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The Forum > Article Comments > Labor's predicament: an opinion > Comments

Labor's predicament: an opinion : Comments

By Chris Lewis, published 14/5/2012

Labor must strive to make appeal through a can-do strategy that informs Australians of the need to change direction, but in ways conducive to Labor values.

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Yes, Labor needs to take a long hard look at where it is. Filling seats with union hacks has been a big mistake. Union membership is now around 18% of the workforce. Why does this minority still wield such power in the organisation? The 'working class' they once represented have moved on and are now a more aspirational 'middle class'. The old Robin Hood style tactics now hurt those who were the Labor base.

Until Labor realises the need to represent a broader Australia (not just the unions) it will continue its current slide into irrelevance.
Posted by Sparkyq, Monday, 14 May 2012 8:33:51 AM
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New Labour hardly resembles Old Labour, or the light on the hill that inspired Chiefly or Curtain. It has moved further to the right than Menzies's Liberals? And, could do a lot worse than move back to and reoccupy the middle ground.
I believe, before we start rolling back welfare for the genuinely needy, we need to claw back welfare for the rich, which is at least as large a budget, as that currently allocated to those entirely dependant on the public purse.
Reallocating most of this money to those in genuine need, will pump additional discretionary spending into so-called post code poverty traps, with a resulting boost in local business performance, a win/win outcome for us and our economy. Moreover, if it finally includes universal dental care, there will be huge future savings in health spending, removing the flow on consequences attributable to unattended teeth decay.
The spending on school halls etc, was ill directed and arguably inspired by the need to keep Brown's economically illiterate Greens onside?
Increased education funding would be better spent making sure our best and brightest completed tertiary education, regardless of socio economic circumstances or background.
We'd likely have got more bang for our stimulus spending, if it had been directed at rapid rail.
Rapid rail would virtually pay for itself, if the resumed land/corridor included substantial post resumption rezoned urban land. The subsequent sale of this land creating small towns around every station, would be enough to repay any and all financing, all while rolling out the very decentralization, we need to make housing actually affordable again.
We need quite massive tax reform and simplification and the party which once embraced pragmatic reform, would do no harm to its future prospects, by introducing often proposed reform that would end the need for compliance and associated costs, which currently rip around 7% from the bottom line! Arguably, the only reform we could impose to actually reduce real business costs. There is more, but word limits limit!
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:02:06 AM
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"Labor needs to change." I agree with these words from Chris!

The first thing it needs to do is to get rid of Gillard ASAP!

The next thing it needs to do is to appoint a P.M. and Deputy who are untainted by the Gillard-Rudd treachery.

Then it needs to spend the next 18 months rebuilding its base, demonstrating to its ex-supporters that all is not lost, that Gillard was a bizarre, one-off failure, that it has learned from the debacle.

All is not lost! But if Gillard remains, it is!
Posted by David G, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:45:36 AM
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"The next thing it needs to do is to appoint a P.M. and Deputy who are untainted by the Gillard-Rudd treachery."
Sorry David, I don't think there is anyone left who would fit into that category
Posted by Sparkyq, Monday, 14 May 2012 10:55:10 AM
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David G,

I'm sorry but I cannot condone the attitude that Labor in government can change leaders with the same whim that we change our trousers (or skirt for the ladies).

Opposition parties, unions, tennis clubs and day care centres can change their leaders as often as they want. But the leader of the governing party (in this case Labor) is the Prime Minister of Australia. The person in this role is recognised as the leader of this country and should command some respect from the person that holds it and from all other Australians irrespective of what party you voted for at the last election. (An analogy is the troops who served in Iraq - there was a bitter divide as to whether they should be sent or not but I'm sure that most Australians supported them when they were sent.)

We have already seen the disgraceful treatment of one PM in office recently and now you are advocating more of the same? Because it doesnít suit you? Because Labor would have a better chance at getting re-elected with a different leader? Iím sorry, but I believe the office of PM and the Australian people deserve more respect than that.
Posted by Peter Mac, Monday, 14 May 2012 3:54:41 PM
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Peter Mac, people in the LABOR Party led by Julia, showed complete disrespect for the P.M. who was elected by the people, that is Kevin Rudd.

These people trashed him and continue to do so. They had no mandate from the electors and have no mandate.

To rid the LABOR Party of the current crop and start again with someone untarnished is the sensible thing to do!

If they don't, it's electoral oblivion.
Posted by David G, Monday, 14 May 2012 4:46:10 PM
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