August 27, 2010
Iron Law of Institutions, Australian Style
Given that they didn’t have stability or incumbency as much of a backstop, you would have thought that painting Labor as, in the last analysis, the sane party, would have been one useful substitute.
But doing that would have required some breadth of knowledge, and Labor’s new supremos know nothing except numbers and polling – the not un-useful set of techniques that, when raised to the status of politics tout court, become a self-defeating pseudo-science. Politics will always be an art, not a science, and the character of an art is that the skills it demands can never be reduced to a series of methods. Labor’s hacks have reduced their party to this pathetic state because it’s all they know, and encouraging any other methods would endanger their control of it, retention of which they regard as a higher priority than winning.