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What do you want to hear from Labor?

With an election some time in the next ten months, the end of this government is in sight. It has been an ugly ride that has seen Australian politics sink to new depths.

Howard may have started the rot but Abbott embraced it, using the attack dog approach with relish – go after the person, lie about the real state of affairs whether it be debt or climate change, promise anything, promote fear and division – whatever it takes to win and if that includes destroying people’s lives, so be it.

The sigh of relief when Turnbull replaced Abbott was short-lived. It is gobsmacking to hear Turnbull trying to outdo Abbott in appealing to the far right of both his party and the electorate. African gangs? Seriously? He has not only abandoned any pretence of honesty and integrity, he has abandoned every principle he ever espoused and is now being led by the dumbest bullies with the loudest voices.

There is no hope of principled governance from the current crop of Coalition politicians so we must work on the alternative government.

Labor have already announced many good policies. They are certainly worthy of discussion but today I would like to ask what more would you like to hear from them?

I would like to hear climate change brought loudly back into the conversation. Labor talk a lot about their renewable energy target and higher emissions reduction which is good but rarely do the politicians reinforce the real danger we are facing, the urgency of taking action now, and the economic and social cost of not. We talk a lot about power prices and very little about the cost of damage from more intense weather events and the health and environmental cost of pollution and global warming.

Subsidies for fossil fuels should be stopped. That money could be spent so much more productively. Give subsidies to developers to include solar panels on new constructions and to include building efficiency in their designs to reduce the need for heating, cooling and lighting.

As was discussed at length on another thread, Labor should commit to increasing Newstart. Any homework on how it will be done (a flat increase, different indexation or whatever) should be done now. This is a crucial and obvious measure that must be taken to help lift people out of abject poverty.

Labor should be working with Indigenous representatives to immediately form the First Nations Voice to advise on how to empower the traditional custodians of the land to take their rightful place in their own country.

The refugees incarcerated on Manus and Nauru must be freed. Labor have policies that will make it easier for people to get here via official channels but these people can no longer be held hostage. If agreeable third party countries cannot be found to take them, we must bring them here. Perhaps this is one that cannot be said before the election but they must have a plan for the immediate rescue of these people.

The rollout of FttN NBN should be halted. It is a giant waste of time and money which has caused no end of aggravation and frustration and is already inadequate for today’s needs let alone tomorrow’s.

Electric cars are coming so we have to build the infrastructure and industries to support them. Labor should get ahead on that one.

Education has always been a Labor strength but they have become embroiled in the notion that any changes in funding should leave no school worse off. It is utterly ridiculous that wealthy private schools receive enormous government subsidies. It is also questionable that a secular government should be funding religious schools. At least they could can the school chaplains program.

I would like to hear more about scholarships for tertiary education in areas where there are skills shortages.

It would also be good if every candidate was prepared with ideas about local job creation opportunities. The NDIS is one that covers every area for starters and involves all manner of different skills.

Labor should also make clear their intentions about a federal corruption and integrity body. The idea that we don’t need one has been well and truly shattered. Some tightening up of politicians’ expense claims would also be welcome.

Political donations and election spending are two areas that need reform but no-one seems to be the one who wants to blink first on that.

Labor should win this election based purely on the fact that they aren’t the Coalition but they haven’t been sitting back relying on that. They have announced courageous policies well ahead of time so the electorate can properly understand the implications of what is being proposed.

Before I get hammered by irate Labor supporters, don’t look on this as criticism. Look on it as suggestions for consideration and discussion.


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  1. etnorb

    Great article Kaye! I agree with all your thoughts etc, re Labor getting back into power & the policies etc they should be presenting. I would also like to see some sort of “action” taken to finally sort out the bloody dual citizenship crap that is still going on. There is no way that this Labor supporter wishes to “hammer” any of the ideas, suggestions etc you are proposing! ALL we want is for this lying inept bloody liberal mob to be ousted & Labor to take the reins to get our country back on an even, fairer, justiced, level playing field for ALL Australians, not just the obscenely wealthy bloody liberal supporters etc.

  2. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, when I saw the title I gathered a few thoughts, but after reading the post I see that those in my thoughts had been covered.

    As a Labor voter, you have spoken for me.

    (Sadly, yet predictably, we are likely to be told to join the Labor Party to agitate for what we want).

  3. Ill fares the land

    The most worrying aspect of the current Labor and Shorten malaise is that whilst Shorten is not hugely impressive, the attacks on him by the Coalition are unfounded. The attacks have been disturbingly successful, but in truth, for all the scorn and investigation, Shorten has not actually been found to be guilty of anything.

    Even more worryingly, Turnbull’s own very, very shady corporate past seems to have escaped scrutiny. Remember the Solomon Islands and the rapacious logging by a company whose Board included Turnbull (including, allegations that the company completely ignored the agreed logging guidelines). His once in a lifetime lottery win with Ozemail – the sale following closely on the heels of a hacking crisis that beset Ozemail’s biggest rival. If we are talking guilt for reprehensible behaviour, sure there is no evidence that has ever been put forward, but there is a distinct stench of corporate rogue – surely as bad as anything Shorten has been accused of.

    Moreover, this current government has been the most incompetent government this country has ever had. People like Dutton, Hanson, Abetz, O’Dwyer, Frydenberg in positions of power that they systematically abuse. The East Timor bugging issue should be a scandal, but is brushed aside. The NDIS and NBN are both a disgrace – gouging by dodgy and over-priced service providers and delivery of a poor service. Expensive and delivering poor outcomes – the hallmark of this government. The NEG is a debacle – a solution to a manufactured problem. It sounds impressive, but actually delivers no more than was already going to occur – but Turnbull will proclaim it to be a stunning success – amazing that the media allows the government to so resoundingly dupe the public with a policy that will achieve nothing. Millions spent formulating and selling a policy that will reduce power prices by $50 per year and only achieve the already anaemic emission targets for 2021 – that’s right – the NEG only commits to statute the pathetic emission targets set by the LNP – where the bar was set so low that the target was going to be met anyway. Keep expectations low and you will never be disappointed. It would have been cheaper just to give everyone $50 in cash.

    Then Turnbull’s smarmy silver-tongued forays into radio telling us how “hard it is to win these by-elections”, when he knows full well that polling shows Labor are unlikely to hold Longman – but he is setting the tone so that after the LNP win the seat, he can proclaim how the win is both a resounding condemnation of Shorten and a glowing endorsement of him and the LNP, when it is fruitcake Hanson’s deluded supporters that will deliver the win. The parachuting of the simpering IPA-hack twit Downer into Mayo in the expectation that the electorate would deliver the seat to her because she is a Downer and is entitled is an example of the most despicable disrespect for the electorate.

    Turnbull is a disgrace – this country can claim to have had some appalling PM’s and governments in my time (all on the LNP side), but none can hold a candle to this decrepit, deceptive, corrupt and top-end-of-town-supporting bunch of rogues and liars.

  4. Ricardo29

    Kaye Lee, I don’t look on it as criticism but as constructive advice. I have said elsewhere that I believe the reason the polls have the two party preferred vote so close is because Labor has adopted a small target( ie risk averse) strategy and has been too acquiescent with the Govt., on many of its most egregious policies. Among these I put the refugee issue and stopping the boats, the attacks on our privacy and freedoms in the name of spurious security threats and I have recently added the treatment of the Australian, Julian Assange. A group of us were discussing Bill Shorten’s seeming inability to cut through on the Preferred PM measure yesterday and while we all respect his ability to present policy, even if he walks away from some when the heat comes on, he carries the baggage of having knifed two party leaders and PM’s. Sure Malcolm was both a knifee and a knifer as one put it, but he was victim of, and victor over, one of the least popular PM’s in history, the same could not be said of either Rudd or Gillard. I remember a clever cartoon from the ‘83 election of Fraser, pants around ankles – a particularly clever double entendre— telling Bill (Hayden) he was calling the election. A voice from offstage says “It’s Bob” (Hawke) and, of course, the rest is history. What I might be saying is Labor appears to have three options: continue as they are and perhaps see the election slip through their fingers; be loud and clear in both policy development and points of differentiation from the LNP, or go with Albo and, if the polls are right, improve their chances of the win. My preference is the third, risky as that is.

  5. New England Cocky

    Well done, Kaye, a timely reminder that Oppositions have to win elections with policies rather than three word slogans.

    “Labor should win this election based purely on the fact that they aren’t the Coalition” but don’t get cocky because the NLP pollies will do whatever it takes to retain their access to the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme. Advocate for an ALP government at all times to change entrenched political apathy.

    Some policy suggestions:

    Free the refugees on Nauru and Manus by bringing them to Australia and spending those funds on establishing the refugees in regional communities, so that the Federal funding benefits Australian citizens rather than foreign owned multinational corporations.
    Make solar panels compulsory on all north facing roofs (rooves) for new houses and on the northern face of multi-storey buildings, subject to the location of surrounding buildings.
    Make all political donations to politicians and political activist organisations, including the name and any political associations, public within 48 hours of receiving the donation and limit all donations to political organisation to natural persons having a $1,000 per rolling year maximum limit while outlawing donations from all foreign entities.
    Have all political organisations publish their donor list for the last six (6) years showing names of the donor and the amounts. Failure to disclose would bring a de-listing from political advocates’ privileges and a ban from publishing or appearing on public broadcasting media or main stream media outlets.
    Decentralise government jobs to regional centres so that the wealth created by government spending may be spread across the whole country rather than just concentrated in metropolitan cities. Every government job creates about 3.5 private sector jobs, so when each job supports a family of Mum, Dad and two kids, 100 government jobs re-located to a regional centre moves 4 X 100 = 400 persons out of the dingy, polluted, overcrowded cities. This movement creates a local “economic boom” because theses new residents require housing, schools, hospitals and other services. Then there is the 3.5 x 100 x 4 = 1400 new residents attracted by the fresh job opportunities.

    But always remember “National$ prefer Adulterers” and in New England “Women supporting Adulterers support National$”.

  6. MikeW

    Kaye Lee for PM.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Another thing I would like Labor to do that won’t happen is to reinstate the Commonwealth Employment Service. This should never have become a for profit area. It has led to fraudulent activity with poor outcomes for clients. Aside from removing the potential for corruption, and hopefully getting better outcomes with less stress for clients, it would provide invaluable information to the government to inform policy direction.

    The NDIS seems to be going the same way as you mention Ill fares the land.

  8. Alpo

    “Before I get hammered by irate Labor supporters”…. Why should you, Kaye? I am an “ALP1/Greens2… Liberals last” voter, I support Labor and I find your article eminently sensible and perfectly congenial with the current Social Democratic direction of the ALP. You have even added some hints about what’s achievable and at which rate under the current climate, which is, again, a point that any party of Government must consider.

    I expect from the coming Shorten ALP Federal Government to introduce changes in the taxation system across the board, in order to make taxation fairer and to get a more substantial contribution from the top 1%, Big Companies and Multinationals.

    I expect to redress the massive damage done to the TAFE and Universities systems by past Neoliberal policies and make training and tertiary education more affordable to those who have the brain and the motivation to benefit from such further education.

    I expect that their current objective of tackling inequality is not just rhetoric but a clear and practical plan. Although it’s not in their current program, the ALP should start considering reforms such as the Job Guarantee and the Basic Income.

    With regard to asylum seekers coming by boat, I expect them to stop indefinite detention and to establish processing centres in Indonesia, for instance, in order to determine the case for asylum, without detention and without the asylum seekers risking their life in “a perilous journey by boat”.

    I expect them to defend our environment and protect sensitive areas from commercial exploitation and pollution.

    I expect them to return to serious policies of climate change and of support for the development and expansion of renewables.

    I expect them to seriously consider taking a more proactive role in the generation and distribution of electricity to increase supply, make distribution and access more reliable and above all decrease costs. The long period of privatisation of public assets must come to an end. The private sector will continue to have their very big space in this economy, that will continue to be broadly capitalistic, but with a Mixed system, where Government has an active and specific role to play.

    I expect them to clean the ABC and SBS from the Neoliberal vermin and return both public broadcasters to their former glory and central importance in our Democracy…. and now that I have mentioned the concept of “Neoliberal vermin”, I urge the coming PM Bill Shorten to clean up the public service of those moles implanted by the Liberals since 2013. They will undermine the Shorten Government if allowed to operate.

    Return proper funding to CSIRO climatological research (and to CSIRO in general) and to ATO.

    Start the discussion about a Republic referendum in the first term, establish a date for the referendum AFTER they are re-elected, for the first year in their second term.

    Proper funding to Hospitals.

    Get the Neoliberal vermin appointed by the Coalition to Fair Work Australia out of it. Eliminate the Neoliberal amendments made to the Fair Work Act…. Keep the name (as the Libs did), just eliminate their additions.

    …. But of course there is more, much more.

  9. Salty Veteran Sailor.

    LABOR’s chances of winning back government would increase if they reform DVA disability pensions and eligibilty conditions for the forgotten veterans and ex-ADF servicepersons. They have become outdated and should make it easier for our fighters of freedom instead of making them jump through impossible hoops.

  10. Juliet

    I agree with all of the above, I would also like to see funding stopped for elections with social media now the norm I reckon they should use FB, Twitter and anything else available as their soap box. I would like to see the end of personal attacks and more real policy being spoken about during an election. It is outrageous that politicians can get away with the lies and slurs that they use to sway the vote to themselves.

  11. diannaart

    Well said Kaye Lee and commentators.

    Suggesting ideas has never been so fraught – but that is not going to stop True Believers from working towards a more equitable Australia …. am I permitted to say “True Believers” not being a paid up member of the ALP?

  12. Keith

    The most pressing matter from my point of view is Adani. Adani is the wedge for other developments in the Carmichael Basin (Gina Rhinehart, Clive Palmer).
    We are on a knifes edge in relation to climate change, the greenhouse gases created will be around for centuries.
    A recent research report which discusses 3 past epochs may have been seen by a number of readers; the reference provided here gives comments from two of the main authors. They discussed the speed of current changes compared to past epochs, the news is not good.

    Apart from arguing from a climate point of view, the economics don’t appear rosy:

    Epidemiological studies also do not provide good news.

    There are quite a number of jobs available in renewables, energy can now be stored.

    So my question is, does Labor support the Adani mine going ahead?

  13. Andrew J. Smith

    Strategy by and since Howard is watch the hollowing out and consolidation of MSM to support LNP’s libertarian corporatism provided by think tanks, from US WASP counterparts (lesser extent UK).

    Underpinned by the distraction of dog whistling of minorities and/or non WASPs, also an ideology based on reemergence of the WASP class system, ie. (‘passive’) eugenics, targeting refugees, immigrants, ‘sustainable population’ etc.; nowadays nativism is the polite term.

    Evidenced in our political elites who seem more comfortable visiting and crawling up to UK &/or US….

    Howard was smart enough to understand many older Labor types also share antipathy towards ‘other types’, too.

  14. Kaye Lee

    We have so much to learn from each other. As I posted elsewhere, the Uluru Statement From the Heart ends with an invitation…

    “We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”

    What I would love to see is a “Walk together with respect” campaign.

    Instead of protest marches and rallies, imagine if we walked together in solidarity as Australians – Indigenous people, Muslims, women, refugees, unionists, the unemployed, people living with a disability, Australian-Sudanese, old white men, children, corporate executives, tradies, truckies, nurses, teachers, police, cleaners, grandparents, veterans…all of us who want to show solidarity to each other and who want to work with each other to make the world a better place.

    Think I’ll go listen to Lennon’s Imagine followed by Farnham’s You’re the Voice and round it off with I Am Australian

    May as well indulge the idealism for a moment because it feels good.

  15. helvityni

    I agree with Kaye, Alpo and all you other blokes here…

    Now I could make long list of things that I do NOT want from the Coalition….but can’t be bothered, too depressing. It’s just as bad as paying to see and hear Barnaby interviewed at Canberra Writers Festival… Has he perhaps written a book about ‘me and my baby’ …?

    Oh well ,they all seem to have a narcissistic streak…the ones from the Right I mean…

  16. Matters Not


    The sigh of relief when Turnbull replaced Abbott was short-lived.

    From me it wasn’t a sigh of relief but a cry of despair that people couldn’t see that putting lipstick on the pig changed nothing. Same policies. Same rationale. Same ends advanced. And probably the same gullible voters net time around

    like to hear more about scholarships for tertiary education in areas where there are skills shortages.

    That statement might suggest that education (including at the tertiary level) is about preparation for work rather than the populace preparing for life in a secular, democratic society. Why is it the case that in so many parts of Europe, university education is free, even for foreign nationals, while here in Australia it’s the root of a life-long debt for many while being a source of profit for a few? Education for all should be free, life long and be regarded as an end in itself. All it takes is the political will because we have the technology, the knowledge base, etc.

  17. Kaye Lee


    They could also use the ABC for debates or discussions free of charge.

    This is what Ted Mack had to say on the matter….

    “Public funding of elections was first introduced into NSW in 1981 and federally in 1984 on the basis that it would reduce private donations. Neville Wran presented the Bill and concluded his speech by saying this Bill will remove the risk of parties selling political favours and declares to the world that the great political parties of New South Wales are not up for sale.

    Since then an escalating “arms war” of election spending has developed with public funding steadily increasing and private funding increasing even faster.

    The taxpayer cost of federal elections has increased from $38 million in 1984 to $161 million in 2010. Of the latter $53 million was public funding to parties and candidates. Currently, in spite of massive increases, public funding is less than 20 per cent of about $350 million total election spending. We are now effectively the second best democracy money can buy.

    There is an overwhelming need to reduce overall election spending. The United States democracy has been largely destroyed by the huge amount of money dedicated to this purpose and Australia is accelerating down the same tollway. Maximum spending limits must be applied to all elections. At present freedom of speech is only effectively available to the rich and those using other people’s money. The Electoral Commission should produce booklets setting out candidates’ biographies and policies as was done for the 1999 Constitutional Convention elections with all advertising banned.”


    I always hesitate to mention free tertiary education as I suffer the survivor guilt of those of us who got it for free. Not only was my degree free, I had a scholarship from age 16 and I had guaranteed employment – I was bonded to go wherever they sent me for three years (they did take requests and family obligations into account).

    You are right of course.

  18. helvityni

    …Just read your post Juliet ( missed it earlier on), all those UGLY personal attacks should stop, same for lying and slurs. That goes for them all, from all sides of politics…

  19. DrakeN

    I agree, Kaye.
    The inordinate amount of time, effort and money which goes into electioneering is inversely proportionate to its value to the electorate.
    So much of it is disinformation and false promises that some kind of control over that aspect is desperately needed.
    Perhaps something along the lines of substantial punishment for the individuals involved.

  20. Kaye Lee


    I have used the political pamphlets and graphs etc that we are inundated with as teaching tools with students. They are a great eye-opener about manipulation of information and the need to verify the source and fact check the claims. Kids love busting politicians.

  21. Jack Russell

    All of the above!

    Also, and I’ve probably not thought it through very well, but I’d like to see the concentration of multiple portfolios under the control of fewer ministers ended. The LNP have amply demonstrated the folly of monopoly and its inherent incompetence.

    One portfolio per minister, and working teams forming, where needed, to maximise in-depth knowledge sharing and problem solving, for related responsibilities … and for cross-portfolio competence.

    I also agree with Labor holding their cards close to their chest until the election date is announced. If I had an implacably malignant enemy like the LNP it would my preferred option as well.

  22. helvityni

    MN, good point re free education, tertiary education included…
    Uni would have been out of reach for myself and my many siblings, if it wasn’t free. We worked during holidays to pay for our accommodation, that was doable…

    Uni also had free housing, but not enough for all.

  23. Josephus

    Yes Kaye for PM. Agree with all of the above and thank you Kaye for your v clear summary. Important to act upon Uluru and give the frist peoples control, with the normal safegurards. Ditto put rules in place against corruption, and shut the detention centres up north.

  24. DrakeN

    The last truly effective government got into power on the chant: “It’s Time”.

    Perhaps we could hear Labor supporters shouting: “STOP THE ROT”.

    Currently the Ship of State is so riddled with worm and decay that our whole society is in immediate danger of sinking into an abyss of corruption and greed.

  25. Robert Dodgson

    Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Decency.. and all the other ‘y’ words that relate.

  26. Kaye Lee

    It isn’t just the ship of state. It’s us. I am sixty years old and have lived through amazing times (does every sixty year old say that? probably).

    I tend to remember the things that gave me hope. I remember the 1967 referendum. I remember the Vietnam protests. I remember the first International Year of Women. I remember apartheid ending and the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember the reconciliation walk across the Harbour Bridge. And so many other signs of us moving forward…marriage equality most recently.

    But lately we have been going backwards. We are scared and angry and confused. We shouldn’t be, particularly in this country where we have the capacity to provide the opportunity for a safe, happy life for all and to be responsible global citizens.

    We need an attitude change. Greed, anger and fear are making us sick as a nation. Time to change the diet.


    Add accountability and authenticity. I am sure we could all add many more.

  27. FightClubber

    I would like to hear Labor state that 5% is not the natural unemployment rate.
    That is the rate business and their paid for economists choose as optimal.

    It is much lower, maybe between 1-2%

  28. Phil

    All good points Kaye Lee – and others commenting here as well. The remorseless attacks on Bill Shorten by the Libs and corp[orate conservative media is desperation politics. Even the Guardian is trying to invoke leadership tensions in the ALP – seeking to foment a spill? Why? Clicks?

    The corporate media is desperate to serve up our politics in US style presidential terms – ever hear of the ALP these days? It’s always Shorten, rarely ever the party. Yet behind the leader sits a very clear and wide reaching set of policies none of which could have evolved under a party system of internal dissent the media is trying to produce. The LNP proves the point – policy disarray through internal dissent.

  29. Michael Taylor

    And I also want us to have the same media laws as Canada. Whatever they are, they’re enough to keep Murdoch out of the country.

  30. Matters Not

    The RC into the banks ought to be extended to include the big 4 accounting firms – Ernst & Young; Deloitte & Touche; KPMG; and PricewaterhouseCoopers. These are the brains behind the tax avoidance rorts that bedevil the revenue streams of the Australian government. (The joke is that they also advise government on how to close the loopholes they created.)

    That we chase and harass the minnows while the big fish swim free is to our eternal shame.

  31. townsvilleblog

    What I want to hear is the restoration of the formula for pensions as a percentage of the avergae weekly male earnings instead of the tories CPI increases which are forcing more and more into poverty. It’s time that the rich and the corporations collectively paid more than the actual 17.5% of tax that they pay on their billion dollar incomes, and the ‘people’ got a fair go just for a change!

  32. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to see some questioning of defence expenditure. Our ADF offers invaluable assistance in many ways, none of which require strike force capability with fighter jets, submarines, anti-submarine boats and weaponry. We have become entwined with the military complex and Labor seems too scared to ever question that. Mention national security and they reach for their rubber stamp. The lack of transparency is frightening.

  33. Adrianne Haddow

    I would like Labor to commit to preservation of our food bowls and the preservation of our water systems, at risk from coal seam gas extraction, the preservation of our oceans, and our unique wildlife, and therefore, our remaining forests.

    I would like to see the future of our youth secured with access to free tertiary education, affordable housing and dignity for all when unemployed and in need of support.

    I would like to see those who live here secure from the whims of an immigration system which seems to target those of different skin tone.
    I would like to see a better deal for our indigenous people and restoration of native title to those lands sacred to them.

    I would like to see Labor take back our energy systems from the corporations who profit from our common wealth and send the profits off-shore.

    In short, let Labor help us take back our country and the way of life we and our forefathers( and mothers) made for us.

  34. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to see them allow us to die with dignity at a time of our own choosing.

    And regulate aged care with staff to resident ratios, regular monitoring, and adequate pay to attract and keep committed, trained staff.

  35. wam

    What an exciting read, kaye.
    Companies that employ 457 be required to take young (under 16) apprentices?
    year 12 maths science, who take a gap year, on new start, to be a teachers aide, get 1 year HECS free. If the time is on a remote area with learning an Aboriginal language, 2:1
    The splurge of vice chancellor bums on seats and bridging courses practices have made free universities impossible without significant closures. The singapore allocation of $800 to low paid workers for educatiob to expand qualifications is compared to vetfeehelp to take a $60000 abbott’s daughter’s ‘tertiary’ institution course and a lifetime of debt.

    However, regardless of the children in detention or climate change unless labor can refute the impression that they own the debt and the canberra clp own the economy or find a whitlam, hawke or (hope not) lemon or a birthday cake. Labor will not succeed.

  36. Bill

    Stop Adani.
    Federal ICAC.
    Crackdown on tax avoidance.
    Dental care in MediCare.
    Tougher regulation of aged care facilities.
    Wind back public funding of Private schools. (including religious schools)
    fund public housing with a new agreement with states
    End live animal exports
    Investigation (RC) into water use in agriculture.
    Decriminalise Marijuana
    Fund science
    Proper food labelling contents and origin.
    Institute a ‘Robin Hood’ tax
    Increase pensions and Newstart.
    Fix the NBN
    Bin the F35 it is a dud
    Fund TAFE and university properly.
    Reduce 457 visas

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    This is my daily post – and counting – on Twitter, in the pursuit of enlightening Shorten and his Labor Team into living, breathing, sweating, pulsating, proactive socio-economic action based on the principles of social justice, equity, fairness.

    Need I say more?

    Day 187
    What say YOU??@billshortenmp @AustralianLabor
    OUT @jennymacklin
    IN spine/conscience @LindaBurneyMP/@ClareONeilMP
    LET more paid income:NEW$TART
    PUMP Sole Parent/DSPension
    #UBI #JG
    Labor/Greens #TheALLiance #AUSvotes2018

  38. Leanne

    Kaye Lee.
    I like one thing you have said after your main article which I liked also.

    Kaye LeeJuly 27, 2018 at 12:27 pm
    Another thing I would like Labor to do that won’t happen is to reinstate the Commonwealth Employment Service. This should never have become a for profit area. It has led to fraudulent activity with poor outcomes for clients. Aside from removing the potential for corruption, and hopefully getting better outcomes with less stress for clients, it would provide invaluable information to the government to inform policy direction

    Yes and Yes,
    I thought I was the only one who missed the old CES.
    Their system was good, it worked, it got results it proved it was worth it……………………..
    The system now with individual job agencies is fraught with rorting, blackmail, discrimination, Predijuice ( however you spell that word ), and systematic failures and the agencies workers always believe they are right and never wrong…………
    In short, the independant job agencies think they are above the law and can victimise any jobseeker they wish to.
    it is upto the victim to prove the accussation wrong and unjust, often without recourse and without suitable monetary rumeration.

    I agree, please bring back the CES……

  39. corvus boreus

    More than any thing else, I would like the ALP to immediately and relentlessly push for a ‘Federal Integrity Commission (their term for an ICAC), rather than cynically dangling it as an ‘if we get elected’ carrot.
    This has near-unanymous support amongst the broad electorate, who are patently fed up with the current levels of rorting and lobbyist/corporate corruption.

    Also, regarding ‘unconventional coal-seam gas extraction (fracking) I would like to see the ALP at least adopt a much more precautionary approach to approvals of projects using this highly controversial and extremely destructive process.
    Again, this is an issue with great resonance outside of the Labor base (even Alan Jones opposes fracking up farms and rivers).

    These 2 policy shifts alone would engender good faith for the upcoming campaign, and possibly even help Labor pick up a few extra votes from both the undecided centre and some narrow-focus voters.
    Such moves would also provide another effective demonstrable refutation of the ‘they’re all the same’ trope which underpins so much of the current levels of voter apathy..

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I give you permission, diannaart @ 1.17pm today. :)))

  41. Ian Hughes

    Change the economic narrative from from balancing the Govt budget, debt/deficit disasters etc – this is all bullshit. Educate themselves and then the public on MMT – it will change the conversation significantly for the better.

    Talk of “society”, which has priority over the economy. Policies should be introduced base on the benefits for our society.

    Similarly, stop using just economic indicators to show how well or badly we are doing. Introduce a happiness index to measure social progress.

    Strive to work collaboratively with unions and business – end the endless conflict. It achieves bugger all.

    Ban lobbyists from parliament house.

    Establish a non-partisan group to develop a new constitution from scratch.

    Root & branch review of our tax system.

    A personal favourite – replace the Union Jack in the top left corner of our flag with the Indigenous flag (subject to their agreement, of course) and retain the southern cross. I think such a flag would be a cracker and better represent who we are.

    Stop the LNP policy of turning Oz into a top 10 arms manufacturer. Reallocate the resources to something peaceful that will improve our nation.

  42. Kaye Lee

    Outstanding suggestions one and all.

    Compare these suggestions with those from John Roskam, Chris Berg and James Patterson with their “Be Like Gough: 75 Radical Ideas To Transform Australia”

    Every one of their ideas was ripping apart the very fabric of this country to distribute to corporations to increase their profits. Obscene wealth for the few is their goal. They would “transform” us into slaves for the oligarchy.

    Your contributions make theirs look so paltry.

    Well done folks!

  43. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Never forget proposal 77 from the IPA’s 25 addendum list of further ‘bright ideas’.

    *Allow for ministers to be appointed from outside parliament.

    To the IPA sock-puppets, the fundamental democratic principal of governance by popularly elected representatives is merely an inconvenient impediment to the implementation of their mega-corporate agenda.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Every one of them is despicable cb.

    68 Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement

    And what happens to them if they go bust?

  45. corvus boreus

    Most of the IPA suggestions are, to me, ideologically despicable, but proposal 77 is straight-out anti-democratic.

  46. Kaye Lee

    and there is just plain mean

    73 Defund Harmony Day

  47. helen coyne

    Labor should guarantee NO CASHLESS WELFARE CARD. Instead, restore & refund services for Alcohol & Drug Dependency, and help stimulate the economy to increase employment opportunities.

  48. Michael

    Thank you, once again Kaye.

    Re political pamphlets: would you consider:

    In my dream, What do you want to hear from Labor?

    Dreaming of a series of royal commissions which will #FLUSHTHEDUNNY

    as I remind my self that the only difference between idea and reality is a decision.

    dreaming as I write this reply.

  49. Florence Howarth

    Labor has special problems with those who say a curse on both parties with special condemnation for Shorten. Aked one if he has listened to any of the excellent speeches Shorten has made. No way he said would he listen to Shorten. I said Shorten at least answers questions. All bullshit he says. Did you listen? No. I think was among what one could consider Labor voters.

  50. diannaart


    missed it, second chances?

  51. Kaye Lee

    Too much attention is paid to who leads parties. I care more about policies. Bill does very well when talking unscripted to ordinary people. He does well on Q&A and at his town hall meetings. He is across policy and the evidence to back it up. But I hate doorstops – from everyone- because they repeat, ad nauseum, today’s talking points with nodding heads behind them. Whilst I like the content of Bill’s speeches, sometimes they are too rehearsed and I kinda cringe when he calls out “Are you with me?”.

    Bill is not a charismatic leader like Obama who speaks so well with no notes. But he knows his stuff. I am uncomfortable about his role in the numbers game in the Rudd/Gillard years. If polls go bad then you do a better job of convincing people why your policies are the better alternative, not just think they hate the leader so let’s dump them. Who hasn’t had to carry a bad boss? Why run scared on carbon pricing? Why allow asylum seekers to become political carnage?

    I am ready to give Bill a go. But I want him to show more courage in doing things such as you all have listed. Lead the discussion, don’t follow the naysayers. Convince people of what must be done and why and be honest about how it will affect them and what the affect of alternative approaches or inaction would be. Regularly assess programs to fine tune what works and what doesn’t. Things on paper can be different to things in practice. It is not an admission of fault to refine a policy but do it based on evidence, not in reaction to Murdoch media and talk-back radio and a few anecdotes.

    Remind people that an economy serves society, not the other way around.

    And maybe they should start saying a Labor government rather than a Shorten government. Enough with the presidential stuff.

  52. paul walter

    Rollback of surveillance state and welfare laws. And improved enviro laws. An end to the smashing of public broadcasting and dumbing down of education and science.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Higher pay and entry requirements for teachers. Higher pay and more qualified people in childcare and aged care. Regulations about resident to staff ratios in aged care and geriatricians to oversee individual healthcare needs. Better residential and respite care for younger people with a disability.

  54. Matters Not

    KIM WINGEREI makes some good points re the parlous state of out democracy:

    … the elected candidates, once elected, are beholden to their party, not to the electorate. And the party room decides how they vote for an issue, not the candidates – and certainly not on the floor of Parliament. … We elect party delegates, not people representatives. …

    And party politics is about winning elections. In the words of redeemed dual citizen ‘offender’ Susan Lamb (Labour candidate for Longman, QLD): “whether you are an MP or a candidate, campaigning is what you do”. Once in power, party politics is about staying in power.

    Politicians care about power, people not so much

    But he’s not all criticism – there’s recommendations as well.

    we need to re-frame the role of the political party … Those standing for election to Parliament may still be aligned to a party, but not beholden to it … Today the only choice we have is to either vote for an independent who have limited influence, or vote for a party delegate whose influence is limited by the party program. … In ‘modern’ democracy all important policy decisions are made in the party room. Parliament is merely a place of perfunctory debate and where votes are being held. Grandstanding and shouting matches define the political discourse, not respectful and informed debate. Question time is an unedifying spectacle of arguments being thrown around to satisfy the press gallery’s voracious appetite for sound-bites.

    Not that I agree with all his ideas, but at least he’s putting something on the table.

    KIM WINGEREI. The stakes are too high – the party is over!

    Re higher pay for teachers. The problem is that there’s so many of them. Even a small pay rise translates to big Budget numbers and the public hasn’t the appetite for same. A pity.

  55. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    2nd chance, diannaart,

    I give you permission.

  56. Anon E Mouse

    Labor could start their promised review on Centrelink. Start it now.

    By inviting feedback and submissions now they could hasten the review and highlight the outrageous and contradictory ways Centrelink payments are cut for paid work. The poverty trap that couples face mean that if we had at-fault divorce, Centrelink would be named as a major reason for the breakdown.
    Pity the aged or disabled pensioner, who have a spouse working or job seeking. The cuts are cruel and if a spouse earns over a certain point, it leaves the pensioner without any income or support. That can be a dangerous place for some.

    Start the conversation now – Centrelink and the exceedingly harsh welfare policies of the Lib govt would also create a lot of publicity that Labor could tap into if it is really prepared to act and shake up the welfare system.

    Personally I think they should also look at something like a guaranteed income – even if only for illegible people like those mentioned above.

  57. Isabel Storey

    All of the above, particularly the CES.

    What i would really like to see is the US withdraw from Pine Gap and the facility not used to identify targets for drone attacks.

  58. diannaart

    As a True Believer in equality, I would like to see ALL charities required to reveal their funding sources – of course I am particularly concerned about extremist “charities” such as the IPA, however I do believe in fairness.

    As many a right winger likes to point out to those unfortunate enough to be on government benefits –
    “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Anon E Mouse @ 6.08 pm yesterday.

  60. Nelson

    Dianaart, “I would like to see ALL charities required to reveal their funding sources”.
    You mean a charity like say the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, an independent entity registered with and regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit-Commission?

    Govt granted $443M to the GBRF but neither the Board or their generous buddies in Canberra are prepared to say under what arrangements. Kristina Keneally on twitter has an interest in this story.
    “Businesses involved in the foundation include heavy polluters such as AGL, Peabody Energy, Shell, Rio Tinto and Qantas. The foundation plans to use the grant to leverage additional funds from the private sector.”

    What! Is the GBRF a charity or a Ponzi scheme clearing house or what? File under ‘LNP Achilles Heel’.

  61. diannaart


    This GBRF is a disgrace – giving money to fossil fuel profiteers is either very dumb, or deliberate action, by a corrupted government.

  62. Anon E Mouse

    Real time reporting (within 24 hours) for political donations especially greater than $500. This should include fundraising events where ticket sales, auctions etc are greater than $50.
    Real time reporting of funding for charities as above.
    Reporting on the charitable activities of charities – who are the people receiving the charity benefits. Eg. animal refuge, aged care, or in the case of political activity the intended beneficiarys should be identified (eg environmental protection, political expression, etc.) so that the public can know if they support the charity or not. These things should be able to come under open scrutiny, and are more than possible in this current times of computers and internet.

  63. Andrew J. Smith

    The GBRF is an example of state funded astro turfing.

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