Uniting not dividing

Labor in Australia is planning a nasty campaign based on envy and class warfare. This is Gillard’s union roots coming out. But it is wrong footed, negative and won’t work.

Labour here need to get this message.

In short, Labor is seeking an old-fashioned, populist, left-wing fight based on envy and resentment. The usual shorthand is “class warfare”. It’s the exact opposite of the approach proposed by Kevin Rudd: “One of the difficult things about leadership is uniting a nation rather than dividing it,” he said last October. “The easiest thing to do in national political life is to divide us; to divide our country, to divide our people. It’s an easy script, historically on grounds of race or even religion, sometimes in terms of class.” 

We are seeing Labour here follow the path of the unions…as Gillard is doing. Labour will send observers, as will National. They should heed the words of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating:

It’s also the repudiation of the electoral model created by the Labor governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. Their economic reform program created a surge in the number of self-employed people and independent contractors, and a long decline in the share of the unionised workforce. Australia now has more self-employed people than union members.

As Keating said in 2005, “the Labor Party has given up the middle-class, middle-ground, sole-employer, self-employed, small-business voter that Bob Hawke and I generated for it.” It didn’t believe in the economic model of a free and competitive market economy, and it lost the electoral model of a progressive party that can thrive in that economy, he said.

This is exactly what Chris Trotter talks about with his Waitakere Man, so far a meme falling on the cloth ears of a Mallard run strategy and union dominated caucus.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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