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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the Latham face of Labor « Previous | |Next »
July 25, 2004

This is put into play in Australia to suggest that the Mark Latham ALP is a socially conservative and neo-liberal party--a variation on the one we have in power in SA. It is one in which the appeal to large numbers of middle-class, socially conservative voters outweighs the social democrat agenda concerned to help people at the bottom of the ladder largely through taxes and public service investment.

Is this what the Third Way now means in Australia?

Steve Bell

The UK article says that Blairism is just Thatcherism softened for a soppier age. Here is the relevant bit:

"If we have a third term of Blair, where will the country end up? There is no need to consult the crystal ball, because we have a road map, the five-year plans spewing out of government. Virtually every part of the rhetoric is familiar to those of us who covered the Tory administrations of the 80s and 90s - more choice and less bureaucracy in schools and hospitals; an end to 60s liberalism in the criminal justice system and the classroom; tough asylum policies; bobbies on the beat; "prison works"; no attempt to reverse privatisations, even when they proved a disaster. Abroad, we see a deep suspicion of Europe in general and France in particular. Though he is being cautious in public, it is clear that Blair would much prefer to see another term for Bush and his neo-con clique in Washington, than a moderately progressive Democrat in the White House. Whatever this is, it certainly isn't Labour politics."

The key difference here is that a Latham ALP would prefer to see a moderately progressive Democrat in the White House, rather than another term for Bush and his neo-con clique in Washington.

Let's be honest folks. Is there going to be that much difference in governance if the Coalition loses out to a Latham ALP?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:25 PM | | Comments (11)


so true it scares even me

Aw Gary, I really didn't want to confront our demons tonight.

Interesting piece.

For a long time now I have felt that the Liberal Party would be the more natural place for Latham.

I still predict a Liberal win in the federal election. The differences between the parties are so slight, I am sure many think the devil you know.....

The Australian's editorial of the 20 July says this:

"MARK Latham has chosen the ground on which he wants to fight the election. Mr Latham is promoting the idea of social cohesion, based on shared values and individual responsibility.

And in selling to the aspirational suburbs the ALP leader has moved a long way from the Left of Labor, with its big-government rights agenda. Mr Latham talks about the responsibility of young people to earn or learn rather than the state's obligation to support them. His philosophy that all Australians have a right to climb the ladder of opportunity through their own efforts makes sense. And many of his specific proposals to battle childhood obesity, to provide male role models for boys, to encourage people to read to their children and to move away from the old-feminist rights agenda on women's issues."

That is the Third Way in Australia. The social cohesion and shared values comes close to the old policy of assimilation.

Those suburban lads do not like cultural difference.

Of course, an end to 1960's liberalism in the justice system is just what everyone is really afraid of. Imagine locking up criminals??!! And the loathing of "bobbies on the beat" is informative of the left-liberal mindset. It speaks volumes for their seriousness about social justice that they are quite happy to let lower-income Britain become unliveable for law-abiding working people, just so the social workers won't be put out of business.

Well, Steve, what should we have done?

Committed troops to Britain to restore law and order?

Well, I suppose it worked in the Solomons - even Philip Adams approved.

I guess we should all follow the Daily Telegraph and launch a political attack on the judges for being soft on crime.

This says that the judges are out of touch with the community opinion:they are too soft on the length of prison sentences and just too willing to grant bail to the violent thugs.

From where I sit it looks a lot like the suburban lads doing the violence and crime in the suburbs.It is the suburban lads who are making life unbearable for the good hard working battlers.

Of course. That's why Inner city media types like you aren't actually concerned by crime. It's not your problem.

But as Rann and Atkinson know, there's votes in them there suburbs.

Wrong Battler,
crime is all around the inner city.Much more so than in the suburbs.

The muggings, the street violence, the drugs, the rapes, the smashed cars, the broken bottles, the gangs of suburban lads stalkign the street looking for prey the drunken suburban lads abusing all and sundy as they scream around the streets in their cars.

Crime is a part of the daily life of inner city living.

The sad thing is that Rann and Atkinson aren't doing very much about it on the ground. Most of the stuff they do is media releases to get the news headlines to convince battlers that they are strong on crime.

And the battlers believe them.They think the newspaper headlines in The Advertiser reflect the reality on the street. Little do they realize that the journalists on the tabloid are on a drip fed.

It's called media politics. Rannn & Co are good at spinning the web of illusion.

As you say there's votes in it.

Well, I don't know about over East, but in Perth the real hotspots are in the Northern Suburbs, Midland and Armadale. i.e. at the farther reaches of suburbia. The criminals have ruined the lives of enough decent people, many of whom are reliant on public housing and cannot move suburb.

we have the same situation here in Adelaide, with the northern suburbs around Elizabeth and the southern suburbs aroudn Norlunga.

These working class suburbs with high rates of youth unemployment and poor public schooling have been left to decay by the Rann Government.The poverty of these suburbs is pretty much ignored.

SA's very strong public housing programme has been wound right back, with very little new capital investment.

So people move souyth down alaong the coast to Victor Harbor for cheap housing and land. But jobs are scarce there and are best casual or part time. Hence we have the working poor.