Feb 21, 2013

Boo hoo, the Greens have gotten the better of Labor

The Greens' split with Labor will prompt the ALP -- no doubt soon to be in opposition for a while -- to do some serious soul-searching to decide what it stands for.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


“Maybe there’s a God above

But all I’ve ever learned from love

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50 thoughts on “Boo hoo, the Greens have gotten the better of Labor

  1. Russell

    Unedifying triumphalism… Labor has been “destroyed” (Hallelujah!) and we are left with Tony Abbott for a decade. Crack open the champers Guy, and join the coalition in the celebration.

  2. john willoughby

    Prepare for all out war if abbott advances to office under the present circumstances..

  3. Warren Joffe

    “…..its essential commitment to a society of greater equality, freedom from want and the universal opportunity for human flourishing and a meaningful life.” intentionally or not you put your finger on a problem there GR. Except for the “greater equality” (and that’s not as clear as many might think) the essential commitment could equally be that of your typical Coalition member, not least old Country Party types. And you would have noted that Tony Abbott, a Catholic from the Santamaria school, might be a lot closer to old-time ALP ideals than the present crew of university and union mates.

    There are of course the equivalent in the Coalition of “manic Hayekians” whom you see in the ALP but basically we are now looking at collections of university educated middle to upper middle class and professional people who all have much the same sort of secular feeling for what is the proper way of dealing with one’s fellow citizens. And partly that is because it is an expression of the place they share on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Being our rulers is nice for their egos, in a nice sort of way.

    But what of “greater equality”. That’s a red herring because no one now denies that there is a rough and ready Gaussian curve of the distribution of whatever smarts it ta

  4. Wobbly

    If it’s going to be all out war, then you can already caste Paul Howes as Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor! And Marn Fern as Captain Mainwaring (Dad’s Army).

  5. Wobbly

    Whilst I’m on fantasy WW2 comparisons, gee Tony’s latest declared intentions do sound akin to Blitzkrieg!

  6. Microseris

    The end of the growth economy is not going to be mandated by governments, but rather imposed by nature as we run up against the limits to growth (a finite planet). The only thing that keeps growing is a cancer and we know how that plays out.

    In these circumstances our votes and therefore the government elected is largely irrelevant. Some are just more frustrating than others and may get us there just a little quicker.

  7. Warren Joffe

    …takes to get on in the academic world, public sector or competitive business and professional life. So perhaps 10 to 20 per cent are going to be obvious laggards despite our world-beating minimum wage and despite the fact that probably only 20 per cent of us will be net lifetime taxpayers (i.e. as individuals after netting various benefits such as OA pensions, health care rebates etc. Come to think of it, 20 per cent may be an exaggeration) thanks to our natural resources.

    We don’t need assertiveness training for what might once have been the “humble and meek” since they have been given votes and a sense of entitlement. But what possible claim does the secular ALP have to dealing better with those seriously unequal on the down side than the Coalition which is probably slightly more Christian? Actually its only distinguishing feature is that it represents more of those on the public teat, the social welfare, aboriginal and other equivalent “industries”. After all, has anyone done any serious calculation of the absurd cost in Australian salaries of our pathetic little refugee quota pretending to impinge on the sad lives of millions by taking 13750, or 20,000 to be fellow non-taxpayers (and occasional success stories, if not the great Jewish and Baltic states ones but perhaps footballers and Olympic athletes….).

  8. Nudiefish

    Brilliant piece, Guy.

    It sums up everything I feel about a political party that was originally created with the intention of fighting for the little Bloke (non-gender specific, of course).

    The Labor Party is nothing less than “Liberal Lite” nowadays.

    They should nail this essay on the front door of ALP HQ. If Labor gets booted in September, what has Australia actually lost?

  9. Warren Joffe

    You and I might come close to agreement Nudiefish. On my analysis there really aren’t nearly enough voters who are themselves seriously in need of a leg up from the hale and hearty employed taxpayers and it is the public employees’ interests that the ALP must therefore necessarily pander too, both in pious rhetoric and with taxpayers’ money, rather than the intrinsically disadvantaged. Public servants and teachers may do admirable jobs with a degree of selflessness but they hardly qualify as the 21st century “little Bloke”.

  10. Warren Joffe

    @ Microseris

    I think you overlook the reality that growth is continuing and will continue in the sense that we will get more for less or better versions of what we have with no significant impact on resources – though a continuation of some 20th century population growth rates could spoil that scenario, but don’t look as though they are going to.

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