Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] NMOC: Funeral of fair Australia

Craig Lawton craig.lawton at internode.on.net
Sat Oct 16 22:41:51 MDT 2004

I've always taken an avid interest in politics and the future of my 
country, Australia. I've always felt that equity and prosperity must be 
good bed-fellows, and have leaned left-wards in my politics and music... :-)

Why did Labor lose? A mixture of the short-term and long-term. I think 
that the forests policy was released too late, and Latham was only 10 
months into the job.

My brother summed it up for me beautifully. We were talking about the 
election and I sensed his unease so I said, "You voted Liberal didn't 
ya?" and he replied, "I was looking for reasons to vote for Latham and I 
just couldn't find them". The activist (or radical)  in me wanted to 
shout him down with stuff about children overboard and Iraq etc., but 
well I sensed that his observation had some resonance with what other 
people had been saying, and well it's easy for leftists to try and take 
the hight moral ground.

Lindsay Tanner summed up Labor's problems (in the long-term), by saying 
"We have to work out who we are". The union movement and the Labor Party 
are still organisationally tied but, for the sake of the parties future, 
they must have looser binds. You know the writing's on the wall when you 
have John Howard cheered by on logging unionist/workers.

I'm all for collectivism, union-style, but I think closed-shops and 
compulsary unionism robbed the movement of any need to remain relevant 
to the workers. Witness that when compulsary unionism is stopped in 
workplaces, union membership drops are startling (>40% in some cases). 
People don't see unions as relevant any more unless you are in a 
particular industry, like logging, which is protected because of it's 
importance in swinging one or two parliamentery seats. Industries based 
in cities have had to change and remain relevant, but the country seems 
to be immune sometimes to the modern world. But I'm drifting.....

I shall now coin anew phrase, the "Lazy Left". The "Lazy Left" sits on 
its big hairy arse, smug on the high-moral ground, unwilling to 
creatively engage the future. We need a robust economy and jobs, we need 
a developing democracy and we need a sustainable environment. You cannot 
create a future for a country without engaging these core principles in 
a creative, organic and changing way. The fact that Labor is made of 
mainly of ex-union leaders and backers distorts their views. The 
recruitment of people like Peter Garrett, and other people from diverse 
backgrounds is essential for the survival of the Labor party and the 
existance of a true opposition.

Peter Costello is fond of saying that we can't take prosperity for 
granted. I yearn for a leader/party who tell us we cannot take 
democracy, inclusiveness and equity for granted either (oh yeah... and 
the environment). The closest we have is Bob Brown. Unfortunately their 
policies are too radical for most Australians to consider and they are 
too certain of the moral superiority. (Hey and I was member until recently)

I pray that the changes initiated by Simon Crean in reducing the union 
strangle-hold on the Labor party and the injection of Mark "ideas-man" 
Latham initiate a re-invention of the Left in this country. God knows we 
need it.

David Schultz wrote:

> Gotta say, I read Jeff's comments and thought "Yes!"
> Anyone who who would rather still have Hussein as a world leader 
> instead of Howard (or Bush) is an idiot.
> As is anyone who puts their website in umpteen languages 
> because they're more interested in currying favour with that 
> oh-so-cultured European elite, than of making a rational argument to 
> their fellow countrymen.
> back to lurking,
> Dave
> */Jeff and Jane Scott <jscott at iinet.net.au>/* wrote:
>     > From: Felipe Castillo
>     >
>     > About the victory of the conservatives...
>     >
>     > http://www.indymedia.org/es/2004/10/112114.shtml
>     >
>     How about actually accepting the result that people voted for, instead
>     of whinging about it?
>     One thing's for sure, I'd rather have John Howard running the country
>     than the sort of people who write these websites.
>     jeff...
>     _______________________________________________
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> -----
> David Schultz
> Sainte-Julie né Ottawa
> "Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness 
> withhout action."
> -Benjamin Disraeli
> -----
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