What about Shorten?

Richard Creswick writes: Re. “Essential: Turnbull lifts the Coalition, thumps Shorten” (yesterday) . I was surprised that you didn’t give any coverage to Bill Shorten’s appearance on Q&A, apart from the brief reference in the TV ratings. I am one who has been disappointed in Shorten’s performances amd acquiescence to some of the worst aspects of the Abbott attacks on personal freedoms and supposed security issues,  including for the ill conceived second (or third) Iraq war, and his inability to effectively prosecute the many opportunities given to him and Labor by the mad monk’s manifold inadequacies and idiocies. Many of my concerns remain. However I watched him on Q&A and was impressed. I thought he was lucid, calm overall but showed a bit of fire when necessary, would not be bullied by the irritating Tony Jones and presented enough policies to scotch those who, despite the evidence, still say Labor has no policies.

Comparing his performance in a big free-for-all with the soft and giggly effort by Turnbull on 7.30, I thought Shorten gave a better account of himself. Quite a number of twits(?), tweeters (?) Seemed to have a similar reaction. Clearly the Libs have been given a poll lift by Turnbull’s soufflé act, but he remains as prolix and loquacious as ever and I predict the gloss will come off as he finds he can’t shrug off the right-wing crazies’ hold on some publicly popular policy areas. If the media, including the ABC, treat Bill fairly, I think he will give Turnbull a run for his money and if punters take the time to look at Labor without the prism if Abbott’s appalling distortions, could still make the Libs a one term government. If Turnbull’s reign is given the same treatment by his own side that Gillard and Abbott were, that chance gets better. I see no evidence of disunity in Labor now

On politics and religion

Secretary  of the Democratic Labor Party NSW Michael Byrne writes: Re. “Turnbull’s task: reversing from an ideological dead end” (September 18). Bernard Keane’s analysis asserts that politicians who profess a Christian faith are ideologues in line with the other Liberal sub-sets of his analysis: “crony capitalists” and the “hard right culture warriors”. Keane extends the labelling that all Christian (Liberal) politicians are fundamentalists. Keane’s Crikey title “politics editor” is diminished when he renders Liberal Party opposition to Green Labor climate change religiosity and the same sex marriage absurdity as merely opposing the “left”.   It is seen as being far more profound and well grounded than that.

Such is the left and Keane’s ilk. Once divorced from any sense of natural order and process they lay haphazard roots to any intellectual trend or populist fashion formed of utopian dreams and maintained by emotions that lack any key nourishment for life. The Democratic Labour Party is straining to meet the challenge on the hustings. By way of review of an Australian Electoral Commission decision it is affirming its national presence and membership of over 2000 people but is currently caught up in bureaucratic time-line (byelection hiatus).

In the meantime it is gearing to be the presence in the public square of a social conservative voice that is far removed from Keane’s “fundamentalism” and one firmly attached to a world view of human flourishing far above the barren flattened ground delivered by the Left. DLP Labour has its origins of purpose in the great Labor Split of 50 years. Its purpose then was to prevent a situation … today it is taking up the task of making good a situation in association with any organisation, citizen, elected Member of Parliament or local council who recognises the task and its challenges ahead. We look forward to Keane’s political analysis of our presence in six months time.

Peter Fray

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