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The decline and fall of the Rudd Labor Empire?

By Paul Walter
Created 09/06/2010 - 21:34

While the public has had its attention focussed on two international disasters, Israel's action against the aid flotilla and America's problems with a massive oil spill, it seems another opinion poll,  a Nielson poll, has quietly confirmed earlier polls indicating a drop in support for the government.

While much of the movement has been leftwards toward support for the Greens, it seems that Tony Abbott's Liberal party has had a phoenix like rise from its absolute nadir of a couple of months ago. It may be that this is just a return to normal, for devotees of the cyclic theory of politics, but it also will require of, therefore, the government a bit of serious soul searching, unless I'm mistaken.

 It will need to decide whether it just wants to keep power and become another Howard or Blair/ Brown government or whether it wants to do those serious things it said it would do last election, particularly on environment and social policy. I personally wonder at what constraints they must be under, to so avoid action on serious issues. I thinkof AUSFTA and other treaty obligations we maybe dont know about, that prevents the current governemt fromnotonly adopting anindependent foreignpolicy, but also their passive acquiescence in the Americanisation of Australia under globalism.

 Maybe , because Labor has throttled left dissent within itself, it no longer recognises an argument, thru lack of debate and loss of the skills, let alone the right way to respond to one.

No argument; no ideas, is the result for both big parties, of a purging of dissent within. 

Certainly modern Labor is no longer the home of critical theorising or any politics of vison, it is there to manage rather than change and improve and gladly no longer questions the system in the way old Labor did. Even if big business is in the wrong on an issue, in a globalised economic and commercial environment that favours big business, governments will not take it on because they are fearful of capital strikes and capital flight, let alone campaigns from tabloid media, as has occurredc ove the new mining rent tax.

 Labor has belatedly exerted itself, against the mining companies, probably in response to its loss of poll support, but the public is now sceptical and they are running into the sort of problem Howard found he had once his credibility had been eroded.

 Too many people in high positions in the (post?) modern ALP are fearful of the left, regardless of what more serious threats exist; they love America and Israel right or wrong and are happy to abide by business as usual, provided they get an invite to the bosses box on footy night.

 These sorts of  people also operate within state governments and Labor state governments are on the nose just now,  for breaking clear election promises on fundamentalissues,  ( no privatisation in NSW and QLD, eg ) and not attempting to do better than just hold onto power. But they are well loved and supported by big business and the media as long as they toe the line and don't disrupt business as usual. Yet another hope of many voters, that  the ALP would somehow get state labor governments back into line, has also not eventuated. In fact it is the smugness of the Labor hierarchy in closing out rank and file and public at large,and dodging its election commitments, that has contributed, I beleive, to the Rudd government's decline in popularity.

We were all glad to see the back of Howard at one stage, but now the People are calling on Rudd Labor, in no uncertain terms, to unpack its alternative and fulfill its promises to Australians, rather than just slumming with those interests whos aims are contrary to the ordinary Australian.

Not that Rudd Labor can yet be written off as incompetent , it did well enough in dealing with GFM and it can't be held responsible for all of the stupidity abroad within the electorate itself; often stupidity increased by the cynical manipulations of press and media operating in the venal interests of the wealthy Few.

But its refusal to stand up on issue s of principle and its evasions concerning some of its policies have led people to question whether it is the right government for the times. I suspect it is a mundane government  but am not being given alternatives to voting Green, exhausting back down to Labor, because the Liberals can't control their right wing, either.

These do not pay even the token measure of respect to civil liberties, equity, etc that Labor does, so that leaves Labor or the Greens. But because we have a preferential voting system, that means, in the end, I still have to in effect, choose between the Coalition and Labor.

I just wish the Labor leaders would realise its not just they who lose thru an abdication of responsibility, but the people who voted them in, in good faith....

 It has baffled me for some time that Australians would prefer a delinquent  Abbott to a dull but more effective Rudd Labor government. I don't they do, so Labor had better react quickly and finally sort its attitude out, so that it gets a fair go-  a second term to as a sort of last chance and also give a chance to the Coalition to have a bit more time that it obviously needs, to rethink itsattitudes and approach to policy and issues they have obviously not come to terms with, particulalry environment and a decent rather than sado social policy.

Maybe polls popularity falls are a language they can finally understand, but am not as optimistic even on this as I should be. But even Rudd Labor can't be estimated to be worse than an Abbott government, surely?

God help us all if a dimwit like Britain's Cameron- Abbott-  gets in and sets about the same sort of policies as Cameron- robbing the poor to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy. But also God help us if Labor can't  (finally) get its attitude right, for the consequences will then be the same as if we voted in Abbott, except that then we will not have the luxury or satisfaction of blaming others, or have Abbott, like howard,  to blame when silly policies go wrong.


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