The answer to Labor’s woes is “Australia”

No wonder this party is so buggered, with navel-gazing like this:

Labor has quite simply made a habit of failing at national elections for the past quarter of a century because it can’t get that right. At the last nine federal elections, it has managed to win a lower house majority just once, in 2007.

And still it is arguing about the basics, of blending and holding together its various support bases. Keeping different groups of supporters is the stuff of political parties and is not some new development. All through its life, the ALP has been home simultaneously to middle-class progressives and militant trade unionists.

True, today’s society is both more diverse and, arguably, more invested in what is loosely described as identity politics – say, blue-collar workers in regional Queensland on the one hand and LGBTQI influencers in an inner suburb overburdened with cafes on the other.

The way to appeal to both groups on climate change would appear to be to emphasise the “net” part of Labor’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 and how that means trade-offs between fossil fuels and renewables over the next 30 years. Would that really be so hard?

Climate change is not the beginning, middle and end of policy.

I’ve spent half my life fighting greenhouse gases but that’s balderdash. You will never bring coal workers together with progressives if the territory is all about climate change.

What Labor has forgotten is its roots pure and simple. Workers are its answer. More to the point, Aussie workers.

Labor needs to refocus every single policy that it has on Australia. No more multinational, globalisation garbage. Both inner-city progressives and coal miners share that distinction.

For example, today Australians are horrified at the state and federal government’s prioritising international students over the rights and health prospects for locals. This is so freakin’ obvious that it goes to show how thick is the surface tension of the Canberra bubble.

If Labor were not entirely lost then it would pop this bubble with a single word from the opposition leader and Morrison would be badly exposed. The position is indefensible, another Hawaiian moment, yet it stands.

Now multiply this across:

  • Labor’s China addiction;
  • Labor’s immigration addiction;
  • Labor’s multilateral addiction.

Labor needs to come out with a full-throated roar in favour of Australians and Australian workers (of all shapes, sizes and colour). There are arguments in favour for every dimension of policy. We outline them every day. Labor needs only to make them:

  • slash immigration to protect wages, lift services delivery and save the environment;
  • adopt a full-blown policy of CCP pushback to cleanse Canberra;
  • launch a royal commission into university corruption;
  • smash the gas cartel with domestic reservation;
  • ban all forms of political party donations;
  • lift unemployment benefits;
  • fully costed carbon pricing which is what business wants.

They still have negative gearing reform which is great. There is much, much more they could do if they put Australia at the heart of policymaking instead of snowflake sentiment. And so long as Australia is at the heart of the plan then they can unite disparate groups on the left.

But they won’t. The question is why? I suspect that Labor’s trouble is the same as Hillary Clinton and her “deplorables”. Labor is overrun with progressives with a severe case of cultural cringe catastrophically out of touch with QLD and WA electorates.

And so they and it will keep losing for as far as the eye can see.

David Llewellyn-Smith

Comments

  1. They are addicted to wokeism. Which is why I think Democrats will again lose. They think being woke will somehow pay dividends. Just like Goodyear is finding out, get woke go broke. Labor are afraid to stand up for Australia because doing so offends a very vocal minority that finds everything sexist, racist, misogynist, pick whatever it is to be offended about.

    Until they harden up, nothing will change.

    • Being woke does pay dividends. Until recently, it got you money and adulation without much effort. All you had to do is toe the party line and shit on socially approved groups.

      And the people hurt were mostly poor men, and unborn children. The Hindu’s had shudras, the Soviets had zeks, we have incels. All these societies sacrificed their young towards the end. Who cares right?

      I for one find huge satisfaction in watching the system fall apart.

      It is evil. Let it burn. Good riddance.

    • If Labor dropped Wokeism and went back to its roots it would probably lose around 5% of its existing support base — but regain even more of the voters it lost over recent years.

      But no, give me virtue or give me death!

          • How is “my bad” “woke”, Hareeba.

            Easy. Something they don’t like but can’t rationally explain or justify as bad.

            “Woke” is just “political correctness” with a new VIN and paint job.

          • @hareeba
            ‘My bad’ is safe to say now that it is no longer in use among pimply teenagers and rappers.

          • Political correctness is easy. It is far more than a silly, constipated speech code, it is a cultural outlook and entire moral ethos. A person or thing is considered politically correct when it is ordained and given positive strokes by the progressive’s angelic, messianic self conception. Progressives love to demonize others who criticize them but it’s easy to see their humanness. Progressives lack self awareness, they dodge the grim shadow of self knowledge, they fear the loss of innocence that this would bring to them and the hit to their ego. That they aren’t deities but in fact human capable of foul behaviour and bad judgement. You can’t make the case with these people because they didn’t arrive to their view through rationality, which is ironic considering how often they like to claim rationality. It’s morally involuted beliefs (not rationality lol) mixed with extreme ego centrism, it’s time for them to pull their head out.
            I’m pretty sure there are politically correct people who would read that and think I am talking about somebody else.

    • Even they’re worried.

      On no planet would anyone launch a “settle for Biden” campaign if they didn’t think their candidate was garbage.

      • Occasionally we agree Dr Smithy. As for you Mr Plumber …. anyone that continually encourages joining the Labor Party …. LMAO.

        Swampster. Really? Back to school for you.

        Dumbinic. Rappers and teenagers …. i rest my case.

    • But they are amateurs when it comes to wokeism. They haven’t “woken” up to to the fact that wokeism, properly done, is a cover to distract people while continuing to be evil behind the scenes. They should take lessons from QAN or MQG on this.

  2. Know IdeaMEMBER

    The major parties and their bevy of useful cronies seem, at best, to condescendingly sneer at the working class. When even the poorest are able to be lured by the siren call of easy access to debt and converted into aspirational home “owners”, none are left with the willingness or means to escape the clutches of an economy that relies on ever increasing house prices.

    What is the trigger to break this manic materialistic obsession that has progressively enslaved such a great share of the population? l have no clear insight on that, other than it will likely have to be imposed upon the polity and the politicians. I cannot see it, given the present dynamics, happening by choice.

    • There is a solution — but it would never be voluntarily adopted because today’s elites (including political) benefit from the status quo.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      The solution is to replace marginal Labor MPs with Independents.

      Frighten/change the backbenchers.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Independents will be just as easily corrupted by moneyed interests as Major party MPs.
        The more power over decision-making they have the more corrupt they can become.
        We have no chance of seeing, the one solution to corruption, greater DIRECT DEMOCRACY over the decision-making process within Government,…if it cant even be achieved within Political Parties themselves.
        Mass participation in the existing Process is required before it can be “overthrown” due to its failure.
        https://youtu.be/mLAeNmRwY3I

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          Independents would no doubt be gotten to over time, but are easily replaced so more likely to behave.

          Labor are corrupt to the core, and act as a party, making them very difficult to throw out or change.

          There’s plenty to like about Independents, and nothing to like about Labor these days. The choice to me is very simple.

        • Ermo,

          Of course some independents will be corruptible, but the major parties actually select for candidates who can be corrupted. If your branch preselected you, what do you want to bet that someone would be parachuted in from head office instead? They let you sound off, but keep you well away from any real power. The high salary, perks, and opportunities for legal corruption available to politicians guarantee an unending supply of suitable candidates for them. They also serve to co-opt the occasional incorruptible politician who slips through the net (also a risk for independents). He or she now acquires expensive tastes and new friends to go with them, as well as major investments to protect, and ceases to identify with the people who elected him or her. Finally, there is party discipline to keep people in line.

  3. Even Germany won’t exit coal till 2038. Supposedly (NYT) with $44b in payments to workers, companies and states.

    Shifting to renewables is a lengthy, sleeves-rolled-up, dead practical, structural adjustment task. But Labor is already losing the 2022 election, by framing it in messianic Murphy/Guardian terms as a holy catechism about “climate change”.

    Even worse, Labor now preaches Guardian gospel, of us as a net-zero post-carbon “superpower”. I have yet to see much critical reflection from them, on the Garnaut pamphlet. After all, who doesn’t want to believe in the Tooth Fairy?

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Well in that case we are f#cked.
      Emissions are still rising and we have yet to begin to do anything concrete.
      Porf. Will Stephenson siad in 2017 we have 3 years to act to keep temp below 2 degrees pre industrial or feed back lops il kickin and take the game away from us.

  4. migtronixMEMBER

    Wait wait wait. You think Labor is lost because its supporting the policies that have got the Libs elected? Pray tell, how are the Libs getting support for this BS if everyone hates it so much?

    • my sharonaMEMBER

      The Libs have won all their recent elections because of immigration. You look around and you’re not very sophisticated and you fall for the refugees distraction you would vote Libs because you would think they are against high immigration. If you have political surveys that don’t focus on that issue, the answer never becomes clear.

      • Liberals won the last election because the marginal seats were terrified of Labor; particularly of housing policy and the threat of negative equity and job losses. Anecdotally I live in one of these electorates; I was hearing the talk of it at gatherings without prompting. Franking credits and other policies were hardly mentioned, as share ownership is low in the seats won. If Labor had just stuck to wage rises, and the average worker they would of won last election.

        • Yes, that’s my take too. That and the coal war waged by Greens in Qld. Labor also hit because the ‘transition to renewables’ message was to airy-fairy when judged against the immediately prosaic threat to jobs and the existing financial stress of negative equity/negative geared households.

  5. GunnamattaMEMBER

    The ALP, the party which once represented progressive socio economic reform, has walked away from the main game, and is leaving economic reform and veracity to a small handful of blogs – Macrobusiness and Michael West among them – to spend its time doing and being something irrelevant.

    So what exactly is the point of the Labor Party in 2020?

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/so-what-exactly-is-the-point-of-the-labor-party-in-2020-20200821-p55o56.html  

    Government at the national level is about something less tangible. The key areas of responsibility are the economy and security, but it’s also about trust, and about matching the aspirations of people with a degree of inspiration.

    Labor has quite simply made a habit of failing at national elections for the past quarter of a century because it can’t get that right. At the last nine federal elections, it has managed to win a lower house majority just once, in 2007.

    And still it is arguing about the basics, of blending and holding together its various support bases. Keeping different groups of supporters is the stuff of political parties and is not some new development. All through its life, the ALP has been home simultaneously to middle-class progressives and militant trade unionists.

    When all is said and done the ALP walked away from economic reform after losing the 1996 election and has never had the stomach for the fight for progressive reform ever after.

    It ran ‘small target’ in 1998 when its Hawke Keating bequest had set Australia up for 20 years without a recession, which ALP pusillanimity has gifted Torynuff governments the opportunity to destroy the superannuation system by turning it into a tax avoidance platform, a range of babyboomer welfare rorts, and the hollowing out of the exposed side of the Australian economy to be replaced with the ‘services’ positions now in some form of JobKeeper based palliative care, and the debt serfdom of an entire generation through financialised housing speculation.

    It is the ALP which has said nothing of substance about immigration, and looked the other way on foreign nationals buying Australian housing, the emasculation of the TAFE sector, and the rise of Australian university degrees to become the most expensive in the world – because they have become passports to the population Ponzi.  It is the ALP which signed Australia up to some of the most pernicious Free Trade Agreements, and the ALP which has taken the China dollar and weasel worded its way around China laying claim to the South China Sea.

    But most importantly it is the ALP – federally, in particular – which has sacrificed the legitimate aspiration of a generations worth of Australians in favour of progressive reform, by going to elections without the cojones to take a reform position, nudged around by focus groups and lobbyists to positions of ever increasing meaninglessness as far as the aspirations of their own supporters have been concerned, ultimately far too often backed into a corner of offering nothing and therefor getting nothing in terms of its hand on government.

    Progressive Australia needs to look beyond the ALP for its political representation……

    …and for those whom the word ‘progressive’ invokes the urge to re chew a modicum of pre masticated and partly digested ex stomach content, the status quo for many is rather like the urge to consume Tory vomit by the bucket

  6. It’s not just QLD and WA. Plenty of other people in all areas I’d suggest support this

  7. In 2007 Rudd took more conservative positions, but as Peter Garrett said, once elected they would change everything. It is not simply policies, it is also trust.

    • Exactly! Being a politician isn’t a calling, it’s a job. And keeping that job, at all costs, is all that matters. If the electorate gets to benefit from that process it’s more by luck than design.

    • my sharonaMEMBER

      Was that a joke, Peter garrett? The ALP have been openly conservative. Penny Wong supported Julia Gillard in opposing same sex marriage. Hopeless. I don’t consider the ALP woke at all. Just lazy and self absorbed, in-fighting over their diminishing cut of pie.

      • No that was not a joke. Peter Garrett made that admission that labor would not honour its commitments. As for Labor ( Wong and Gillard) being conservative, well that is only valid if you are on the left of the hard left Socialist Marxist Communist spectrum.

  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Yeah I farkn hate Labor. They haven’t had a decent leader since Bob Hawke. He was an awesome proper bloke (not like the current metros) and such a good womaniser.

  9. I see no mention that Labor has to stop being treasonous. All of the above did not seem to be the issue on the eve of the last election. But after months of backing Labor’s economic agenda leading into the election I seem to recall that H&H had a last minute road to damascus enlightenment about Labor and treason. But on second post-election thought, meh, maybe they deserved to lose because they are too woke.

  10. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Go and watch Richard Marles, or Plibersek speak.

    They are the exact wrong people to be leading the workers/Australia party.

    Where’s Wong? Haven’t heard from her for many months.

    Even look as recently as this month. All the pain and suffering of Australians for decades and Albanese raises his head and wants to focus on people being able to see their loved ones across the border.

    Rename Labor to the “micro issue party”.

    Labor can’t be fixed. It must be destroyed to save our country.

    • With respect, being able to see a dying parent, or be with your newborn in hospital, is hardly a minor issue.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        The country is dying. Our kids don’t have futures. All our lives have been eroding for decades. Compared to a tiny handful of people at the border?

        There are bigger issues Labor should be fighting.

        My point is, they have been reduced to micro issues because they don’t stand for anything else wothwhile.

  11. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    When you’re in an exho chamber of ABC, MSM, caucus, Sally Mcmanus etal, all you hear is echo echo echo.

  12. People in Straya need reform as much as the parties do. All the advantages we got, we inherited. Haven’t developed much.
    Agree both parties need to reform, but Labor is like drink driving – dangerous and a contradiction. Plus Labor doesn’t have a philosophical base anymore. Libs is such a multifaceted doctrine; it can easily placate business, nationals, libertarians, retirees and conservatives as they do.

    • You’re right about Australian society. There is no drive or gumption. Just buy a house and watch it go up. Give money to a manager in Sydney and watch the commercial property go up. Watch Rio and bhp export dirt. The country is run by the banks and the rba. Their hard work is devaluing the currency and impoverishing the children of the locals through mass immigration.

      • Keen for that AUD devaluation. MB was endorsing AMP forecast AUD/USD @80 the other day. For now it is true US Fed is out-printing us.

      • Jumping jack flash

        The banks have enslaved us all with their debt, and the Libs are seen as being the political party most aligned with and in control of the banks. Wouldn’t you vote for the person or party that was most closely aligned with your master? It makes perfect sense to.

        If the ALP wants a chance they need to cosy up to the banks even more than the Libs do and then make that absolutely obvious to everyone.

        The ALP need to announce that if they were voted in that they would make lending standards looser and allow everyone to access as much debt as they need to afford the lifestyle they expect they are entitled to, and then cut a deal with the banks to make it happen.

        But this may be a tad tricky because all the banks are run by Lib voters and probably have no time for the Labs.

    • Libs is such a multifaceted doctrine; it can easily placate business, nationals, libertarians, retirees and conservatives as they do.

      LOL. “All kinds of political views, from the right all the way to the far-right”.

      • Nah @smithy.. in extended form it is liberal or liberty or freedom. You can be right, left or centrist so long as you want to see people free and living to their potential.
        Interested to know… why can’t anyone of the types above not be of the left (?)

        • Nah @smithy.. in extended form it is liberal or liberty or freedom. You can be right, left or centrist so long as you want to see people free and living to their potential.

          LOL. Yeah, the party that made same sex marriage illegal and only reversed course when it became completely untenable (and many members remain who opposed it) is totally the “freedom” and “liberty” party.

          “Freedom” is not just about letting people do what they want, so long as they don’t hit anyone else.

          Not to mention the Liberal party make it clear they have no interest in seeing people “living to their potential” if that entails any sort of external assistance. As Scotty so eloquently said – paraphrasing – you’ll only get a go if you’re able to have a go.

          Interested to know… why can’t anyone of the types above not be of the left (?)

          It’s not that they can’t be “of the left” (except for conservatism, which is fundamentally opposed to pretty much all left-wing political (eg: democratic), economic (eg: redistributive) and social (eg: anti-discriminatory) concepts), and more than the Liberal Party only panders to the [far-]right-wing demographics of those types.

          The Liberal Party opposes “left-wing” (ie: unionised, regulated) business.
          The Liberal Party opposes “left-wing” (ie: anti-capitalist, socialist) libertarianism. (Mainstream libertarianism has also made the idea of “left libertarianism” practically an oxymoron as well.)
          The Liberal Party opposes “left-wing” (ie: democratic, public good, “common wealth”) nationalism.

          They are a “broad church”, so long as your church is in the upper right of the political compass graph.

          • Left is ok when they actually walk the compassion they preach @smithy. But insincerity and hypocrisy stinks. There’s no liberty anywhere – on the right, centre, or left – when the behaviour is riotous, anarchist and totalitarian… And when they want the government to take stuff, get more than a little curious.
            Again, as per first post, there is always room for reform.

  13. Wait wait…so your prescription is:
    – buy Australian
    – hire Australian
    – clamp down on immigration
    – put Australian workers first
    – achieve energy independence by smashing cartels
    – decouple from Chyynaa

    Why do these sound so familiar…

  14. Good piece but if you ask me its not Labor that has forgotten workers but rather workers that have forgotten other their fellow workers.
    Where is this thing Marx called the Proletariat? what is it?
    A unified front for workers, don’t make me laugh.
    Without a Proletariat why would one expect to have a party that represents these workers?
    Today’s Labor party reads from the very same neoliberal bible as their Liberal opposition, their beliefs are indistinguishable. Why would I vote for the carbon copy when the real ting stands right beside them.
    Its beyond stupid.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Too many people have too much debt to care about anything except making the next repayment which involves keeping one’s job by not rocking the boat too much.

  15. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Yesterday on that Paul McDermott show, they had a question….What’s the most abundant element in the earths crust, oxygen or carbon?

    Everyone but one, said “carbon”. Turns out, carbon isn’t even in the top 10. Pretty obvious given it’s only organic matter.

    99% of Australians don’t have a clue what they’re talking about with CC, carbon, population, environment, but most of all solutions and impediments. They’ve been indoctrinated with lies.

    Labor are dealers in those lies.

    Then let’s add Rudd opening real estate to foreigners, losing control of borders, BER, Batts, top boxes. Gillard reneging on Wilkies pokie reform as soon as she didn’t need him. Folding on the resource rent tax. Impotent FIRB. Farm sales. MP’s moving into corporate gigs. Going to the recent election with unlimited parental visas, maintaining turn backs WHEN SAFE TO DO SO.

    How can we ever trust that party ever again? It’s time to stop pretending this party is for anyone but themselves. They are dishonest evil politicians put there by the elites, just like LNP.

    The only way to fix Australia’s horrendous path, is replace Labor with Independents.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      I would suggest the JobKeeper rorts are going to make pink bats and school halls look like a rounding error.
      The LNP is utterly toxic for the average tax payer. And labour are just hopeless. The LNP are our GOP, they dont even pretend to act in the average tax payers best interests.

      We need to replace both major parties.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        I entirely agree. I am aware though that there are many people voting LNP to get their piece of the pie. In other words LNP effectively represent their constituents.

        Labor do not.

        Having said that, I’m all for damaging both, and would actively join any effort to do that.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        This……

        And this is why they both oppose a Federal ICAC. Which in turn is why there should be a Royal Commission (with coercive powers) into, inter alia..

        The funding of Australian political parties
        The funding of individual Australian politicians and political aspirants
        The vetting of all candidates in every seat for S144 compliance
        The membership of Australian political parties.
        The influence of lobbyists, business groups, unions and other organisations

      • Jumping jack flash

        The difference is the howling of the media.
        They are silent when the Libs do anything wrong, but it is all moot because the nation’s leadership in general is incompetent and driven by lobbyists.

  16. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    IMO, it’s nationally unanimous, Australians have had enough of BOTH LNP AND LABOR.

    Time for solutions.

  17. happy valleyMEMBER

    Katy Gallagher who showed up Colbeck for what he is, and perhaps, Stephen Jones also, appear to be the only Fed Labor MPs with some get up and go ATM, as distinct from many others who seem to have got up and went?

    You get the feeling that Labor MPs realise that they are on $200+k per annum for doing not all that much and therefore, why work up a sweat? It’s almost like they are on a defacto JK paying them more than what they are worth, but know that their JK is not going to end unless they lose preselection or their seat at the next election?

    Sadly and worryingly, we seem to have an Opposition MIA or trying to be too bipartisan and the LNP, as morally bankrupt as they seem to be, will romp it in at the next election?

    • Jumping jack flash

      “Labor MPs realise that they are on $200+k per annum for doing not all that much and therefore, why work up a sweat?”

      This is true for any politician these days.
      The 200K is a retainer while they plan their life after politics as a lobbyist in a field that they like and one that pays the most do to the least.

  18. Jumping jack flash

    “What Labor has forgotten is its roots pure and simple. Workers are its answer. More to the point, Aussie workers.”

    Yes, of course they have but there is one small problem with that romaticised view of the Australia of yore…

    There are no Aussie workers in the sense of Hawke’s Battlers any more. There are only the degenerate unemployed, and Scomo’s Quiet Australians now. The Quiet Australians all aspire to become property barons and get instantly rich from other people’s enormous debt piles.

    The degenerate unemployed are the basket cases of society and nobody cares about them.

    This is the Liberal ideology, and everyone has subscribed to it, either exuberantly, or begrudgingly, but enormous piles of debt are completely and utterly essential now to be able to purchase the essential items to have a respectable standard of living, even one that is aligned with the standard of living an original Hawke’s Battler would have had in the day.

    An original Hawke’s Battler would have been able to save up the price of a house from hard work, respectable savings and frugal living. There is NO WAY that this can happen these days. Enormous piles of debt are absolutely essential.

    Then, once you have the enormous pile of debt hanging around your neck like the proverbial anvil, in desperation you align with the political side who are seen as being the “masters of debt” and the “bank whisperers” and Labor just doesn’t cut it on that.

    Labor has a couple of choices. They can go back to being Liberal Lite and who would actually vote for that when the real Liberals are right there? Or, they can go full nationalist, Pauline Hanson-style but with a bit more forethought and organisation.

    But this could be quite tricky given their stance on multiculturalism…

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      “Or, they can go full nationalist”

      They’d be running the country.

      Until then, Australia is far more likely to vote LNP.

      • Jumping jack flash

        There’s simply too much debt and too many subscribed to the debt way of life.

        A LNP scare campaign about interest rates and banks would be like shooting fish in a barrel while so many have so much debt.
        Look what they did with a few lies about extra taxes and changes to NG.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          IMO, NG had absolutely nothing to do with the election result.

          In fact, the mortgage belt voted Labor and the plebs voted against Labor.

          Australia cannot accept Labors weak border, woke, big welfare policies. Or their bipartisan agreement to big Australia, national asset sales, globalisation etc.

          While Labor are the same but worse than LNP, Labor cannot win.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          Labor can choose between;

          1. Big Australia.

          2. A kind egalitarian Australian society.

          1 crashes, smashes, obliterates 2, and most Australians know it.

    • Labor has a couple of choices. They can go back to being Liberal Lite and who would actually vote for that when the real Liberals are right there? Or, they can go full nationalist, Pauline Hanson-style but with a bit more forethought and organisation.

      But this could be quite tricky given their stance on multiculturalism…

      Shouldn’t be too hard for them to figure out. There’s a song about it that plays on the ABC multiple times every day.

  19. ‘No more multinational, globalisation garbage. Both inner-city progressives and coal miners share that distinction.’
    Observably, I’m not sure that’s the case. Which could be terminal for the party.