Ferguson out, Tanner in

I haven’t had time to digest the details of Labor’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, and of course it’s somewhat academic given that there’s a long period of opposition ahead and no sign of a serious attempt at policy and organisational renewal.

Still, I’m glad that Lindsay Tanner is back on the frontbench. He’s probably the best single candidate for future leadership Labor has at present. And I’m even more pleased to see the dumping of Laurie Ferguson. As far as I know, his sole achievement in politics has been to make a good choice of parents, and he has been an absolute disgrace on refugees, making even Vanstone (may she freeze in hell) look good.

Update Less sensible (in fact, very silly) is the (reported) continued omission of Bob McMullan and Craig Emerson. I have no idea what the rationale was for this, given that the shadow ministry is apparently being expanded.

89 thoughts on “Ferguson out, Tanner in

  1. JQ, it’s hard to know what you find acceptable, considering the level you yourself sank to in suggesting that Amanda Vanstone should freeze in Hell.

  2. So, anon, when you described the referendum as “Orwellian”, you meant that the politicians who proposed it drank their soup silently, as did the politicians who opposed it, whilst the people who voted against it slurped their soup. Do I have that right?

    Which group represents the fruit juice drinkers and the sandal wearers? This was 1973, so was it the DLP? And who are the people with the pistachio colored shirts?

  3. Would you please send me your email address as I have information that you may find interesting.
    Tom Edwards

  4. It’s johnquiggin +AT +gmail +DOT +com

    Sorry for obscurity here, but spammers have all sorts of tricks to harvest email

  5. JQ, I think they know that concealment trick.

    Now, why do I feel a sudden urge to spell out – no, no, imp of the perverse notwithstanding, I won’t do it. Yet.

  6. SJ, the people who voted against the referendum voted against government control over our lives. Those who proposed it and voted for it did the opposite.

    Your guess is as good as mine as to how they consume their soup.

  7. I say again, anon: Holding a referendum does not equal totalitarianism.

    Your equation of control of prices with control over peoples lives is bizarre. Don’t you think that the goverment, as our quasi-proxy, already controls very significant parts of our lives? Things that we all think are important, e.g. the price of education, the price of fuel, the price of food?

    Honestly, where do you get this stuff from. The Reader’s Digest?

  8. SJ, I never said holding a referendum _equaled_ totalitarianism. But a referendum to dramatically increase government control is certainly a step in that direction.

    Things that we all think are important, e.g. the price of education, the price of fuel, the price of food?

    Since when did the government control the price of fuel and food? And since when did they set incomes across the board?

    BTW, I am not against govt price controls where market controls fail, eg health care (the market doesn’t work very well when the consumers are willing to pay arbitrarily high prices). But handing over blanket control over prices and incomes to pissant bureaucrats in Canberra, most of whom have never held a real job in their lives? You’d have to be insane. Thankfully, the Australian populace felt the same way.

  9. Given that the study did little more than restate the long-held views of those who undertook it, I don’t think it has much evidentiary weight.

  10. Here’s a passage from the SMH story

    “The report’s authors, Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy and Lyle Allen, of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University, say Labor’s image as the party of “elite social and cultural concerns” continued to alienate Australian-born voters in the outer suburbs.”

    How do they know this? Did they do a poll of voters and ask them why they voted the way they did? Or did they infer this from the fact that Labor did relatively badly in electorates with a high proportion of Australian voters? If the latter, how do they know that other factors, like the interest rate scare, weren’t dominant?

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