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Rann Government: dying days? « Previous | |Next »
April 23, 2011

The SA Labor Government that has been led by Rann and Foley is on the skids. It slowly sinks ever further in the polls---a primary vote of 24 per cent. Kevin Foley is increasingly out of control attacking nervous back bench MP's as “immature political novices who run around pretending to be political geniuses” and stating that he has more political genius in his left toe than most Labor backbenchers.


If Foley is proving to be very successful at inflaming tensions in government ranks, then Rann increasingly looking to be a prisoner of the Right Wing faction of the state ALP with its inner core of hard Catholic Right. As is well known, Senator Farrell has been the power behind the throne in the SA branch in recent years, including the make-up of the ministry and the preferment of Right faction acolytes.

This is destablizing, as it undercuts the liberal ideals of the openness or publicity of parliamentary discussion. It indicates that Parliament has become, a mere antechamber to party rooms, committees and caucuses and that it is behind their closed doors that the factional deals and decision-making gets done. This, in turn, gives rise to the electorate's lack of trust or interest in parliamentary politics.

People are now beginning to asking: 'Is the Labor Government of South Australia controlled by the Catholic Right?' The standard answer is generally no, because Catholic Conservatism is seen as declining. With the demise of the DLP and the Catholic ghetto, with Australian Catholicism conservatism means little more than a nostalgic evocation of Santamaria’s name.

We do have the irruption of religious discourse into the apparently settled secularity of public discourse as in the Government encouraging or enforcing what the Catholic Right consider to be traditional values or behaviors as indicated in their opposition to feminism, birth control, homosexual marriage, euthanasia and stem cell research.

Underneath that surface they talk in terms of "permissiveness", "nihilism" and "moral relativism" while impugning modernity, thereby merging theological with political conservatism. Any increase in individual liberty is seen as a rebellion against order and legitimate authority (dissent is equated with disloyalty); the liberal idea of the separation of church and state and the freedom of conscience should be abolished.

Catholic Conservatism prefers a society where the Church and the state would exist in different, but still mutually reliant spheres in that both church and state both maintain an institutional authority in which the moral consensus they define is the glue that maintains order in society--as if it were a quasi-governmental institution itself.

So we have a conservatism that is grounded on a critique of liberalism.

So asking, 'Is the Labor Government of South Australia controlled by the Catholic Right', is a destablizing question, since it goes beyond raising the spectre of the DLP, Catholic Labor and the Movement inside the SA Labor Party. It introduces the idea of a law and order agenda opposed to political correctness that comes from the top down in the form of a politically strengthened State that regards enmity, and potentially violent opposition, as the normal and desirable state. This is a conservatism that actively propounds the political need for an enemy, in order to secure anything like political order.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:37 AM | | Comments (7)


De Maistrean, in fact.
The 19th century novelist Stendhal had a field day with this sort of conspiracist behaviour in his novel about ultraist, absolutist Catholicism in reactionary post Napoleonic France; "Scarlet and the Black".
But more recently the rise of Opus Dei since Mussolini's and Franco's dictatorships has led to more than a few Falangist dictatorships across Latin America.
According to numerous reports, the end result has been anything but pleasant in places like ARENA's Guatamamla or El Salvador, or Nicaragua for humble decnt folk there.
Nor was there much recreational value for prisoners of Pinochet, or for those pitched out of helicopters into the ocean after months of torture in Argentina, after hving their children stolen from them. and closer to home is the Philipines, with its string of dictatorships propped up by the landed gentry and - the church!

Rann Labor sucks big time

Blue Labor will renew the ALP by valuing Labor's working class tradition say the believers. Old Labor is the key.

The party leadership has lost control and
its performance since the election has been poor. Mike Rann no longer has credibility. No one listens to him on the backbench.

An internal explosion is on the cards.The pressure builds for Rann to quit. His standing in the electorate is so badly damaged, his leadership appears terminal.

Rann reckons that the tide of public opinion would turn as $81 billion in private and public projects get underway or were opened in coming months.

He mentions the desalination plant, South Rd Superway, new Royal Adelaide Hospital, train line electrification, southern expressway duplication, Glenside film studios and rail bridge to Seaford.

Oh and the expansion of Roxby Downs to become the biggest mine in the world will get the go-ahead, says Rann.

The Labor talk is all about renewal to overcome a battered Government on the nose with the public. They'll need more than new roads, bridges and hospitals.

The factional brawling, the serial leaking, are early indications of Labor’s ‘self-destruction’. Next to come are the leaders (Rann + Foley) going.

The union domination of the ALP is a problem since the decline of union coverage of the workforce means that the ALP’s affiliated unions now represent an infinitesimal proportion of Australian society.

Ordinary members of the Labor Party—tired of a party which ignores them—are leaving it in droves; the branch structure is disintegrating; and the ALP is now run by a salaried political class.

Further to Peter S Stock, the only segment of the union movement to hold its own since de industrialisation has been that group of non industrial unions that were tied in with the DLP and I 'd go so far as to say that the ideology in actually inamicable to democracy and has more in keeping with the rationale and sensibilities of a Latin American banana republic.

The only part of the union movement that was any where near up to scratch has been removed and the Opus dei faction does now have more control and this would gladden the hearts of the Americans and Cameronite Tories, because this also allows for the weakening of democratic governments, as state services are curtailled and responsibilities abandoned in favour of church and other private groups.