one of the ALP pollies offices FFS. What’s that about.

    It isn’t all that long ago that that issue would have had unions out, but they sit there and their leaders suck up the members cash with their salaries, instead of going out and doing something.

    They make me sick with their dribbling on about listening to the members. They do no such thing. They are LNP with red ties and that about sums it up.

  57. Anne Byam

    @ Dissenter. Apologies. It was late, and I was jaded.

    Ref. your comment : ……. “There are a number of senators most particularly who could lead LABOR with STRENGTH.” ……..

    Absolutely. Penny Wong would be my first choice perhaps …. Mark Dreyfus ( H of R ) Plenty to choose from – if there is a change of leadership.

    I too do not like the excessive lean to the right — currently displayed by the Labor party. But I still puzzle …. exactly why ? I have a gut feeling that there’s a reason for it ….. far more than meets the eye.

    Bill Shorten was ( from what I have read ) a grass roots Union man, through and through. To have swung so hard right recently ?

    It really makes me wonder – a lot.

  58. rikda

    “Labor can win the next election if we are the party of ideas & not just personalities”

    Personalities? like who?
    Is there a front bencher that does stand up? Impersonation of politicians. Riverdance?
    Trot them out mate. Give us a few hints

    Bill read your mail. With the greatest respect mate, you have the personality of a Preying Mantis.
    Murdoch is gunna slaughter Labor if you can’t find leader that sounds like he means it.
    It’s time you sacked the 3 blind mice (board of selectors).

  59. Pattipatpat

    If you mean Greens voters, such as myself, vote Greens on the basis that they are NOT Labor, you may very well be correct, but not in the way that you mean. I vote Greens because they take the positions that Labor SHOULD take but don’t, untimid, hardline position as in, yes, we should have a price on carbon, yes, we should have a mining tax (not negotiated with Gina Rinehart), yes we should be supporting public schools and not funding private schools and things like that there and not back down in the face of opposition. Just think of the most honourable and straight-up people that you can think of. To my mind they are John Faulkner and Bob Brown, people who believe in things, who SAY things that they believe and do their best to follow through, who can make a speech full of real conviction and integrity and who can still negotiate if necessary. I would be very interested if anyone can add a name of a current politician who could touch these two for standing up and fighting for a genuinely held position.

  60. diannaart

    Scott Ludlam – oops he’s a Green, Christine Milne, Adam Bandt. Difficult isn’t it?

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