EYE-BALL’s Herman on – “The Australian Labor Party View”
|Links to Previous ‘Herman’ Posts:
– 28th Feb – Corruption
– 25th Jan – Anti Discrimination –
– 17th Jan 2013 – Atheism –
– 12th Nov – Hegemony
– 2nd Nov – A March early Federal election –
– 25th Oct – Energy Debate – CPI Shocks the analysts – Rod Sims finally arrives like a Knight in Shining armour
– 22nd Oct – 2012 Overture – Halloween – Glass half full
– 3rd Oct – 2012 Overture: Twiggy – a metaphor for wafer thin margins … RBA further stimulates economy surprising the stock market!
– 2nd Oct – The All Ordinaries is a totally misleading index and Australia’s lack of domestic Savings!
– 18th Sept – A Microcosm of Our Democracy – Auburn City Council elections.
– 28th Aug – – 2012 Overture – The Northern Fall (Autumn) –
– 17th Aug: – A Political Alternative – Australian Community Party –
– 6th Aug: – Shang Yang’s good governance – or is it good faith?
21st July: – Micro Economics – Thoughts and opinions on the Energy Debate!!!
To see more EYE-BALL ‘Herman’ posts:
– “The Australian Labor Party View” –
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Herman O’Hermitage | 28th Feb 2013 |
|Mark Latham’s imminent book launch on repositioning the Australian Labor Party Brand. A suggested prelude – What is a true believer?
Formation of the labour movement around the world is rather a unique gradation. In Britain there were the Chartists, and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
In the United States they had their ward bosses and for many the Democrat led Confederate Presidency Jefferson Davis of South Carolina were supporting slavery, while the Republican base under Abe Lincoln was anti slavery, to the point that the polarity is now often thought reversed. Large parts of the wards on the East Coast of the Union, fought for the north, where those same ward bosses created military company’s and divisions (see escaped Australian convict Thomas Meagher become General Thomas Francis Meagher of the Union).
In Australia we had the democratic uprising at Eureka, the Tolpuddle martyrs sent to Sydney as convicts before being pardoned and then the famous shearer’s strike of 1891 see Link here. A fight against the squatocracy.
The history is a long interesting yarn, disputed and comparable here but far too often subject to personal perspective and prejudice. The history is roughly 150 years maybe 5 generations. Political issues are a generational thing.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century we saw the ALP brand galvanised by conscription and issues of British Empire and a party of labourers (class warfare struggle), whose credo was condensed in “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay “ or quite possibly reflected in “the living wage” or Sunshine Harvester case in Industrial Relations Law. There was many growing up problems, including Billy Hughes or Joe Lyons and Jack Lang. That was my grandparent generation’s perspective. Coping through the rise of mass industrialisation, mass production, the Henry Ford generation.
My parent generation were largely what is now thought to be the hope generation. Born in era of WWI, grew up in the depression, served in WWII and lived rather modestly appreciating honesty and integrity in politics. Not only hope through war and desperation but a play on Bob Hope the famous tongue in cheek entertainer of that time.
After the great split of 1949, came 23 years in opposition, and the great healing under Whitlam that saw Vince Gair depart the Democratic Labor Party. (A party based on anti communism). Throughout that time there was an air of anti communism. “A red under the bed”. Many ALP supporters either took umbrage in dignity in being in opposition, or secretly admired Sir Robert Menzies, because his demeanour was middle ground, the very use of the term Liberal Party (centre ground) and his often quoted “our friends at the unions”.
So I was born into this era of the Orange and the Green. The Orange were the White Anglo Saxon Protestants, who were the ruling class, who supported private schools, played rugby, wore white collars, while the Green where the Papists. They included secular schools, played Rugby League, wore blue collars, and so on. (That particular green logic goes back about 400 years to the Myrtle of Ireland). The Catholics slurred the Wasps by calling them proddy footers and the Wasps retaliated by calling the Catholics left footers. There were more chasms and distrust within the left.
My father always voted ALP, and my mother always voted conservative. My father would never ever join a union, (infiltrated by commo’s) and in most ways the ALP was extremely divided. Domestically a fierce mental engagement of wagging fingers and pointing, the occasional slammed door, but all very gentile. Quite civilised.
According to Kim Beazley Snr. Education Minister under Whitlam (19/12/1972 – 11/11/1975) the major contributor to healing of the ALP split of 1951 was funding of universities and non state schools. The Education Minister Beazley was awarded 5 honorary doctorates by various universities. On the other hand in my article Hegemony, neo fascist groups claim the education sector was infiltrated by Marxist professors since the 1970’s.
From a different facet but notably still in the education sector, the claim for a “fairs day’s work for a fair day’s pay” became ”equal pay for equal work”. This was a generational change, changing focus from workers rights to women’s rights. The depression generation ruling class were replaced by the baby boomers generation and “It’s Time”.
I personally did not support conscription. I was 16 when Whitlam ended conscription. The communist domino theory simply did not cut. “All the way with LBJ”. At age 10 we were marched from school to the main street and asked to wave hand drawn Australian Flags at the passing cavalcade of visiting president of the United States of America, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Vietnam was a civil war, not a war of ideology. Today universally it is considered a war of anti – colonisation. What did I know, I was only a kid, maybe, my thoughts were representative of the social events of the time. A rising draft dodger group. The nightly television coverage of the moratorium.
By embracing academic virtue, the ALP broadened their base away from traditional strongholds like Builder’s Labourers (BLF), Storeman and Packers, Metal workers (AMU) and other affiliated groupings (AWU). Essentially labour or blue collar. Academics are rarely considered blue collar workers, more like professional classes. Professions were welcomed into the ALP. The middle ground.
Under the next major successful spurt of the ALP led government by Hawke and Keating, we achieved a whole new set of working class values. They redefined Ben Chifley’s post War World II car policy. That saw massive move away from manufacturing and the rise of the professions. Only by way of example BHP was to close their Waratah steel mill and Holden closed their Pagewood production facility then their Acacia Ridge assembly facility, and therefore how many ALP heart land constituent were effected or disenfranchised? Some new manufacturing jobs were created in the state of the art Holden Engine Company, but it was largely mechanised.
Throughout those decades immigration attacked workers pay. For each increase in employee supply there was decreased wages, so the coalition advocated large immigration intake to keep down excess claim by the unions, and the Unions insisted the ALP counter this by reducing immigration intake.
The ALP had a shrinking natural support base.
There were other issues at work throughout the entire generations. The 48 hour week of the 19th century became the 44 hour week then 40 hour week, now 37.5 hour week approaching a 35 hour week and how low could it go? Those at the most marginal loved the overtime paid working a 60 hour week, but still nonsense hours worked hardly changed but hours paid was higher through penalty rates. The unions had achieved Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, Long Service Leave and other workers entitlements, and again how far could this go, to a welfare state?
Union support waned.
So today the first recurring pattern observable is the apparent chaos within the ALP. Consider;
Now might have its genesis in 1993, the inaugural and ultimate victory speech of PM Paul Keating in 1993, when he called his win “one for the true believer”. The electorate threw him out in 1996, 3 years later. His “true believer” concept is now variously considered the “little Aussie Battler”.
… who will sell their soul for a fast buck or government funding.
So what is a true believer?
I for one do not want to be part of any of this. Marginal ALP seats will get washed away at the next Federal election, and safe ALP seats will be deemed marginal, just like the State results in Qld in 2012 and NSW 2011.
True Believer is a soliloquy, often labelled apathetic or ignorant (don’t know – don’t care).
The political party needs a real catharsis, a real soul searching, and I for one recommend any and all debate. Never again should the people they attempt to represent be ever so short changed. Ever.
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