From Kevin07 today:
Scott Morrison – even in the era of Donald Trump – will also be yearning desperately for a Republican victory come November. But this time it is the conservative recalcitrance on a very different issue that risks Australia being isolated on the world stage: climate change.
And as the next summer approaches, Australians will be reminded afresh of how climate change, and its impact on our country and economy, has not gone away.
Former vice-president Joe Biden has put at the centre of his campaign a historic plan to fight climate change both at home and abroad. On his first day in office, he has promised to return the US to the Paris Agreement. And he recently unveiled an unprecedented $2 trillion green investment plan, including the complete decarbonisation of the domestic electricity system by 2035.
By contrast, Morrison remains hell-bent on Australia doing its best to disrupt global momentum to tackle the climate crisis and burying our head in the sand when it comes to embracing the new economic opportunities that come with effective climate change action.
Too true. QLD and WA love him for it. It won’t change much.
But Kevin07 is no saviour to this cause and it has nothing at all to do with climate change and everything to do with Morrison’s other Trumpian ace-in-the-hole which we see playing out daily now:
Donald Trump has vowed to decouple the US economy from China if he wins the election, and has attacked his opponent Joe Biden as a ‘pawn’ for Beijing as both candidates enter the final eight weeks of a ferociously fought campaign.
Translated into the Australian context, this is the China decoupling “put” that the Coalition now holds over Labor. Why? Because ALP greybeards like Kevin07, President of Asia Society worldwide, are unwilling or unable to distance themselves from the CCP convincingly.
These two epochal challenges – climate change and China decoupling – are emerging as the key polarities in the future of politics. But the former is a slowly burning fuse, easily obfuscated and internationalist. The latter is an incendiary bomb, simple, urgent and nationalist. Politically, fighting climate will not stack up against fighting the CCP as a vote-winner.
The better analogy for Kevin07 is therefore not Morrison-as-Trump, it is Morrison-as-Menzies and Kevin07 as Doc Evatt:
The Labor split started in earnest in October 1954, when federal leader H.V. Evatt denounced the “disloyal” activities of a militant anti-communist faction operating predominantly in the party’s Victorian branch. Tumult followed.
In March 1955, rival Victorian Labor delegations competed for admission to the party’s federal conference in Hobart, further crystallising the split. A month later, the Victorian Labor government was sacrificed as anti-communist breakaways crossed the floor to support an opposition-initiated no-confidence motion.
In the federal sphere, Liberal Prime Minister Robert Menzies called an early poll to capitalise on Labor’s chaos. The result was an emphatic victory for the Coalition, which benefited from preferences from the Australia Labor Party (Anti-Communist), later renamed the Democratic Labor Party (DLP).
Influenced by distinctive local factors, the split also engulfed Queensland Labor in 1957. Premier Vince Gair was expelled from the party. This precipitated an election that delivered power to the Coalition in Queensland.
But the seeds of this political calamity predated Evatt’s combustible statement. For complex socioeconomic and other reasons, a majority of Irish Catholics had historically voted for Labor, and the schism during the first world war over conscription further strengthened this ethno-sectarian alignment. In turn, there had always been a tension between socialist impulses within the labour movement and Catholicism.
The risk of conflict escalated in the 1930s, as the small but resolute local Communist Party made inroads into the labour movement.
By the 1940s, communists controlled key trade unions. This prompted Labor state branch organisations to establish “industrial groups” to combat that influence. These groups proved effective, but became closely entwined – especially in Victoria – with the Catholic Social Studies Movement.
“The Movement” had been set up by the bishops and was directed by B. A. Santamaria to exploit the position of Catholics within the labour movement to fight atheistic communism.
Santamaria’s ambition for The Movement expanded from it stiffening anti-communist resolve in the trade unions to it becoming a trojan horse for transforming the Labor’s personnel and policies. Those dreams were fanciful, but Santamaria’s zealotry and Evatt’s intemperance were crucial to the split.
Trade union powerbrokers who were determined to subjugate Labor’s parliamentary wing – even at the price of political oblivion – were also responsible.
The split destroyed Labor governments in Victoria and Queensland. The party was relegated to opposition for a generation. It did not regain office in these states until 1982 and 1989 respectively.
Better sense prevailed within the ALP’s top counsels and Catholic hierarchy elsewhere, enabling Labor governments to ride out the storm in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Federally, however, the consequences were also devastating for the ALP. Becoming prime minister for the second time in 1949, Menzies’ hold on office was initially far from secure; the elections of 1951 and 1954 were close run. But the Labor split gifted him political dominance.
In contrast, despite remaining at the ALP’s helm until 1960, the brilliant but mercurial
RuddEvatt never recovered politically or psychologically.
With his every appearance, let alone utterance, Kevin07 dooms Labor for as far as the eye can see.
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