Crikey
Scroll to top

Forget the sensible centre, Labor is already too far right

Crikey readers on Labor's existential crisis.

income tax plan Jim Chalmers
Jim Chalmers (Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

Does Labor have any chance of rekindling the “light on the hill” that once so captured voters? If it does then it’ll take something more bold than seizing the “sensible centre”, write Crikey readers. Responding to Kishor Napier-Raman on whether shadow treasurer Jim Chalmer’s call for a centre push will lead anywhere, readers questioned whether the party is too far to the right already.

On Labor’s next move

Ben Marshall writes: Could you kindly explain how a largely centre-right Labor Party be regarded as on the way to a “far more centrist” position when they’re actually moving even further to the neoliberal right?

Roger Clifton writes: Heroic policies on climate change are precisely where Labor should be standing out, offering leadership to concerned laymen of both sides. Instead, it is a vacuum of policy where Labor has been unshakably absent. Yet it is a growing responsibility to lead, as the young reach voting age and the headlines condemn the inaction of their elders. Labor failed to point to the looming disasters ahead.

Malcolm Burr writes: What would Ben Chifley make of the Labor party today? At first glance it would be disappointment at the sad state it finds itself in today. Why oh why, he would think, have they drifted so far from Labor’s core beliefs? Where has government ownership or control of essential elements of our society gone, and look what has replaced it?

Frank Dee writes: Labor’s continuing colonoscopy over the election has gone on so long and so deeply that the optic fibre is now surveying the nasal hairs and pondering a boutique pruning. Do not bend before News Corp; do not appease The Australian. Time is on your side. Have some guts, have some vision.

Ian Harvey writes: Is my eyesight deceiving me, I thought the “light on the hill” was extinguished? Chifley’s flame started flickering after Whitlam was deposed and when Hawke and Keating got their hands on our “treasure chest”, starting the neoliberal rot that continues today. I am sorry but the horse has well and truly bolted, in that our commonwealth has been trashed and it wont be long before we will fighting over the leftovers.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW
2 comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe
Notify of
2 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
R. Ambrose Raven
R. Ambrose Raven
1 year ago

Labor is a party well-supplied with class traitors, all desperate to continue its focus on serving the aspirationals – a labour aristocracy – by selling out to business, for which they can expect personal reward from the big end of town. Labor’s class traitors only need to look in the mirror should they want to see the sort of politician whose behaviour has made politicians so reviled.

Emissary to Capitalism and class traitor [insert name here] may criticise Coalition policy but actually opposing (as distinct from amending) that set of changes is a very different matter. Demanding an end to the bipartisan user-pays process now that we’ve arrived at its logical conclusion would clash with three decades of Labor class treachery.

Shorten is one. Recall Wikileaks telling us of his visit to the ALP Attaché at the U.S. Consulate in Melbourne to crave patronage, not to benefit Labor’s supporters but to benefit himself. As Shorten has made clear, his – his, meaning only his faction’s – agenda is the customary neoliberal one in which issues like the TPP , starting to reverse oppressive industrial laws are dealt with by throwing a few throwaway lines to the unions. He backed down to his mate morrison, but won’t to their joint class enemy, the unions.

But we are long past the Accords I-VIII and the worker rights that could be sold to Big Business to pay for them.

Labor needs to be purged of the class traitors through coordinated community and union campaigns to support only progressives with money and workers, refusing to deal with any ex-union officials now working for the bosses, and maximum support for GetUp! and other groups.

Metal Guru
Metal Guru
1 year ago

“Sensible centre”?! I prefer Captain Sensible (“I said Captain. I said what”)