#OneTermTony – back to basics

While I’m not entirely in agreement with Ms Rollison’s opinion that Labor needs to return to its union roots – we should also, in my opinion, be focussing on those who are no longer employees but who, thanks to Howardism, are now “aspirational” subbies – we are, as ever, are grateful to Ms Rollison for permission to republish her latest piece.

As the dust settles on Abbott’s election victory, I can’t help but feel extremely optimistic about this country’s future. That might sound like an odd thing to say, having blogged for three years about the nightmare prospect of an Abbott government. Don’t get me wrong, I know as well as anybody that we’re in for some very scary policy shifts in the next three years. However, since Abbott, thankfully, doesn’t control the Senate, and Rupert Murdoch doesn’t control the Senate and Gina Rinehart doesn’t control the Senate, all the money in the world isn’t going to help any of these three people to strip back the progressive reforms that were successfully implemented by the Gillard/Rudd government, should the Senate majority choose not to support these changes.

Abbott is going to have to sell his new policies and Labor policy rollbacks to small independent parties who owe him nothing. He’s promised not to negotiate with independents and minor parties to win power. But what point is there being in power if he can’t get anything done? He’s promised every angry bogan in Australia that he’s going to ‘axe the Carbon Tax’, and presumably they expect him to now axe the Emissions Trading Scheme. He’s promised every angry bogan and Gina Rinehart that he will axe the Mining Tax, but will he be able to do this without a majority in the Senate? So I hope Abbott’s feeling pretty impotent right now. And worried. Come the next election, not even hot daughters and a Murdoch media campaign can hide the fact that the angry bogans haven’t been given what they’ve been promised.

But Abbott’s impotence isn’t the only reason for my optimism. I also think an Abbott government is going to give the Labor party, and all progressive voters, a golden opportunity to go back to basics, and to question what exactly it is that we want from a progressive government and how we can bring about change without hitting the same hurdles which have damaged progressive reform in the last decade. Here are the lessons we need to learn to get things back on track in time to comprehensively beat Abbott in 2016. Bring on the One Term Tony campaign!

Labor’s relationship with unions

The issue of industrial relations was practically absent from this year’s election, even though Abbott’s front bench will essentially mimic John Howard’s front bench, the creators of Work Choices. There is no doubt that Abbott, or his backers at least, have an industrial relations policy in the works, ready to spring on unsuspecting voters who seem completely comfortable voting for a party who refuse to tell them what they plan to do in government.

But my question for progressive voters is this – should we wait until Abbott threatens worker’s rights to rise up and fight like we did in 2007, or should we be shoring up worker’s rights constantly, with a Labor Party that works in alliance with the Labour Movement through strong, fair, effective unions?

The problem with a strong, successful union movement is that unions have become the victims of their own success. Workers no longer acknowledge they need union support, until the moment they need union support. Union membership is at an all time low, especially amongst a younger generation of voters who have benefited from and lived complacently with union negotiated rights from the very start of their working lives.

I think it’s time progressive voters start to have a frank discussion about the role of unions in Australia, the benefit of unions, the relationship between the Labour Movement and the Labor Party, and the importance of unions working with the Labor Party. I think we should talk about the role of unions in the executive branch of the party – is it possible for them to have a fair influence without controlling everything? This sounds like a huge can of worms, but what better time to open it than now?

Uniting to get what we want

Long time readers of my blog will have noticed my frustration throughout this election campaign with the failure of progressive Green voters to unite with Labor voters to defeat Abbott with a unified front. Many will no doubt argue that Labor had no intention of unifying with Greens either, which may be so. But when Greens are actively campaigning against Labor, it does make the prospect of a united front a little hard to envisage.

When I say that progressive voters need to go back to basics, I think it’s really important that Greens voters and Labor voters start to realise that we’re not each other’s enemy and that we should be able to work together to bring about progressive reform, to the benefit of all of us.

For instance, using the policy of the Mining Tax as an example, it would be helpful if Greens supporters could at least acknowledge that Labor was forced to engage in a huge battle with rich mining companies over this policy. In a perfect world, Labor would have preferred a mining tax that more resembled the one outlined in the Henry Review, however progressive reform is not implemented by flicking a switch. You can’t just say ‘here it is’ and expect the policy to succeed. So when the Greens base their entire policy platform and costings on the assumption that if they were in power, they would instantly be able to introduce a much higher rate of tax for mining companies, it does make Labor supporters a little wary of these ‘perfect world’ scenarios, which would, from Labor’s experience, not be possible without a huge fight by some of the most powerful, influential industries in the country. Whether it’s right or not that mining companies influence policies affecting them, it’s reality. Labor has to work within this reality. And so would Greens if they ever had a chance.

It should be obvious, but it obviously needs to be said, that it would be much more productive for all progressive voters to fight on the same side. It would be much more productive for us all if the Greens didn’t spend their entire lives bagging Labor as ‘not being left-wing enough’, while also ignoring the political reality of the battle required to pass progressive policy. Rather than the Greens leaving all the battles to Labor, I think we all need to go back to basics, and battle this out together. We need to acknowledge who the real enemy is, which is anything getting in the way of progressive policy, surely?

I acknowledge that there will always be times where Greens don’t agree with Labor about various policies. But if a Green is judging Labor against an unobtainable utopian outcome which would never be possible in Australia’s political reality, I don’t think Greens are either being fair to Labor, or helpful in furthering progressive reform. I think Greens need to grow up and learn that some progress is better than no progress, whether a policy is perfect or not. We all also need to learn that the only way we’ll get anywhere is fighting for progressive reform together. If that means Greens have to compromise and negotiate, they have three years to work out how to do this.

Communicating the right message

The mainstream media’s political reportage has been in a downward spiral from low quality, low integrity, to downright unethical and immoral in the last few years. Following Murdoch’s lead, it now appears to be completely acceptable for political journalists from a range of media organisations to be completely devoid of the ability to be balanced, fair, and objective in their scrutiny of the political choices faced by voters.

Abbott not only had a free pass throughout the entire election campaign by avoiding examination altogether, he was also able to get away with hiding his costings and policy details from voters until the very last days of election. Even when they were released, they were barely reported.

This isn’t just disappointing. This is a travesty and a huge embarrassment for Australia’s mainstream media. For Murdoch to gloat on Twitter after Abbott’s victory speech that other countries will follow Australia’s lead in moving to the right, just shows what a scary, megalomaniac, wannabe dictator we have controlling the vast majority of newspapers in Australia. Progressive voters should be incredibly concerned about this situation.

So what do we do? The first thing we should acknowledge is that angry bogans who have delivered Abbott his victory are not reading this blog post. They are much more likely to be Daily Telegraph readers than they are Twitter users. So how do we reach them? Labor needs to improve their communication skills. This means the communication carried out centrally by the party, and the communication skills of the individuals within the party. Labor members know exactly what the ALP stands for, but do angry bogans?
Since we know swing voters are not going to learn anything good about Labor by reading the newspaper or watching the nightly news, we need to find ways to communicate without relying on the mainstream media. When Labor has a chance to communicate with voters, whether it be individual MPs in interviews or via political advertising, Labor’s message needs to be strong and clear. And all the leadership infighting has to end right now. The party needs to go back to basics and remind voters why they need and rely on progressive reform to improve their lives. If Labor has learnt anything from the last 6 years it is that the electorate won’t automatically give them credit for popular policies – they need to learn how to sell these policies to get the political success they deserve for their hard work.

Progressive voters need to go back to basics to beat Abbott in 2016. I think we can do it. Who is up for the challenge?

591 thoughts on “#OneTermTony – back to basics

  1. Why is it that the LNP and their hangers-on never seem to take notice of things like this. There’s a good chance we might be headed for a milder version of the European version of austerity economics.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

    { Europe faces a “lost decade”, with the number of people trapped in poverty across the continent set to rise by up to 25 million by 2025 unless austerity policies are reversed, according to a damning new report from aid agency Oxfam.

    The charity, which is better known for delivering relief programmes in developing countries, says the damage being inflicted on many European societies is reminiscent of the devastation wrought by the strict “structural adjustment” programmes imposed on poor countries by the International Monetary Fund over the past 25 years.

    Countries in Latin America and Asia that turned to the IMF for help in the 1980s and 1990s were often forced to slash public spending and liberalise their markets in exchange for rescue loans.

    “These policies were a failure: a medicine that sought to cure the disease by killing the patient. They cannot be allowed to happen again”, says the strongly-worded report, to be published on Thursday. }
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/sep/12/european-poverty-oxfam-warning

  2. When Tone does his commission of audit I want to see the working papers. You know, the stuff that contains all the assumptions, testing and evidence?

  3. I used to be involved in doing efficiency audits for the Audit Office. The outcome usually was “why on Earth are you devoting your resources to these bagatelles!” I have also done audits for a private firm. There, I delved into whether computer systems were doing the right thing. Sadly, if no “material” differences showed up in the financial records, my findings about weaknesses in the systems could go hang. I nearly went spare and was forced to leave to preserve my sanity.

    No such concerns for One Prick Tony, I’m sure.

  4. How not to make a rusty nail.

    One: don’t use a cheappie like Red Label and
    Two: lose the ice!

  5. Isn’t it wonderful! I have lots of this stuff on media but I can play it at all hours here, at The Pub. Some, here, might even like it!

    If you are not careful I may even post Carl Nielsen’s symphony number 5.

  6. That particular recording of “Bolero” is well known.

    That particular clip is the best I have seen: it starts earlier, which is quite important for the enjoyment.

    As for the playing, the winds lack a lot of oomph.

    Just watch the pony-tail behind the hero: she spends about five minutes warming up before she goeth forth.

  7. And that, ladles and jelly beans, is what a tenor saxophone can do.

    Amy is another one I want to marry … should I ever grow up.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    So much for the “understandings” that Mesma and Morriscum insisted they had with Indonesia. Flakes!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/abbott-policies-anger-indonesia-20130912-2tnun.html
    This is totally unacceptable in our country.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/12/tony-abbott-death-threat-facebook
    A level headed farewell to Sophie.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ciao-bella-sophie-prepares-to-exit-stage-right-20130912-2tnkj.html
    Tim Colebatch with a pen picture of Bill Shorten.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rise-and-rise-of-a-reasonable-man-20130912-2tno0.html

  9. Section 3 . . .

    Cathy Wilcox has a crack at whingeing large retailers.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/cathy-wilcox-20090909-fhd6.html
    David Pope infers that the Labor Party has some work to do.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html
    There’s plenty to see here in this cartoon from David Rowe.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/cartoon_gallery_david_rowe_1g8WHy9urgOIQrWQ0IrkdO
    MUST SEE!!!!!! Ron Tandberg farewells our Sophie whilst having a crack at Abbott at the same time.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/ron-tandberg-20090910-fixc.html

  10. And from the Land of the Free –

    Harry Reid has (finally) had enough of the Tea Party.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/09/12/video-harry-reid-anarchists-taken-house-senate/
    And the lovely Michelle Bachmann’s woes deepen. Pity about that.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/09/12/house-ethics-committee-extends-michele-bachmann-probe/
    Some cartoons farewelling Anthony Weiner.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2013/09/12/cartoons-day-buh-bye-anthony-weiner/
    Gun laws in the US and its states are a farce.
    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/missouri-lawmakers-fail-override-nixons-ve
    Jon Stewart takes down FoxNews in 15 seconds.
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017144963

  11. Tandberg on Blood Oaf visiting Indonesia. Perhaps they will especially seeing this comment from the head of the Indonesian parliament’s foreign affairs commission re Abbott’s Buy the Boats . “… degrading and offensive to the dignity of Indonesians”

  12. This is totally unacceptable in our country.

    Yes, but having spent years whipping up the feral elements of the electorate, it’s karma.
    Wasn’t there a Liberal ad with targets painted on Gillard etc. just after Gabrielle Giffords was shot? (I looked, but couldn’t find it.)

  13. Jaeger
    There was. And more. All that crap from Liberal hangers-on about Julia Gillard needing to be killed in various ways was laughed about on countless TV programs, blogs and Facebook pages. It was supposed to be just old boys like Alan Jones, Graham Morris and the abysmal Larry Pickering having a joke. The whole stinking lot was repeated over and over again by the smirking oafs and oafettes of the OM, just in case we had missed the originals. The Federal Mr Plods never felt the need to investigate, or to arrest Messrs Jones, Pickering, Morris et al for their remarks, incitations to violence and death threats. Despite many complaints Facebook refused to shut down Mr Pickering’s abusive page. But do the same thing to St Anthony of Warringah and there’s hell to pay. Mr Plod leaps to attention, Facebook races to shut down the offending page, the OM are outraged. Hypocrites the lot of them.

  14. There’s so much bad news in this for so many people. We have elected a right bastard as PM.

    Abbott’s attack on unions
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/abbott_attack_on_unions_5gBDcoKPdPonTTTpz8QiaJ

    And we all get to share the pain – there’s this scary announcment.
    “The office of the Coalition’s spokesperson for mental health and ageing, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, declined to comment on Thursday.
    Senator Fierravanti-Wells is expected to lose her portfolio in government and West Australian senator Michaelia Cash is in line for the job.”

  15. Oi Oi Oi in San Francisco as NZ clean up two more Americas Cup races. Three more wins needed .

    .

  16. That Jonathan Brown post reminded me of an old but gold Dad n’ Dave joke..I’ll tell it you if you want to hear…it’s a bit saucy!

  17. Shame that Mike Kelly lost Eden Monaro. Another gift from Rudd – IMO Mike would have held that seat had he not advertised his support for Rudd. Mike remarked to one of the journos that people were telling him that he’d done a good job for them but they couldn’t vote for him after all the turmoil within the party.

  18. But Janice…that bloke ; “Nick” that started that petition evidently, on his own word, voted for the LNP.!….dickhead!
    Ps. That peacock on your blog-photo…is that yours?

  19. jaycee,
    Yes, I know ‘Nick’ voted LNP and I agree he’s a DH if he wanted the NBN – maybe he just didn’t want Rudd?

    Yes, that peacock is mine – one of four actually. Beautiful birds if only they didn’t leave landmines on the verandah. Paddy’s job is to keep them away from the house.

  20. Hi everyone.

    Jaeger “targets on their foreheads” – I was looking for some info on that the other day so thanks for that, total hypocritical basterd.

    foreverjanice – typical, I signed the petition as well.

  21. And that, ladles and jelly beans, is what a tenor saxophone can do.

    Sorry to say, but Philip Glass has to be THE most boring, over-rated, under-talented, repetitive, three-note drone of a composer in the history of artistic practical jokes.

    Composers can have a style, but within that style there can be a universe of creativity. Glass, however, only ever writes in terms of the same notes repeated over and over again – usually three of them – in some kind of mockery of inventiveness and the intelligence of his audience.

    You can drop into a Glass composition at any time and it’s the same as it was a minute, and hour, a week, a month, a career ago (just in case you missed the one “creative” idea he has ever had and has decided to flog to death).

    He moves as slowly as a sub-plot in Days Of Our Lives, except Days Of Our Lives is at least in color. Glass is monochrome all the way through.

    With his repetitive three-note mantras he is the Tony Abbott of composers.

    And about as interesting and memorable.

  22. All that panic and bleating before the election about “budget emergencies” and the need to “act now!” to cut the spending and the assorted MSM. nail-biting commentry over the decline of Aust’ to a “Greek end”…..and now we have Grattan laconicly “ho-humming” about the need to take your time for all sorts of political things!…The USELESS BASTARDS!…the MSM. and the LNP. are like that soviet car (the “Trebbie”[?] ), that you only appreciate it once you’ve stopped pushing it! …..we now have a political wreck of a govt’ being reported on by a physical wreck of a OM…..neither of which has any idea where the fuel cap is to fill it with juice or even where the road is to drive it upon!….CHRIST!…have we ever been dudded by the gormless voters and the SFB. media…..
    Last night had to listen to f#ckwit Sales giving a panegyric to Stoolman on his departure from the shitbox ABC. Jeesus!…I hope they search his pockets on the way out for dummies!

  23. Heres my opinion on the Labor leadership, who ever is selected the media will smite with their hate & will dig up every miserable detail of their lives & then align Rudd with plotting behind them.

  24. Gotta laugh, people think they could vote for Abbott and still get ALP policies, even after 4 years of his relentless opposition to them (apart from a view notable backflips).

    And now they realise that Abbott’s plans might actually be serious.

    Well, the turkeys have voted for Christmas, now they just waiting for the stuffing and glazing.

  25. Julian Burnside suggests turning Tasmanian into one big detention center for asylum seekers. He argues that at least there is some precedent.

  26. I’m sorry about this long post my friends…But I have had enough of these dumb, stupid SFB. bogans and f#ckwit voters who have condemmed half the nation to a propper bastard of a govt’ run by a proper bastard of a bastard!!
    This is an example of the type of dickhead, unthinking, opportunist, lazy, arse-kissing pr!ck-faced-arsehole peon who voted how they did for no other reason than THEY COULD!….no thought, no policy, no philosophy other than me, me, me!…
    This from Dostoyevsky ; “Mikolka” the peasant claimed the right to kill the beast for no other reason than it was “…my property..my property!”

    The Peasant kills the horse….:

    “Don’t meddle! It’s my property, I’ll do what I choose. Get in, more of you! Get in, all of you! I will have her go at a gallop!…”
    All at once laughter broke into a roar and covered everything: the mare, roused by the shower of blows, began feebly kicking. Even the old man could not help smiling. To think of a wretched little beast like that trying to kick!
    Two lads in the crowd snatched up whips and ran to the mare to beat her about the ribs. One ran each side.
    “Hit her in the face, in the eyes, in the eyes,” cried Mikolka.
    “Give us a song, mates,” shouted someone in the cart and everyone in the cart joined in a riotous song, jingling a tambourine and whistling. The woman went on cracking nuts and laughing.
    … He ran beside the mare, ran in front of her, saw her being whipped across the eyes, right in the eyes! He was crying, he felt choking, his tears were streaming. One of the men gave him a cut with the whip across the face, he did not feel it. Wringing his hands and screaming, he rushed up to the grey-headed old man with the grey beard, who was shaking his head in disapproval. One woman seized him by the hand and would have taken him away, but he tore himself from her and ran back to the mare. She was almost at the last gasp, but began kicking once more.
    “I’ll teach you to kick,” Mikolka shouted ferociously. He threw down the whip, bent forward and picked up from the bottom of the cart a long, thick shaft, he took hold of one end with both hands and with an effort brandished it over the mare.
    “He’ll crush her,” was shouted round him. “He’ll kill her!”
    “It’s my property,” shouted Mikolka and brought the shaft down with a swinging blow. There was a sound of a heavy thud.
    “Thrash her, thrash her! Why have you stopped?” shouted voices in the crowd.
    And Mikolka swung the shaft a second time and it fell a second time on the spine of the luckless mare. She sank back on her haunches, but lurched forward and tugged forward with all her force, tugged first on one side and then on the other, trying to move the cart. But the six whips were attacking her in all directions, and the shaft was raised again and fell upon her a third time, then a fourth, with heavy measured blows. Mikolka was in a fury that he could not kill her at one blow.
    “She’s a tough one,” was shouted in the crowd.
    “She’ll fall in a minute, mates, there will soon be an end of her,” said an admiring spectator in the crowd.
    “Fetch an axe to her! Finish her off,” shouted a third.
    “I’ll show you! Stand off,” Mikolka screamed frantically; he threw down the shaft, stooped down in the cart and picked up an iron crowbar. “Look out,” he shouted, and with all his might he dealt a stunning blow at the poor mare. The blow fell; the mare staggered, sank back, tried to pull, but the bar fell again with a swinging blow on her back and she fell on the ground like a log.
    “Finish her off,” shouted Mikolka and he leapt beside himself, out of the cart. Several young men, also flushed with drink, seized anything they could come across—whips, sticks, poles, and ran to the dying mare. Mikolka stood on one side and began dealing random blows with the crowbar. The mare stretched out her head, drew a long breath and died.
    “You butchered her,” someone shouted in the crowd.
    “Why wouldn’t she gallop then?”
    “My property!” shouted Mikolka, with bloodshot eyes, brandishing the bar in his hands. He stood as though regretting that he had nothing more to beat.”………………………………

  27. Sorry to lose Latrobe but not sorry to lose Laura Smyth. Her dislike for JG was obvious. She only started to smile when KR was reinstated.

  28. Sorry to lose Latrobe but not sorry to lose Laura Smyth. Her dislike for JG was obvious. She only started to smile when KR was reinstated.

    Ironic given that without Julia she wouldn’t have been elected in 2010.

  29. I wonder how many low-paid aged care workers voted for Abbott.

    And how many people who’ve bought solar electricity panels too.

    When the Schoolkids’ Bonus cheques don’t arrive, they’ll find he was serious about that, too. It’s the one spending cut promise he made that no-one can say they didn’t know about.

    But don’t worry. People in Melbourne driving along their new PPP motorway into an already crowded CBD will appreciate his largesse. As will Western Sydney tradies who can now get into the CBD they never visit, by driving along a $16 billion tunnel that will just move the traffic jam to right where we need it: the City of Sydney. Nice work, WS tradies! You got all the prizes and didn’t even vote for him!

    Let’s not forget the women of calibre, who’ll be able to have baby after baby, and still get their wages paid c/o the Taxpayer.

    And the lazy polluters, who can belch CO2 into the atmosphere as much as they want, and pick up more and more subsidies as they go along.Meanwhile, Joe will have to kick the habit of a lifetime and stop trash-talking the economy.

    He can’t even moan too much about some imagined “mess” Labor left him. As Grog points out, everything he says from now on will have the ears of the markets quivering.

    Julie Bishop has finished rehearsals, and it’s Show Time for her too. She’s about to find out that all those warnings from Indonesia about trying-on Stop The Boats were meant, and meant seriously. Being Foreign Minister is more than cocktail parties and Armani suits Julie. And you’re not as young as you used to be, so don’t expect the nig-nogs in Jakarta to be too impressed by your faded physical charms, or even your best death stare. You’re about to be handed your bony arse skewered on a sate stick, honey.

    Nope, it’s “No excuses” time, just like Tony said it would be. It’s also “No Whingeing” time and “No Surprises” time.

    Keeping all those balls in the air is going to be fun to watch.

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