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Let’s tell Bill Shorten a few cold, hard truths

Bill Shorten wants to hear from you (image from smh.com.au)

Bill Shorten wants to hear from you (image from smh.com.au)

Last May when Labor endeavoured to boast what they stood for, the following email was circulated en masse:

Some time ago I wrote to you asking you to complete a survey so I could see what you believed was Labor’s direction for the future.

Today our party – the oldest organised labour party in the world – is undergoing a process of grassroots reform and revitalisation. That’s why this was such a tremendous opportunity to hear from you.

I wanted to make sure all of you got a chance to see the results of this survey and what our community’s vision for the future of Labor was. Read our report and take your chance to share my favourite part of this job – listening to people about the things that matter most.

Thanks for your support,

George Wright
National Secretary

For whatever reason, I didn’t complete the survey. Nonetheless, I was interested to read the report.

Sadly, it told me little, but I was extremely disappointed with the summary. Here is a part of it:

The policy areas of importance to supporters, namely healthcare, climate change, the NBN & schools funding, were policy areas already championed by the Party.

So why was I disappointed? I was disappointed because Labor’s vision for the future doesn’t include on-shore processing of asylum seekers.

Now people have a chance to right that wrong, with an invitation to engage with Bill Shorten, who sent the following email:

The only thing standing in the way of Tony Abbott winning another term in 2016 is our ability to stand together.

We were built by the grassroots, for the benefit of the people. And that’s how we’ll win.

Brought together by the belief we can build a better, fairer country, we all share a common passion. I want to hear your ideas about how we can rebuild Labor for the better.

Join me in a video call next Tuesday 23 September to chat about how we need to rebuild and win.

I am honoured to lead Labor; but I recognise it is a privilege built on the hard work and passion of thousands of like-minded Australians who stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

We can only stop Tony Abbott if we all stand together, focused on what unites us — that’s why I want to hear from you about how we do that.

I’ll be taking your questions live on Twitter with your host ACT Senator Kate Lundy. Click here to RSVP and find out more.

Like me, you must find it hard to watch what Tony Abbott’s Government is doing to our country. But the damage will only continue — and get worse — if he wins again in 2016.

Rebuilding Labor begins with you and me; let’s talk about it next Tuesday.

Thanks for standing with me on this,

Bill

Never have I read such limp, superficial fluff.

He’s saying one thing yet doing the other.

But if he wants my opinion I can think of a couple of things to add to their disgraceful asylum seeker policy. For starters, Bill Shorten’s response to a federal ICAC:

“I think we’ve all been shocked at the revelations that have come out in NSW ICAC,” he has said. “I don’t believe the same case has yet existed to demonstrate these problems are prevalent in the national political debate in Australia.”

I find that gutless and pathetic. The NSW ICAC has seen Liberal Party politicians dropping like flies and whilst it doesn’t suggest that there is corruption in the federal ranks, Bill must surely be aware that there are tens of thousands of voters out there with eyebrows raised. It’s a question they’d like answered. And it seriously needs to be answered.

I’m also disappointed at the bipartisan support Bill Shorten has given Tony Abbott in involving us in another war. John Kelly expressed it succinctly (and better than I could) when he wrote:

How simple-minded this government is. How pathetic is the Labor opposition that so meekly falls into line as if there was no other position it could take.

I’ll be telling Bill Shorten what I think. It’s a chance for all of us to do the same. He wrote “We can only stop Tony Abbott if we all stand together”. Lately I’m beginning to feel that it’s Tony Abbott he’s standing with . . . not the rest of us.

97 comments

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  1. lefturnahead

    Sad but true,i once thought he was just playing some sort of grand stragetic plan to defeat Abbott but have now concluded he is just a wet lettuce who will soon be tossed.

  2. Graham Perham

    Yes, I agree. Let’s just take the most recent fiasco. Their joint decision to invade Iraq, with not a second of parliamentary debate. What can Australia expect from a couple of jesuit schoolboy pals still playing crusaders?.

  3. Popsie J

    Now that our Tonesis far to the right of Attilla the Hun the vacant centre of Australian politics is waiting to be taken, by who, certainly not the present ALP,which are seen to the epitomy of union dominated corrupt wankers. Let Labor choose its candidates on a one man one vote system which would encourage ordinary Aussies to join the New ALP..Like the wet lettuce comment personaly I prefer the expression ” as useless as an empty lemonade bottle “

  4. ChrisK (@cmkneipp)

    I have to agree. As a left leaning middle grounder, I have sadly watched Labor lurch more and more towards supporting the lowest common denominator when it comes to Asylum seeker policy. If the answer to refugees undertaking dangerous boat journeys is cruelty then we really are asking the wrong questions. Equally, if war is the answer it’s a bloody stupid question. We cannot justify getting involved in another futile genital waving exercise in the Middle East just so the Abbott Govt can say it’s making strong decisions. It’s time the ALP called a spade a spade and stand for equity, compassion and common sense, (something that is not very common in Canberra unfortunately.) My message to Bill is, stand up and start making a real difference by being an OPPOSITION leader, because god knows we need to oppose the cruel stupidity of the Right wing nut jobs. (Rant over, thank you for listening.)

  5. Carol Taylor

    If Labor strategy was to let Abbott lose the next election..I can but say…well that strategy worked a treat last time around didn’t it. 🙄

    If Labor cannot live up to it’s principles (or at least the ones that it should have), then my vote will be going elsewhere.

  6. halsaul

    Unless I see a strong push from Shorten/Labor to insist that there is a mechanism that ensures Parliament must debate & pass a decision to go to war or not, I will not support Labor. If we have been unfortunate enough to be tricked by lies into voting in, an incompetent government and a some-what deranged man that no-one can even trust, we can at least avoid Australian service men being maimed, killed or mentally destroyed. For no good reason. Isis will have won what they wanted as soon as the West gets involved. Where are the Saudis? After many, lives lost, $millions spent, Isis will have more recruits than they ever dreamed of. Dumb Dumb Australia.

  7. Kelly Griffen

    Sadly Labor is not and hasn’t been for the people since Hawk and Keating were in office, quite frankly, there isn’t a single politician worth half the salary they are paid, they all represent “big business” and “capitalism, without a moral compass or soul, hell bent on enslaving people to money and raping the world of it’s resources and to hell with the planet. So blind is there greed they forget they need the planet to survive too. How to change it? What would happen if we all refused to vote and pay taxes? Would they listen then?

  8. Rob031

    It appears to many of us that Abbott relentlessly plays the fear card to deflect from his own Government’s ineptitude. Could it be the case that Shorten and others in the ALP are doing much the same thing in relation to their own ineptitude – where the bogyman in this case is Abbott and his budgetary policies?

    (Over and apart from the current security and war posturings by the LNP, I’d be mightily curious to see what the performance of the current ALP would be if the LNP hadn’t made such a blatantly obvious mess of the budget in terms of its unfairness – and so much other stuff such as climate-change denial etc. etc.)

    Perhaps the ALP has been wedged into their bipartisan support for Abbott’s war etc. where to oppose it casts them into the role of not being on Australia’s side and all that in the mind of many of the electorate. Delightful gotcha. Nice one soapy Abbott. Will the ALP now tear itself apart over this? Hope so thinks the LNP. It worked last time, in different circumstances, didn’t it?

    I can only hope that if Shorten is replaced by someone much better that the transfer of leadership is done in a peaceful kind of way. Shorten decides that the toll on his family is too much etc. Maybe it’s a question as to which party will blink first as to the support for their leader. I hope that the LNP crack first and that the ALP methodically prepares and presents itself as a sensible alternative. Oh well…

  9. Kenacko53

    There has never in my lifetime been a more insipid, lily livered performance from a Labor Leader than at present. Shorten has been all but invisible since the election, and now when he does get air time he’s standing and waving a Tony Abbott fan club flag. Has he learned nothing of our futile involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan?? If Labor stay this course, then Abbott’s a shoe in to get re elected. Time for another backroom revolt and to grow some balls!!

  10. philasophigas

    As long as we all agree that Labor in 2014, Labor in the current political dynamic in Australia, has no intention of taking a position any further “left” of the current government than they believe is required. Can i just say; anybody who puts Labor ahead of the Greens in the lower house at the next election is voting for the establishment. IE big business. If you see yourself as progressive/leftist/compassionate and you vote Labor its time to ask yourself some tough questions.

    Personally I think the greens could take half a dozen seats in ’16 hopefully forming a minority Labor government. It’d be a good start.

  11. Kayla Flamenco Malaysia

    Dear Bill,
    I am bitterly disappointed with the ALP support of sending military assistance to the Middle East, any contribution from Australia is meaningless when many countries in the Middle East have far better and more resources to contribute to the chaos than Australia does, it’s their backyard. I am not buying the repeated fear mongering slogans of George Bush “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists” by Abbott’s “Team Australia” rhetoric. I was taught, rightfully, to question anything that just doesn’t feel right and this issue certainly fits that bill. There are too many unanswered questions here and you should be asking them!

  12. Rob031

    @Popsie J: “as useless as an empty lemonade bottle

    My favourite is: “As useless as a chocolate chastity belt” or “As useless as an upward ejector seat in a helicopter”

    Sorry about that but it’s all bloody depressing isn’t it?

  13. Rowan

    I’m about as left and idealistic as they come, but I respectfully fancy this is a bit harsh.

    By the standards you’re demanding, I assume you’ve been displeased with just about every Labor leader for the past half-century?!

    I voted for Albo for the leadership, but Bill’s doing okay. He’s ahead in the polls (which is a sad but necessary priority for destroying Abbott), which is virtually unheard of at this point of a first term. Sadly, what you’re calling for would almost certainly undo that progress.

    He’s doing pretty much what you’d expect a progressive opposition leader to be doing at this point… feeling his way… working out which values and issues will resonate electorally… focussing on politically safe and popular leftist issues like the budget cuts, etc, and steering clear of elevating wedge issues like boats and national security.

    Remember – if the conversation / consciousness is all about social justice and our human values versus theirs… the good guys win.
    If it’s all about different opinions over war, boats and terrorism, the bad guys will win. Time and time again we’ve learned that, at immense cost.

    We all want courage, conviction and the right thing done. But you’ve got to appeal to scared, disengaged “voter 51” (who’s very different culturally and intellectually to you and I) and get into government first.

    I’m sick of feeling traumatised and angry by the electorate voting Tory. Just destroy them please, Bill.

  14. kristapet

    I agree with you entirely with some added extras – A much stronger stand on the environment, strenuously looking after the old and aged pensions, social housing, much stronger stand on supporting climate change, the RET , renewable energy and technology and all that goes with it , including, banning CSG mining practices, such as fraccing, stronger support for the ABC, taxing big business and mining – and force MP’s to abstain from voting when there is a clear conflict of interest. e.g Clive Palmer and anything to do with mining; changing the election rules to first past the post, so that mickey mouse parties do not get into parliament. Stop corporations, mining magnates lobbying the government, keep our resources and monies made from them in Australia. Stop monopolies of the media and news ownership. Stop the TPP being a secretive process and retain our sovereignty as well as protecting our home grown industries and businesses, limit foreign ownership of Australian real estate,money made here stays here. Give Australia back to Australians including the environment. Stop American Military bases here, reaffirm our military independence from USA.Stop the Liberals wasting money on offshore asylum centres, on unnecessary witch hunts,reviews, vexing reviews, and investigations, including, black boxes.

  15. corvus boreus

    Mr Shorten,
    When, as the leader of your party, you actively influence/allow the Labor senators to vote for a federal ICAC, I will consider voting Labor in the senate.
    My lower house vote will depend upon the quality of the local candidate fielded by your party, and the policy alternatives and pragmatic principles you articulate and demonstrate as an oppositional party in the meantime.
    P.S. In my view, your personal position as head of the federal Labor party, despite both the numerical minority of party members supporting your leadership bid, and your subsequently demonstrated lack of principled courage and integrity in decisions and statements, is a detriment to Labor’s general validity as a legitimate alternative choice of government.

  16. lyngainLyn Gain

    I’m afraid I will always vote Labor no matter how disappoint they are. The alternative is just too awful (and voting Greens first is just a roundabout way of voting Labor). But it would be nice if Shorten listened to two things: I was appalled at his stance on the Iraq troops – while I can see what he and his advisers fear, surely a little honest leadership would be a breath of fresh air to the Australian people – they were so excited when he actually got up and gave his Budget reply – but since then nothing; and it is this idea that anything goes to get elected that saw us dive to the bottom on the asylum seekers policy. Some courage please. At least he could mount some sort of campaign about conditions in detention centres – surely Labor doesn’t support that.

  17. Rikda

    Someone should have told Bill… “mate, you are who you are.
    Your voice has the attention span of 7-10 minutes & you have the charisma of a Preying Mantis.
    This is not leadership material. We have to move on.

    The Labor party needs to use Abbotts diversion to their own advantage.
    The party is full of Gray people doing photo shoots with party faithfuls at picnics.

    Three months out from an election is not the time to try & pull another Bill Haydon trick.
    It’s been said that the leaders in waiting, Bowen & Albanese don’t want the job.
    Looks like they’re just picking up their cheque for being the party glue.
    Terrible thing to see such a great Party wallowing in the relief of disinterest.

  18. Glenn L. McGrath

    Rowan, well said, agree completely.

    I would also add, that the primary difference between left and right, is that the left is supposed to put the team first (the right puts individuals first), we are supposed to be a team above all else, we will bear the scars of 2013 for a long time.

    There is 30 ALP MP’s in the shadow ministry, 55MP’s total in federal parliment, a lot more in various state goverments, 30,000 labor party members (bit of a guess) and 4.3 Million Australians (1 in 3) who voted ALP first. No leader has a magic button to stear that many people.

    We as a collective should be strong enough to accept some resposibility for the shape of the party, its not the way of the left to put all the blame on one of us. There is only one leader, and he has been granted that right until at least the next election. He has the right to play a long game, to not have to watch his back.

    Constructive criticism should be welcomed, but i see little of that here.

  19. Kaye Makovec

    I honestly don’t remember how I came to receive regular emails from politicians as I am not a member (and never have been) of any party or Union, perhaps from posting on their Facebook pages or signing petitions?
    Anyway, these are the last 2 emails I received and it shows me who is more up to date with what Abbott is up to as in 2 weeks ago Ludlam is concerned about where we are heading and Shorten is lagging way behind. I do not normally share emails but in this case permission has been granted 🙂
    I have never before replied or follow any links. But, I did reply to the one from Shorten.

    3 September 2014

    Dear Kaye,

    It seems our government has learned nothing.
    In 2003, with the false justification from flawed intelligence, Australia followed the USA into a disastrous war in Iraq. The result was nearly 5000 coalition troops and over 100000 Iraqi civilians dead, and a less stable nation than it was before the ‘coalition of the willing’ attacked.
    We have all seen the atrocities emerging from Iraq, as the brutal ISIS commit horrific acts of barbarism in an attempt to fill the power vacuum years of strife and instability in the region has created.
    But Western nations sending in armed forces, without a specific mission, with no clear objective and no end in sight, is how we ended up here.
    That’s why the Greens have a bill that requires a vote of parliament to send our servicemen and women to war. Please add your voice to our call.
    Nations across the world, by either law or convention, require their parliament to approve the deployment of troops to war. In the USA it’s a vote of Congress. In the UK it’s a vote in the House of Commons. In Finland it’s the Eduskunta. In Germany it’s the Bundestag.
    Parliamentarians here speak at great length about the magnitude of such a decision. And they’re right. It’s precisely for that reason that these decisions should be scrutinised and debated, and the MPs held accountable for their decision by their electors.

    Please tell your MPs that they should be a part of those debates. Sign our petition to support the War Powers Bill.

    Thanks for all that you do,

    Scott

    7 September 2014

    Kaye,

    On this day one year ago, Australians were sold a massive set of lies.
    Before the election Tony Abbott made a whole string of promises, such as: “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to pensions, and no cuts to the ABC or SBS…”
    Tony Abbott campaigned on honesty. During his election victory speech, he looked Australians in the eye and said “We will not let you down.”
    This was the biggest lie of all.
    One year on we are all paying for those lies — whether you are a student, a pensioner, in between jobs, or just need to go to the doctor: Tony Abbott’s lies will hurt.
    The real tragedy will be if we let them get away with this. His team made the cynical calculation that in time people will forget what they promised. We can’t let that happen.
    There is a lot of work to be done to undo the damage Tony Abbott has done to this country in one short year, and to stand in the way of his plans to do more.
    Today, one year on from his election, that work starts with a renewed push to spread the word about a year’s worth of lies, so the Liberal Party’s cynical hope — that in time we’d forget — will fail.
    You can be a part of this push by watching and sharing this or forwarding this email to three friends. I need your help to remind other Australians of what we have to lose with a Tony Abbott government in charge.
    Thanks for standing with me on this,

    Bill

    My reply. Not sure if it will bounce back as undeliverable 🙂

    Stop agreeing with Abbott on IS as he is NOT right and neither is the US.
    For all our sakes do some bloody research before agreeing with Abbott and Co on anything.
    This pretty much says it all on how most people feel.

    You Bloody Idiots!

    That is my constructive criticism 🙂

  20. kerrilmail

    If the Supreme Court decision that mandatory detention is illegal and unconstituitional is not a trigger for Labor to do some serious soul searching, heart changing and policy reviewing ( I have given up hope that they actually realise how wrong it all is) then I don’t know what hope there is. Me I’m voting Green. They seem to be the only politicians with a plan for the future that is progressive, humane and legal!!!

  21. John Fraser

    <

    Why isn't Shorten in a tent with Australia's Gaddafi ?

    Currently everyones inside the tent pissing on Shorten who's standing outside the tent.

  22. Humphrey Hollins

    Shorten is worse than useless, he obviously will never be PM and he knows it. But who is he leaving the chair warm for? The Labor Party is finished as a force, they stand for nothing anymore. No federal ICAC, support for the war and no teeth in the parliament. I thought Christine Milne was pretty well on message in her last pressed, I find her weak but she was ten times as strong as Shorten.

  23. OzFenric

    I don’t believe there’s any practical way that Shorten could fail to take a bipartisan approach on ISIS. If he tries to argue in any fashion that our involvement is foolhardy or unnecessary, Abbott will pounce, and you can expect a month or more of endless headlines about appeasement, weakness, uncaring and unconcern for the lives of ordinary Australians. All this, cheered on and abetted by large slabs of the mainstream media. Labor would lose much or all of its poll lead in one fell swoop and once gone, it will be immensely hard to recover. Abbott lives for the day he can wave an Austeyr in the air and proclaim that this is for victory, truth, justice and the Australian way. Opposing it opens Shorten to claims of defeat, lies, injustice and being beholden to the Greens – an accusation Labor has been striving mightily to get away from.

    As for Ludlam’s policy that committing troops to war should require Parliament’s approval, there’s two problems. First, it’s never been done that way, and both major parties rely too heavily on the “that’s breaking two centuries of custom” card. And second, it would probably get through the Parliament anyway, and then not only do we have troops at war, there’s a mandate.

    What bothers me most about Shorten and his small target strategy is that it works fine if you intend to stay the course. And he’s totally right. There’s no practical means of ousting the Coalition before 2016, nor of obstructing their policies in any meaningful way. Before too long, though, he’s going to need to start building (or at least, adding his voice to) an alternative narrative. I will reserve judgment, but I’m not certain that he has the stature to direct that dialogue.

  24. ThePoliticalVagina

    Yes I too thought perhaps Bill Shorten knows something we don’t and is playing his cards close to his chest but now I’m thinking he’s just got no balls. His Jesuit education worries me greatly. Could he be a plant? I know, I know that’s a bit suss but geez, c’mon Bill and c’mon Labor are you for us or against us?

  25. corvus boreus

    Kaye Makovec,
    Definitely a marked contrast in both dialogue and content. Thanks for posting.

  26. John Fraser

    <

    @OzFeneric

    The ALP lost their poll lead the minute the first captive was beheaded.

    @ThePoliticalVagina

    Yeah !

    Shorten knows something we don't.

    And Turnbull knows something we don't.

    But slowly we are working out that neither of them have the guts to go up against Murdoch/ Rinehart/ Abbott.

  27. Graham Hall

    Once upon a time an aussie pollie stood up to the USA – so the CIA fabricated stuff and had him sacked.
    Since then: USA says: “JUMP”, ALL our politicians say: “HOW HIGH?”.

  28. Don Winther

    @ThePoliticalVagina ( great name )

    They’re all Jesuit boys, they are all mates and Bill is a Liberal.

  29. Matto

    Hmmm, so you say the report was based on the results of a survey which you were invited to complete so you could influence the primary goals of the Australian Labor Party. Only for whatever reason you didn’t. Now you’re blaming the ALP for not including on shore asylum seekers in their agenda after the people who DID complete survey voted it as their lowest concern.

    Perhaps if you had actually participated in the survey, your disappointment would be valid to some extent. However, the blame you put on the ALP still wouldn’t be valid, as it was the people’s choice, not Bill Shorten’s. If you want to blame anyone, by all means, blame the people who completed the survey. And perhaps you should also blame yourself for not even bothering to have a say in the matter of the ALP agenda. Just a thought.

  30. John Fraser

    <

    @Matto

    Is Shorten the "peoples choice" ?

    Perhaps the "people" shouldn't have bothered.

  31. Angie

    In Opposition, Abbott attacked Labor relentlessly – now it’s Labor’s turn and they are just all fluff and puff…they leave things too long before disputing what Abbott says or don’t even bother to fight in a fast time frame leaving people to believe what team Abbott say as truth! As much as I supported Julia Gillard, I’m struggling to see Shorten as next PM…it’s sad but I think behind the scenes, Labor & Libs are really good friends!

    My preference was for Anthony Albanese….

    I want a Party to fight for the people to the death & I expect the leader to be a big strong character afraid of nobody…I want my leader to be a real attack dog to rip Abbott & his Team Abbott to pieces. Where is Bill? Even in Question Time, Bill let’s Abbott get away with so much and it’s the same with his biggest supporter Speaker Bishop!

  32. John Fraser

    <

    @Matto

    You had better have "a thought" because what you are seeing here is just the tip of the iceberg of dissatisfaction with Shorten.

    Whatever poll lead Labor had last week has disappeared faster than an ice block in summer on the Nullarbor plain.

  33. John Fraser

    <

    @Angie

    Sorry mate Albanese doesn't cut it across Australia.

    He's got the smarts to attack Abbott and is acceptable in that role but Australia is looking for someone to take Australia with them.

    Being able to string more than 2 words together without … ahhh … ummmm …. errrrr …. would be a good start.

  34. Olivia Manor

    Here in Victoria, the ALP kept an almost invisible profile for the first 3 Years in opposition but then started making themselves very visible. Maybe Shorten will do the same closer to election time. Murdoch is very worried as he is going gung ho against Andrews. Scared his hold on the jewel in the crown, might slip

  35. Truth Seeker

    Migs, well said 😎 and I remember many of us saying, prior to the vote, that Shorten was the wrong man for the job, but there’s little satisfaction in saying we told them so 🙁

    And now we are stuck with the damp squib, and idiot boy taking us to war… 🙄 what a pair of wankers! 😉

    I didn’t include Shorten in my latest post, but only because he’s not there… as far as we know?

    Australia’s evil inTent!

    Cheers 😉

  36. Matto

    @John Fraser

    And who or what exactly is YOUR alternative?

    Because if neither Anthony nor Bill is good enough by your standards, I would sure like to see you do a better job.

  37. stephentardrew

    Mommy I wanna be sick.

    Please, please, please at least a moderately charismatic leader. Shorten is just too dry and even when he is on attack it is not convincing. He delivers those awful one liners in the most awkward way knowing they are fodder for the plebs. Let’s just have some solid intelligent and accessible language without the foolish analogies. You have to have a certain amount of front and confidence yet Shorten’s self-doubt shines through. Not his fault however Labor needs a leader with a reasonable sense of humor and good delivery. Penny Wong comes to mind but damn that Senate. Would she cause paroxysms for the right wing misogynists? I would love to stuff a smart women up Abbott’s sniveling snout.

    Bringing back the equivalent to the misogyny speech would undeniable be a glorious gem.

    The silence on Iraq is another ethical nightmare for Labor. When will they learn to stand up for what is right and decent?

    I really want to make Abbott and his front bench nasties suffer the same indignity they have, and will inevitably, cause to others.

  38. CMMC

    Lets all take a Bex and consider the realpolitik Shorten has to deal with. The MSM (or more accurately the Legacy Media) will continue to churn out memes about “going soft on the asylum seeker/reffo menace” and [insert current Labor leaders name here] hasn’t got the “ticker” to lead the Nation and can’t “land a glove” on the Conservitard P.M.

    Crude pugilist metaphors for prople who probably don’t even vote.

    But the editorial nongs of the Legacy Media will continue to push these memes that seep through to Sussex St. Labor Right nongs.

  39. John Fraser

    <

    Dear Matto,

    No need to get personal.

    Why don't you …. that's you ! … take another look at some of the ALP talent.

    You could start with the 2 Labor women who have spoken out … and been batted down by Shorten …. or try Catherine King.

    And that's just for starters.

    There's Marles, Dreyfus, Leigh, Butler etc etc.

    Currently the ALP women are doing the "heavy lifting".

  40. kathysutherland2013

    I’m really trying to be loyal to Bill, but he’s making it difficult! He’s coming across as negative as Abbott was as Opposition Leader!

  41. Matto

    John

    I do apologise if offence was taken, my response was not meant to be a personal attack.

    I agree that Labor has lots of talent in it’s ranks. But sadly, we don’t get to choose who leads. So I have to look at Labor as one whole. I also have to look at Liberal as one whole.

    Look, the common ground we all have is we hate Tony Abbott. ANY MP would be a better leader than Abbott, but it’s not just about Abbott, it’s about the whole party being pulled out of parliament. And it’s not just about whether or not Bill Shorten has the bollocks to lead his party, we need the ALP back in power and I’m staying loyal to Labor regardless of who leads.

  42. John Fraser

    <

    @Matto

    Hey I've been insulted by professionals … pick up your game if you want to get to me.

    Seriously …. find some time to listen to Michael Ware in the Link above.

    Pretty sure you will be agreeing with the Labor woman and Milne who are attacking Abbott for his latest moronic decision.

  43. Matto

    @John

    I’m not trying to get to anyone. I don’t even know anyone commenting here, I have nothing to gain from getting to anyone here. I just want to know why the expectation of the OP is that we should be considering asylum seekers first when the root of the problem hasn’t been hacked at.

    Islamic State is a force of hatred which needs to be dealt with in any way possible, even if it means a bloodbath. Them along with any remaining extremist group that threatens the safety of the peace loving human beings that seek refuge here. A group of terrorists this bloodthirsty is not fit for this world. Surely you would agree with that.

    By the way, I’m not gonna make this about male politicians vs. female politicians. To me, in politics, both genders should be equal and I view them as such.

  44. John Fraser

    <

    @Matto

    Joke Joyce.

    I only point out that it's the woman in politics who are opposing Abbott.

    And doing a fine job.

    IS was started in Iraq while the Americans were there ….. they were lobbing mortars into the U.S. Embassy from 2 blocks away.

    While the U.S. had 150,000 troops in the country.

    IS is holding 43 Turks + 3 children from the Turkish Embassy in Mosel.

    That's why Turkey is playing it low key + they have a problem with Kurds wanting autonomy.

    The Kurds have always been onside with the U.S. and really take the fight to IS.

    Lets hope our troops are with the Kurdish Peshmerga …. that way they have a good chance of coming home safely.

    If they don’t ….. then the arsehole Shorten has to take 50% of the blame.

  45. OzFenric

    There are very good, practical reasons why we shouldn’t be leading the charge (by “we”, I mean the western world). This is a local fight first and foremost. It should be prosecuted by local forces, Saudi Arabia primary amongst them. There’s lots of commentary on this – for instance, see http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2014/09/13/fighting-isil-is-not-americas-war-other-countries-should-lead-coalition-against-islamic-state/. Put simply, every local country surrounding ISIL can field ten times their soldiery and pound them into the dirt, if they choose to. If they were to ally together to do so, what a force for regional stability that could represent.

    If the US of A with its witless allies come charging in, it accomplishes three things: a) it raises the red flag so every radical muslim in the world can see that this is a religious war, the Great Satan and her minions vs. the Caliphate of Allah. Bumper days for jihad recruiting. b) it absolves Saudi Arabia and other local players of picking a side, meaning that they can continue to moan about the threat of extremism while still keeping good with Islam and not scarring their nice shiny tanks. And c) it ensures maximum death, destruction and havoc, not only for allied forces from an already war-weary world (really not ready to see streams of body bags being shipped back home) but also for local populations. Have we learned nothing from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan? Have any of these been shining examples of the healing power of democracy?

    IS is indeed a force of hatred that should be addressed. However, it’s no more so than a hundred other tinpot cults, terrorist organisations or even local governments. Where’s the west’s overwhelming coalition pounding Boko Haram into dust? I understand that at least 200 of those kidnapped schoolgirls are still missing, unless they’ve been sold into slavery by now. What makes ISIL so much more deserving of a helping of Shock and Awe?

    Abbott is using a foreign war on the slimmest of pretexts as a populist red flag to try to win some brownie points; he’s a fighter, an assaulter, and Shorten is giving him little to assault. If Abbott takes us to war he gets to play the hero *and* wedge Labor and the Greens, so why wouldn’t he? If we start seeing our brave boys coming home in coffins, well, “shit happens”.

  46. Matto

    @John

    I definitely want to see our troops come home in one piece. The rules of war may not permit that, but my best wishes are with them all. At the end of the day, I just want to avoid a third world war or another wedge of some description driving humanity further apart. Let’s just hope that Abbott and Shorten play whatever cards they have right. Cause if this conflict escalates too high, we’re all in deep. And local politics won’t matter much to anyone then.

  47. Matto

    @OzFenric

    It’ll certainly be a black mark on Tony’s hands if he screws this up. I couldn’t think of anything more satisfying than seeing him squirm when he realises that the Australian blood that spills will be mostly on his hands.

    I’m not sure about the tinpot cults remarks though, religion is a veerrryy influential tool for unity.

  48. TC

    The entirity of Australian politics has shifted. LNP from slight-right to extreme-right, and ALP from slight-left to slight right. Even the Greens have shifted a bit, from far-left to mid-left. It’s disheartening how little the two major parties seems to care for anyone other than themselves and the rich.

    If we continue on this course, I’m jumping ship… Norway seems alright.

  49. Linda

    It is sickening to see Bill Shorten chumming up with Abbott whenever they are out in public….Bill isn’t truly committed to the ALP and is basically just a nice middle class Jesuit trained bloke who has somehow wandered into the ALP by accident . it’s just tragic….he looks perpetually worried and ill at ease…such a profound disappointment ,.. Tanya Plibersek is also largely missing in action as well…..The general public and the Greens seem to be doing most of the heavy lifting by taking it up to Abbott …ALP just shrugs its shoulders and fades …..what the ***** are they actually doing ? They are really letting the population down . Penny Wong stands almost alone in her attempt to provide opposition .

  50. Ruth Lipscombe

    I completely agree with ‘leftturnahead’ and numerous others.
    I am sick of some of my friends assuring me that Shorten will soon come out with ‘all guns blazing’.
    We need a new Labor leader NOW; before it is too late for Australia.
    I send relevant Kaye Lee’s blogs to Shorten,Burke and George Wright.I will send this excellent post of Michael Taylors on the same journey.
    I am not on Twitter so won’t/can’t (?) contribute on the 23rd Sept.Good luck to all who do.
    What has happened to the much touted Labor Paper??? I was hoping it would give all of us disgruntled /disaffected Laborites an avenue to express our opinion

  51. Sir-David Gordon Hill

    Penny Wong and Doug Cameron and possibly Tony Burke and the only Labor people worth a cracker at the moment , the rest of them are about as much use as tits on a bull .

  52. LAWRENCE S. ROBERTS

    We live in a time of oxymoron’s when The Liberals aren’t and Labor doesn’t.

  53. Dissenter

    I feel like Labor is being led by granny with the wobbles both physically, intellectually and also in regard to LEADERSHIP of which there is no evidence and also policy decisions.

    Shorten oscillates between granny and a jellyfish just coasting and happy to blurt out at TEAM ABBOTT consent without the realisation that it is NOT HIS CALL. These decisions SHOULD BE put to parliamentary debate and that they are not being debated reflects on the entire government including Labor. IF THERE IS SHORT TIME FRAME HAVE A SPECIAL SITTING of parliament to DEBATE BUT DEBATE these decisions SHOULD BE.

    I am OFFENDED that HIS decisions re Federal ICAC and asylum SEEKERS are BEING MADE without consultation with the membership but more than ANYTHING I am STUNNED that In SPITE of the MASSIVE losses inflicted on LABOR last election THERE IS NO REALISATION that it was HIGHLY important to BRING FORWARD NATIONAL conference of INSERT more national conferences in so that THEY are annual or even every six months so that POLICY and STRATEGY can at least be meticulously planned.

  54. Kaye Lee

    IS needs to be stopped. The easiest way would be to cut off their supply route (and source if possible). Our involvement should NOT extend to combat. Tony is trying to sell this as a humanitarian mission. CRAP. What humanitarian aid do 8 fighter jets provide? We need to help the country rebuild, not bomb the crap out of it. We would earn far more respect and co-operation that way. Imagine if the money that is being spent on rockets and bullets and jet fighter fuel was spent rebuilding the schools and hospitals that have been blown apart. The surrounding countries are the ones most at risk – they should form a ring around IS and start closing them off. Let the armed forces in the region cut off supply while we offer practical help to the local people whether that be rebuilding, evacuation, supplies of food and water, medical assistance – a positive contribution.

    And the lame excuse that because there are 60 Australians fighting there is ridiculous. Are we going to go and bomb Israel because there are Australians there killing thousands in Gaza? The worry about them returning radicalised is also ridiculous. They know who they are, if they come back prosecute them. That is why we have laws – or have we now decided that we kill criminals?

    As for asylum seekers, their arguments are ridiculous there too. I understand the need for a deterrant because we can’t accommodate everyone. Why not use the same deterrant (you will not gain permanent residency in Australia if you arrive by irregular channels) but have onshore detention? Increase the regular intake, establish processing centres in transit countries, speed up the process, improve communication of progress to applicants. Stop doing things that create more refugees like arming the Sri Lankan Navy, bombing Iraq, taking no action on climate change while increasing our coal mining.

  55. stephentardrew

    We are just playing the fools. Let the Arab League deal with this lot themselves then maybe ask for assistance when they have demonstrated a willingness to confront their crazy brethren. It makes me laugh the obvious hypocritical stance of people who support the US when the US has been guilty of atrocities and has serious domestic issues of their own. Tent cities in the greatest nation of earth. Wake up and listen too music of the dystopian capitalist greed mongers using fear and the media to drive a greed infested agenda. I hate war and the necessity for conflict must be weighed against a complex set of imperatives including the record of each nation caught in conflict. The US is guilty of bombing innocent people who have turned into mere collateral damaged. Try being a parent whose spouse and children have been blown to bits by a drone and then hope they will be benign and understanding of the necessity to blow up their family.

    Selective ethics is by and large completely unethical and hypocritical. Our problem is not who is right but who is willing to face the facts head on and recognize that greed is greed and power is power and that leaving people in poverty and hardship will inevitably lead to resentment hate and conflict. But Oh no it is always look over there and damn the facts. No one in their right mind wants genocide war and beheading however haven’t we yet learned that intervention can generate the worst possible outcomes. The US has lost so many wars; it has brought down legitimate democracies with the subsequent loss of vast numbers of innocent people; it allows failure after failure in conflict, war and economic policy like some excited dysfunctional child refusing to learn from history. And you cannot get elected president unless you are beholden to the Wall Street leaches.

    More of the same. Yeah that’s going to work a treat.

    Things will only improve when an entirely new and revisionary approach is taken not repetition of failed actions and policies.

    Common all you purveyors of war think out of the box and find real solutions to justice and inequity. There is no way this intervention will make the wold a better place and it will surely lead to the expansion of terrorism throughout the world. We failed last time so lets use the same tactics and hope against hope we will be successful this time. Only a fool would think they can destroy a dysfunctional international organization by defeating hem in one local vicinity.

    A bunch of God fearing hypocritical dogmatist fighting another bunch of God fearing dogmatist still leaves us with a bunch of God fearing ideologues. Unless we do better than that nothing is going to change. When are we going to learn religious dogmatism is the scourge of democracy, justice, equity and utility.

  56. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    You do know that IS has control of Iraqi oil fields and money from them is supporting their "war" (jihad).

  57. Kaye Lee

    John, I do know about the oil but it’s only good for them if they have a market, and the reason they do have a market is largely our fault.

    Oil smuggling has long been an issue both from Iraq and Syria, especially after the first Iraqi war when a global ban on oil shipments from Iraq was imposed.

    This gave rise to an important sector, with locals on all sides of the borders profiting considerably from the black market using hundreds of tankers and hidden pipelines. There might be a good place to start.

    Turkey denies they are buying smuggled oil.

    “Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has again denied claims that Turkey has bought smuggled oil from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, responding to a New York Times report that Turkey was a destination for black market oil supplied by militants.

    “The Turkish Republic is a constitutional state and it must buy and sell according to that,” Yıldız told reporters on Sept. 15 during a visit to Qatar.

    “It is not our problem if someone says that ISIL oil is mixed with oil coming from Kirkuk. We have not been informed about it, and the whole world knows we would take necessary measures if we were told about something like that,” he added.”

  58. Kaye Lee

    Another ridiculous aspect of Abbott’s response is sending our planes and troops before they have decided what they want us to do. There is a meeting of the security council in late September where they will work out the strategy and role of participants. Abbott has jumped the gun by sending a few fighter jets and combat advisers. We may well be called on for entirely different support like cargo planes to drop supplies or engineers to help rebuild or passenger planes to evacuate people or medical teams. He is just hogging for a conflict instead of working towards consensual action.

  59. All's Not Lost

    “Their joint decision to invade Iraq”

    No one is invading Iraq. Howard did that. That’s not what’s happening here. If we’re going to debate this, as we should, can we try and keep it real.

  60. Ross

    When Labor made office after 10-12 years in opposition it only took 2 years for it al to begin to unravel. Both the major parties are united behind Obama’s decision to bomb ISIS. The only opposition is from the Greens who lack the clout they had when Bob Brown was the leader.

  61. Anomander

    Too little, too late. As a lifetime Labor voter, they lost my vote years ago when they refused to take decisive action on Climate Change and when they bowed to the miners over the super profits tax. Their refusal to stand against off-shore processing and their obvious willingness to not challenge the corporate influence casts them in the same basket as the Libs.

    Shorten’s decision not to engage Abbott on any number of issues, including; Iraq, the alleged budget emergency, asylum seekers, attacks on science and climate change, the RET and the mining tax leaves me of the opinion that a vote for Labor is little different than a vote for the coalition.

    I haven’t changed – I’ve always tended toward the left side of politics – social justice, protecting workers rights and our environment. It is Labor that has moved away to the right – pursuing the neoliberalist agenda.

    The Greens are the only party that supports my ideals and it will take a radical change from Labor to recapture my vote.

    Based on what I’ve seen of Shorten’s abysmal performance and Labor’s low-profile tactics, they aren’t presenting a compelling reason for voters like me to change.

  62. red

    Just a couple of questions for the ALP/Bill bashers, does anyone have an alternative in mind? Does this alternative have a chance of winning the next election? Not a question but I notice that the right and sections of the left/progressives have joined in their attacks on the ALP/Bill and are using the same language. For those that are interested, the link below – Hands Off Syria, has some great information and background on the current situation.

    http://hands-off-syria.jimdo.com/

  63. atkenos

    I am a member of the ALP and I say what I think within the party. the more that others do the same the more it WILL reach those in power

  64. Kaye Lee

    red,

    I do not see this as an ALP bashing exercise at all. I see it as a plea from well-informed people who, in the main, are Labor or ex-Labor voters, crying out for what they want to hear. Bill is copping the flak because presumably he is running the strategy and many in the electorate are disappointed by this strategy. Now is the time for us to speak out in the hope that the ALP can offer us policies worth voting for. If Bill talked about Labor’s vision with a few suggestions rather than starting every sentence with “Tony Abbott…” would be a good start. Getting rid of “phrase of the day” would also be helpful. When you watch as many interviews as I do they sound like puppets rather than people who are well-informed and passionate about their cause.

    In the mean time, we need to hear them refuting Abbott’s lies starting with the debt of $667 billion and deficit of $123 billion. It is easily done and is essential. Abbott can’t ride the national security wave forever. The election will be fought on domestic issues and the Coalition are manoeuvring already to try to justify their claim of being better economic managers.

  65. stephengb2014

    Labor is so confusing that I no longer feel able to take them seriously, but the alternative is to give credance to the LNP.
    Perhaps our strategy would be best served by demanding that Bill stand down and make way for a new leader – the cry from the LNP is predictable but frankly the ALP under Bill is not representing a credible alternative to date!

  66. Lachlan

    We needed Albo. He, at the very least, comes across as a true believer with that fire in the belly you need to take it to the bastards and to press home the advantage. Think of how Albo’s budget reply speech would have been. I think Shorten is a nice enough fellow, but he’s too limp. Come back Keating, all is forgiven.

  67. Hotspringer

    As bad as I think it is, Labor is still better than the Coagulation and will get my preferences. Until they return to centre left, vote 1 Green.

  68. Reginald (@reggie2408)

    Hi Steph

    It’s a bit tough to lump all of the Blame onto Bill Shorten, after all it should be a team effort, what I ask is where are the Shadow Ministers, it should be the Job of each Shadow Minister to prosecute the opposition case in relation to each portfolio, I have seen Penny wong, Tanya Plibersek Albo and Chris Bowen Occasionally.others seem missing. It could be that the media is just not running their media releases while they concentrate on Tony Abbott’s security emergency. Don’t get me wrong I am all for getting rid of ISIS but the situation seems to consume all of the news media time at the moment.

    Reg.

  69. Alphonse

    Years of Labor being a “small target” have turned it into a small party. It is calculating itself out of relevance and, at this rate, out of existence.

  70. Wayne Turner

    If Labor wanted real grassroots reform,they would have gone with the leader choosen by the MAJORITY of it’s signed up party members ie: Albo,and NOT Bill Shorten.

    Bill Shorten has to show more passion and guts.Currently,he’s too much a ME TOO bore with no substance and NO GUTS.
    Also,Bill Shorten is far too right wing,which is making the party too right wing eg: ME TOO on ANOTHER Iraq War – Melissa Parke a Labor back bencher with previous experience with the UN, has spoken out against it (sort of,shje’s concerned but clearly is against it but does NOT want to say that to undermind ME TOO Shorten and why (see link).

    The ONLY positive policy wise is that Labor are against the budget,but I’m worried that they are ONLY against the budget because it was clearly UNPOPULAR before Labor came out and opposed it.IE: Labor are just POPULISTS and afraid of the MSM and their Libs 🙁

    Labor needs to come from a position of “principle” and explain why.MORE PAUL KEATING WITH GUTS & LESS ME TOO 🙁

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-16/labor-mp-expresses-concern-over-deployment-islamic-state/5746048

    Finally,I can NOT vote 1 Labor federally while they are so GUTLESS and right wing with Bill Shorten leader.I can ONLY vote 1 Greens.I will ONLY change to Labor 1 if they wake up with GUTS and stop the me too right wing policy positions.If they can change to this under Bill Shorten (I doubt it but 🙁 ),then my vote changes too.

    PS: I could NEVER vote for these LYING LIBS,with pathetic excuse for policies and a moron with empty slogans for bogans misleader in Rorting Abbott.

  71. John Fraser

    <

    @Reginald

    Haven't you seen what happens when female Labor M.P.s speak out against Abbott.

    Its Shorten who is telling them to shut up.

    Shortens effort appears to be the morons “Team Australia”.

    And I can tell you I am not a part of that bullshit.

  72. Kaye Lee

    “Labor’s aspiring leader is a man of contradictions. He comes from a middle-income family in Hughesdale, an ordinary suburb of Melbourne, but he went to school at Xavier College, Melbourne’s equivalent of Riverview; his mother Ann went back to work as a teacher to help pay the school bills for Bill and his twin brother Rob.

    Shorten has made his career in the Labor Party and the union movement, yet he was also best man at the wedding of his close friend John Roskam, executive director of the anti-Labor Institute of Public Affairs. His own first wife was Deborah Beale, whose father Julian Beale was a Liberal MP and grandfather Sir Howard Beale was one of Menzies’ ministers.

    You might think that as a former union leader, he would be an aggressive and cutting debater. On the contrary, he comes over as well-spoken, moderate and polished – a reasonable man, not someone out to floor his opponent.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rise-and-rise-of-a-reasonable-man-20130912-2tno0.html#ixzz3DR58apfm

    I have seen Bill try to do passionate and it sounds silly. I heard him yell at a rally “Are you with me?” It was so contrived I cringed. I watch him in parliament look around to see if others are laughing with him. I am tired of the gotcha questions in QT that repeat the same phrase over and over. There are so many questions that could be asked that allow no easy wriggle room or weasel words.

    He can’t adopt someone else’s style but he can, with “sincerity and kindness”, oppose the lies and articulate the alternatives…and PLEASE stop relying on the advice of advertising people – they make you sound insincere.

  73. Anomander

    I couldn’t agree more Wayne. After the last election, the ALP said they wanted the membership to have a greater say in the leadership. The members chose Albo, only to see the caucus override the decision.

    No wonder the members feel disenchanted and disenfranchised.

    Agreed too Kaye – the image Bill presents is one of banality. With our society under relentless attack from the extreme right-wing neoliberalists, the people are crying-out for a leader who embodies passionate commitment to the defining principles of the party, a figurehead that demonstrates a compelling vision for the future and is prepared to fight tooth a claw for everyday Australians rather than a select number of wealthy benefactors, someone able to rally mass support behind their cause – not a moderate prepared to take a low profile and be seen as “reasonable”.

  74. All's Not Lost

    Get Penny Wong’s backside down to the Lower House!

  75. diannaart

    Deal breaker: On-shore processing, Mr Shorten

    Also, while I understand why you feel wedged into supporting the latest incursion in Iraq, there is a clear issue upon which you can stand tall (believe me you really need this) – SCIENCE.

    … and…

    There is no Minister for Science in our federal government – where is the outrage?

    No policy to replace the ending of the carbon tax – where is the outrage?

    Funding cut across all areas of science except for the unexplained and detailed Medical Research Fund – where are the questions?

    School leavers destined to poverty on cuts to welfare entitlement – where is the outrage?

    Universities set to be competitive businesses – where is the outrage?

    I could go on, Mr Shorten, but really just the above issues would set you as a viable alternative to the Abbott government.

    I no longer think you are biding your time – its been 12 months – nor waiting for the right moment – how many of these have slipped by? No, I don’t think you have the ticker. (Loathe quoting Howard – but the term fits you, Mr Shorten).

  76. Graham Perham

    Agree entirely, diannart.

  77. Wayne Turner

    Totally agree diannaart – Labor needs a leader with GUTS and principle aka Clearly NOT Shorten unless he changes quick smart.

    Sadly it’s easy to wedge a political party when the leader is so GUTLESS aka Shorten ie: Could be his Tampa moment 🙁 AKA Kim Beazley me too 🙁

  78. mars08

    So you think Shorten doesn’t have GUTS???!!?!?!?

    Can you begin to imagine how much courage and fortitude it takes to be bland, timid and conservative when people are CONSTANTLY begging you to differentiate yourself???

  79. Wayne Turner

    ha,ha… mars08 – I think he has selective hearing,and doesn’t know how to be different from his current state 🙁

  80. Graham Perham

    If the person is bland, timid and conservative it would take no guts at all. However you mars08 – whoever you may be – maybe you can tell us what/when/how our leader intends to lead. We have nothing to gauge him on as a leader of the ALP. I can’t for the life of me think off hand of any action as a leader that stands out, yet I could quote Gough’s acomplishments without hesitation.

    Don’t tell us about the leader of trade unions, or Tasmanian mine disasters, what about now as leader of a party that needs leadership. You seem to know more than anyone else here, and we are a small section of a community which is searching for a leader, not a professional politician, a leader I guess one can say that he has led us into a crusade, but we are sick of seeing our troops come back in flag draped coffins.

    So you tell us mars08, when will we see Bill Shorten lead us against his rotten Jesuit school pal and his greedy, rotten disciples who sit on his front jeffing bench?

  81. Graham Perham

    … a leader! I guess …

  82. Angus McTavish

    The ALP lost me a quite few years ago when they did a deal with the libs to keep out the green candidate for mayor in a local government election in my area. Listening to Bill Shorten as LOTO does not encourage any belief that the ALP has changed.
    This morning I heard Bill Shorten advise give an emphatic yes to chris uhlmann’s question about whether the ALP continues to support offshore processing and an equally emphatic no to whether the ALP would consider changing their position….i’m still lost.

  83. Ray Butler

    Shorten is one of the better options to lead Labor, I’d only really consider Plibersek other than him. I think he is taking a Democratic approach to leadership; Gillard was very similar in the way she asked for input, she would process opinions and then form decisions, it seems Bill works that way also rather than just being a Dictator or micromanager. On one hand I want a “parent” leader, one that is in our best interests not in our popular interests, and it is very difficult to have that when their very position depends on appeasing the desires of others.

    In my opinion Democracy should elect an authority that makes sure government serves the best interests of the People, not serve as a means to select Representation; Democracy politicises the system too much, and Plato never intended for Representation to be based on the popularity platform, he suggests merit based government.

    I’d keep in mind that ultimately we are better off getting Abbott out, we can deal with how we feel about Shorten after that is done; I’m sure the LNP and associated propaganda machine would love to paint Shorten as no better than Abbott in the public minds eye, and that only helps their agenda, so be careful about beating up on Shorten lest you want another term of this mob.

  84. Ray Butler

    I think each issue has different experts, people who stand out in the academic world for their peer reviewed contributions, so each issue should have those experts assigned legal representation by the People to advocate their findings in conjunction with experts of other fields related to the issue. This would mean appointment would ultimately be in a state of flux from one issue to the next, but the legal system serves experts not have experts serve the legal system. Each issue could also set up social network platforms for Democratised debate and transparent access to pertinent information on the issue, ultimately meaning anyone could potentially contribute to decisions if their ideas have weight and can be developed. Democratic elections would enter as a means to authorise leaders to head up anti-corruption teams that monitor the experts and the system process to make sure final direction conforms to a decent standard of morality and practicality, and in most cases we would actually have a window that direction can be decided within, making it a case for the People to strike a deal with the private sector within, but neither being able to deviate from the window.

    I think that would be an optimal design for a government; standards of practicality and morality for which experts with the help of the public in a type of Social/Democratic think-tank can generate valid direction for humanity, once the direction is established all the driving forces can then negotiate within that formulation. But we need to remove adverse influences, not just private sector ambitions but also this popularity based action, neither can be fully trusted to plot valid direction for society, only fools and narcissists would claim otherwise.

  85. All's Not Lost

    Abbott needs to be told in no uncertain terms that putting us on a “war footing” – even if it’s potentially justifiable – isn’t going to save his stinking arse.

  86. mars08

    Graham Perham:

    you tell us mars08, when will we see Bill Shorten lead us against his rotten Jesuit school pal and his greedy, rotten disciples who sit on his front jeffing bench?

    No idea mate… I started giving up on Labor about 20 years ago. Doubt they will ever win my vote again…

  87. lyngainLyn Gain

    Did everyone see the Essential poll results today – war mongering doesn’t seem to have lifted the Coalition’s vote prospects.

  88. corvus boreus

    Tony has reportedly spoken for not just himself but GOD, and Bill absolutely agrees with Tony(shoulder to shoulder, back to back, ashes to ashes, dust to dust), whilst the Greens are apparently being simple-mindedly contrarian in disagreeing with the stated will of the almighty, but the input of the Palmer(united)Party politicians regarding the wisdom of implementing ‘Operation Indefinitely and Infinitely Diminish/Dismantle Devilish Death Cult’ has not been widely reported if it has been articulated.
    Jackie Lambie, who personally knows GOD well, would doubtless reckon invade, and kill or covert them all, but bring all our boys back home safely.
    Glen Lazarus is likely out to a long lunch.
    Deo Wang, by all the available odds, has zero interest.
    But, the big question is; what does the honorable member for Fairfax think?

  89. Tom in Ngunnawal country

    Do unto others as rednecks and bogans in marginal seats would have you do.

  90. Anomander

    Abbott gets a poll lift thanks to ignorant people like my bloody parents who get all their news and opinions direct from the Daily Terrorgraph and talkback radio shock-jocks.

    It is near impossible to have a semi-intelligent conversation with them because the message they receive is relentless – nothing but fear-mongering, lies and right-wing propaganda. So much so that they actually vote for the party that causes them harm.

  91. Graham Perham

    Even though I bitch about Shorten and would like to see a more adventurous leader, the truth is that I will vote ALP at the next election mainly because I value the democracy we had pre Captain Catholic and I really don’t believe that we/I have any alternative.
    In fact I can’t wait until the November State election to vent my spleen on the neo-con jeffers.

  92. DanDark

    I am already in the cue to vote Dennis the menace Naptime out
    Morwell burnt as Naptime slumbered, Jeff Shaw they should of got rid of that lying fraud when they had the chance, just a pack of lying frauds, no diff to the fed LNP gov, not fit for high office, bye bye Dennis and Co

  93. MarkH

    Michael, just discovered this article and it perfectly describes my view as well, but I have to say that Bill’s approach to leading Labor at the moment is as much a symptom of our current political environment as it is about his acumen and choices AS leader.

    The false binary choice either to fall in line with the government or face oblivion is very real, but it is false. There needs to be fresh thinking, not fresh rehearsals of campaign speeches for the government on a range of issue. Off shore processing of asylum seeker is one important policy area that needs nuance and differentiation…..if only for the Federal ALP Caucus to fall into line with our stated Platform policy approach. Heck EVEN calling for a restored independently monitored medical service to these centres would at least appear to be differentiation.

    This is the time for the ALP to try to think differently about policy to meet it’s stated values.But without attendant internal party reform we’ll keep returning to the false choice binary calculation that leads to decisions based on political expediency, rather than core party values and policies supporters can get behind and contribute to in elections and related activities.

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