Labor Anthony Albanese Penny Wong Bill Shorten
Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

What can Labor do to earn back voters? It’s a question that will surely arise many times over the next three years. In the meantime, Crikey readers had some suggestions — from party culture to overarching strategy. Elsewhere, readers dug into the ABC’s deafening silence on the Witness K scandal.

On Labor’s next step

Mandy Stefanakis writes: I think we’re putting a lot of pressure on the Labor party to change when in fact what’s really required is for people to change. And people are scared of change, which is why the Libs, despite all their fuck ups, managed to run an incredibly effective scare campaign. Who buys that? Who re-elects Barnaby Joyce, or Pauline Hanson or Peter Dutton with the kind of duplicitous behaviour they have engaged in? What does it take? I worry about the Labor party changing direction and compromising their values when there is not a lot of room for that at this point in history. They chose to run a really clean campaign and were pounded for it. What does that say about our country? Why are we blaming Labor for not being able to herd a pack of mercurial voters?

Merrie Carling writes: I have been a Labor voter all my life. I have joined the party twice and resigned from it twice. I believe Labor needs to get out and talk to the people in the street, not gather together focus groups. They need to sit down and discuss what it is that motivates these people, what causes their lives to be difficult, what would help to make their lives easier. They especially need to talk to parents and grandparents about the climate and discuss their fears for the planet and the future of their children and grandchildren. They need to talk to adolescents who are worried about the climate and what is happening to the earth. They need to explain more clearly why it is important that the very wealthy contribute to creating a fairer society.

Lucille Rogers writes: The only way that Labor will return to power is to form an alliance with the Greens. Together they can work on the transition from mining to the production of non-polluting energy. In Germany the Merkel government set up a body that worked for several years to develop the transition. Groups involved included unions, mining companies, companies developing sustainable energy, training and educational bodies, affected towns and communities including their local officials, small business, employees and employers and the government. By including everyone affected by the transition the possibility of a positive outcome for all is achievable, and most importantly the level of carbon pollution is reduced.

On ABC and the Witness K scandal

Joe Boswell: Bernard Keane repeatedly asserts the ABC is missing in action on the Witness K and Bernard Collaery persecution. The ABC is not in action on this matter. Neither is it missing. We all know where it is and what it is saying. If we must appropriate a military term to describe the ABC’s shocking failure, it is either absent without leave, or it has deserted in the face of the enemy. I’d go for the latter. Perhaps a better word altogether would be derelict: “shamefully negligent of one’s duties or obligations”.

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey