Home > Oz Politics > The five stages of Gillard grief

The five stages of Gillard grief

September 28th, 2011

The stages of grief when a political leader is doomed differ a little in sequence from the classic Kubler-Ross order, since bargaining is a real process rather than an adjustment mechanism. Altering the order to Denial, Anger, Depression, Acceptance and Bargaining, I’d say the Labor Caucus is now in the Depression stage. Acceptance must happen before too long – the evidence that Labor will be crushed under Gillard is overwhelming and no-one really wants to try a third leader in less than two years.So, after Acceptance, it will be time for Bargaining. The key is for Rudd to accept enough collegial control to prevent a repetition of the failure last time.

Categories: Oz Politics Tags:
  1. Alan
    September 28th, 2011 at 12:27 | #1

    There is another stage of grief, although a personal not a collective one. Gillard would increase the chance of Labor surviving the election by going quietly. She will lose the prime ministership in any case, the prospect of Labor going down to oblivion rather than change leader is nil. Going voluntarily and soon would give Labor longer to rebuild. The more time Rudd gets to regroup and the way he is returned to the leadership, could make a huge difference in the election.

  2. Alan
    September 28th, 2011 at 12:56 | #2

    I hope the Liberals bring back Malcolm Turnbull. At least we would then get a Prime Minister who has a reasonable grip on reality.

  3. Chris Warren
    September 28th, 2011 at 13:37 | #3

    This white-anting of Gillard has to stop. What possible basis is there of:

    I’d say the Labor Caucus is now in the Depression stage.

    This is all a Liberal stunt based on rancid mischief. The opposition to Gillard is based only on:

    1) Policy
    2) Exigencies of minority government with a confused Wilkie and soft-right Windsor/Oakeshott
    3) Being in the way of Abbott’s ambition.

    Switching to Rudd would not address these. It would add further fuel to the dogs baying at Gillard’s heels, and in fact – after any such coup, it may well then be found that matters are either just the same, or worse.

    Rudd himself probably, and wisely, will stay out of contention, knowing that if he chops-off Gillard, he will be blamed personally for the ALP loosing office at the next election. His ambition can be fully satiated when the party elects its leader after the next election.

    It is a total misunderstanding of Australian politics to think that switchoing from TweedleDee to TweedleDum fixes anything. It just gives journalists something to hyperbolate over.

  4. TerjeP
    September 28th, 2011 at 13:50 | #4

    Changing leader provides an excuse to change policy. However if you change the leader and keep the policy then nothing is achieved. Personally I’d much prefer Gillard over Rudd. Rudd is a meglomaniac.

  5. sam
    September 28th, 2011 at 14:01 | #5

    I’m sorry to thread-derail here, but I’d like to discuss the Andrew Bolt conviction. JQ, is it time for another sandbox yet?

  6. Alan
    September 28th, 2011 at 14:06 | #6

    It is a truism that goes back to Whitlam: a leader does best at their first election. Gillard made little impression at her first election and the decline since has been catastrophic. The Poll Bludger reports:

    However, the poll offers new torment for Julia Gillard by finding Labor would be ahead 52-48 if it were led by Kevin Rudd. The primary votes, we are told, would be 42 per cent to Labor, 43 per cent to the Coalition and 9 per cent to the Greens. Rudd has 44 per cent support as preferred Labor leader, against 19 per cent for Gillard, 10 per cent for Stephen Smith, 8 per cent for Simon Crean, 5 per cent for Bill Shorten and 4 per cent for Greg Combet.

    It is a long way from the Gillard primary vote of 27% to the Rudd primary vote of 42%. The Gillard primary vote is only 1.4% better than Labor’s disastrous result in NSW. Is Labor’s goal electoral oblivion with the present leader or actually winning the election?

  7. fred
    September 28th, 2011 at 14:07 | #7

    This govt’s unpopularity is directly caused by the blatant media propaganda campaign against it.
    Changing leaders will give temporary respite at the very best before the boots get stuck in … again.
    The problem is the media, if we want to advocate a change to benefit Oz then advocate a change in the media not musical chairs for the party.
    Gillard is not the problem, Rudd, or anyone else, is not the solution.
    Its the ‘system’.

  8. Hermit
    September 28th, 2011 at 15:56 | #8

    I understand the next full time election must be in 2013. I’ve also seen a suggestion (link lost) that 2013 could also be the hottest year modern humans will have ever experienced. That and a fairly benign experience of the carbon tax may revive Gillard’s standing. OTOH Texas USA just broke all kinds of heat records but the CC denying governor is very popular.

    Collectively I wonder if we’re the full quid. Australia’s economy is the envy of the world. Gillard is our first female PM. She is actually doing something about carbon emissions. Rudd talked and walked. When the activist higher courts quibbled about Malaysia the media all parrotted ‘incompetence’. Why don’t they level that at Obama if activist higher courts throw out health care?

    Finally a threat; if carbon mitigation is back pedalled then the interactive media will descend to a new level of nastiness. As in the country is being run by Neanderthals.

  9. Michael
    September 28th, 2011 at 16:48 | #9

    It makes little sense to people interested mainly in policy but the circumstances surrounding the way Gillard took power has the most to do with her unpopularity. This shouldn’t be the case in an ideal world but this is how people think, and unfortunately all kinds of other things are being attached to it. This doesn’t mean that Rudd will necessarily win an election but it stretches credulity to imagine that he would do worse in the polls than Gillard. It’s a pity because Gillard’s unpopularity is being driven by a poisonous media and opposition for all the wrong reasons.

  10. TerjeP
    September 28th, 2011 at 16:53 | #10

    Fred – surely the problem is with the voters. Maybe they should liquidate parts of the population. Ungrateful souls that they are.

  11. Michael
    September 28th, 2011 at 16:58 | #11

    @TerjeP
    The voters don’t generally meet with politicians often and their views of politics are based on what filters through the media, surely even libertarians realise this?

  12. Tim Macknay
    September 28th, 2011 at 17:12 | #12

    If the ALP does get rid of Gillard, it needs to wait until all the important, contentious legislation (i.e. clean energy future package, mining tax, etc) is through the Parliament. Derailing those reforms to switch leaders would be an act of profound idiocy.

  13. Donald Oats
    September 28th, 2011 at 17:40 | #13

    I still feel Labor, or a Labor/Green coalition, have a reasonable chance of succeeding at the next election with Julia Gillard as the prime minister. What Labor desperately need is a media-strategy unit that can anticipate the kind of arguments that will confront a given policy, and a unit savvy enough to head off such arguments before they are developed into self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Kevin Rudd had that, for a time. Then something changed—perhaps specific personnel left, or got burnt out, etc. Gillard, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to have that same capability within her office.

    If Gillard was to go, then I believe that the only member of Labor who has the sort of credibility to weather the inevitable storm (of replacing Gillard and holding on to the policies already in play) is Greg Combet. He can argue with passion and with a level of factual persuasiveness that not many others (on the Labor side) can muster. He mightn’t be Mr Charisma, but I reckon he’d get the job done. Nevertheless, I think it would be a genuine political error to turf Gillard overboard; better they strengthen the staff ranks for dealing with strategy and media releases, etc.

  14. Donald Oats
    September 28th, 2011 at 17:42 | #14

    PS: OT but Bolt is busted.

  15. Ron E Joggles
    September 28th, 2011 at 21:14 | #15

    I think the constant speculation about Kevin Rudd regaining the leadership is driven by boredom, by the forlorn hope for dramatic and exciting events – so I’m surprised to find Professor Quiggin indulging himself (and many of us) in this way.

    I’d like to see Kevin back as PM, but as one of the long suffering but still loyal ALP members, I’m sure it’s not going to happen – it would be seen as just too desperate, correctly.

    My prediction is that PM Gillard will continue to gamely plug away, and after all she’s not doing a bad job in my opinion – the economy is booming, unemployment is low, and we really don’t have much to complain about.

    It’s just a shame that she’s so lousy at selling the government’s successes, and a disaster that she and Chris Bowen didn’t seize the moment and dump off-shore processing of asylum seekers – that would have won back the support of many more voters that it would have lost.

    She badly needs a new speech writer – the chanting repetitious style of making points in recent speeches comes across as glib and contrived, and so 20th century.

    I hope and expect that she’ll persist with the government’s program of legislation, on carbon pollution and mining profits tax particularly, and probably go down fighting at the 2013 election – and that’s the way it ought to be.

    I don’t think Tony Abbott has the testicular fortitude to roll back reforms that his advisors and supporters in industry will be telling him were necessary, despite what he says now.

  16. optimist
    September 28th, 2011 at 21:36 | #16

    I liked the suggestion that the Government she formed means she can only govern through compromise and compromise means no one’s ever happy. I think appalling polls are Julia’s lot and thank goodness she hasn’t let the polls drive her to a standstill

  17. Alan
    September 28th, 2011 at 22:10 | #17

    I think Gillard’s problem flows from more substantive issues than adverse media. Other Labor leaders have dealt with an adverse media successfully. Gillard seems incapable of communicating in anything but clichés.

    At least part of Gillard’s problem is that she has a passion for adopting rightwing positions. There is no issue where she has not adopted a more conservative position than Rudd, including global warming where she was one of the voices (according to Lindsay Tanner) opposing the Rudd ETS, asylum seekers where she appears to have no policy except the peripheral one of opposing people smuggling, the MRRT which she watered down significantly, and economic policy where the surplus is being given priority over everything else.

  18. Ken_L
    September 28th, 2011 at 22:16 | #18

    Lots of argument by assertion here but not much in the way of evidence or coherent reasoning. However there is an unpleasant tendency to reinforce the contemporary drift towards towards presidential executive government, as if whoever gets elected leader of the majority party immediately becomes a ruthless all-powerful dictator. See for example #8 – ‘She is actually doing something about carbon emissions. Rudd talked and walked.’ What a grossly misconceived model of political power! Many Australians seem to yearn for that old-fashioned Man on a White Horse to come and fix all our problems with Strong Leadership.

    The Labor Governments led by Kevin Rudd and then by Julia Gillard have lurched from one bungled public administration project to another. Sadly, it is likely that the opposition would be even worse. However analysis should focus on the complex power structures that account for both parties’ dismal performance. Pretending it is all about the leaders is not only misconceived but dangerously so.

  19. Chris Warren
    September 28th, 2011 at 23:29 | #19

    @Ken_L

    Unfortunately there is the same assertion without evidence or coherent reasoning here.

    There is no evidence of a drift to some form of immediate “ruthless all-powerful dictator”. Where is the coherent reasoning?

    The Labor government have not lunched from one bungled project to another. This is just spin. One or two projects – schools stimulus spending, home insulation, submarines etc – are not bungled projects overall. So where is the coherent reasoning that would allow anyone to claim that these projects stand for the ‘Labour Governments’? What is your test for a bungled project, and how does this relate to the majority of projects of the Labour Governments. It seems you are simply cherry-picking projects according to media comments (which are usually seeded by Liberals and Bolts and etc).

    Where is there evidence for your assertion that Australians seem to yearn for a Man on a White Horse to come and fix things? I’ve never heard such nonsense.

    I defy anyone to describe what Australians supposedly yearn for out of the political system.

  20. TerjeP
    September 29th, 2011 at 00:02 | #20

    @Donald Oats

    Have you actually looked at the polls. See the following Crikey article for a great analysis. On the current trajectory the ALP is thoroughly screwed. They barely scrapped through at the last election and there numbers are now much worse.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2011/09/28/wipeout/

  21. Freelander
    September 29th, 2011 at 05:11 | #21

    Rudd has clearly learnt nothing. Gillard is hardly great, but she is still preferable to Abbott. If they are going to bring Rudd back they ought to leave it ‘till the final year of this term. As he isn’t able to do the hard part of the job (that is, dealing with others in his party and in the bureaucracy, showing respect to those he believes are his subordinates, and making the machinery of government work, rather than the relatively easy prancing around in front of a camera and giving speeches) they can’t afford to give him too much of a run up to an election. Given his manifest flaws, after an election they would then have to dump him again.

    Maybe the Labor party should simply disband altogether, as they seem more of a vehicle for the ambitions of those high up in the party, and not a party with a great deal of interest in the welfare of their traditional support base?

    If the Greens can shake off their flakiness, and their reputation for flakiness, they will probably soon replace them anyway.

  22. Stan the man
    September 29th, 2011 at 09:19 | #22

    Denial and Anger phase for you Chris
    Sorry@Chris Warren

  23. Watching the Deniers
    September 29th, 2011 at 09:58 | #23

    Gillard has failed because she speaks, acts and looks like a technocrat from the legal profession. I should know, I work in the law. Within the rarefied legal/business circles he manner would be greatly admired. Every time I see her and her speak I think, “Well there’s another law firm partner”.

    She sounds like a policy wonk, regurgitating talking points about “reform” and “structural issues in the Australian economy”.

    Her language and her ability to “tell a story” that convinces ordinary Australian’s Labor is the party to govern is deficient.

    Don’t get me wrong – I want her to be a great leader. She is intelligent, clearly understands the issues in depth. She would make a great treasurer or minister of one of the larger portfolios.

    But a leader… sadly not.

    Think of Hawke/Keating… The formers ability to connect and bring together and the laters obvious technical skills and intellect. Hawke was the heart, and Keating the head.

    Gillard needs someone of vision, charisma and with an understanding of what leadership (the heart) is to compliment her obvious technical strengths.

    And no, I don’t mean Rudd (a technocrat if there ever was one) or a “man”. Women can lead and inspire.

  24. Alan
    September 29th, 2011 at 10:56 | #24

    @Watching the Deniers

    Gillard’s other problem is a habit of wanting to appear tough-minded by selecting particular groups for attack. This would fit with the senior partner theory.

    Before the budget she announced ‘tough’ new measures against disability pensioners would be included. The budget proposals were actually mild and sensible but the tone of her comments before the budget were excessive, causing stress to a group that doesn’t need it and alienating a group of voters that traditionally vote Labor. One of the really nasty things about the NSW result was the dramatic decline in Labor support in electorates with high numbers of second- and third-generation migrants who appear to have read the ‘tough’ position on asylum seekers as opposition to immigration itself. In a similar way I suspect her position on marriage equality is defined as much by wanting to appear a tough-minded leader as by anything else.

  25. kevin1
    September 29th, 2011 at 11:57 | #25

    @Alan
    Alan what’s the evidence that second and third gen migrants oppose a tough attitude to asylum seekers? My recollection is that many of these – who usually came by a different route – don’t identify with recent asylum seekers.

  26. Alan
    September 29th, 2011 at 12:15 | #26

    In fact large numbers of migrants arrived as refugees after WWII and the Indochina wars. The large declines in the Labor vote in heavily migrant electorates is easy to document from the NSW election results. There’s anecdotal evidence from a number of NSW figures like Cavalieri and Iemma. With the government rabbitting on endlessly about people-smugglers and rarely mentioning the benefits of immigration it should not be a surprise.

  27. September 29th, 2011 at 13:44 | #27

    There are numerous problems with the Gillard government, however the problems are the ‘effect’ rather than the ’cause’. The ’cause’ of their issues go directly to a lack of leadership. More here:

    http://www.spinspun.com.au/?p=59

  28. kevin1
    September 29th, 2011 at 14:32 | #28

    @Alan
    Howard seemed chuffed in 2007 to get support on the hustings from Asian migrants – almost “turned” him. Polls on this issue jump around but this Andrew Markus study http://www.globalmovements.monash.edu.au/news/ looked at the birthplace of respondents to the question “what do you think of the number of immigrants accepted into Australia at present?”, and found the Australian born were about 12-16 percentage points more likely to answer “too high” on average over the period from 2007-10, compared to overseas born. (52% compared to 34-39% in 2010) I don’t think it gives info on age, but I’m thinking when they came is prob relevant – older post WW2 migrants are likely to be more conservative. Linking their disillusion with Labor in NSW election with Gillard’s stance on immigration is still a big call.

  29. Alan
    September 30th, 2011 at 01:20 | #29

    @kevin1

    I am afraid you will have to point me to a precise reference for your figure on Australian-born attitudes to the immigration intake. Searching that document for the term ‘Australian-born’returned a null result. All I could find at your link is:

    Paralleling the perceived increase in immigration, there has been a marked rise in the proportion agreeing with the view that the intake was ‘too high’: up from 37% to 47% (or amongst Australian citizens only, up from 39% to 48%). This finding is almost identical with the 46% average result from five polls conducted by polling agencies in the period March‐July 2010.5

    My understanding is that Howard did not receive a strong Asian vote in 2007. Rather, Bennelong changed hands precisely because the Asian vote there swung to Labor in 2007 and then swung back in 2010. That would support my contention rather than yours.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain
    September 30th, 2011 at 07:35 | #30

    Just who presides over this piece of wholly controlled US/Zionist property, soon to become an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ for the coming confrontation with China, is a matter of utter indifference to me. Since Keating we have had four actual and apparently already anointed PMs, and they have been disasters, one and all. Howard, at least as far as I’m concerned, far exceeded everyone’s justified fears during his rule, poisoning the country to its core. Rudd was Howard with hair, keeping every vile and morally insane policy almost entirely intact. News Corpse targeted him for obscure reasons, principally, I would say, simply because they could, because the exercise of power without moral responsibility really appeals to certain types of psychopaths on the Right. Rudd may have survived, if his capacity to offend people had not been so disastrously misapplied when he expelled a Mossad agent over the repeated theft of Australian passport identities for Mossad ritual murders. Rudd forgot just where power really lies here, and in all capitalist sham democracies’, and that is with the money power. News Corpse immediately upped the rhetoric, the local Zionists threatened a contributions strike, and, despite conciliatory dinners with local Zionist grandees at The Lodge, with kosher food specially flown in from Melbourne, Rudd had to go. Simply revisit ‘The Fundament’s’ front page the day after the execution and peruse Greg Sheridan’s gloating and crowing which reveals much of who were behind Rudd’s demise.
    And after Rudd we get Gillard, the enthusiastic supporter for the child-murdering rampage in Gaza in 2008, and the vomit-inducing groveler to the US Congress. And no matter how far they move to the Right, Chris Mitchell and his droogs are never satisfied. I mean, after all, who really calls the shots in this country? And we must face the coming acceleration of the global system collapse, as economic ruin caused by unrepayable debt and grotesque inequality interacts with resource depletion (particularly of food) and ecological crises by the score, and the upsurge in Western bellicosity and aggression as they seek to re-impose their brutal dominance over the entire planet, led by Abbott, Rudd or Gillard. Heaven help us all.

  31. kika
    September 30th, 2011 at 07:59 | #31

    all your comments are interesting and thoughtful. however, looking at the bigger picture, i can see that the old parties – labor, liberal and national – really have no idea of how to deal with the challenges of this new, and very different, century.

    without urging from the greens, i doubt that labor would be attempting to initiate a carbon tax – even one as weak as what is now being proposed.

    it seems to me that whatever future we have left, given the fast rates of destruction of our environment and our over-breeding habit, will be decided by the greens, more small parties and more independents – a much greater diversity of parliamentary representatives.

    much will have to change for this to work. firstly, the way we communicate. i’d love to see any person elected to parliament/senate be required to undertake a course in listening skills and non-violent communication……just for starters. yes, i know…. i may be waiting a long time!

    the old parties are imploding – they have no credible leaders and their policies remain stuck in the industrial age of the last two centuries. they will become more and more corrupt and unworkable.

  32. Fran Barlow
    September 30th, 2011 at 09:17 | #32

    I’ve already stated in a prior post why I believe changing back to Rudd would be a disastrous move. Briefly, it would be absurd for much the same reasons that changing to Gillard back in June last year was. It would also hand a political victory to the Murdochracy at a time when it is vulnerable. That would be high political ineptitude, though sadly, I would not be surprised if this happened.

    It would be different if a change of leaders were a consequence of a desire for the ALP to chart a new and explicitly progressive political course. There is however no evidence at this stage that it would be anything more than a renewed attempt to pander to people who have been trolling the regime since late in 2009.

    While the MBCM (and by passive acceptance, the ABC too) have been ferocious in their desire for regime change, it would be wrong to fail to note that the bulk of their best material has been put into their hands by the Rudd/Gillard regimes. They began by failing to explain, much less defend their programs from 2007 onwards, running dead on them. They then made it plain that they were willing to walk away from stuff that was unpopular and joined the rightwing chorus over asylum seekers. This emboldened the reactionaries enormously and sandbagged the regime’s supporters. Gillard’s fateful remarks over the “carbon tax” were a mistake borne of this pandering and weakness and the regime has been paying the price ever since.

    I don’t agree with @watchingthedeniers that Gillard is smart. She is very probably quite a bit less wonkish than Rudd, but however that may be neither of them understands what has come to be called “retail politics” and that is a form of stupidity in this context. Regrettably, the development of the game now means that the ALP simply has to make the executive work as it is, or go to defeat trying. Their first challenge is to avoid buckling under the pressure. Their second is to give the core supporters something to fear losing and something to celebrate securing.

    Let them go to the root of the troubles and rewrite the terms of the MRRT so that it actually reflects an anomalous profits tax and ensures that the so-called “patchwork economy” problem is addressed. I hear Peru of all places has elected to take this course. We should too. There’s an extra $66bn over the next decade for a start. Let’s snatch away Big Dirt’s victory last year and show them that their efforts were wasted and then wedge them by hypothecating some of the funds raised to a pool to look after the retirement income of people on or below AFTWE, focusing especially on those nearing retirement. That would be a huge popular wedge.

    Let them also declare what is obvious on asylum seekers — that so called off-shore processing will not work. Let them declare that henceforth all those who make it to our shores will be processed swiftly in major population centres, with a minimum of detention — a maximum of 90 days and otherwise treated like visa overstayers who claim asylum. Let them then advocate and increase in resettlement places with Australia as the regional hub, activley seeking to accelerate processing of asylum claims in places like Malaysia and Indonesia. Let us transport those who have passed muster in those places here on secure craft.

    Let us leave Afghanistan immediately. Just go. Hugh White for ASPI made the point eloquently the other day. Let Gillard annnounce there will be “no more days like this”. Then let Abbott try arguing for staying.

    Let the media enquiry be wide-ranging and look explicitly at diversity and concentration. In the meantime, let there be no more Federal advertising in the dead tree media and no more Federal advertising in online regime change media. If they are writing “crap” we aren’t supporting that. Simple. Let us support media that uphold professional standards of journalism.

    Really, their poll numbers are so low that there really is no downside to this, and the moment that the “boat” issue is lanced, they should rebound. Thoise who don’t like these policies enough to vote against the regime are never voting ALP in any event. If the ALP loses in 2013, then so be it. The party will have taken the first steps back to health and have laid the foundations for a return in 2016. As things stand, the hollowing out of their party base can only continue.

  33. kevin1
    September 30th, 2011 at 09:26 | #33

    @Alan
    It’s p 23 in table 9 (Birthplace Australia). In Feb 2007 George Megalogenis quoted ALP research about Howard’s electorate (“Asian influence spices up contest”) which noted a “rapid influx of new, mostly Asian migrants… It’s not the case that the resulting new electors are ALP voters – at the last federal election they broke slightly in favour of the Libs, but they have replaced generally WASPs, who tended to break two to one against the ALP.” Yes there was a swing away from Howard, then back next time but so what? Seems likely other issues changed voting in 2007 at least. The point is to what extent existing migrants identify with aspiring migrants and how that plays out electorally. In a country where 42% of the population are first or second generation immigrants, you can’t blame the Australian fear of the outsiders just on Australian born.

  34. kevin1
    September 30th, 2011 at 09:39 | #34

    @daniel
    I used to think that the area of greater effectiveness in bourgeois politics was in “selling” the message but I’m surprised at the incompetence of their communication and “professional” staff charged with that job. As others have said they often have a good story but seemingly inept at getting it across.

  35. Dan
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:14 | #35

    Fran@32 – beautiful post.

    I grew up assuming I’d be a Labor voter but when I got here their smarts and morals were MIA.

  36. kika
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:16 | #36

    in my opinion it does not matter at all who leads liberal or labor. they just cannot deal with the challenges coming up now.

    their policies are virtually useless and stuck in a time warp, and these old parties are on their way to becoming endangered species.

    no present or future leader will be able to change this.

  37. Dan
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:28 | #37

    kika – yeah, I wonder about that too.

    The Libs – eurgh. Just ideologically incapable of facing up to particularly the environmental challenges of our time. When they had a leader who was decidedly electable, and tried to articulate and address these things, they took him down and replaced him with someone unelectable.

    As for Labor – I can see historically their role has been hugely important. But they haven’t adapted; even ossified is too generous. Rather, they’ve maladapted.

  38. Mulga Mumblebrain
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:57 | #38

    The current political system in this country, and throughout the West, is a sham, a Potemkin facade behind which the real rulers, the money power call all the shots. We have a ‘democracy without choices’ as they say in Eastern Europe, with only Rightwing, ‘pro-market’ ie pro-rich, parties allowed. When a mild alternative, in our case the Greens, arises, the Masters immediately signal their absolute determination to use every vicious and malevolent trick to destroy this alternative. They have even mobilised that all-purpose, unbeatable canard ‘anti-semitism’ to vilify the Greens, proving that there’s no joke like an old joke.
    I’m rather convinced that the situation is terminal. No matter how great the failure of market absolutist voodoo economics, the rich and their stooges in the MSM, the think-tanks and academe simply demand more and more of the same poison. They seem so arrogantly certain that the serfs can be endlessly immiserated without reacting, that they are simply relentless. Where there is real resistance, say in the tribal regions of India where the Indian kleptocracy is stealing land, destroying forests and displacing tribal people, the ‘shining’ Indian regime simply dispatches the death-squads, but not before learning a trick or two from their new Israeli chums.
    The economic collapse is unstoppable because, at root, it is caused by inequality and the unchecked power of the psychopathic ruling parasites. It is being exacerbated by resource depletion (a return to ‘normal’ levels of demand, plus rampant speculation by the rich, would see oil prices go through the roof) most critically of food, and by ecological collapse. Anthropogenic climate destabilisation in particular will make the food production problem all the worse, and oceanic acidification, stratification and the spread of anoxic ‘dead-zones’ means you’d better get used to eating jellyfish. Please, any optimists out there, tell me how humanity in its present condition will escape these calamities, particularly as we had to act twenty years ago, at least, and the Right is fanatically determined to prevent any ameliorative action, even to the point of mobilising deadly force to thwart it.

  39. Chris Warren
    September 30th, 2011 at 11:05 | #39

    @kika

    Yes the ALP is a failing entity in some jurisdictions. This does not apply in all eg the ACT where membership is growing. The December conference will misunderstand the problem, be manipulated to concentrate power, and will probably only make matters worse.

    So the ALP has a problem where there has been an extensive period of rightwing cronyism and antics from such as Belinda Neal.

    However the ALP has discredited itself over a long period from the overblown Economic Summit, Accord structures (EPAC, NBEET, TUTA, WorksafeAustralia), Australian Reconstructed, and false promises over ‘labour attaches’ – all designed to embed Australia in the capitalist cornucopia of global capitalism – even if this meant exposing Australia to unfair competition from oppressed economies.

    Now population, nuclear waste and greenhouse gasses loom as overarching, scientifically validated, dooms-day threats. The ALP just puts its rightwing head in the sand, and hopes the international community as a whole will solve these problems so that we can go on our merry way with the highest per capita emissions – just to protect the commercial interests of capitalists.

    In the 1970′s we all knew these problems were approaching.

  40. David Goode
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:20 | #40

    No point in feeling sorry for Gillard. She played the game and knifed a PM on behalf of the Right faction because they weren’t getting their policy bent voiced in Rudd. There was zero publicly acceptable reason for what she did and she is suffering for it. Rudd didn’t deserve to be knifed and was doing pretty OK as PM in comparison to any other first term PM, and would have certainly won the following election.

    Gillard’s problem in addition the legitimacy issue has been her ham-fisted handling of some issues, and the dragging of the party to the right. It played right into the legitimacy issues and added one on competence. Like it or not Gillard came tot he job too soon and hadn’t yet developed leadership skill. She maybe thinks her job is to be leader of the caucus and factions and not the people of the country? She is a throw back to old style politician which the public tossed out in exchange for Rudd, a different looking and sounding type.

    Rudd would most certainly save a lot of furniture a repair some of the policy damage done to Labor’s ideology by Gillard. But too soon in the job will see him up against Turnbull. However if they stick with Gillard too long she may do further damage to the primary vote, especially if another global financial crisis comes to our shores.

    Feel no sorry for Gillard, she will get the same as she gave out, except in her case it will probably by this time justified.

  41. Catching up
    September 30th, 2011 at 13:43 | #41

    “No point in feeling sorry for Gillard. She played the game and knifed a PM on behalf of the Right faction because they weren’t getting their policy bent voiced in Rudd…”

    How did the PM knife Rudd?

    Mr. Rudd lost the confidence of his caucus. When this occurs, a spill is called for and a new election for the position is called.

    The result was that Mr. Rudd resigned, knowing he had no support. The PM was elected unopposed.

    The same thing occurred in the Liberal Party about the same time. Mr. Abbott was elected by one vote.

    Where is the knifing or assassination?

    This is how we in this country elect party leaders, that go onto to be PM or Opposition leaders.

Comments are closed.