Leith and I are relieved. Despite MB having effectively written large swathes of Labor reform policy over the past decade, after the last few months neither of us could endorse the party. That was a warning to ourselves that we ignored in favour of polling, foolishly, given that art form is now completely in the dog house.
Queensland destroyed the ALP on Saturday with a 4%+ swing against:
There are plenty of reasons being mooted for why:
- Bill Shorten is unpopular
And on it goes. Nowhere have a I seen what is the key reason. It’s the same reason that the LNP changed leaders in the first place, which has also been buried by a wowserish press. Open borders Malcolm Turnbull could not get traction up north. Queensland has had enough of globalisation, mass immigration in particular, and wants out of both.
It might be argued that the big swings to One Nation and United Australia that kept the LNP in power via preferences are of a different nature. ON is obviously first and foremost an anti-immigration party. It is not at all clear what UAP is given its policies are all over the place, though they’re certainly anti-Chinese. But what both parties share is a platform and rhetoric that puts Australia first. They are nationalist parties both, focused on Australian people, the Australian economy and Australian politics.
Sure, Labor made the strategic blunder of going overboard with too big and too detailed a reform agenda that meant it could not sweep other states either. But QLD was where is was lost and it is QLD that it will need to win back.
To that extent I offer the following from Denmark via The Guardian:
She marked her return on Facebook, with a video straight out of a Quentin Tarantino film, buttoning her jacket, arranging her hair and slipping on stiletto heels to heavy metal music. “I’m ready again,” she declared to camera. “Let’s get this bus rolling.”
Mette Frederiksen, leader of Denmark’s opposition Social Democrats, was in hospital with food poisoning when the prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, called a general election last week, and was two days late joining the campaign.
But the 41-year-old has all the momentum, with her left-of-centre bloc starting with an eight percentage point lead, and few doubting that she will become Denmark’s youngest-ever prime minister after the election on 5 June.
“I’m super excited because we so desperately need a change of government,” said campaign volunteer Malou Astrup Clemmensen as she prepared to hand out roses on the streets of Copenhagen for Frederiksen’s campaign launch.
A victory for Frederiksen would be a boon for Europe’s social democrats as they gaze across the continent at a dispiriting political landscape. But it would not be without controversy, for under Frederiksen the party has been ruthlessly reshaped: dragged to the left economically – and sharply to the right on immigration.
“For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalisation, mass immigration and the free movement of labour is paid for by the lower classes,” she said in a recent biography.
Denmark’s current right-wing coalition government last year enacted the most anti-immigration legislation in Danish history and, rather than position her party in stark opposition, Frederikson has embraced much of it.
Under her leadership, the SD have called for a cap on “non-western immigrants”, for asylum seekers to be expelled to a reception centre in North Africa, and for all immigrants to be forced to work 37 hours a week in exchange for benefits.
She has reached out to the populist Danish People’s party (DPP), doing a series of joint interviews with its leader, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, and discussing cooperating with them in government.
But it is the government policies her party has supported or failed to oppose which have been most alarming for her allies in the left-of-centre red bloc. The Social Democrats voted in favour of a law allowing jewellery to be stripped from refugees, and a burqa and niqab ban, and abstained rather than voted against a law on mandatory handshakes irrespective of religious sentiment at citizenship ceremonies, and a plan to house criminal asylum seekers on an island used for researching contagious animal diseases. In February, she backed what the DPP has branded a “paradigm shift” – a push to make repatriation, rather than integration, the goal of asylum policy.
“I find it odd that it’s possible to make such a shift, not just in your policy but also in your fundamental values,” Morton Østergaard, leader of the centrist Social Liberal party, told the Observer. “What’s different in Denmark is that we’re seeing parties coming out of a Liberal or Social Democrat value base eating into national conservatism in a race-to-the-bottom contest, because they’ve decided that the marginal voter can’t get tough enough on immigrants.”
Many believe her party’s new populist profile is a pure power play. The Danish People’s party has slipped from 21% in the 2015 elections to below 13%, according to a poll of polls by the Berlingske newspaper.
An internal Social Democrat survey of the party’s core voters carried out last autumn found that 37% of loyal Social Democrat voters thought immigration policy was too lax. And this was after three years of the most anti-immigration government in Danish history.
Frederiksen has dealt harshly with any internal dissent. When her party colleague Mette Gjerskov, a former minister, vociferously opposed the burqa ban, a rival candidate for her seat came forward at the same time as the local Social Democrat mayor suggested it might be time to change MP. Gjerskov fended off the challenge, but was then fired as the party’s international development spokesman.
“I was aware that shifting the position in the party would take a lot, but I knew that I had to win that fight,” Frederiksen said in the biography. “Normally, I would seek to compromise, but not on immigration policy.”
The real left does not focus on identity politics. In the Marxist theory of power there is “base” (the forces of production, that is, capital), and superstructure (identity, culture, etc). Power only flows from the base upwards, not the other way around. Thus, any leftist party that is focused too much on superstructure is forgetting about class and begins to work for the very powers that they are supposed to regulate.
This should not be a repudiation of liberalism, either. Raw socialism is an historical disaster. But what leftist parties must not do is lose touch with the deleterious impacts that their liberal policies have upon the what Hillary Clinton labeled the “deplorables” as she, too, lost.
I applaud Queenslanders for handing the Australian Labor Party the same message. Australia needs a complete rethink of how its capital and labour borders operate to determine winners and losers within the country. Mass immigration has especially become the “everything issue”, permeating all standards of living issues like radiation. As toxic as it is invisible, shut down by the rabid wowsers of the fake left.
Labor gave borders only the faintest thought in the lead up to the election. It made passing reference to temporary visas but made bold plans to expand migrant intakes across the board. It launched a staggeringly destructive policy for an aged migrant tsunami. And it unleashed crazy old men like Paul Keating to explicitly argue that we toss the nation to the Communist Party of China (CPC) dictatorship.
Labor’s entire borders platform was completely barking mad. This as the Western world gave abundant warning that an anti-globalisation revolution is afoot, as in Denmark.
We warned a Labor insider of this several years ago. The response then was that Labor was “an immigration fundamentalist”. This ideological extremism has now cost it government. Much worse, they’ve taken down the national interest reform program with them. Not to mention, poisoned the well on reform forever more.
It’s not at all clear that the LNP government is up to the task of the required nationalist rethink either. It has nudged that way with minor immigration cuts. But neither Morrison nor Dutton has shown much interest in carrying forward Turbull’s China push back project. And the party looks deep in thrall to the open borders corporate growth lobby.
But it was abundantly clear entering the weekend that Labor’s globalist nutters were going to make it all disastrously worse, including accelerating Australia towards some kind of dark CPC future.
Queenslanders voted accordingly and have bought Australia time. Labor will not win them back until it gets the message that Australia and Australians come first. The LNP had better listen more intently too.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.
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