Life is a highway. Are you going my way?
I’m on a journey. I hope you can come too.
That journey is to effect the sort of change in the Labor Party which I think we can all agree is needed if it is to survive & prosper as a Progressive Social Democratic political party, onwards through the 21st century and beyond.
As someone who gets to see politics in the raw in NSW, I think I am qualified to say my piece about what has occurred as the 43rd Parliament drew to a close, and I hope that you respect the fact that I have thought long and hard about the situation we have all just lived through and which the party finds itself in with respect to Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard exchanging roles yesterday, and I hope you respect my perspective.
You don’t have to agree with it, just respect the fact that it is neither a knee-jerk, reflexive lashing out, or a requiem for the ALP that some might expect or demand, just my perspective. A different perspective.
In fact, I’m not going to make a comment either way about the manner in which Kevin Rudd came to get back the position of Prime Minister. That has been hashed out ad infinitum and we all have an opinion about the propriety of that action and the manner in which JGPM (for she will always be that to me, I coined the acronym after all on Twitter), was relentlessly undermined by forces within her own party, the media and the Opposition, which includes their mouthpieces in the Conservative Think Tanks. That’s a given, and a shame that it had to occur to the nation’s first female Prime Minister, and that it coincided with the advent of 24/7 News media in this country. They have to have something to comment on, dissect, analyse and pontificate about in an increasingly obvious partisan way.
Such is life. We do it too, and those in glass houses shouldn’t cast around for stones at a time like this because to continue to express rancour now only expends our energies needlessly and for short term existential gain. Not the sort of long-term productive gain which can really lead to us vanquishing our common enemies.
Who are they?
Firstly, and foremostly, it is the Coalition.
In a very short space of time, we of the Progressive bent will be facing them in the trenches, and we had better get our acts together I say, in double-quick time, if we are to have a chance of defeating them. That’s all that counts right now.
Bitter recriminations are fine, and all well and good in the short run but only serve to hobble the cause we all believe in, in the long run, if we let those feelings eat away at our souls. That way lies an ineffective and divided rabble, and a heart-breakingly thumping win for the Conservatives. With all that would entail in a draconian policy sense.
So, yes, Kevin Rudd was an A-Grade A-hole, and so were the Cardinals and the other assorted Rudd Rats. I think we can all agree that their behaviour was reprehensible, and they too are our enemies within.
Which is why I have decided not to resign from the Labor Party, as others have. I have decided that Kevin Rudd and his acolytes & congenital chancres within the Labor Party may be having their day in the sun in the Labor Party now, but the cause of reform drives me on to the horizon beyond them and is the greater good which I have decided to keep working for, inside the party.
As I said to a couple of ladies up my way when I first joined the ALP, you can get upset about things and yell from the sidelines, or you can run onto the field as part of the team & get down and dirty with the rest of them and fight for what you believe in and do your best to kick goals and produce the sort of results you think should be being achieved.
“History is made by those who turn up”, as Tony Windsor said. So I’m going to keep turning up because I am on a personal crusade, with the Labor Party as my vehicle, for what I believe in. I have succeeded in sidelining some of the malign forces that we all detest in my local area, which has prevented them from having a platform on the national stage, and we have got a better representative as a result. Also I believe that if I stick with it I can do my bit to fulfill the legacy of JGPM in the party, as Tanya Plibersek appears to have decided to do also, and stick around to vanquish the malign forces and see them replaced by those who represent the qualities we respect.
If I don’t and I give up and go away I think that I would feel worse. I do.
I also think Julia Gillard would approve because we are staying to stand and fight another day. Nothing good is ever easy, and the past 3 years and the last 3 days have shown me me that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and the show MUST go on. They might have won the battle but they will not win the war. I fight on.