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

NSW Right flexes its muscle « Previous | |Next »
November 12, 2010

What is up with the NSW Right these days? The mates are stirring. Are they uncomfortable with a critical light being shone on them? Do they dislike the critical light of public reason? Or are they into destablising mode?

The right wing unionist Paul Howes--the one opposed to climate change---is busily reinventing himself as a genuinely sensitive soul and a progressive at heart; albeit one manning the barricades against the Green hordes. He's even talking about re-education camps for young Laborites. And Mark Arbib? He is also reinventing himself as he is all for gay marriage these days, even though that is a Green policy?

Meanwhile Karl Bita, the national secretary , is busy denying political reality about the recent election campaign and the ALP's continual slide in the opinion polls---its the ghost of Mark Latham that's haunting the ALP apparently. Oh, and Kevin Rudd of course. Can't forget him, can we. He was the bearer of hope and unfilled expectations. Bita is trying salvage his reputation.


And Graham Richardson? Well, he's flexing the NSW Right's muscles in The Australian, where he is launching a direct attack on Gillard.

He says:

The attack on Labor's vote by the Greens has to be addressed. The government (and Gillard has to take responsibility for this) has become so concerned about adopting any policy that may be unpopular and require a dialogue with the Australian people to convince them the ideas are good that a kind of policy paralysis is developing.

Gee I didn't know that the NSW Right was into good policy as opposed to focus group politics selected from western Sydney, which is deemed to be the heart of the nation. You know the 'aspirationals' and the 'tradies' who hate asylum seekers.

Richardson is quite pointed in his attack:

During the campaign and since she got the job there have been serious errors.The announcement of the East Timor detention centre, which the government is clinging to despite it becoming increasingly ridiculous, springs to mind. The notorious citizens' assembly, which was supposed to cover the lack of policy substance on climate change, was truly pathetic. The "real Julia" announcement was just politically dumb.These errors indicate Gillard's political antenna sometimes doesn't pick up dangerous signs on its radar.b Those mistakes should have been picked up by her staff and discarded before they hit her desk...There are real faults in the Gillard office that need to be fixed, and soon.

Oh dear, the NSW is not happy. Has that to do with them being held to be responsible for the ALP's slide in popularity starting from them forcing Rudd to dump the emissions trading scheme? Or the ALP turning away from its social democratic roots to become a right of centre party (one based in the suburbs and regional towns) defending the interests of corporate Australia?

Surely the faceless men of the NSW Right are not beginning to recycle their old Sussex strategy--if there is a problem with declining popularity, then its dump the leader time. Are they? Don't tell it is not.....'and so it begins'....

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:27 PM | | Comments (20)


The identity of the NSW Right was forged in fight the Stalinists and the Communist party in the 1950s. Today it is fighting the Greens.

I'm waiting for some Right wing ALP type to come out and say that the Greens are Marxist in their philosophy, and that they display totalitarian tendencies.

The ALP right don't have to do it - Kevin Andrews has just done it for them - see the Drum today

No need, Kevin Andrews has already done it for them.
Richardson is so full of Murdoch type contradictions that we have appeals for consultation with communities hand in glove with attacks on those raising the issues.
Richo, you are either a fascist, or not.
Hurry up and make up your mind, so the rest of us can then get on with our lives.

a wounded NSW Right lashes out

re the Kevin Andrews' account of the Greens in The Drum.

Apparently, according to John Black's election profiling , those like me who voted Green as their primary vote can be profiled thus:

This is the Don’s Party group that used to be in the ALP in the ‘60s and ‘70s: young university students or graduates, frequently working or still studying in academia, no kids, often gay, arts and drama type degrees or architecture where they specialise is designing environmentally friendly suburbs, agnostic or atheist, often US or Canadian refugees from capitalism, but well paid in professional consulting or media jobs.

These groups swung more heavily to the Greens in 2010.
They were led by arts, media or architectural graduate, twenty-somethings, atheists and agnostics, Kiwis, the highly mobile university student groups, gays and the Green family group, which is a professional or admin consulting couple with one child attending expensive private schools.

Apparently, "this group" finds the 'hard left'--eg., Adam Brandt---attractive and appealing. People like Brand are at the cutting edge of a clash within western civilization itself.

Which western civilization is that? The conservative Catholic one?

As far as I can tell, the "heart of the nation" is wherever lazy, self-absorbed politicians think they can win the most votes for the least effort.

Good policy don't enter into it.

the electoral shift to The Greens represents a long-term realignment in Australian politics.It is no longer a protest vote in the inner city. The Labor base is fracturing.

Shaun Carney in The Age says:

Every poll and each subsequent election shows the same phenomenon: the Coalition's vote is holding, Labor's primary support is falling and the Greens' share is rising. A battle for primacy is taking place on the non-Coalition side of politics.

I don't think that there is a battle for primacy taking place on the non-Coalition side of politics in Victoria.

What is happening is the formation of a Labor/Green alliance ---as there is in Tasmania and the ACT.

It would appear that Richardson is reinforcing the Liberals tactic to deny the Gillard government legitimacy. Richardson is making it more difficult for the Gillard Government's struggle to disprove the constant protestations of its hopelessness.

Richardson's own NSW Labor Party Right is the joke, not The Greens. Their credibility is in tatters and the sleaze factor is high.

It is the Right that took policy primacy, emptied the policy of substance, and dumped Labor's progressive values. The consequence is that Labor's primary vote continues to decline. Labor is currently polling a low 33 per cent of the primary vote, as it continues to haemorrhage progressive voters to the Greens.

But the Right refuse to take responsibility for this course of events. The culprits are leak (who?) expectations(us voters) and Latham, according to Karl Bitar. Bitar fails to see the transformation shift taking place under his nose.

Labor have made such a horrible mess of things they can't now pick up their game with Gillard leading. How it got that way is beside the point. She's lost all credibility.

But Lyn, the point seems to be that Richo and others of the NSW Right are destabilising Gillard at the exact time when all factions need to pull together for the common cause and remember the common enemy.
"United we stand,
divided we fall".
How is it that even at educated sites like this, people still can't grasp the significance of the Cameron Brit Tory Government?
Instead the factions bicker over what the late Don Dunstan ominously described to be, "the spoils of defeat".
As you know George, the NSW Right exists for purposes other than the strictly political.

Lyn, "horrible mess" might apply to the ALP's public relations, but in terms of policy it could be a lot worse. Instance the mining tax, the paid maternity leave, continuing (though at the moment admittedly tenuous) commitment to do something about the Murray-Darling Basin, some (very nervous) preparedness to address population policy and the direct stimulus payments to taxpayers (which was a good thing).

I know that foreign wars, Aboriginal policy, and boat people continue to dog the ALP's policymakers as bad ideas they can't seem to get away from, but on balance the ALP since 2007 has made progress IMHO.

Labor did well dealing with the GFC too, but couldn't get their act together to get the credit for it.

The story so far is that Rudd didn't do much, then he dumped climate change, then the faceless men dumped him, then Julia turned out to be hopeless. In the simple ways that these things are perceived, the party runs the leader, rather that the other way around, and the party is an incoherent mess.

Bending over for polluters during the CPRS thing and miners over the mining tax are issues of policy and of public relations. They're not entirely disconnected.

Richardson's own NSW Labor Party Right is the joke, not The Greens. Their credibility is in tatters.

"...but in terms of policy it could be a lot worse..."

Sorry the mere fact that Gillard (and Rudd) are not EXACT John Howard clones gives me little comfort. The bar has been set frightfully low.

The decision by the Victorian Liberals to preference Labor instead of the Greens in the forthcoming Victorian election means that The Greens can kiss goodbye to winning the inner city seats.

However, this decision conforms that the Coalition and Labor offer only small variations of the same politics and that it is the Greens who offer the major opposition to business as usual of economic growth at all costs.

The precedent for the Victorian LIberals preferencing Labor and Labor cabinet ministers being rescued by Liberal preferences is 1998 in Tasmania.

That was when the Liberal and Labor parties in Tasmania combined to reduce the size of the house of assembly, so as to increase the quota for election with the intention of wiping out the Greens.

It didn't work in Tasmania. The Greens still won a seat, their vote dropped only slightly, and twelve years later they've come back to five seats and more than double their pre-1998 vote.

In Question Time today the Coalition is using Graham Richardson's column in The Australian to launch attacks on the Gillard Government. The meme is that the Government has lost its way.