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The Forum > Article Comments > What the world needs now is > Comments

What the world needs now is : Comments

By Don Edgar, published 25/9/2013

Labor's downfall was based on a growing elitism within the party, the promotion of an in-group over consideration for their wider support base, a self-focus seen as undermining the wider public good.

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"Labor too is busy remaking its image..."

I hope not, Don.

Until Labor is not 'too busy remaking its image' and can face remaking its reality, nothing will improve.

Otherwise any change for the better is doomed to be imaginary.

If the above doesn't already apply to other political parties... just wait. Like my washing machine they all have spin cycles.

"Politics is the quintessential arena where human nature and its contradictions are laid bare. The essential selfishness of the individual, fighting for survival, status and power ..."

Can't agree, sorry.

The 'quintessential arena' would be be marriage. Particularly during the settlement and custody hearings.
Posted by WmTrevor, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 9:01:31 AM
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One of the things that stood out particularly sadly in the ALP over the period of the last government, was the growing distance between those of us on the street trying to eke out a living, and those living in Canberra and paying us occasional visits, who seemed to have no idea of the issues that meant anything to "us".

The constant rushing off in limousines to have lunch in the big end of town, and the occasional photo opportunities comprising visits to one of our ever declining number of factories where those who voted for the Canberra people lived and made their living.

It almost seemed as though what used to be a party for blue-collar workers, had turned into a party for the "bosses" of those same workers, and it always seemed to me somewhat strange that there didn't appear to be, in Canberra, any idea of what "our" needs were at a political level.

I'm no longer a blue-collar worker, but for 35 years I voted ALP, and now as a small businessman I still do because at the end of the day I believe the people who work for me deserve a fair go. That all seemed to disappear first under Rudd/Gillard, and then again under Gillard/Rudd, and it always appeared that neither them, nor their party hacks had any idea of what it was like to be on less than $30 per hour, and worse, they didn't seem to care.

This hiatus under Abbott may give the Labor Party an opportunity to reassess its support base. Unlike the Liberals, the Labor Party have not always felt it was their divine right to rule. Perhaps they will use this opportunity to not fight amongst themselves, and reassess who they are going to represent in the Parliament. The businessmen who shout them lunch or the workers who vote for them because they always have. The same workers who donate part of their pay every week to their union, who then support the party.

One can only hope.
Posted by Daemon, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 9:04:18 AM
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"Labor's downfall was based on a growing elitism within the party, the promotion of an in-group over consideration for their wider support base, a self-focus seen as undermining the wider public good. Factionalism had descended into primitive tribalism and disunity driven by self-promoters whose cheating and hypocrisy was obvious to all."

Do you really think the electors care in the slightest what's going on within a party, as long as it delivers rational, effective government? Labor's downfall was due to the effects of daft, ideologically-driven policy decisions. How it came up with them is an interesting story in its own right, involving lots of groupthink, panic-stricken attempts to distinguish themselves from the Opposition, and a deliberate decision to spread fear and doubt among the populace for their selfish political ends. But it was the policy that did them in.
Posted by Jon J, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 9:31:44 AM
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G'day Jon, and yes I do think the voters care. We saw that with the Liberals for a long time in Queensland, where their infighting was horrendous and so labor had a free rein for years.

Problematically, that led to a feeling of moral superiority and the "born to rule" view became extant.

The last Queensland election has to have put ALP n a position where over the next few years they actually have to not just rethink, but actually rebuild.By the time the next election comes around, one hopes that there will be a whole lot of new blood available to run for office.

I think it is reasonable to say that if political parties want to stay there they have to stay in touch with their support base, and the natural support base of the ALP is not the big end of town.
Posted by Daemon, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 10:00:02 AM
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All this talk about the 'Big End of Town', about workers and unions, etc. The next thing I'll see are dinosaurs!

Why can't we move on from a paradigm that was in power centuries ago, you know the one: the workies versus the bosses?

Why haven't we moved on, grown up even? Bosses who screw workers and workers who, using their unions, unfairly exploit bosses should be things of the past.

We should be working together to ensure that workers share the pie fairly and bosses don't scalp everyone in sight in order to fund their obscenely luxurious lifestyles.

Surely there is common ground or does greed always dominate visions of equality for all?
Posted by David G, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 10:56:45 AM
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What the world needs now are politicians that actually listen, instead of as per usual, tell us what we think.
Labor need to divest themselves of the conservative element that has forced it too far to the right!
Why, today's new Labor may be more right wing than Menzies Liberals?
They need to embrace new visionary ideas, rather than say, that's too big, or we can never ever afford that.
We could afford anything we wanted, if we were prepared to stare down the detractors and embrace long overdue, "real" tax and economic reform, that would allow us to afford anything; do anything, including rapid rail; and or, an inland shipping canal!?
We need a party or parties with their eyes firmly glued to the future and unity of purpose; rather than the spoils of defeat.
We need people with big ideas, not those who scoff at them, or know all the reasons it can't be done.
We need a party that remains the party of the fair go and the champion of the underdog.
And that can't be mere lip service, just to win the top job or power!
We need a party that quite markedly differentiates itself from the other side of politics, rather than become its pale, me too, shadow!
All human progress has been gained through the contest of ideas! And it's high time we reentered that contest with genuine belief and real vigor!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 25 September 2013 11:41:00 AM
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