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

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May 3, 2013

Not so, according to Barrie Cassidy. He reckons that Gillard won the policy debate, but the Coalition may have won the politics. He argues that the Prime Minister abdicated her responsibilities to Tony Abbott, and that the Coalition, which has controlled the news agenda for years, had control of the policy agenda as well.

POpeDNDIS.jpg David Pope

I am not persuaded. The Coalition was pushed into a corner with no way to walk away and hide from the issue. The disability people got what they wanted: a secure funding source that will partially pay for the NDIS and bipartisan support. That means the Coalition will find it hard to renege at a later date because they are publicly committed to the national disability insurance scheme.

This doesn't change federal Labor's electoral situation. Mark Latham states the underlying weakness succinctly:

The shrinkage in Labor’s blue-collar base has left it juggling the demands of two irreconcilable constituencies. One comes from the outer suburbs, with a hard-nosed, materialistic attitude to politics. The other is entrenched in the inner city, taking an abstract, classically liberal approach to issues. This duality has left Labor vulnerable to wedge politics, controversies that set one constituency against the other.

This emerges because the structurally changing economy --eg., the steady decline of manufacturing--- means that the aging unskilled blue collar workers becomes increasingly unemployable. We have a coalition of blue-collar workers who feel under threat and middle-class professionals who feel financially insecure shifting to the Coalition. They are shifting because they reckon they have an insufficient stake in the present and future and express a nostalgic desire to halt the changes of recent years, to turn the clock back to an imagined gentler past.

Latham argues that what traditionally holds the two constituencies-the blue-collar base and the liberal inner city, together in an open market economy is nation-changing reform programs. Unfortunately, environmental sustainability is still an inner-city thing, a world away from the aspirational outer suburbs, where the dream is one of 4WDs in the (double) garage, ducted air-conditioning in multistorey dwellings and ostentatious entertainment and home appliances.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:35 PM | | Comments (2)


Society in denial and none more so than than the 1%, who think they are entitled to plunder huge incomes from the destruction, encouraging everyone else to demand more in a futile attempt to regain some sort of income parity, for necessities.
It is to be hoped that the shining of the light onto the consequences of Abbott's Big End Austerity reminds the public that cutting off its collective nose to spite its face may prove ultimatly unproductive; they may even like finally then to consider the effect of austerity on places like Spain.

I have no respect for Cassidy's ability to analyse anything politically[yeah, I know he was a press adviser to an ALP polly in the past].

I recall his interview some years ago with then Deputy Leader Gillard about what was then called the Utegate affair.
He tried to set her up with the preferred MSM narrative, Labor is doomed!, but with effortless ease she showed him up and despite his careful prep [he kept referring to notes] she ran rings around his feeble attempts to portray Rudd and Swan poorly.
He's a hack.