Bill Shorten Labor policy ALP 2019 election
(Image: AAP/Tracey Nearmy)

Into this world comes Bill Shorten: once the hyperkinetic figure of youthful Labor, now as ancient and steeped in tradition as a moth-eaten banner for the Amalgamated Slurryists and Frittlers hanging in a Trades Hall glass case.

On Wednesday Guy Rundle wrote that days are numbered for leaders like Bill Shorten. Are “safe” and centrist figures on their way out? Here’s what Crikey readers had to say on what should change when it comes to Labor’s policies and priorities:

On Bill Shorten and what Labor should be doing differently

Sandie van Soelen writes: Labor should stop sitting on the fence.

  • Raise Newstart by a preliminary amount leaving open to more following research
  • Commit to stopping Adani
  • Address tax bracket creep rather than reducing taxes — there is much infrastructure and service required to be funded and this would be more fair
  • Agree with limits on negative gearing
  • Decrease processing time for asylum seekers and refugees and do not hold in detention for more than a few months unless a known risk
  • Invest in renewables and encourage research

Judy Hungerford writes: I don’t agree that Shorten should be doing things differently. Labor has had and does have courageous policies going into this election. Shorten is up against a shouty, aggressive table-thumper … But let’s not forget the example of the recent Indonesian elections where the more laid-back and considered candidate prevailed.

I also disagree that Shorten is “lucky”. On the contrary: with ill-economic winds blowing Labor, if elected, will end up in the force of the gale and will be blamed all through their first term for causing it. People forget facts as a term develops, they will forget that the bad economic forecasts started with this most dysfunctional and soulless of governments.

Edward Zakrzewski writes: For starters (not complete and in no particular order):

  • Fully reinstate ALL cuts to the ABC and establish a funding model independent of ministerial interference
  • Criminal charges to be brought against financial institution executives
  • Exonerate Witness K and his barrister
  • Cancel Adani and examine all other coal initiatives while going full steam ahead with renewables
  • Re-establish an auto industry in Australia, electric or hydrogen
  • Cancel the submarines and F35s and rethink defence policy completely

Michael Laurence Johnson writes: Labor needs to go bold on the environment and capture young engaged voters. Now! [It also needs a] federal EPA with a structure similar to the RBA tasked to halt habitat loss and species extinction.

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