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

can the ALP reconcile itself? « Previous | |Next »
March 24, 2013

Last week's Labor's leadership turmoil is certainly not going to help its electoral chances. The damage Labor did to itself is going to make that task even more daunting.

The upside is that the leadership question has been settled. The white noise created by the leaking/destabilisation campaign of the Rudd camp explanation for the woes of Gillard Labor no longer holds. Gillard is now more in charge of her government than at any point since 2010.

PopeDLaborresignations.jpg David Pope

However, can the ALP reconcile itself? If so, can the Gillard Government govern in a less dysfunctional way than it did with the aborted media reforms. If so, does it have the right policies for it to be a reformist government?

I don't know the answer to these questions. I do know that the social basis for its old style Laborism has been weakened and hollowed out due to the decline of the ALP’s industrial union base and that it is unwilling to detach the political wing entirely from that withered base so that it can make different kinds of appeals to different social and economic groupings.

Mark Latham articulates that option in his recent Quarterly Essay. Not Dead Yet: Labor's Post-Left Future lays out a program for renewal that entails breaking ties with the union movement and abandoning any lingering doubts about the market.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:19 PM | | Comments (12)


Latham is right with his argument that old Labor is an organisation top-heavy with factional bosses protecting their turf and that Labor’s traditional working-class base has long been eroding.

The Rudd camp did not raise any substantive area of policy divergence from Gillard. The issues the resigning ministers raised were about poor cabinet process and Rudd's popular support. There were no arguments over policy issues.

The ALP is like the union movement: unable to see any viable way forward for the institution, individuals fall to squabbling amongst themselves to retain their share of an ever-diminishing amount of power, prestige and rewards.

Labor has got itself into a pretty terrible mess It's not just due to News Ltd's relentless and often hysterical campaign against Gillard.

Labor has accepted “progressive” neoliberal govermentality as the way forward

There is a view that an Abbott victory will be awful, there’s no force capable of fighting him, and so we need to do whatever it takes to keep Gillard Labor in power.

I used to think that. Now I'm not so sure.

Labor is crap.

There does not seem at this juncture to be much reconciliation happening, which is due entirely to the leadership style of Julia Gillard. I doubt whether Tony Abbott could have managed as well the circumstances of the hung Parliament, but it seems he is destined to have majorities in both houses. Nonetheless I would not be surprised to see similar, self -destructive implosions in the Liberal-National Party.

The question is, can the government get cracking?
No doubt traditional politics is on the skids but this should not infer that the government should be thrown out prematurely for Abbott and his myopic and brown shirt cretins.
If the ALP wants to self destruct, let it do it in three years, or at least after the election; not now.
The Tories have more ancient and dangerous deadwood pathologies and ideology to deal with even than Labor, and until their old Right has been finally consigned along with the likes of the leader himself, we are better off with an ALP government.

Federal Labor should just stop the ongoing bickering and feeding the media with their factional opinions.

Sadly federal Labor does look as if it is retreating into a trade union rump of a party after the election. In doing so it is d repudiating its progressive, middle-class supporters in favour of a traditional blue-collar working class that is fading into irrelevance.

George, that's guff.
It is because they have deserted working class values and embraced self-only, nihilistic middle class ones.
Bugger you Jack is not "progressive".
These are the values of the NSW Right, a white collar cultureand this is not a pro democracy culture.