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214 responses to “May Day: What has happened to Australian Labor?”

  1. kuke

    “What’s left for Labor?” What indeed.

  2. kuke

    “What’s left for Labor?” What indeed.

  3. BilB

    “Kevin Rudd should go”

    Wow, coming from you mark that is postively Solar. (I was going to say N—–r but that would bring on a Fran attack).
    Surely there is another way.

  4. BilB

    “Kevin Rudd should go”

    Wow, coming from you mark that is postively Solar. (I was going to say N—–r but that would bring on a Fran attack).
    Surely there is another way.

  5. Malcolm T

    Good post Mark.

  6. Malcolm T

    Good post Mark.

  7. MH

    As Kevin himself might say, ???????Or maybe ??? ?To wonder why it took you so long to come to thing conclusion is to underplay the legacy of the previous government and Kevin Rudd’s political skills.

  8. MH

    As Kevin himself might say, ???????Or maybe ??? ?To wonder why it took you so long to come to thing conclusion is to underplay the legacy of the previous government and Kevin Rudd’s political skills.

  9. Bill Posters

    What has happened to Labor? Isn’t it simply that the machine men run the party? As you say, they’re trained at state level and unconcerned by anything but the prospect of power.

  10. Bill Posters

    What has happened to Labor? Isn’t it simply that the machine men run the party? As you say, they’re trained at state level and unconcerned by anything but the prospect of power.

  11. Ken Lovell

    As I commented over at ‘Public Opinion’, we have a choice between the bloke who stands for the wrong things and the bloke who stands for nothing at all.

    Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that two great Labor reformers (one with a passion for economic reform, the other for social change), Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam, led the party to its two most humiliating defeats in the last 50 years. I’m sure many ALP politicians have a deep-rooted conviction that the secret to longevity in government is to fiddle around with health and education and tax and avoid startling the horses too much. In which judgement of course they may well be quite correct.

    But it is remarkable how quickly the purported willingness to embrace a whole new agenda of evidence-based policies for change, as evidenced by things like the 2020 Summit, has simply evaporated. Maybe they still can’t really believe they deserve to be in government and are skittishly waiting for the Libs to produce the killer blow that will put them back in opposition again where they would feel more at home.

  12. Ken Lovell

    As I commented over at ‘Public Opinion’, we have a choice between the bloke who stands for the wrong things and the bloke who stands for nothing at all.

    Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that two great Labor reformers (one with a passion for economic reform, the other for social change), Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam, led the party to its two most humiliating defeats in the last 50 years. I’m sure many ALP politicians have a deep-rooted conviction that the secret to longevity in government is to fiddle around with health and education and tax and avoid startling the horses too much. In which judgement of course they may well be quite correct.

    But it is remarkable how quickly the purported willingness to embrace a whole new agenda of evidence-based policies for change, as evidenced by things like the 2020 Summit, has simply evaporated. Maybe they still can’t really believe they deserve to be in government and are skittishly waiting for the Libs to produce the killer blow that will put them back in opposition again where they would feel more at home.

  13. Daphon

    I reminded my partner yesterday of our excitement on election night when Rudd and the ALP got up. He brought me down to earth again when he reminded me it was the defeat of Howard and his cronies that was exciting.

  14. Daphon

    I reminded my partner yesterday of our excitement on election night when Rudd and the ALP got up. He brought me down to earth again when he reminded me it was the defeat of Howard and his cronies that was exciting.

  15. Ronnie

    I share Mark’s disillusionment, but I also think you can’t underestimate the effect of a divided and bloody-minded senate. How could real reform possibly be implemented with Steve Fielding (the man recently described as being stupider than an earthworm) holding the balance of power? Which brings me to the Greens…

    What ever happened to sensible compromises being developed in the Senate? The Greens, for purely political reasons, have taken about the most hardline stance against the ETS they could. They knew the Government would never agree to their demands; in fact their demands were so ridiculous that it was impossible for the Government to build any kind of consensus even if they wanted to.
    Then on the other side there was Minchin, possibly the most evil person to ever inhabit the Senate. Taking the lead from the US Republicans, he saw the greatest political value in being 100% obstructionist.
    But then the Government is not blameless either. They became punch-drunk on the idea of splitting the coalition – something that would never happen for the simple reason that neither the Libs nor the Nats would ever get into government without each other.
    I am not surprised that they shelved the ETS, nor that they chose not to go to a DD on the issue. But I am astounded they have virtually abandoned the policy altogether.

  16. Ronnie

    I share Mark’s disillusionment, but I also think you can’t underestimate the effect of a divided and bloody-minded senate. How could real reform possibly be implemented with Steve Fielding (the man recently described as being stupider than an earthworm) holding the balance of power? Which brings me to the Greens…

    What ever happened to sensible compromises being developed in the Senate? The Greens, for purely political reasons, have taken about the most hardline stance against the ETS they could. They knew the Government would never agree to their demands; in fact their demands were so ridiculous that it was impossible for the Government to build any kind of consensus even if they wanted to.
    Then on the other side there was Minchin, possibly the most evil person to ever inhabit the Senate. Taking the lead from the US Republicans, he saw the greatest political value in being 100% obstructionist.
    But then the Government is not blameless either. They became punch-drunk on the idea of splitting the coalition – something that would never happen for the simple reason that neither the Libs nor the Nats would ever get into government without each other.
    I am not surprised that they shelved the ETS, nor that they chose not to go to a DD on the issue. But I am astounded they have virtually abandoned the policy altogether.

  17. sg

    I see some truth in this post and some truth in Ronnie’s comment. Remember that Howard seemed quite tame until he got the BoP, and then he really started showing his ideological mettle – and got dumped very soon after. All his earlier achievements – the GST and Wik spring to mind – came about through horse-trading in the Senate, some of it quite surprising.

    So maybe this isn’t just Rudd timidity.

  18. sg

    I see some truth in this post and some truth in Ronnie’s comment. Remember that Howard seemed quite tame until he got the BoP, and then he really started showing his ideological mettle – and got dumped very soon after. All his earlier achievements – the GST and Wik spring to mind – came about through horse-trading in the Senate, some of it quite surprising.

    So maybe this isn’t just Rudd timidity.

  19. Enemy Combatant

    ‘Tis grand when a Queenslander puts the boot into a fellow Queenslander(a North Coast farm lad made good) when it’s in the National Interest. It’s what Federation is all about. :)

    Yup, Rudd is ineffectual. Weak as orphanage soup. When it really matters, the bastard’s got no bottle. Turnbull is back in the game, a gambit unlikely to unify the tories, making it easier for Rudd perhaps, to stumble back for a second term with a shaved majority.

    Julia Prole will no doubt be monitoring the drama as it unfolds.

  20. Enemy Combatant

    ‘Tis grand when a Queenslander puts the boot into a fellow Queenslander(a North Coast farm lad made good) when it’s in the National Interest. It’s what Federation is all about. :)

    Yup, Rudd is ineffectual. Weak as orphanage soup. When it really matters, the bastard’s got no bottle. Turnbull is back in the game, a gambit unlikely to unify the tories, making it easier for Rudd perhaps, to stumble back for a second term with a shaved majority.

    Julia Prole will no doubt be monitoring the drama as it unfolds.

  21. CMMC

    Don’t want to sound like a Rudd apologist but there are monumental reforms being undertaken by this government.

    Nothing as startling as the Whitlam reforms like Medibank or free tertiary education but things that will take time to be appreciated.

    School upgrades, free laptops, National Broadband, health funding. In a few years these things will come into fruition and you won’t recognise the place.

    Sure, there is plenty to criticise but you shouldn’t become enchanted by the Groupthink memes, such as “this is a do-nothing government” and “whatever they actually do is a complete failure”.

  22. CMMC

    Don’t want to sound like a Rudd apologist but there are monumental reforms being undertaken by this government.

    Nothing as startling as the Whitlam reforms like Medibank or free tertiary education but things that will take time to be appreciated.

    School upgrades, free laptops, National Broadband, health funding. In a few years these things will come into fruition and you won’t recognise the place.

    Sure, there is plenty to criticise but you shouldn’t become enchanted by the Groupthink memes, such as “this is a do-nothing government” and “whatever they actually do is a complete failure”.

  23. Steve at the Pub

    CMMC #11: You mean things that achieve nothing, but cost Double or maybe Triple what they should have. In a few years, when the Annual Interest Bill for this financial lunacy is pauperising us, THEN you won’t recognise the place.

  24. Steve at the Pub

    CMMC #11: You mean things that achieve nothing, but cost Double or maybe Triple what they should have. In a few years, when the Annual Interest Bill for this financial lunacy is pauperising us, THEN you won’t recognise the place.

  25. grandma

    1st of may was the old way, , but all those sentiments of old do not keep a party in government anymore. So its either you want the middle of the road or middle labor, Or the right wing torries.Liberal

    Give most of us ( and the polls tell us that) this modern labor party any time. No matter what policy labor put in place re global warming at the moment liberals would not have passed it.

    Get over it move on and realise we have the best gov we have had in years.
    Other wise vote green.

  26. grandma

    1st of may was the old way, , but all those sentiments of old do not keep a party in government anymore. So its either you want the middle of the road or middle labor, Or the right wing torries.Liberal

    Give most of us ( and the polls tell us that) this modern labor party any time. No matter what policy labor put in place re global warming at the moment liberals would not have passed it.

    Get over it move on and realise we have the best gov we have had in years.
    Other wise vote green.

  27. Ken Lovell

    Don’t forget income management for dole bludgers and irresponsible single mothers CMMC, the Libs will really be able to pick that fundamental reform up and run with it when they get back in.

    National broadband? School upgrades? Are you trying to be funny?

  28. Ken Lovell

    Don’t forget income management for dole bludgers and irresponsible single mothers CMMC, the Libs will really be able to pick that fundamental reform up and run with it when they get back in.

    National broadband? School upgrades? Are you trying to be funny?

  29. Ginja

    Ronnie: what a refreshing voice of reason at LP.

    I completely reject the idea that class cleavages are something for last century. The neoliberal period has only sharpened those cleavages. In fact, the same proportion of Australians identify themselves as working class now as in the 1960s.

    If class is not at the centre of your worldview you aren’t really on the Left. You can care all you like about feed-in tariffs, hot rocks, cap-and-trade, but that doesn’t make you a progressive. Hell, even Malcolm Turnbull was for an ETS – and he ain’t no progressive.

  30. Ginja

    Ronnie: what a refreshing voice of reason at LP.

    I completely reject the idea that class cleavages are something for last century. The neoliberal period has only sharpened those cleavages. In fact, the same proportion of Australians identify themselves as working class now as in the 1960s.

    If class is not at the centre of your worldview you aren’t really on the Left. You can care all you like about feed-in tariffs, hot rocks, cap-and-trade, but that doesn’t make you a progressive. Hell, even Malcolm Turnbull was for an ETS – and he ain’t no progressive.

  31. Mark

    @14 – Ginja, I don’t say that class cleavages are no longer a central dividing factor, but rather that the cleavages of the last century (a largely unionised full time male working class aligned against a petit bourgeoisie, and big capital) are no longer the only, or the best, way to frame them. Perhaps there’s another discussion in this – I, for one, am still wedded to class as the basis of political struggle, but it’s unrealistic to assume things are just as they have always been in a now largely post-industrial economy.

  32. Mark

    @14 – Ginja, I don’t say that class cleavages are no longer a central dividing factor, but rather that the cleavages of the last century (a largely unionised full time male working class aligned against a petit bourgeoisie, and big capital) are no longer the only, or the best, way to frame them. Perhaps there’s another discussion in this – I, for one, am still wedded to class as the basis of political struggle, but it’s unrealistic to assume things are just as they have always been in a now largely post-industrial economy.

  33. Mark

    @8 – Ronnie, I don’t discount Senate obstructionism. But I don’t see that as incompatible with continuing to press a case for what you believe in – the failure to do so on the ETS is a huge one, and perhaps it was impossible with the balls up that the CPRS was, but that wasn’t necessary either – Garnaut provided a much cleaner and more effective model.

    Nor do I assert that the Rudd government has done nothing. But what it hasn’t really done is argue the case for anything transformational except at the margins. I would like to see Labor re-elected, and in all likelihood my first preference in the HoR will go to Labor rather than The Greens, but I think Rudd has been a profound disappointment.

  34. Mark

    @8 – Ronnie, I don’t discount Senate obstructionism. But I don’t see that as incompatible with continuing to press a case for what you believe in – the failure to do so on the ETS is a huge one, and perhaps it was impossible with the balls up that the CPRS was, but that wasn’t necessary either – Garnaut provided a much cleaner and more effective model.

    Nor do I assert that the Rudd government has done nothing. But what it hasn’t really done is argue the case for anything transformational except at the margins. I would like to see Labor re-elected, and in all likelihood my first preference in the HoR will go to Labor rather than The Greens, but I think Rudd has been a profound disappointment.

  35. BilB

    Frankly, I would like to see Australia managed in this time of restructure by a coalition of Julia Gillard and Christine Milne, supported by a cabinet that included at least several high performing engineers from different fields. We are desperate for some clear nonpolitical commonsense decisive management. And Malcolm Turnbull staying in the pool has got to be better than the bunch of losers that the Libs are stuck with.

  36. BilB

    Frankly, I would like to see Australia managed in this time of restructure by a coalition of Julia Gillard and Christine Milne, supported by a cabinet that included at least several high performing engineers from different fields. We are desperate for some clear nonpolitical commonsense decisive management. And Malcolm Turnbull staying in the pool has got to be better than the bunch of losers that the Libs are stuck with.

  37. Emperor Joshua

    I would agree that the government has been a disappointment. And that is largely because of a failure to have a grown-up conversation with the public about the issues – economic, social or environmental.

    However, none of this is really a surprise. Rudd has always been very conservative and ultra-cautious.

  38. Emperor Joshua

    I would agree that the government has been a disappointment. And that is largely because of a failure to have a grown-up conversation with the public about the issues – economic, social or environmental.

    However, none of this is really a surprise. Rudd has always been very conservative and ultra-cautious.

  39. PeterS

    Julia Gillard + Christine Milne – Perfect!
    How can we arrange that?

  40. PeterS

    Julia Gillard + Christine Milne – Perfect!
    How can we arrange that?

  41. sg

    Just as a side question, does anyone else here think that Australian bloggers and their commenters are much more willing to declare their voting intentions than other countries? I notice people state their intentions pretty openly, and I wonder if that is less common in other countries, even amongst people of the same broad political stripe.

  42. sg

    Just as a side question, does anyone else here think that Australian bloggers and their commenters are much more willing to declare their voting intentions than other countries? I notice people state their intentions pretty openly, and I wonder if that is less common in other countries, even amongst people of the same broad political stripe.

  43. Spana

    Labor stands for nothing. We have seen backflips and sell outs all round. In education we have seen Bligh crush strikes and Gillard threatening to use scab labour to break union bans. Over the years we have seen Labor privatise, sell out human rights, train Indonesian troops who occupied East Timor, sell out Australian sovereignty to the US and China… The ALP does not deserve power. They are a disgustingly shallow party that really believes little. They will do anything for power. Give me Abbott any day over these fake power hungry frauds.

  44. Spana

    Labor stands for nothing. We have seen backflips and sell outs all round. In education we have seen Bligh crush strikes and Gillard threatening to use scab labour to break union bans. Over the years we have seen Labor privatise, sell out human rights, train Indonesian troops who occupied East Timor, sell out Australian sovereignty to the US and China… The ALP does not deserve power. They are a disgustingly shallow party that really believes little. They will do anything for power. Give me Abbott any day over these fake power hungry frauds.

  45. Spana

    As for what to do on Labour day? Perhaps it is time the union movement had a wholesale abandonment of the ALP. We need to realise that the worst case scenario is not a conservative government under which we have strong unions. The worst case scenario for unions is an ALP government which both crushes our strikes, abandons workers, yet trickes us into voting for them. This is far more disempowering. Under the Liberals we know who to fight and how to do it. Give me an upfront anti union Liberal government rather than a lying pack of anti union ALP users who will abandon unions when it suits.

  46. Spana

    As for what to do on Labour day? Perhaps it is time the union movement had a wholesale abandonment of the ALP. We need to realise that the worst case scenario is not a conservative government under which we have strong unions. The worst case scenario for unions is an ALP government which both crushes our strikes, abandons workers, yet trickes us into voting for them. This is far more disempowering. Under the Liberals we know who to fight and how to do it. Give me an upfront anti union Liberal government rather than a lying pack of anti union ALP users who will abandon unions when it suits.

  47. BilB

    Spana,

    You can’t use the terms “scab labour” and “human rights” together and remain credible.

  48. BilB

    Spana,

    You can’t use the terms “scab labour” and “human rights” together and remain credible.

  49. Paul Burns

    Labor lost its soul with Hawkie. Discrimination Act. Good. I’ve actually benefited. I can get into pubs when I say I’m spastic, and the bloke on the door realises I’m not walking and talking this way (I can’t pronounce ‘th’) because I’m pissed. But what else? He got rid of Whitlam’s free tertiary education. Him and the ALP bought the neocon Freidmanite agenda because they were scared of another defeat of Whitlamite precautions.
    Look at Keating. I’ll excuse him for getting snowed by Treasury. Anybody who hadn’t done postgrad economics at uni would’ve been. But the man was brilliant, his economic nonsense aside. He had a soul. He had heart, He started the road to reconciliation and for that we all owed him a tremendous debt. he wasn’t a warmonger. As far as I remember, he didn’t piss in the Americans’ pockets. (I might be wrong there.) Deep down he was still a socialist at heart. And look what we did to him! replaced him with a runt like Howard. Bring on Julia. I’ve had enough of this gutless Rudd. Whatever colour he is, it ain’t red and it ain’t green.

  50. Paul Burns

    Labor lost its soul with Hawkie. Discrimination Act. Good. I’ve actually benefited. I can get into pubs when I say I’m spastic, and the bloke on the door realises I’m not walking and talking this way (I can’t pronounce ‘th’) because I’m pissed. But what else? He got rid of Whitlam’s free tertiary education. Him and the ALP bought the neocon Freidmanite agenda because they were scared of another defeat of Whitlamite precautions.
    Look at Keating. I’ll excuse him for getting snowed by Treasury. Anybody who hadn’t done postgrad economics at uni would’ve been. But the man was brilliant, his economic nonsense aside. He had a soul. He had heart, He started the road to reconciliation and for that we all owed him a tremendous debt. he wasn’t a warmonger. As far as I remember, he didn’t piss in the Americans’ pockets. (I might be wrong there.) Deep down he was still a socialist at heart. And look what we did to him! replaced him with a runt like Howard. Bring on Julia. I’ve had enough of this gutless Rudd. Whatever colour he is, it ain’t red and it ain’t green.

  51. Terry

    Are we sure that introducing a market-based trading system for carbon is the fundamental test of principle for a Labor government? Given the concerns expressed elsewhere about derivatives trading and its relationship to the GFC, the scheme was arguably more a Malcolm Turnbull thing than a fundamental test of Labor principles?

  52. Terry

    Are we sure that introducing a market-based trading system for carbon is the fundamental test of principle for a Labor government? Given the concerns expressed elsewhere about derivatives trading and its relationship to the GFC, the scheme was arguably more a Malcolm Turnbull thing than a fundamental test of Labor principles?

  53. kuke

    @21 Bloggers maybe. Most people in person still get visibly uncomfortable when I broach a “BBQ stopper”, unlike Europeans.

  54. kuke

    @21 Bloggers maybe. Most people in person still get visibly uncomfortable when I broach a “BBQ stopper”, unlike Europeans.

  55. BilB

    Oh, did Whitlam do free tertiary education? I’ll have to reduce my bagging of him!

  56. BilB

    Oh, did Whitlam do free tertiary education? I’ll have to reduce my bagging of him!

  57. David Irving (no relation)

    BilB, Whitlam did free education and free health (Medibank, before Fraser turned it into just another health fund). He also got us out of Vietnam (and ended conscription), and implemented a whole lot of arts-type stuff.

    It was a wonderful time to be young, especially as it more-or-less coincided with the Dunstan years (and their afterglow) in SA.

  58. David Irving (no relation)

    BilB, Whitlam did free education and free health (Medibank, before Fraser turned it into just another health fund). He also got us out of Vietnam (and ended conscription), and implemented a whole lot of arts-type stuff.

    It was a wonderful time to be young, especially as it more-or-less coincided with the Dunstan years (and their afterglow) in SA.

  59. Spana

    BilB. What is your point? Gillard advocates using scab labour. The ALP facilitated human rights abuses by training Indonesian troops during the brutal occupation of East Timor.

  60. Spana

    BilB. What is your point? Gillard advocates using scab labour. The ALP facilitated human rights abuses by training Indonesian troops during the brutal occupation of East Timor.

  61. BilB

    I’ve seen what ultra left wing unionists do to people with alternative views when working at Garden Island Dockyard. It is ugly, and contravines every principle of human rights.

  62. BilB

    I’ve seen what ultra left wing unionists do to people with alternative views when working at Garden Island Dockyard. It is ugly, and contravines every principle of human rights.

  63. adrian

    Anybody under the illusion that Julia Gillard would be any better than Rudd is either not paying attention or living in a dream world. Her attack on education and the teacher unions for the sake of a crappy web-site is just the tip of the iceberg. I actually think she would be worse than Rudd

  64. adrian

    Anybody under the illusion that Julia Gillard would be any better than Rudd is either not paying attention or living in a dream world. Her attack on education and the teacher unions for the sake of a crappy web-site is just the tip of the iceberg. I actually think she would be worse than Rudd

  65. Spana

    Bilb. I am a teacher unionist, not a thug with an iron bar. But anyway, scabs who betray their colleagues and put themselves and their greed above the well being of others should feel the outrage of others in the profession. Telling scabs that their actions are disgraceful is not an abuse of human rights.

    I also have to laugh at those supporting Gillard. Are you serious. Here we have a politician who will use scab labour and crush unions in her bid to be PM. She is a ruthless politician who only seeks power. She is as good as any tory.

  66. Spana

    Bilb. I am a teacher unionist, not a thug with an iron bar. But anyway, scabs who betray their colleagues and put themselves and their greed above the well being of others should feel the outrage of others in the profession. Telling scabs that their actions are disgraceful is not an abuse of human rights.

    I also have to laugh at those supporting Gillard. Are you serious. Here we have a politician who will use scab labour and crush unions in her bid to be PM. She is a ruthless politician who only seeks power. She is as good as any tory.

  67. Saint Furious

    “She is as good as any tory.”

    And since you said you’d prefer Tony Abbott, it’s hard to reconcile your attitude, since his in the party that introduced WorkChoices…how is that in any way compatible with you being a “teacher unionist”?

  68. Saint Furious

    “She is as good as any tory.”

    And since you said you’d prefer Tony Abbott, it’s hard to reconcile your attitude, since his in the party that introduced WorkChoices…how is that in any way compatible with you being a “teacher unionist”?

  69. BilB

    There’s a lot of anger there, Spana.

  70. BilB

    There’s a lot of anger there, Spana.

  71. David Irving (no relation)

    Don’t expect consistency from Spana, St Furious. It’s not his strong suit.

  72. David Irving (no relation)

    Don’t expect consistency from Spana, St Furious. It’s not his strong suit.

  73. Michael Sutcliffe

    Wow, a mutiny within Teh Left. Let me get a seat and some popcorn.

  74. Michael Sutcliffe

    Wow, a mutiny within Teh Left. Let me get a seat and some popcorn.

  75. BilB

    Adrian, I have to say I was less impressed with Gillard once she became government, but the mantle of leadership changes people. I think that with Milne as a moderator and manager of the physical we would see some spectacular government. Women aren’t afraid to rearrange the furniture, but they work better when they have someone to talk with. Gillard has only had Rudd to date and…well he is not a concessional kind of guy.

  76. BilB

    Adrian, I have to say I was less impressed with Gillard once she became government, but the mantle of leadership changes people. I think that with Milne as a moderator and manager of the physical we would see some spectacular government. Women aren’t afraid to rearrange the furniture, but they work better when they have someone to talk with. Gillard has only had Rudd to date and…well he is not a concessional kind of guy.

  77. anthony

    Well the CPRS was the result of having to reach a compromise solution in a nation dominated by heavy carbon producing industries and scuttled by scientific illiteracy, I don’t see how it’s the defining test for labour or Labor per se. The whole community can wear this one.

    And I don’t know how many of you were shitting your pants when the nickle project in Ravensthorpe shut down with the loss of jobs for 1800 workers but if the financial crisis had taken a greater hold here there would have been a greater loss of Labor values in jobs. So maybe we could notch that minor achievement for Rudd when we wonder why he can’t be the leftist strong man/ kamikaze pilot of our dreams.

    Me? Well I think we need to get our act together on better educating people about climate change but then again I had a big whinge when the Howard govt spent a bundle on PR for its favourite projects. I’m also looking forward to see what comes out of the Henry report – it’s a golden opportunity to shift the long term burden from the young and the poor to the older and wealthier who got their super free kicks

  78. anthony

    Well the CPRS was the result of having to reach a compromise solution in a nation dominated by heavy carbon producing industries and scuttled by scientific illiteracy, I don’t see how it’s the defining test for labour or Labor per se. The whole community can wear this one.

    And I don’t know how many of you were shitting your pants when the nickle project in Ravensthorpe shut down with the loss of jobs for 1800 workers but if the financial crisis had taken a greater hold here there would have been a greater loss of Labor values in jobs. So maybe we could notch that minor achievement for Rudd when we wonder why he can’t be the leftist strong man/ kamikaze pilot of our dreams.

    Me? Well I think we need to get our act together on better educating people about climate change but then again I had a big whinge when the Howard govt spent a bundle on PR for its favourite projects. I’m also looking forward to see what comes out of the Henry report – it’s a golden opportunity to shift the long term burden from the young and the poor to the older and wealthier who got their super free kicks

  79. Terry

    Possum brings a bit of a reality check on the ETS issue:

    Linked text

  80. Terry

    Possum brings a bit of a reality check on the ETS issue:

    Linked text

  81. paul walter

    I think it was BilB, who mentioned a union/ Green alliance- apparently this has finally happened in Victoria, with the ETU. No surprise, it’s been festering for a decade and I hope it has indeed finally happened.
    Not sure exactly where this skirmish between Bilb and Spana started; am surprised Bilb does not understand an honest person’s revulsion at surely the lowest form of life, scabs. “Human” rights apply to humans, not scabs.
    Back to the topic, I’d suggest that the rightist cabal within Labor has already done the damage.
    Rudd will get his second term, then Turnbull, released of the decimated Tory hard right, will get a crack.

  82. paul walter

    I think it was BilB, who mentioned a union/ Green alliance- apparently this has finally happened in Victoria, with the ETU. No surprise, it’s been festering for a decade and I hope it has indeed finally happened.
    Not sure exactly where this skirmish between Bilb and Spana started; am surprised Bilb does not understand an honest person’s revulsion at surely the lowest form of life, scabs. “Human” rights apply to humans, not scabs.
    Back to the topic, I’d suggest that the rightist cabal within Labor has already done the damage.
    Rudd will get his second term, then Turnbull, released of the decimated Tory hard right, will get a crack.

  83. Daphon

    “….Gillard has only had Rudd to date …”

    Urggh … nightmares tonight, methinks.

  84. Daphon

    “….Gillard has only had Rudd to date …”

    Urggh … nightmares tonight, methinks.

  85. Matt C

    I believe it was George Megalogenis who coined the ‘federal Premier’ line. You’re right, it’s a good one.

  86. Matt C

    I believe it was George Megalogenis who coined the ‘federal Premier’ line. You’re right, it’s a good one.

  87. kuke

    For the carbon tax inclined, I’ll say some good articles from today:

    Rudd reveals he’s a phony on climate change, Mike Steketee, The Australian

    Common sense, not duress, could give the Green light to a workable carbon tax Paddy Manning, SMH

  88. kuke

    For the carbon tax inclined, I’ll say some good articles from today:

    Rudd reveals he’s a phony on climate change, Mike Steketee, The Australian

    Common sense, not duress, could give the Green light to a workable carbon tax Paddy Manning, SMH

  89. Michael Sutcliffe
  90. Michael Sutcliffe
  91. anthony nolan

    Been on the phone for a fair bit of the day and can say now that there will be a solid parental picket for scabs to negotiate before they administer that test at my son’s high school. Phuck Gillard. Paul Norton is correct. The class has fractured in ways that make it hard to sustain affirmative class consciousness. The state of the ALP reflects the collapse of an old model of class. That collpase was driven by restructuring and globaisation. A new model, repreesentaive of women, migrants and others who were previously excluded by blue collar masculinist supremacism, has not yet been established. Still, the old model taught some valuable lessons which we forget at our peril: no bloody scabs is one of them.

  92. anthony nolan

    Been on the phone for a fair bit of the day and can say now that there will be a solid parental picket for scabs to negotiate before they administer that test at my son’s high school. Phuck Gillard. Paul Norton is correct. The class has fractured in ways that make it hard to sustain affirmative class consciousness. The state of the ALP reflects the collapse of an old model of class. That collpase was driven by restructuring and globaisation. A new model, repreesentaive of women, migrants and others who were previously excluded by blue collar masculinist supremacism, has not yet been established. Still, the old model taught some valuable lessons which we forget at our peril: no bloody scabs is one of them.

  93. Don Wigan

    “And that is largely because of a failure to have a grown-up conversation with the public about the issues – economic, social or environmental.”

    Emperor Joshua at 19 has nailed one of my greatest concerns. And I think Anthony at 39 makes valid points. The handling of the GFC has to be one of the big pluses, notwithstanding the concerns expressed by SATP and Joe Hockey. It’s early days yet on many issues, but there’s still a way to go to destroy the orthodoxy established by Howard. The Henry Report may even help that process.

    I’d love eventually to see a bit of soul there; maybe Paul Burns was right: it has still to be developed. But I think they’re doing a few things that might help develop a better place over time. Michael’s Oz reference is a useful reminder of just how distant this government is from social and political ideals. But survival instincts are understandable in the short term.

  94. Don Wigan

    “And that is largely because of a failure to have a grown-up conversation with the public about the issues – economic, social or environmental.”

    Emperor Joshua at 19 has nailed one of my greatest concerns. And I think Anthony at 39 makes valid points. The handling of the GFC has to be one of the big pluses, notwithstanding the concerns expressed by SATP and Joe Hockey. It’s early days yet on many issues, but there’s still a way to go to destroy the orthodoxy established by Howard. The Henry Report may even help that process.

    I’d love eventually to see a bit of soul there; maybe Paul Burns was right: it has still to be developed. But I think they’re doing a few things that might help develop a better place over time. Michael’s Oz reference is a useful reminder of just how distant this government is from social and political ideals. But survival instincts are understandable in the short term.

  95. Saint Furious

    kuke @ 44, thanks for posting that Paddy Manning article. It’s good to see someone actually reporting objectively about validity of the Greens compromise proposal.

  96. Saint Furious

    kuke @ 44, thanks for posting that Paddy Manning article. It’s good to see someone actually reporting objectively about validity of the Greens compromise proposal.

  97. kuke

    @48 No worries Satin Furious, I already pinged him an email of thanks. (I had to send him a howler last time though when he wrote a socialist rant glowing about that bozo Hugo Chavez).

  98. kuke

    @48 No worries Satin Furious, I already pinged him an email of thanks. (I had to send him a howler last time though when he wrote a socialist rant glowing about that bozo Hugo Chavez).

  99. Patricia WA

    Terry@40 thanks for sending us back to Possum for his most recent update which really makes sense. I had gone there earlier today for something to back my hunch that Rudd knew exactly what he was doing on this so called ‘backflip’ which certainly wasn’t how I heard or read it. He insisted that he was still committed to the ETS as did Penny Wong. Almost everyone including many here on this so called left of centre blog then bought Abbott’s script of a ‘backflip’ and a PM who stands for nothing. Short of spelling out whatever his strategy is for the next election I don’t see how Rudd could have presented this differently. We still don’t have the details of his compensatory and interim programs either and which are described here as ‘Labor adopting Abbott’s policy’ without even a fair guess at how they might be different or better. Have a little faith. Rudd didn’t throw out his ETS, the Nats and the Liberals did.

  100. Patricia WA

    Terry@40 thanks for sending us back to Possum for his most recent update which really makes sense. I had gone there earlier today for something to back my hunch that Rudd knew exactly what he was doing on this so called ‘backflip’ which certainly wasn’t how I heard or read it. He insisted that he was still committed to the ETS as did Penny Wong. Almost everyone including many here on this so called left of centre blog then bought Abbott’s script of a ‘backflip’ and a PM who stands for nothing. Short of spelling out whatever his strategy is for the next election I don’t see how Rudd could have presented this differently. We still don’t have the details of his compensatory and interim programs either and which are described here as ‘Labor adopting Abbott’s policy’ without even a fair guess at how they might be different or better. Have a little faith. Rudd didn’t throw out his ETS, the Nats and the Liberals did.

  101. Marks

    I would have thought that the corresponding question that is taxing the mind of the Labor Government is “May Day: What has happened to the Left?”

    The context of this question is that with the recent insulation issue, one would have expected the Right to spin it up as a Fed Government fault. However, it would not have been unreasonable from a Left perspective to say:

    States Responsible for OH&S
    Contractors responsible for worker safety on the job
    Householders have some responsibility
    Statistical evidence is that despite the above, there were LESS fatalities with this scheme than before, so

    Let’s pause the scheme and await the Coroners’ reports before hanging Garrett.

    However, despite all the above being true and hands on our hearts plausible, the Left jumped on the Government with hobnailed boots.

    Then the Left, having done that hobnail boot dance, is surprised that the Government might re-evaluate other programs.

    Who would have thought that having one’s own support base jump in and help the opposition might just make the Government a little more timid on other issues which are potentially more likely to cause problems?

    Nobody expects the ALP to be given a free pass, and it should be held to high standards by its supporters.

    However, when its supporters trash it before a Coroner’s report, when problems were very arguably the responsibility of others, what you are getting now from the Government is what you would expect. The ALP today is very much what the Left has made it, unfortunately.

  102. Marks

    I would have thought that the corresponding question that is taxing the mind of the Labor Government is “May Day: What has happened to the Left?”

    The context of this question is that with the recent insulation issue, one would have expected the Right to spin it up as a Fed Government fault. However, it would not have been unreasonable from a Left perspective to say:

    States Responsible for OH&S
    Contractors responsible for worker safety on the job
    Householders have some responsibility
    Statistical evidence is that despite the above, there were LESS fatalities with this scheme than before, so

    Let’s pause the scheme and await the Coroners’ reports before hanging Garrett.

    However, despite all the above being true and hands on our hearts plausible, the Left jumped on the Government with hobnailed boots.

    Then the Left, having done that hobnail boot dance, is surprised that the Government might re-evaluate other programs.

    Who would have thought that having one’s own support base jump in and help the opposition might just make the Government a little more timid on other issues which are potentially more likely to cause problems?

    Nobody expects the ALP to be given a free pass, and it should be held to high standards by its supporters.

    However, when its supporters trash it before a Coroner’s report, when problems were very arguably the responsibility of others, what you are getting now from the Government is what you would expect. The ALP today is very much what the Left has made it, unfortunately.

  103. anthony nolan

    Marks: “The ALP today is very much what the Left has made it, unfortunately.” OK, so you’d like to see serried ranks of flag waving comrades barracking for ALP polices and chanting “my party right or wrong”? Oh spare me, please. Is there anything you can’t blame on the left?

  104. anthony nolan

    Marks: “The ALP today is very much what the Left has made it, unfortunately.” OK, so you’d like to see serried ranks of flag waving comrades barracking for ALP polices and chanting “my party right or wrong”? Oh spare me, please. Is there anything you can’t blame on the left?

  105. John D

    Paul Kelly had the following to say about the Rudd position:

    The central issue in this week’s decision is that Rudd no longer has a viable policy. He had several options: to push ahead with his ETS; to legislate an ETS framework with a fixed and low carbon price; to resort to a carbon tax pending global progress on emissions trading. He has chosen none of these.

    This statement tells us more about Kelly’s stunning lack of imagination than Rudd’s policy failures.
    Kelly is not the only one lacking in imagination. We are watching a strange situation where Paul Kelly and the progressives are insisting that any solution to the emission problem has to be driven by “the market”. Even worse, they are claiming that to make the market do its job, the key tool has to be artificial increases in prices!! It is a strange world.
    Kevin has said that CPRS will be replaced by a massive program to reduce emissions. I am not sure what this means or how he intends to achieve it. However, there are plenty of ways that this could be achieved.
    Penny Wong has said that the government target of a 5% reduction on the 2000 figure is the equivalent of about a 25% reduction on the current figure. This could be achieved by something as simple as raising the MRET target to 50% or by issuing a series of contracts for the supply of clean electricity. In both these cases the increase in the average price of electricity by 2010 would be about half that under ETS or carbon taxes so it is a bit hard to support the “putting a price on carbon is cheaper” mantra.
    It is too soon to decide whether Rudd is a failure or simply a real reformer who is smart enough to realize that, post Gratton report, CPRS had become completely undefendable.

  106. John D

    Paul Kelly had the following to say about the Rudd position:

    The central issue in this week’s decision is that Rudd no longer has a viable policy. He had several options: to push ahead with his ETS; to legislate an ETS framework with a fixed and low carbon price; to resort to a carbon tax pending global progress on emissions trading. He has chosen none of these.

    This statement tells us more about Kelly’s stunning lack of imagination than Rudd’s policy failures.
    Kelly is not the only one lacking in imagination. We are watching a strange situation where Paul Kelly and the progressives are insisting that any solution to the emission problem has to be driven by “the market”. Even worse, they are claiming that to make the market do its job, the key tool has to be artificial increases in prices!! It is a strange world.
    Kevin has said that CPRS will be replaced by a massive program to reduce emissions. I am not sure what this means or how he intends to achieve it. However, there are plenty of ways that this could be achieved.
    Penny Wong has said that the government target of a 5% reduction on the 2000 figure is the equivalent of about a 25% reduction on the current figure. This could be achieved by something as simple as raising the MRET target to 50% or by issuing a series of contracts for the supply of clean electricity. In both these cases the increase in the average price of electricity by 2010 would be about half that under ETS or carbon taxes so it is a bit hard to support the “putting a price on carbon is cheaper” mantra.
    It is too soon to decide whether Rudd is a failure or simply a real reformer who is smart enough to realize that, post Gratton report, CPRS had become completely undefendable.

  107. Marks

    Anthony,

    It would help if you actually read what I wrote.

    There is almost no way that the english language can be stretched to draw your conclusions from anything that I have written.

    There are plenty of plausible reasons why the responsibility for the deaths lies elsewhere than at Garrett’s feet, and there is a Coronial process. Is that a cry for groupthink? Puhleeez.

    Jumping in to criticise the Federal Minister when there are many much likelier suspects and inquests to come, is much more likely to be the cause of more death in the industry than less. How many shonky contractors out there are being heartened by the actions of the left dumping on the Minister rather than on them?

    The Left – The Saviour of the Shonky Contractor. How odd, but there it is.

  108. Marks

    Anthony,

    It would help if you actually read what I wrote.

    There is almost no way that the english language can be stretched to draw your conclusions from anything that I have written.

    There are plenty of plausible reasons why the responsibility for the deaths lies elsewhere than at Garrett’s feet, and there is a Coronial process. Is that a cry for groupthink? Puhleeez.

    Jumping in to criticise the Federal Minister when there are many much likelier suspects and inquests to come, is much more likely to be the cause of more death in the industry than less. How many shonky contractors out there are being heartened by the actions of the left dumping on the Minister rather than on them?

    The Left – The Saviour of the Shonky Contractor. How odd, but there it is.

  109. Ken Lovell

    PatriciaWA your faith is touching. You expect then that Rudd will make his response to climate change the centrepiece of his election campaign, so he can claim a mandate for his program if he is re-elected?

    If he was at all serious with his rhetoric about the importance of climate change that is what he would do. Make the election a referendum on a clearly enunciated program. But no, he apparently doesn’t think it’s THAT important, so he’s going to defer action until at least 2013 … six years of inaction regarding the most important moral issue of his prime ministership.

    You ask us to have faith. Sorry, if I was a faith kind of guy I’d be in church right now. I believe in evidence-based politics.

    Marks I read plenty of defence of Garrett on LP along the lines you’ve suggested. Your implication that he was universally condemned by ‘the left’ is simply wrong. And if you’ve been a regular reader, you should know by now that many commenters here are not committed to the ALP and never have been. You seem to be guilty of binary “They’re against conservatives therefore they must be for Labor” thinking.

  110. Ken Lovell

    PatriciaWA your faith is touching. You expect then that Rudd will make his response to climate change the centrepiece of his election campaign, so he can claim a mandate for his program if he is re-elected?

    If he was at all serious with his rhetoric about the importance of climate change that is what he would do. Make the election a referendum on a clearly enunciated program. But no, he apparently doesn’t think it’s THAT important, so he’s going to defer action until at least 2013 … six years of inaction regarding the most important moral issue of his prime ministership.

    You ask us to have faith. Sorry, if I was a faith kind of guy I’d be in church right now. I believe in evidence-based politics.

    Marks I read plenty of defence of Garrett on LP along the lines you’ve suggested. Your implication that he was universally condemned by ‘the left’ is simply wrong. And if you’ve been a regular reader, you should know by now that many commenters here are not committed to the ALP and never have been. You seem to be guilty of binary “They’re against conservatives therefore they must be for Labor” thinking.

  111. danny

    PatWA: “Rudd didn’t throw out his ETS, the Nats and the Liberals did.” …

    And the Greens? The phrases “Locking in Failure” and “Rewarding Polluters” ring a bit of a bell.

  112. danny

    PatWA: “Rudd didn’t throw out his ETS, the Nats and the Liberals did.” …

    And the Greens? The phrases “Locking in Failure” and “Rewarding Polluters” ring a bit of a bell.

  113. mediatracker

    PatriciaWA@50 and Marks@51 have made good points. Why is it so hard to accept that not only the mainstream media have made a picnic of the issue without any full understanding of the import of not being able to get things through the Senate. The amount of personal insults aimed at the Prime Minister is not restricted to the Liberals, there has been a fair amount of it on blogs who you would assume would take the time to try to tease out the nuances of the issue as Possum has done. Instead there has been a great deal of dummy-spitting because it appears many believe that their pet issue has been relegated. Playing the man is fast becoming the substitute for depth of thought.

  114. mediatracker

    PatriciaWA@50 and Marks@51 have made good points. Why is it so hard to accept that not only the mainstream media have made a picnic of the issue without any full understanding of the import of not being able to get things through the Senate. The amount of personal insults aimed at the Prime Minister is not restricted to the Liberals, there has been a fair amount of it on blogs who you would assume would take the time to try to tease out the nuances of the issue as Possum has done. Instead there has been a great deal of dummy-spitting because it appears many believe that their pet issue has been relegated. Playing the man is fast becoming the substitute for depth of thought.

  115. danny

    More on-topic:
    It’s a sad sate of affairs when a labor premier is too scared to front the may day march. Anna will be apparently joining Beattie swanning around latin america, no doubt putting the finishing touches on her post-politics portfolio parachute plan.

    Mandy Vansty’s time in the eternal city could be up, given the risk rudd may have, against all odds, and oddities, like Abbott, delivered us a oncer labor adminsistration. A propos that risk, it’s not likely they’ll leave plum positions in tory hands as their licence to largesse is about to maybe disappear. It’s all very well for a crypto-labor administration to be clever and magnanimous across party lines when they were confident their hands would be in the till from here to forever, but when there’s a whiff of notice about to be served, it’ll be ‘getting while getting’s good’. See the Mike Kaiser career trajectory for multiple examples: when he gets a new job and pay raise, you know there’s trouble immanent for his former boss, or should I say employer, not to confuse the two.

    Anna may prefer Paris: being the fine frock and footwear afficianado she is, either Rome or Paris would be suitable. She’s not really real business/ contracting firm material, a diplomati-co/que post would be just the right speed. French contracting companies have scored some very big contracts from qld treasury, and really, the merde Anna’s had to endure for cettes companeux francois to get their desalination dollars should have some payoff for her: those semi-sovereign companies being absolutely hopeless at it, a la tugun, should strengthen her case for “you owe me, big time”. Look at gigantic feint she had to endure over Traveston, to make it look like she didn’t want to do another desal on the Sunny Coast? What an effort, and having to lose McNamara in the process. Mind you he could have been a potential threat to the whole labor cronyist project, couldn’t have that. I’ll never forget the look of abject dissapointment from people in his department saying what a good minister he was to have in their corner but alas he was going to lose his seat the nest election.

    Anna’ll get what she wants: when all’s said and done, she scored a big and important historical try for labor in securing the ‘first woman elected premier” trophy. The fact that she did it from a reputedly labor left position on the field, while really being an amanuensis for the right will just make it at least a little bit interesting for future history students**

    **I just couldn’t remember 100% how Joan “Jett” Kirner got to sit in the big chair, a quick google’s 2nd entry( after the notoriously unreliable wiki) is a document published by the impressively credentialled “National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne” and it states”

    In 1990 Joan Kirner was elected the first woman Premier for the State of Victoria.

    If any one here has any UniMelb FeminHist connections, perhaps a correction of the record would be in order. It’s not some ratbag blog where you can get away with documentation murder, y’know. What really happened og course was John Cain resigned and passed on the chalice from the palace with the pellet with the poison. Carmen of course got her gig via someone called Peter Dowding.
    Who would be Australia’s least remembered head of state?

  116. danny

    More on-topic:
    It’s a sad sate of affairs when a labor premier is too scared to front the may day march. Anna will be apparently joining Beattie swanning around latin america, no doubt putting the finishing touches on her post-politics portfolio parachute plan.

    Mandy Vansty’s time in the eternal city could be up, given the risk rudd may have, against all odds, and oddities, like Abbott, delivered us a oncer labor adminsistration. A propos that risk, it’s not likely they’ll leave plum positions in tory hands as their licence to largesse is about to maybe disappear. It’s all very well for a crypto-labor administration to be clever and magnanimous across party lines when they were confident their hands would be in the till from here to forever, but when there’s a whiff of notice about to be served, it’ll be ‘getting while getting’s good’. See the Mike Kaiser career trajectory for multiple examples: when he gets a new job and pay raise, you know there’s trouble immanent for his former boss, or should I say employer, not to confuse the two.

    Anna may prefer Paris: being the fine frock and footwear afficianado she is, either Rome or Paris would be suitable. She’s not really real business/ contracting firm material, a diplomati-co/que post would be just the right speed. French contracting companies have scored some very big contracts from qld treasury, and really, the merde Anna’s had to endure for cettes companeux francois to get their desalination dollars should have some payoff for her: those semi-sovereign companies being absolutely hopeless at it, a la tugun, should strengthen her case for “you owe me, big time”. Look at gigantic feint she had to endure over Traveston, to make it look like she didn’t want to do another desal on the Sunny Coast? What an effort, and having to lose McNamara in the process. Mind you he could have been a potential threat to the whole labor cronyist project, couldn’t have that. I’ll never forget the look of abject dissapointment from people in his department saying what a good minister he was to have in their corner but alas he was going to lose his seat the nest election.

    Anna’ll get what she wants: when all’s said and done, she scored a big and important historical try for labor in securing the ‘first woman elected premier” trophy. The fact that she did it from a reputedly labor left position on the field, while really being an amanuensis for the right will just make it at least a little bit interesting for future history students**

    **I just couldn’t remember 100% how Joan “Jett” Kirner got to sit in the big chair, a quick google’s 2nd entry( after the notoriously unreliable wiki) is a document published by the impressively credentialled “National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne” and it states”

    In 1990 Joan Kirner was elected the first woman Premier for the State of Victoria.

    If any one here has any UniMelb FeminHist connections, perhaps a correction of the record would be in order. It’s not some ratbag blog where you can get away with documentation murder, y’know. What really happened og course was John Cain resigned and passed on the chalice from the palace with the pellet with the poison. Carmen of course got her gig via someone called Peter Dowding.
    Who would be Australia’s least remembered head of state?

  117. Spana

    Saint Furious. You miss my point. I am not supporting the Liberals or workchoices. What I am saying is that unions are healthy and more effective under the Liberals because they stand up to the enemy. Under Labor we have weak union leaders who side with the ALP to get them into power. We have politicians like Gillard who will use the ALP union links to get power then abandon them and use scab labor. Same with Bligh who crushed a strike last year.

    Workers need to wake up and see that the ALP is simply an anti worker party of careerists who pretend to be pro union and then smash them once in power. I would prefer to know a Liberal government is anti union than be lied to by a bunch of Labor careerists who only care about power.

  118. Spana

    Saint Furious. You miss my point. I am not supporting the Liberals or workchoices. What I am saying is that unions are healthy and more effective under the Liberals because they stand up to the enemy. Under Labor we have weak union leaders who side with the ALP to get them into power. We have politicians like Gillard who will use the ALP union links to get power then abandon them and use scab labor. Same with Bligh who crushed a strike last year.

    Workers need to wake up and see that the ALP is simply an anti worker party of careerists who pretend to be pro union and then smash them once in power. I would prefer to know a Liberal government is anti union than be lied to by a bunch of Labor careerists who only care about power.

  119. Paul Norton

    The Rudd Government’s attempts to insulate itself against a swing to the Greens over the ETS were always going to make the sparks fly. :)

  120. Paul Norton

    The Rudd Government’s attempts to insulate itself against a swing to the Greens over the ETS were always going to make the sparks fly. :)

  121. Ken Lovell

    So mediatracker @ 57 you also expect Rudd to make his climate change program a core election issue, explaining to the electorate how the intransigent Senate has imperilled Australia? After all it’s not just the ‘pet issue’ of a few bloggers is it, as you imply? Rudd himself has described it as ‘the great moral issue of our time’.

    Or are you justifying sweeping the whole thing under the carpet until 2013 in the name of ‘nuance’, which makes the reference to great moral issues a startlingly cynical exercise even for an Australian politician, wouldn’t you say?

  122. Ken Lovell

    So mediatracker @ 57 you also expect Rudd to make his climate change program a core election issue, explaining to the electorate how the intransigent Senate has imperilled Australia? After all it’s not just the ‘pet issue’ of a few bloggers is it, as you imply? Rudd himself has described it as ‘the great moral issue of our time’.

    Or are you justifying sweeping the whole thing under the carpet until 2013 in the name of ‘nuance’, which makes the reference to great moral issues a startlingly cynical exercise even for an Australian politician, wouldn’t you say?

  123. Ken Lovell

    To elaborate: this patronising crap about how people don’t understand basic parliamentary processes and it’s all the Senate’s fault and gosh what more could poor Kevin be expected to do is pathetic. The Constitution provides a process to break deadlocks between the House and the Senate. If Rudd was serious about the importance of climate change he would have taken advantage of that process.

    Instead, he hasn’t even managed to put together a coherent program, as his own supporters unwittingly admit in their attempted defences of him. He’s tried to introduce a scheme – pretty much any scheme – in a way that wins him political advantage and when it became clear he would have to fight for it and there was an element of political risk, he dropped the whole thing and put it off for another day. He began by adopting Howard’s policy and now he’s adopted Abbott’s.

    As Mark observed in his post: ‘But something more profound is at work here; a failure of political imagination and courage.’

  124. Ken Lovell

    To elaborate: this patronising crap about how people don’t understand basic parliamentary processes and it’s all the Senate’s fault and gosh what more could poor Kevin be expected to do is pathetic. The Constitution provides a process to break deadlocks between the House and the Senate. If Rudd was serious about the importance of climate change he would have taken advantage of that process.

    Instead, he hasn’t even managed to put together a coherent program, as his own supporters unwittingly admit in their attempted defences of him. He’s tried to introduce a scheme – pretty much any scheme – in a way that wins him political advantage and when it became clear he would have to fight for it and there was an element of political risk, he dropped the whole thing and put it off for another day. He began by adopting Howard’s policy and now he’s adopted Abbott’s.

    As Mark observed in his post: ‘But something more profound is at work here; a failure of political imagination and courage.’

  125. danny

    No doubt about how the high dudgeon that gets raised in a discourse of betrayal can prove fertile ground for sprouting gems of epithet and invective: I particularly like the ‘blue collar masculinist supremacism’ formulation ( just the formulation, not the supremicism), and ‘a startlingly cynical exercise even for an Australian politician’ is an acid little drop. Patrick White lives.

  126. danny

    No doubt about how the high dudgeon that gets raised in a discourse of betrayal can prove fertile ground for sprouting gems of epithet and invective: I particularly like the ‘blue collar masculinist supremacism’ formulation ( just the formulation, not the supremicism), and ‘a startlingly cynical exercise even for an Australian politician’ is an acid little drop. Patrick White lives.

  127. Hal9000

    Ronnie@8

    Minchin, possibly the most evil person to ever inhabit the Senate.

    How soon we forget Reg Withers. Minchin is a wimp by comparison.

  128. Hal9000

    Ronnie@8

    Minchin, possibly the most evil person to ever inhabit the Senate.

    How soon we forget Reg Withers. Minchin is a wimp by comparison.

  129. anthony nolan

    marks @54: I did read your comment in its entirety but chose to selectively quote your last sentence because it is just so silly. I’m on record, splattered around various LP threads, as taking the view on the insulation project that: i) the industry is full of spivs and shonks and Garrett’s minders ought to have had that in mind when they let the money loose; ii) regulation of the industry is a state issue and some level of co-ordination between state and federal labor about how to deal safely with releasing bucket loads of dollars into an unregulated industry full of spivs is not too much to ask; iii) the wider issues is state and federal disinterest in OH+S issues which is a real weather vane signifying a lack of genuine commitment to class issues at both state and federal Labor party level; iv) the ALP is at staff level has too few people in it who are acquainted with the reality of work in any other than white collar industries which partly explains I0 through to iii).

    Spana @59: heated on the issue of Labor in office and why not? One would hardly expect “the right” to complain about Labor’s failure to honour commitments made to its traditional working class constitutency. The main thing in support of K Rudd is that he is not John Howard. Howard was a psychodynamic mass traumatiser, Rudd isn’t, and that is an improvement. In the meantime we get to maintain a critical dialogue with the ALP at the same time as noting that we were hoping for more than a view of a different bunch of pig’s arses poking up in the air while their snouts are in the trough than during the Howard years.

  130. anthony nolan

    marks @54: I did read your comment in its entirety but chose to selectively quote your last sentence because it is just so silly. I’m on record, splattered around various LP threads, as taking the view on the insulation project that: i) the industry is full of spivs and shonks and Garrett’s minders ought to have had that in mind when they let the money loose; ii) regulation of the industry is a state issue and some level of co-ordination between state and federal labor about how to deal safely with releasing bucket loads of dollars into an unregulated industry full of spivs is not too much to ask; iii) the wider issues is state and federal disinterest in OH+S issues which is a real weather vane signifying a lack of genuine commitment to class issues at both state and federal Labor party level; iv) the ALP is at staff level has too few people in it who are acquainted with the reality of work in any other than white collar industries which partly explains I0 through to iii).

    Spana @59: heated on the issue of Labor in office and why not? One would hardly expect “the right” to complain about Labor’s failure to honour commitments made to its traditional working class constitutency. The main thing in support of K Rudd is that he is not John Howard. Howard was a psychodynamic mass traumatiser, Rudd isn’t, and that is an improvement. In the meantime we get to maintain a critical dialogue with the ALP at the same time as noting that we were hoping for more than a view of a different bunch of pig’s arses poking up in the air while their snouts are in the trough than during the Howard years.

  131. Spana

    Anthony Nolan. Rudd is no improvement on Howar. He is worse because his government is a fraud. When you have a government with Rudd and Gillard threatening to use scab labour and when state Labor under Bligh is threatening to fine teachers who take industrial action then the ALP has sunk to levels lower than Howard. Let’s be clear. The ALP has taken away the right to strike and is threatening unionists with fines. They have crushed unions and banned striking and will wield their power ruthlessly. This did not happen under Howard.

  132. Spana

    Anthony Nolan. Rudd is no improvement on Howar. He is worse because his government is a fraud. When you have a government with Rudd and Gillard threatening to use scab labour and when state Labor under Bligh is threatening to fine teachers who take industrial action then the ALP has sunk to levels lower than Howard. Let’s be clear. The ALP has taken away the right to strike and is threatening unionists with fines. They have crushed unions and banned striking and will wield their power ruthlessly. This did not happen under Howard.

  133. Colin Campbell

    Great discussion, but I believe that Ruddco will get another go mainly because so many people are thankful for the stability in the economy. Yes there are some unpleasant aspects, but many people still have their jobs and their houses, where under another scenario, the economy may have tanked.

    Even if Labor loses first preference votes to the Greens, it is hard to see people who believe that the ETS is important voting for the coalition.

  134. Colin Campbell

    Great discussion, but I believe that Ruddco will get another go mainly because so many people are thankful for the stability in the economy. Yes there are some unpleasant aspects, but many people still have their jobs and their houses, where under another scenario, the economy may have tanked.

    Even if Labor loses first preference votes to the Greens, it is hard to see people who believe that the ETS is important voting for the coalition.

  135. Ken Lovell

    ‘They have crushed unions and banned striking and will wield their power ruthlessly. This did not happen under Howard.’

    Spana have you been drinking? I mean rhetorical flourishes are all well and good but ‘crushed unions’? ‘Banned striking’? That is just hysterical nonsense.

    Ask the MUA how they would compare the two administrations. When Rudd’s mob is revealed as having helped a bunch of strikebreakers learn how to teach in Dubai, some of them serving ADF members, then you can claim with some semblance of rationality that it’s as bad as Howard, Reith and company. As of now your wild claims are embarrassing, to be frank.

  136. Ken Lovell

    ‘They have crushed unions and banned striking and will wield their power ruthlessly. This did not happen under Howard.’

    Spana have you been drinking? I mean rhetorical flourishes are all well and good but ‘crushed unions’? ‘Banned striking’? That is just hysterical nonsense.

    Ask the MUA how they would compare the two administrations. When Rudd’s mob is revealed as having helped a bunch of strikebreakers learn how to teach in Dubai, some of them serving ADF members, then you can claim with some semblance of rationality that it’s as bad as Howard, Reith and company. As of now your wild claims are embarrassing, to be frank.

  137. Spana

    Ken, I am under threat of $4000 fines if I participate in work bans over Naplan testing. This is a result of Anna Bligh and the ALP. They took us to the industrial relations commission. Julia Gillard and her ALP state counterparts are organising scab labour. They have put out calls to unemployed teachers and have even appealed to backpackers to break this work ban. I fail to see how this is any different from Howard. The difference I guess is that Gillard and Bligh used the unions to get elected and now seek to crush them. What is the point of a union if all industrial action is banned. At least Howard never pretended he was a friend of the unions. Any ALP member or unionist who supports a government that does this to unionists is a scab.

  138. Spana

    Ken, I am under threat of $4000 fines if I participate in work bans over Naplan testing. This is a result of Anna Bligh and the ALP. They took us to the industrial relations commission. Julia Gillard and her ALP state counterparts are organising scab labour. They have put out calls to unemployed teachers and have even appealed to backpackers to break this work ban. I fail to see how this is any different from Howard. The difference I guess is that Gillard and Bligh used the unions to get elected and now seek to crush them. What is the point of a union if all industrial action is banned. At least Howard never pretended he was a friend of the unions. Any ALP member or unionist who supports a government that does this to unionists is a scab.

  139. Wood Duck

    Following on from Spana’s latest comments, let’s watch what happens when Ark Tribe is dragged back into court again from refusing to be interviewed by Gillard’s ABCC. As things stand at the moment, Ark is facing six month’s in gaol for not toeing the line.

  140. Wood Duck

    Following on from Spana’s latest comments, let’s watch what happens when Ark Tribe is dragged back into court again from refusing to be interviewed by Gillard’s ABCC. As things stand at the moment, Ark is facing six month’s in gaol for not toeing the line.

  141. jane

    How could real reform possibly be implemented with Steve Fielding (the man recently described as being stupider than an earthworm)

    Bit rough on earthworms, Ronnie @8.

    Thanks for the link, Terry @40. Exactly what I’ve been thinking about all the current hysterical crapola about DDs being touted left and right.

    The election will be done and dusted ever before a DD. Then, with a hopefully more favourable Senate composition, Rudd should be able to introduce climate change legislation which will have at least a snowball’s chance of bring passed and implemented.

    I personally don’t think that seeing the government beating its head against a brick wall for the rest of this term is sensible or productive.

    Patricia WA @50, it’s the feeling I’ve had, too. I have never thought that Rudd has abandoned the ETS, he’s just waiting for a more favourable Senate composition to reintroduce it, hopefully with more Greens input.

    Marks @51, good points. I have a feeling the coroner’s report may shut the opposition and the meeja up on the insulation program, although I’m sure they’ll be hunting as hard as they can for some way to spin it negatively.

    Ken, I don’t think Rudd will be silly enough to make the ETS a cornerstone of this election’s campaign. Why give Smuggles any free kicks?

  142. jane

    How could real reform possibly be implemented with Steve Fielding (the man recently described as being stupider than an earthworm)

    Bit rough on earthworms, Ronnie @8.

    Thanks for the link, Terry @40. Exactly what I’ve been thinking about all the current hysterical crapola about DDs being touted left and right.

    The election will be done and dusted ever before a DD. Then, with a hopefully more favourable Senate composition, Rudd should be able to introduce climate change legislation which will have at least a snowball’s chance of bring passed and implemented.

    I personally don’t think that seeing the government beating its head against a brick wall for the rest of this term is sensible or productive.

    Patricia WA @50, it’s the feeling I’ve had, too. I have never thought that Rudd has abandoned the ETS, he’s just waiting for a more favourable Senate composition to reintroduce it, hopefully with more Greens input.

    Marks @51, good points. I have a feeling the coroner’s report may shut the opposition and the meeja up on the insulation program, although I’m sure they’ll be hunting as hard as they can for some way to spin it negatively.

    Ken, I don’t think Rudd will be silly enough to make the ETS a cornerstone of this election’s campaign. Why give Smuggles any free kicks?

  143. Rococo Liberal

    ‘the wreckage John Howard inflicted on all of us’

    What would that be: great economic indicators? Fewer stupid left wing restrictions on freedom than any other country in the West? Pride in our country? Better conditions fro the lower classes than Labor ever did? Better opportunities for all?

  144. Rococo Liberal

    ‘the wreckage John Howard inflicted on all of us’

    What would that be: great economic indicators? Fewer stupid left wing restrictions on freedom than any other country in the West? Pride in our country? Better conditions fro the lower classes than Labor ever did? Better opportunities for all?

  145. dave

    Mark, I’m appalled that Rudd and Labor should even be mentioned in the context of May Day. In terms of big P politics the only tenable position vis-a-vis Rudd and re-election is that his opponents still look very much like a rabble, especially with Turnbull changing his mind.

    The Rudd government has been reform adverse since day one. Rudd is supported by a bunch of cowards with no courage to challenge, preferring instead the lurks and perks of office over any position of principle. A sizeable amount of political capital and popular support for change has been utterly wasted by this mob and they should be indicted for crimes against the left. Instead I suspect more than a few of them will end up with cushy retirement jobs courtesy of their new found friends and the long suffering tax payer.

    There’s a pretty good argument that Labor since early Hawke has pretty much lost the plot in terms of progressive change. Compared with the reform agenda of Whitlam they all look like pretenders.

  146. dave

    Mark, I’m appalled that Rudd and Labor should even be mentioned in the context of May Day. In terms of big P politics the only tenable position vis-a-vis Rudd and re-election is that his opponents still look very much like a rabble, especially with Turnbull changing his mind.

    The Rudd government has been reform adverse since day one. Rudd is supported by a bunch of cowards with no courage to challenge, preferring instead the lurks and perks of office over any position of principle. A sizeable amount of political capital and popular support for change has been utterly wasted by this mob and they should be indicted for crimes against the left. Instead I suspect more than a few of them will end up with cushy retirement jobs courtesy of their new found friends and the long suffering tax payer.

    There’s a pretty good argument that Labor since early Hawke has pretty much lost the plot in terms of progressive change. Compared with the reform agenda of Whitlam they all look like pretenders.

  147. robbo

    Disgusted?Disappointed? You betcha. Surprised? Not really, Rudd has always come across as the type that would take whatever was the most politically expedient position on any number of things and on that basis I for the life of me cannot actually see him as a great deal better than the lying conniving rodent.

    But he may yet have his sorry arse saved come election time by the repulsion that many would feel at the prospect of Abbot as PM.

  148. robbo

    Disgusted?Disappointed? You betcha. Surprised? Not really, Rudd has always come across as the type that would take whatever was the most politically expedient position on any number of things and on that basis I for the life of me cannot actually see him as a great deal better than the lying conniving rodent.

    But he may yet have his sorry arse saved come election time by the repulsion that many would feel at the prospect of Abbot as PM.

  149. Spana

    Labor Day today. I marched. Disgraceful as usual to see the politicians there but great to hear the heckling. It was disgusting to hear Sharran Burrows claiming that the campaign to re-elect Rudd began today at Labour day. Yeah right. Was the head of the ACTU really supporting a government that advocates scab labour??

    Rudd and Burrows were appalling in their speeches. Whenever things got tough they turned to workchoices scare tactics. It was fantastic to hear Rudd get a bit of heckling and Lucas drowned out. I still dream of the day when the union movement has enough long term focus to abandon Labor and kick them out if necessary. Perhaps then the ALP might realise it should actually stand for something.

  150. Spana

    Labor Day today. I marched. Disgraceful as usual to see the politicians there but great to hear the heckling. It was disgusting to hear Sharran Burrows claiming that the campaign to re-elect Rudd began today at Labour day. Yeah right. Was the head of the ACTU really supporting a government that advocates scab labour??

    Rudd and Burrows were appalling in their speeches. Whenever things got tough they turned to workchoices scare tactics. It was fantastic to hear Rudd get a bit of heckling and Lucas drowned out. I still dream of the day when the union movement has enough long term focus to abandon Labor and kick them out if necessary. Perhaps then the ALP might realise it should actually stand for something.

  151. sg

    I can’t understand this. It’s been – what – 2 years since Howard was voted out and already people are reciting this ridiculous mantra of “the other lot are just as bad.”

    Have you guys learnt nothing since 1996?

  152. sg

    I can’t understand this. It’s been – what – 2 years since Howard was voted out and already people are reciting this ridiculous mantra of “the other lot are just as bad.”

    Have you guys learnt nothing since 1996?

  153. Spana

    sg. Look at two simple facts
    1. Queensland teachers who implement workbans in suppport of their union are facing threats of $4000 fines.
    2. Gillard is threatening to use scab labour to break these work bans.

    This is anti union right wing stuff.

    The ALP is a disgrace.

  154. Spana

    sg. Look at two simple facts
    1. Queensland teachers who implement workbans in suppport of their union are facing threats of $4000 fines.
    2. Gillard is threatening to use scab labour to break these work bans.

    This is anti union right wing stuff.

    The ALP is a disgrace.

  155. sg

    Yeah, so let’s vote in Tony Abbott. He’d never send balaclava-clad thugs to…

    oh, nevermind.

  156. sg

    Yeah, so let’s vote in Tony Abbott. He’d never send balaclava-clad thugs to…

    oh, nevermind.

  157. Sam

    “What is the point of a union if all industrial action is banned?”

    This is factually false. Not all industrial action is banned.

    Some historical perspective is needed here. The Labor Party’s relationships with the union movement when in government have been difficult every time it has been in government. Chifley took on the striking miners; Hawke took on (and completely destroyed) the striking pilots; Whitlam was continually at war with the unions; and in a special Queensland case just for Spana, Premier Ned Hanlon sent in the coppers to beat up striking rail workers in 1948.

  158. Sam

    “What is the point of a union if all industrial action is banned?”

    This is factually false. Not all industrial action is banned.

    Some historical perspective is needed here. The Labor Party’s relationships with the union movement when in government have been difficult every time it has been in government. Chifley took on the striking miners; Hawke took on (and completely destroyed) the striking pilots; Whitlam was continually at war with the unions; and in a special Queensland case just for Spana, Premier Ned Hanlon sent in the coppers to beat up striking rail workers in 1948.

  159. Spana

    sg. My point is this. The ALP uses unions and then abandons them and adopts right wing tactics when in power. Rudd had no problem using members of the teachers union in the Your rights at work campaign to help him get elected. Now, him and Gillard via their state government premiers are threatening teachers to do what they are told, including threats of thousands of dollars of fines. After all, how dare anyone interffere with Ms Gillard’s quest to be PM.

    If unions accept that their purpose is to be used by ALP careerists then we will never achieve much. Unions need to be prepared to see the ALP in opposition in order to show them that we will not be used. We need to have a long term view. If the ALP is going to behave like Liberals then let’s kick them out too. Teach them that we will not be taken for granted. It may be hard in the short term to see the Liberals in power but it will send a clear message to the ALP not to crush our rights.

    I find it infuriating that on Labour day when teachers are facing fines, Labor governments using scab labour and selling off assets that we hear leader going on and on about workchoices and Abbott. The threats to workers are here and now under the right wing Rudd government. Rudd, Gillard and Bligh are both no better than Liberals.

    I strongly believe all unions should cut all ties to the ALP.

  160. Spana

    sg. My point is this. The ALP uses unions and then abandons them and adopts right wing tactics when in power. Rudd had no problem using members of the teachers union in the Your rights at work campaign to help him get elected. Now, him and Gillard via their state government premiers are threatening teachers to do what they are told, including threats of thousands of dollars of fines. After all, how dare anyone interffere with Ms Gillard’s quest to be PM.

    If unions accept that their purpose is to be used by ALP careerists then we will never achieve much. Unions need to be prepared to see the ALP in opposition in order to show them that we will not be used. We need to have a long term view. If the ALP is going to behave like Liberals then let’s kick them out too. Teach them that we will not be taken for granted. It may be hard in the short term to see the Liberals in power but it will send a clear message to the ALP not to crush our rights.

    I find it infuriating that on Labour day when teachers are facing fines, Labor governments using scab labour and selling off assets that we hear leader going on and on about workchoices and Abbott. The threats to workers are here and now under the right wing Rudd government. Rudd, Gillard and Bligh are both no better than Liberals.

    I strongly believe all unions should cut all ties to the ALP.

  161. sg

    Rudd, Gillard and Bligh are both no better than Liberals.

    So you really haven’t learnt anything since 1996.

    The ALP is trapped in a climate that is much more rightwing and much less respectful of mass action than in the early 1990s or late 80s. I think that the left has to accept some responsibility for that, in that we failed to prevent a general rightward drift in the cultural and political landscape. I think this is because, as has been observed here, significant sections of our strong political movements, particularly the unions and the socialist parties, have failed to adapt to the atomisation of modern society, the victory of neo-liberalism (even if it was short term), the changing industrial landscape and, for large parts of those movements, the eruption of green and personal politics.

    It’s all very well to bleat about Rudd and co being “just like the liberals,” but they have to govern the whole country, not just the LP commentariat, and large parts of the country have got significantly different views to ours. If we want the ALP to live up to a political culture that suits us but no longer appeals to the majority of Australians, then we have to ask whether we’re at least slightly responsible for that culture’s unpopularity.

  162. sg

    Rudd, Gillard and Bligh are both no better than Liberals.

    So you really haven’t learnt anything since 1996.

    The ALP is trapped in a climate that is much more rightwing and much less respectful of mass action than in the early 1990s or late 80s. I think that the left has to accept some responsibility for that, in that we failed to prevent a general rightward drift in the cultural and political landscape. I think this is because, as has been observed here, significant sections of our strong political movements, particularly the unions and the socialist parties, have failed to adapt to the atomisation of modern society, the victory of neo-liberalism (even if it was short term), the changing industrial landscape and, for large parts of those movements, the eruption of green and personal politics.

    It’s all very well to bleat about Rudd and co being “just like the liberals,” but they have to govern the whole country, not just the LP commentariat, and large parts of the country have got significantly different views to ours. If we want the ALP to live up to a political culture that suits us but no longer appeals to the majority of Australians, then we have to ask whether we’re at least slightly responsible for that culture’s unpopularity.

  163. Sam

    The mantra that Labor is no better than the Liberals has been around since at least Whitlam, as a perusal of commentary at the time will attest. The 1975 Budget, delivered by Treasurer Bill Hayden, was seen as a horrible sell out. Then there was Whitlam giving Soeharto a nod and a wink to invade East Timor, etc etc etc. Now Whitlam is seen as the exemplar of a “true” Labor Prime Minister.

    Likewise there is now great affection for Hawke amongst progressives. Well, there wasn’t at the time, when he gave us financial deregulation, university fees, the fiscal policy “trilogy”, the three uranium mines policy, foreign policy support for the Reagan Administration etc etc etc.

    Each Labor Prime Minister is fated to be contemporaneously judged a traitor to the working class and to true Labor values, especially in comparison to his predecessors, who paradoxically were given the same judgments when they were PM.

    The Liberals, in contrast, love their PMs when they are in power. It’s only afterwards that they judge them to be rotten bastards who achieved nothing and made things worse, from the Liberal viewpoint.

  164. Sam

    The mantra that Labor is no better than the Liberals has been around since at least Whitlam, as a perusal of commentary at the time will attest. The 1975 Budget, delivered by Treasurer Bill Hayden, was seen as a horrible sell out. Then there was Whitlam giving Soeharto a nod and a wink to invade East Timor, etc etc etc. Now Whitlam is seen as the exemplar of a “true” Labor Prime Minister.

    Likewise there is now great affection for Hawke amongst progressives. Well, there wasn’t at the time, when he gave us financial deregulation, university fees, the fiscal policy “trilogy”, the three uranium mines policy, foreign policy support for the Reagan Administration etc etc etc.

    Each Labor Prime Minister is fated to be contemporaneously judged a traitor to the working class and to true Labor values, especially in comparison to his predecessors, who paradoxically were given the same judgments when they were PM.

    The Liberals, in contrast, love their PMs when they are in power. It’s only afterwards that they judge them to be rotten bastards who achieved nothing and made things worse, from the Liberal viewpoint.

  165. Spana

    sg. Sorry to go on about the teachers’ dispute but the ALP had two clear choices. No culture or no-one else made them do it.
    1. Should we use scab labour? They said yes. They could have negotiated instead.
    2. Should we take teachers to the Industrial relations commission to outlaw their work bans and where they will be threatened with fines. Again, they said yes. They did not have to take us there? There was no public pressure to do so nor is their demands to fine teachers. They made a choice to push the issue in an attempt to push through a right wing approach to education based on test scores. The made this choice alone.

    Scab labour and fining union members are disgusting behaviour. No excuses. Some principles are non negotiable.

  166. Spana

    sg. Sorry to go on about the teachers’ dispute but the ALP had two clear choices. No culture or no-one else made them do it.
    1. Should we use scab labour? They said yes. They could have negotiated instead.
    2. Should we take teachers to the Industrial relations commission to outlaw their work bans and where they will be threatened with fines. Again, they said yes. They did not have to take us there? There was no public pressure to do so nor is their demands to fine teachers. They made a choice to push the issue in an attempt to push through a right wing approach to education based on test scores. The made this choice alone.

    Scab labour and fining union members are disgusting behaviour. No excuses. Some principles are non negotiable.

  167. Spana

    Sam, just out of interest it was Labor’s betrayal of the East Timorese and the training of Indonesian troops in the 1990s that made me quit the ALP. In my opinion the ALP had become complicit in gross human rights abuses and attrocities. Truly evil.

  168. Spana

    Sam, just out of interest it was Labor’s betrayal of the East Timorese and the training of Indonesian troops in the 1990s that made me quit the ALP. In my opinion the ALP had become complicit in gross human rights abuses and attrocities. Truly evil.

  169. Sam

    “Have you guys learnt nothing since 1996?”

    Memories are short. When it comes to remembering past Liberal governments, there is a kind of collective Alzheimer’s in some parts of the Left. Anyone who thinks the present Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, for all her sins, is no better than, say, Kevin Andrews, has been sucking on the pipe for far too long.

  170. Sam

    “Have you guys learnt nothing since 1996?”

    Memories are short. When it comes to remembering past Liberal governments, there is a kind of collective Alzheimer’s in some parts of the Left. Anyone who thinks the present Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, for all her sins, is no better than, say, Kevin Andrews, has been sucking on the pipe for far too long.

  171. Spana

    Sam. Gillard supports scab labour. Does anything else need to be said? Scab labour! The reason Gillard is just as bad is that she is a fraud. She trades on being part of the labour movement then once elected turns around and tries to intimidate unions and employ scabs.

    Gillard is prepared to remove democratic rights in order to ram through an ideological agenda. Sound like the Liberals? I don’t care if someone says they are Labor, Liberal or communist. If they use scab labour, intimidate unionists and attack unions they are no friend of workers.

  172. Spana

    Sam. Gillard supports scab labour. Does anything else need to be said? Scab labour! The reason Gillard is just as bad is that she is a fraud. She trades on being part of the labour movement then once elected turns around and tries to intimidate unions and employ scabs.

    Gillard is prepared to remove democratic rights in order to ram through an ideological agenda. Sound like the Liberals? I don’t care if someone says they are Labor, Liberal or communist. If they use scab labour, intimidate unionists and attack unions they are no friend of workers.

  173. Ambigulous

    In the M’aidez! March in Brisbane, a bespectacled gent chanted:

    “The Workers
    United
    Must get me
    Re-elected!”

    And you know something? He really meant it. Yes indeedy.

  174. Ambigulous

    In the M’aidez! March in Brisbane, a bespectacled gent chanted:

    “The Workers
    United
    Must get me
    Re-elected!”

    And you know something? He really meant it. Yes indeedy.

  175. Sam

    There is a key difference, Spana, which you seem
    unable to grasp. When Reith conspired with Corrigan to sack the waterside workers and replace them with mercenaries, he wanted to stop the workers from earning a living, by firing them in the dead of night, without any notice, termination rights or payment.

    What Gillard wants the teachers to do is their job, part of which is administering these tests. It’s not her fault teachers have taken it upon themselves to set education policy and not administer the tests. Gillard and Bligh and whoever else are perfectly entitled to implement their education policy, by hiring scabs if necessary. Unlike the wharfies, this situation is entirely one of your making. If you don’t want to see scabs in your classroom, the choice is yours. Administer the bloody tests!

  176. Sam

    There is a key difference, Spana, which you seem
    unable to grasp. When Reith conspired with Corrigan to sack the waterside workers and replace them with mercenaries, he wanted to stop the workers from earning a living, by firing them in the dead of night, without any notice, termination rights or payment.

    What Gillard wants the teachers to do is their job, part of which is administering these tests. It’s not her fault teachers have taken it upon themselves to set education policy and not administer the tests. Gillard and Bligh and whoever else are perfectly entitled to implement their education policy, by hiring scabs if necessary. Unlike the wharfies, this situation is entirely one of your making. If you don’t want to see scabs in your classroom, the choice is yours. Administer the bloody tests!

  177. Spana

    Sam. Good to see you adopt the “do as you’re told like a good worker” attitude. And let’s just forget worker input into their job and workplace. Just let the bosses decide. No way. You are basically taking a right wing line. All power to the bosses. Workers do as you are told and be thankful you have a job. Once again. No way!

    You bring up Bligh. May I also remind you of Bligh’s union busting tactics last year where she removed teachers’ right to strike. The union gave notice of the strike (over pay) as required and she forced us into the commission and took away the most democratic right – the right to strike. This was shameful. So do you think we should just lie down and roll over and say okay, we accept poor pay and we will let the bosses run the show? Perhaps you should rethink what you are actually saying. You may not agree with us not doing the tests but do you then support us being intimidated with fines and Gillard using scab labour? Our right to take action should still be there.

  178. Spana

    Sam. Good to see you adopt the “do as you’re told like a good worker” attitude. And let’s just forget worker input into their job and workplace. Just let the bosses decide. No way. You are basically taking a right wing line. All power to the bosses. Workers do as you are told and be thankful you have a job. Once again. No way!

    You bring up Bligh. May I also remind you of Bligh’s union busting tactics last year where she removed teachers’ right to strike. The union gave notice of the strike (over pay) as required and she forced us into the commission and took away the most democratic right – the right to strike. This was shameful. So do you think we should just lie down and roll over and say okay, we accept poor pay and we will let the bosses run the show? Perhaps you should rethink what you are actually saying. You may not agree with us not doing the tests but do you then support us being intimidated with fines and Gillard using scab labour? Our right to take action should still be there.

  179. Nick Gye

    Find myself mainly in agreement with Michael Kroger (Lateline last Friday), aye carumba- that’s a 1st. And Peter Van O in the Weekend OZ. If the ALP loses, which has to be a real possibility, it’ll be down to Kevin.

  180. Nick Gye

    Find myself mainly in agreement with Michael Kroger (Lateline last Friday), aye carumba- that’s a 1st. And Peter Van O in the Weekend OZ. If the ALP loses, which has to be a real possibility, it’ll be down to Kevin.

  181. Mark

    Update: My thoughts on Brisbane Labour Day 2010, and John Quiggin‘s reflections on May Day.

  182. Mark

    Update: My thoughts on Brisbane Labour Day 2010, and John Quiggin‘s reflections on May Day.

  183. potty_mind

    Sam, it’s a nonsense to say you have a choice and then prescribe what to choose. A choice is between doing one thing or another…

  184. potty_mind

    Sam, it’s a nonsense to say you have a choice and then prescribe what to choose. A choice is between doing one thing or another…

  185. Sam

    Potty, actions have consequences. If the teachers choose to strike over this issue, they’ve got to face the consequences. Unlike the wharfies, who were sacked and had their livelihood removed, the teachers can choose not to strike and so face no consequences.

    Spana, I take the view that sometimes when the bosses and the workers have a blue, the workers are in the wrong. This is one of those times. I support the use of scabs on this occasion. If you strike, I don’t think you should be fined, but you should have your pay docked. I fully support the right of teachers to strike, in fact I wish some of them would strike permanently.

  186. Sam

    Potty, actions have consequences. If the teachers choose to strike over this issue, they’ve got to face the consequences. Unlike the wharfies, who were sacked and had their livelihood removed, the teachers can choose not to strike and so face no consequences.

    Spana, I take the view that sometimes when the bosses and the workers have a blue, the workers are in the wrong. This is one of those times. I support the use of scabs on this occasion. If you strike, I don’t think you should be fined, but you should have your pay docked. I fully support the right of teachers to strike, in fact I wish some of them would strike permanently.

  187. Ken Lovell

    Spana out of interest, where do you get nonsense like the right to strike is ‘the most democratic right’? Do you actually understand what democracy means? Honestly, your wild rants and sloganising on this thread (and others) are manna from Heaven to anyone who wants examples of the allegedly mindless left wing ideology of teachers.

  188. Ken Lovell

    Spana out of interest, where do you get nonsense like the right to strike is ‘the most democratic right’? Do you actually understand what democracy means? Honestly, your wild rants and sloganising on this thread (and others) are manna from Heaven to anyone who wants examples of the allegedly mindless left wing ideology of teachers.

  189. Chris

    And it should not be a right to strike for whatever reason a group of employees feels like without any consequence at all. I think the problems with NAPLAN tests and how the data is used is something that the government should be listening to the teachers about. But I don’t think its something the teachers should have a right to strike over without consequence when they don’t get their way (unlike say workplace safety issues). If they really hate the policy that much there are other ways of achieving it – get a job involved in forming the future policy or get people who support their views elected into government.

  190. Chris

    And it should not be a right to strike for whatever reason a group of employees feels like without any consequence at all. I think the problems with NAPLAN tests and how the data is used is something that the government should be listening to the teachers about. But I don’t think its something the teachers should have a right to strike over without consequence when they don’t get their way (unlike say workplace safety issues). If they really hate the policy that much there are other ways of achieving it – get a job involved in forming the future policy or get people who support their views elected into government.

  191. anthony nolan

    Chris and Sam – you might want to look up Clarrie O’Shea in order to understand what happens when the right to strike is attacked as a fundamental right of industrial democracy.

  192. anthony nolan

    Chris and Sam – you might want to look up Clarrie O’Shea in order to understand what happens when the right to strike is attacked as a fundamental right of industrial democracy.

  193. Chris

    anthony @ 96 – you really think there is going to be a general strike if the teachers union gets fined for not complying with the industrial relations orders? In an election year? That would be a gift for the liberal party.

  194. Chris

    anthony @ 96 – you really think there is going to be a general strike if the teachers union gets fined for not complying with the industrial relations orders? In an election year? That would be a gift for the liberal party.

  195. Sam

    Anthony, let’s get our history right. O’Shea was jailed for not paying fines accumulated by his tramways union in campaigns for better pay and conditions, not industrial democracy.

    I actually kind of miss the good ‘ole days when we had petrol strikes, public transport strikes, brewery strikes (always just before Christmas), postal strikes, lightning strikes, bowling strikes, lucky strikes, teachers strikes, student strikes, pilot strikes, you name it strikes. A lot of it was counter productive, but it was edgy and exciting. But nowadays, not even the most militant union is as militant as O’Shea’s, but he was a Maoist, and they aren’t many of them left.

    Anyway, the idea that teachers are striking on this occasion as part of the struggle for industrial democracy is, unfortunately, a joke. They are striking because they want a torch shone on their job performance. Best to keep a lid of these things so nobody asks any awkward questions.

  196. Sam

    Anthony, let’s get our history right. O’Shea was jailed for not paying fines accumulated by his tramways union in campaigns for better pay and conditions, not industrial democracy.

    I actually kind of miss the good ‘ole days when we had petrol strikes, public transport strikes, brewery strikes (always just before Christmas), postal strikes, lightning strikes, bowling strikes, lucky strikes, teachers strikes, student strikes, pilot strikes, you name it strikes. A lot of it was counter productive, but it was edgy and exciting. But nowadays, not even the most militant union is as militant as O’Shea’s, but he was a Maoist, and they aren’t many of them left.

    Anyway, the idea that teachers are striking on this occasion as part of the struggle for industrial democracy is, unfortunately, a joke. They are striking because they want a torch shone on their job performance. Best to keep a lid of these things so nobody asks any awkward questions.

  197. Spana

    Sam, firstly we are not striking. We are turning up to work but refusing to touch the test papers. We believe it is dishonest to use the results of what is basically a different diagnostic test to rank entire schools. It is like saying lets rank a dentist by the number of fillings he or she does and if they have a lot of fillings to do then mark them as failures.

    We are working a normal school day. It is a moratorium not a strike. Secondly, I am fine with being docked pay. I was docked a day’s pay last year when we went on strike and the year before was docked one hour for a stop work. However, the ALP threatening teachers with $4000 fines for taking part in work bans is right wing stuff. I will be putting the ALP last on my ballot and know many teachers who have voted ALP for years who have had enough of these attacks.

    Lastly Sam, teachers are on of the most scrutinised professions around. Every parent has access to the classroom and many turn up any afternoon. We are monitored by supervisors and principals. We have no issue with that. We have an issue with labelling schools with poor kids, kids with high refugee numbers and kids from mixed up backgrounds as failures.

  198. Spana

    Sam, firstly we are not striking. We are turning up to work but refusing to touch the test papers. We believe it is dishonest to use the results of what is basically a different diagnostic test to rank entire schools. It is like saying lets rank a dentist by the number of fillings he or she does and if they have a lot of fillings to do then mark them as failures.

    We are working a normal school day. It is a moratorium not a strike. Secondly, I am fine with being docked pay. I was docked a day’s pay last year when we went on strike and the year before was docked one hour for a stop work. However, the ALP threatening teachers with $4000 fines for taking part in work bans is right wing stuff. I will be putting the ALP last on my ballot and know many teachers who have voted ALP for years who have had enough of these attacks.

    Lastly Sam, teachers are on of the most scrutinised professions around. Every parent has access to the classroom and many turn up any afternoon. We are monitored by supervisors and principals. We have no issue with that. We have an issue with labelling schools with poor kids, kids with high refugee numbers and kids from mixed up backgrounds as failures.

  199. Spana

    Ken. Isn’t the right to withdraw one’s labour critical to democracy? I am not arguing about being docked pay. I am saying A Labor government like Bligh’s that removes the right to strike is a government of right wingers. Bligh has sold out and is no better than Peter Reith.

  200. Spana

    Ken. Isn’t the right to withdraw one’s labour critical to democracy? I am not arguing about being docked pay. I am saying A Labor government like Bligh’s that removes the right to strike is a government of right wingers. Bligh has sold out and is no better than Peter Reith.

  201. tigtog

    Lastly Sam, teachers are on of the most scrutinised professions around. Every parent has access to the classroom and many turn up any afternoon. We are monitored by supervisors and principals. We have no issue with that. We have an issue with labelling schools with poor kids, kids with high refugee numbers and kids from mixed up backgrounds as failures.

    There’s many (many!) other issues where Spana and I disagree, but I’m right behind hir on this one. The school league table rankings based on standardised tests are a woefully misconceived idea – they will be misused in predictable ways and are most unlikely to fairly reflect either the achievements or the needs of under-resourced schools.

  202. tigtog

    Lastly Sam, teachers are on of the most scrutinised professions around. Every parent has access to the classroom and many turn up any afternoon. We are monitored by supervisors and principals. We have no issue with that. We have an issue with labelling schools with poor kids, kids with high refugee numbers and kids from mixed up backgrounds as failures.

    There’s many (many!) other issues where Spana and I disagree, but I’m right behind hir on this one. The school league table rankings based on standardised tests are a woefully misconceived idea – they will be misused in predictable ways and are most unlikely to fairly reflect either the achievements or the needs of under-resourced schools.

  203. Marks

    Spana,

    I think you have to admit that what you and I might have understood as being ‘of the left’ when we were growing up is totally different to how it is understood today.

    Whether or not such things are right or wrong is another matter.

    It’s a bit like the use of the word ‘gay’ – forty years ago it meant one thing, now it means something else.

    The word is the same, the meaning is not.

    As the meaning of the word ‘left’ has changed, so has the ALP.

    I would surmise that Menzies would probably try to preselect for the ALP if he were to enter politics today – I don’t think he would see much familiar in the Libs. Poor Ming, if he saw what a horror the Liberals are, he would be revolving in his grave.

  204. Marks

    Spana,

    I think you have to admit that what you and I might have understood as being ‘of the left’ when we were growing up is totally different to how it is understood today.

    Whether or not such things are right or wrong is another matter.

    It’s a bit like the use of the word ‘gay’ – forty years ago it meant one thing, now it means something else.

    The word is the same, the meaning is not.

    As the meaning of the word ‘left’ has changed, so has the ALP.

    I would surmise that Menzies would probably try to preselect for the ALP if he were to enter politics today – I don’t think he would see much familiar in the Libs. Poor Ming, if he saw what a horror the Liberals are, he would be revolving in his grave.

  205. Nickws

    Sam @ 85:
    Memories are short. When it comes to remembering past Liberal governments, there is a kind of collective Alzheimer’s in some parts of the Left

    Bloody hell, when it comes to certain sections of the Left there is no such thing as a positive memory of any past Labor government.

    I’ve been reading a lot of British Labour supporters online wistfully looking back at the great achievements of that party in creating and sustaining the modern UK welfare state over more than half a century. A lot of this is being done as part of a teary-eyed pre-wake, to be sure, but there is genuine sentiment there.

    When was the last time you heard any self-described militant Leftwinger in this country say that either Chifley or Whitlam were the height of the Australian Labor Movement’s (let alone this so-called ‘Left’s') practical accomplishments? And since when the hell did East Timor become the be all and end all of ’72 through ’75?

    There is a serious disconnect at work here with the avowed radicals, and I think there always has been a disconnect between what that kind of person believes and what the vast majority of ordinary ‘Labor Party enthusiasts’ (as one non-militant historian calls them) see. The fact that these militants (whether Marxist or not) are so utterly obsessed with the loss of structural power for the working class of old, whilst they blindly ignore the enduring public policy inititaves that have helped shield that group and its descendents from the worst effects of the end of those structures—why, that’s not labourism, that’s not democratic Leftism. That’s just an updated version of the anti-parliamentary fantasies that were allowed to flourish in the union movement at the mid century of the Australian settlement, with a dose of ‘we don’t make anything here’ populism thrown into the mix.

    Our radical Left class warriors are nothing but freakin’ leftovers from ‘The Lucky Country’. That’s why they have no clue about the importance of socially responsive government programmes. They’re really industrial relations club nostalgics, uninterested in the little things like public housing and subsidised dental care (though, for what I suspect are purely tactical reasons, they at least pay lip service to multiculturalism and the various ‘rights’ agendas).

    I think Mark Bahnisch does a good job in trying to synthesise a tribal and intellectual Leftwing response to Hawke/Keating, but I fear his positive attitude to that government doesn’t really extend to promoting any other ALP parliamentary legacy. I mean, every Labor state government has surrendered to big business? Really? To me that sounds like an exercise is delegitimisation, not constructive analysis.

  206. Nickws

    Sam @ 85:
    Memories are short. When it comes to remembering past Liberal governments, there is a kind of collective Alzheimer’s in some parts of the Left

    Bloody hell, when it comes to certain sections of the Left there is no such thing as a positive memory of any past Labor government.

    I’ve been reading a lot of British Labour supporters online wistfully looking back at the great achievements of that party in creating and sustaining the modern UK welfare state over more than half a century. A lot of this is being done as part of a teary-eyed pre-wake, to be sure, but there is genuine sentiment there.

    When was the last time you heard any self-described militant Leftwinger in this country say that either Chifley or Whitlam were the height of the Australian Labor Movement’s (let alone this so-called ‘Left’s') practical accomplishments? And since when the hell did East Timor become the be all and end all of ’72 through ’75?

    There is a serious disconnect at work here with the avowed radicals, and I think there always has been a disconnect between what that kind of person believes and what the vast majority of ordinary ‘Labor Party enthusiasts’ (as one non-militant historian calls them) see. The fact that these militants (whether Marxist or not) are so utterly obsessed with the loss of structural power for the working class of old, whilst they blindly ignore the enduring public policy inititaves that have helped shield that group and its descendents from the worst effects of the end of those structures—why, that’s not labourism, that’s not democratic Leftism. That’s just an updated version of the anti-parliamentary fantasies that were allowed to flourish in the union movement at the mid century of the Australian settlement, with a dose of ‘we don’t make anything here’ populism thrown into the mix.

    Our radical Left class warriors are nothing but freakin’ leftovers from ‘The Lucky Country’. That’s why they have no clue about the importance of socially responsive government programmes. They’re really industrial relations club nostalgics, uninterested in the little things like public housing and subsidised dental care (though, for what I suspect are purely tactical reasons, they at least pay lip service to multiculturalism and the various ‘rights’ agendas).

    I think Mark Bahnisch does a good job in trying to synthesise a tribal and intellectual Leftwing response to Hawke/Keating, but I fear his positive attitude to that government doesn’t really extend to promoting any other ALP parliamentary legacy. I mean, every Labor state government has surrendered to big business? Really? To me that sounds like an exercise is delegitimisation, not constructive analysis.

  207. Nickws

    That first sentence is best read as “no such thing as a positive memory of any past Labor…

    I don’t expect anyone on the socialist Left to have warm feelings for Menzies et al.

  208. Nickws

    That first sentence is best read as “no such thing as a positive memory of any past Labor…

    I don’t expect anyone on the socialist Left to have warm feelings for Menzies et al.

  209. Mark

    @103 – Nickws, you make some valid points.

    I’d certainly be prepared to defend the legacy of past state Labor administrations – I don’t think all of it made it into my redaction of my talk at the forum on Bligh’s privatisation, but I argued that:

    (a) the Queensland Labor party had arguably been closer to democratic socialism than some other state parties;

    (b) achievements such as the introduction of free hospital and dental care represented a real step towards decommodification of public goods;

    (c) struggles over working time were central to the Labor governments’ agenda;

    (d) even as late as the Beattie government, real progress was made in gender equity and industry policy.

    To that, I could add the democratisation and renovation of the corrupt institutions of state power by the Goss government.

    Part of the problem lies in the stripping of effective responsibility for most important things from the states – along with the economism I’ve been talking about, this further encourages the corporatisation of the Labor party in Queensland.

  210. Mark

    @103 – Nickws, you make some valid points.

    I’d certainly be prepared to defend the legacy of past state Labor administrations – I don’t think all of it made it into my redaction of my talk at the forum on Bligh’s privatisation, but I argued that:

    (a) the Queensland Labor party had arguably been closer to democratic socialism than some other state parties;

    (b) achievements such as the introduction of free hospital and dental care represented a real step towards decommodification of public goods;

    (c) struggles over working time were central to the Labor governments’ agenda;

    (d) even as late as the Beattie government, real progress was made in gender equity and industry policy.

    To that, I could add the democratisation and renovation of the corrupt institutions of state power by the Goss government.

    Part of the problem lies in the stripping of effective responsibility for most important things from the states – along with the economism I’ve been talking about, this further encourages the corporatisation of the Labor party in Queensland.

  211. Sam

    “Our radical Left class warriors are nothing but freakin’ leftovers from ‘The Lucky Country’.”

    They’re also like the interest groups that line up on budget night. No matter how much largesse the government – any government – throws their way, it’s never good enough.

    It must be tough being a far left activist. Every thing, every day, is a source of complaint and unhappiness and outrage. There’s not even a hint of joy, ever.

  212. Sam

    “Our radical Left class warriors are nothing but freakin’ leftovers from ‘The Lucky Country’.”

    They’re also like the interest groups that line up on budget night. No matter how much largesse the government – any government – throws their way, it’s never good enough.

    It must be tough being a far left activist. Every thing, every day, is a source of complaint and unhappiness and outrage. There’s not even a hint of joy, ever.

  213. Nickws

    They’re also like the interest groups that line up on budget night. No matter how much largesse the government – any government – throws their way, it’s never good enough.

    Interest groups at least play a role in contemporary society.

    The people I’m pissed at are more like American Civil War reenactors. (I shouldn’t scoff, as knowledge is power, and the well motivated ideologue will always be a force to reckon with in shaping conventional wisdom, historical narratives, etc.)

  214. Nickws

    They’re also like the interest groups that line up on budget night. No matter how much largesse the government – any government – throws their way, it’s never good enough.

    Interest groups at least play a role in contemporary society.

    The people I’m pissed at are more like American Civil War reenactors. (I shouldn’t scoff, as knowledge is power, and the well motivated ideologue will always be a force to reckon with in shaping conventional wisdom, historical narratives, etc.)