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

ALP: 'a God-awful shambles' « Previous | |Next »
January 25, 2005

I personally find all the spin about the ins and outs of the ALP leadership rather boring and tedious. This game is about numbers: Kim Beazley has the numbers, the Right rules the machine and it is behind Beazley. That's it.

The rest is blah blah blah put out by the competing camps whilst they keep calling for unity, make a public show of harmony, and say they desperately need a healer to fix the gaping wounds. Presumably, they've given up looking for a prophet to lead them out of the wilderness to the light on the hill.

Honestly, who cares about every nuance in the eternal, internal jostling inside a crisis ridden ALP? Only the political junkies. Yet the media flows are filled with every nuance of the leaking and ongoing destablization of a splintered culture riven with vile. What we are witnessing is a political spectacle stirred along by the media. It is their kind of show.

Kevin Rudd, an aspirant for the ALP leadership, speaks the truth:

We are the ALP, we are the alternative government of Australia, and frankly, right now, we are in a God-awful shambles.We need to patch this up straight away in order to lift ourselves out of the muck and become a viable alternative government for this country. This country deserves better than we are currently delivering.

That needs repeating and repeating and repeating. Gillard has been saying something very similar as she positions herself as a key politiclal player in the public's mind.

Is anybody in the ALP actually listening? Knock knock. Hello in there.

The way the factional warriors have been conducting themselves of late indicates that the ALP is in no position to become a credible alternative government for Australia. It will have great difficulty become a unified political party.

Update: 26 Jan
Julia Gillard withdraws. She will not contest the Labor leadership. She marketed herself as a lefty with a bold policy vision. That needs to be questioned. I do remember her "close the borders lets have detention camps" refugee policy. There was little political courage or bold vision there. That was about political expediency.

So that leaves the field open for the triumphant return of Tampa "flip-flop" Beazley. He faces a daunting task of unifying a fragmented Labor caucaus. The simmerings and tensions in the caucus indicate that a simmering underground civil war is going on. The ALP has kissed its renewal goodbye.

I suspect the calls for unity will be meet with loyalty not unity. The ALP is not unified in purpose, policy or vision. Did not the Beazley camp say that Gillard could not be a leader becase she was single and childless? That opens a window on the boysie culture of the ALP right and the deep antagonisms between the Right and Left.

I just cannot see the ALP culture being transforming into a culture of mutual respect and shared conviction. I see bushfires flairing up all over the place with little empathy or sympathy for the victims.

They seem to have forgotten that the electoral clawback for the ALP is big. A tough ask to get the 18 seats required. You can already see Howard beginning the positioning that will take place over the next three years. It is taking place aroung the economy. Howard will use the economic reform legislation and control of the Senate to paint the Coalition as the party of opportunity, ownership, dynamism, and forward thinking; and to make the ALP appear to be against economic reform, and the defenders of old, boring, inadequate safety net programs.

The ALP may will be caught, as it is too busy fighting itself to contest the rightwing reform agenda of big business. Honestly, I cannot a disunited ALP defending the public interest in the face of the Howard Government's executive dominance over the legislature.

Can you?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:38 AM | | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (1)

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Kevin Rudd, an aspirant for the ALP leadership, speaks the truth: "We are the ALP, we are the alternative government of Australia, and frankly, right now, we are in a God-awful shambles.We need to patch this up straight away in order to lift our... [Read More]



I think the majority of people agree with Rudd. For the sake of the ALP and the country at large, let's hope Beazley proves to be a more effective leader this time around.

Don't hold your breath.

The Right in the ALP seem to think that 'effective' means everybody getting behind their hero, without having going through an election. NO dissent. NO competition.

Rudd is a good boy.Gillard is a bad girl.

Steve Lewis in todays Australian says it for them:

"KEVIN Rudd has done the right thing by Labor, and his own longer-term ambitions, in withdrawing from the ALP leadership contest.It remains to be seen whether Julia Gillard has the grace and political smarts to do the same."

Unamity for the 'Right factional warlords and brokers' is done in terms of numbers not policy. Numbers run policy.

Policy run by numbers to win the election race is focus groups, polls, and marketing.