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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  • blokeintakapuna

    Chickens… Home…. Roost….

  • onelaw4all

    Worked quite well in the U.S. , last time around.