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

sitting atop the wreckage « Previous | |Next »
July 16, 2012

In Melbourne we have a Victorian state ALP, which is still recovering from an unexpected election defeat, fighting to retain a once-safe, Labor seat where the rise of the Greens has changed the game in the inner city seats of the capital cities. The NSW Labor Right have decided to attack The Greens just before an important by-election for the Melbourne seat in the Victorian state parliament.

The over the top attack has been calculated to offend progressive or centre-left voters (ie., the inner city, middle class trendies) to keep them out of the ALP and to shore up the NSW Right's power base amongst the socially conservative, blue collar, white working class vote.


The NSW Right go on and on about preferences when the real problem lies in the ALP's low primary vote. That vote is so low it is highly doubtful if the ALP will ever govern in its own right again. The ALP needs an alliance with the Greens to be able to govern, and the party is going to have to swallow its pride and deal with its resentment.

If Labor is a cause and not a brand, then why not accentuate the policy differences with The Greens and with the Coalition. Wouldn't that help to articulate what Labor stands for?

Resentment because the Greens stand a good chance in the near future of taking previous federal ALP strong holds in the inner-cities: seats such as Batman, Sydney, Grayndler, Denison and perhaps even Fremantle. The logic of the NSW Right's position is that preferencing against the Greens in the next federal election will deliver Tony Abbott more votes in the Senate, enabling the Coalition to undo the ALP's reforms.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:02 PM | | Comments (7)


most of the drop in the ALP's primary has gone to the Coalition not the Greens. The socially conservative working class has shifted to the Coalition.

There has been an increasing tension in the ALP between the voters of the progressive middle-class and its traditional working-class support base.

The ALP see itself as a cause (Labour values) but it increasingly looks like a brand (like soap powder)

It's so cynical for anyone in the ALP to talk about 'values' or a 'cause' with a straight face. Labor adopted the strategy of talking out of both sides of its mouth 50 years ago, when it retained avowedly socialist aims and values in its platform to placate the ideologues while assuring business that it had no intention of ever acting on them. If you practise that kind of overt doublespeak as a deliberate ploy for long enough, people eventually conclude that you don't truly stand for anything except self interest.

In this case, they would be justified in that conclusion. What is Labor's vision of a future Australia? I haven't seen one for years, although I think I can vaguely discern Rudd's personal vision. The ALP just stands for being in power for the benefit of its own little coterie of careerists and their hangers-on. Sure there are justified concerns about what Abbott's mob will do in government, but are there any positive reasons to want Labor to be in government? The hysterical attacks on the Greens surely reflect the fact that the Greens actually attract supporters, whereas Labor for years has been preoccupied with trying to protect its declining support base.

Yes I agree ken. Labor has lost its brand.
They will need to re-brand with New Labor, Young Labor, iLabor or something else. It wont be long before all those that remember the good old Labor principals are either dead, drooling or disinchanted.

Ken_L says, "What is Labor's vision of a future Australia? "

It's something to do with looking after working families and educational opportunity for those with aspirations to succeed in the market economy.

The NSW Right has embraced industry welfare (steel and coal) and turned away from the pro-growth, pro-productivity economic program in the 1980s.