August 25, 2010
Can't Win; Can't Learn
Jeff Sparrow at The Drum stating the blindingly obvious, as it is always useful to do:
In retrospect, the strategy pursued by the ALP in the election seems frankly astonishing, with the government trading away all the advantages of incumbency to run a campaign against itself (with, in some places, Labor leaflets promoting Gillard as necessary to save us from Rudd's 'Big Australia').Speaking of Richo:
But, then, the cabal responsible for Labor's campaign - Messrs Shorten, Abib, Howes, Feeney, etc - is not distinguished by any particular record of success. You can see their reverse Midas touch in the do-nothing unions they dominate and, most especially, in the states where they wield most influence. As one minister told the Herald Sun: "The question has to be asked, why is the Labor vote so low where these people are strong?"
Well, quite. The whole basis of the Whatever It Takes school of Labor Right electioneering is that you trade principles for votes but, somehow, Graham Richardson's current disciples manage to end up with neither.
I think that's a real challenge for the Labor Party because you have to ask - you find the Labor Party in the classic wedge situation. You know, what they - if the Greens start snatching seats from the Labor Party, what do they do? Do they lurch to the left?Well, actually that's Planet Janet on QandA (and I think you'll find the phrase is "lurch back to the left", you mendacious Randite ditz.)
Well, my first response will be "Over my dead body" to the last part but a lot of people will be very pleased with that so I shouldn't say it too often. I think what happened with it, the Greens went up four per cent on the weekend. Let's not get too carried away. A big chunk of that is a protest vote. If they want to hang onto those votes then some of the purity to which you refer won't be very helpful because those people weren't voting in that sense for the Greens they were voting against others and so the Greens have to work out whether they want to be a mass party or whether they want to be a purist party.Turnbull also mouthed the "purity" line. It's funny how it will be the height of political maturity when the Greens sell out their political principles in order to become a "mass" party; but not for the Tweedleist parties to contemplate abandoning their tribal antipathies to serve in a unity government, as suggested by Rob Oakeshott. Also funny how neo-liberalism, the US alliance and other unquestionable features of the major parties' shared dogmas aren't subject to the same notion of disdaining purity.
Or perhaps Richardson and Turnbull meant purist in the ethical sense.