May 20, 2011

Pollies grumble at writers’ fest: ‘good govt and ALP are strangers’

Can the ALP survive? And if so, what form will it be in? There was huge interest in this topic at the Sydney Writers' Festival.

Margot Saville — <em>Crikey</em> Sydney reporter

Margot Saville

Crikey Sydney reporter

Can the ALP survive? And if so, what form will it be in? There is huge interest in this topic, if the very large crowds who turned out yesterday for two related sessions at the Sydney Writers’ Festival are any indication.

In the morning, party elder John Faulkner, former NSW Minister Rodney Cavalier and journalist Barry Cassidy featured in a session called ““From Barcaldine to Oblivion?  Was the ALP just a 20th-century phenomenon whose use-by date has come? Can Labor’s political fortunes be revived?”

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14 thoughts on “Pollies grumble at writers’ fest: ‘good govt and ALP are strangers’

  1. shepherdmarilyn

    Howes is right about one thing. 1 million feet stampeded to the Greens over the way he treated the people on the Merak and the Oceanic Viking in crude attampts at push backs.

    He broke the law and knew it, now Gillard just lost another 2 millon feet to the Greens because we got rid of Howard for his cruelty, not to have someone even crueller in her.

    But she had form if anyone like Howes had bothered to listen.

  2. michael r james

    To rephrase Norma Desmond* in Sunset Boulevard” It’s the Labor party that left its supporters, not its supporters who left it.”
    As Marilyn says, most of us went to the Greens because where else is there to go?
    And Paul Howes “lost it” (and me) when he demanded than among his union workers not one single job be lost because of the carbon tax. Paul, I hope there is at least one job that is lost. Can you guess whose job that would be?

    (*”I am big, it’s the pictures that got small!”)

  3. Greg Dahl

    There were a couple of things that made me not renew my menbership with the ALP.
    One was the price of membership that rose with income. making my membership up to 4 times as much as the person sitting next to me at a meeting, and the other was the utter disregard parliamentarians had for members except at election time. Not a great amount of incentive to renew thats for sure.

  4. Catching up

    I believe it is past time for the political and union wings of the ALP to split.

    It is my belief, in this new world, they will prosper better apart.

    This would allow the political wing to move on and re-invent itself.

    The need for the Labor Party still exists but it needs to meet the needs of today, not thirty years ago.

  5. Adam

    I’ve said before I think we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the ALP. Why would anyone vote for them? If you’re a centre-right voter you’ve got the Libs who despite the ALP’s attempts to imitate them will always be more right-wing than the ALP and if you’re a centre-left voter with any sort of progressive streak you’ve got the Greens.

    I think in time the Left of the ALP will break away from the party and either join the Greens or merge with them to form a new entity. We’re already seeing some unions throw their support behind the Greens. There is plenty of scope for the Greens to move away from just being an “environmental party”. Something like the Progressive Party could work.

    As a left-wing person I in good conscience can’t vote for the ALP anymore. This was re-enforced just last week with the Budget where the ALP decided instead of going after middle-class welfare to try and get the budget back into surplus by 2012/13 which is obviously oh so important they instead chose to kick the s__t out of the poor on welfare.

    That is how morally bankrupt the ALP has now become. Teenage mums will be threatened with having their payments suspended which obviously will making feeding their kid(s) that much easier, the disability pension will now be much harder to get with more stringent impairment tables which will also apply to those already on the DSP under the age of 35 (nice little saving that as the dole pays much less than the disability pension) and the long-term unemployed will now have their mutual obligation requirements doubled. All that and we have less than 5% unemployment.

    John Howard would be proud.

    This all comes on top of the ALP now rolling out it’s welfare quarantining across the country to avoid the charge of racism for continuing with it in the NT once they took over from Howard and of course last year suspending the applications of asylum seekers from both Afghanistan & Sri Lanka (in an election year) which now leads to the ‘Malaysian solution’. That odious footage of Julia Gillard & David Bradbury (not the minister for NT border control folks) during the election campaign will never leave my mind along with the so called ‘citizen’s assembly’ response to climate change.

    I will never again vote for a party that effectively now spits in my face as a lefty as it continues to beat up on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

  6. Kevin Herbert

    Thanks Marilyn Shepherd…right on the money.

    The ALP lost me initially when Beazley played the race card in the Tampa debacle.

    Rudd confirmed my loss to the ALP, as explained by Marilyn.

    Gillard, like Rudd, is not politically bright enough to be PM…just like Turnbull.

    Australia needs political leadership, not a conservative careerist living out her dream…talk about out of her depth.

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    I voted for the ALP in 1972 and in 1983. Then they lost me after Hawke sold us all out to Murdoch.

  8. michael crook

    It is difficult to express the sadness and misery one feels having seen what the ALP has become.
    Howes is not an answer. He is part of the problem. In Queensland the Left are still maintaining a stance that solutions are possible, but, it is far too late for that. Would that Peter Simpson had accepted his expulsion and formed an “Independent labour Party” subscribing to the same ideals as the ALP but actually believing in them.

  9. j-boy57

    The tree of Knowledge got die back in 1991
    committed herbicide
    Died in 2006
    Cloned in 2008
    The parallel is eerie
    Come back Herb Evatt all is forgiven..

  10. Andrew Demase

    Some famous person once philosophized that in a democracy all political parties become committees for the management of the affairs of the “filthy rich”. The “filthy rich” have so much power that it cannot be any other way.

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