01/08/2012 - 10:53

A Crean team would break link to Greens

01/08/2012 - 10:53


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Time’s running out for federal Labor to change course.

Time’s running out for federal Labor to change course.

IT is becoming increasingly apparent as federal Labor nears the end of its second term in government that both its prime ministers – Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard – will be judged as failures.

Six years after Mr Rudd ousted Kim Beazley, in December 2006, senior Labor MPs and party officials fear Labor faces displacement in national politics by the Greens.

That, in a nutshell, is what NSW state secretary Sam Dastyari and Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes were driving at when they publicly intimated that Ms Gillard’s elevation of the Greens to legislative partner status was her biggest blunder.

Before canvassing Labor’s bleak prospects, two telling statistics need noting.

According to a recent press report, one Sydney Labor identity has quantified his party’s present path to nowhere.

“It is instructive to note, as Tim Watts does in NSW Labor Right journal Voice, that Labor has lost almost 1.3 million voters to the Liberals and only about 140,000 to the Greens in recent years,” the report said.

“According to Labor research, one major factor in the decline of its support is the perception that Labor is beholden to the Greens.”

Labor has, therefore, shed nearly 10 voters to the Liberals for each one lost to the Greens during the Rudd-Gillard tenure.

Put otherwise that’s about 1.4 million Australians opting for another party, with most preferring that of Tony Abbott, not Christine Milne.

That’s a dismal performance that suggests the time is coming to bring in the shingle.

Clearly, Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard should be paid-out and asked to depart the scene.

Neither is prime ministerial material.

And while spring cleaning is going on at least eight within Labor’s upper echelons should follow – Wayne Swan, Penny Wong, Greg Combet, Craig Emerson, Stephen Conroy, Nicola Roxon, Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek.

There’s no value in wasting space on these eight except to say, check their CVs and you’ll see what I mean.

How they attained such senior rank is baffling.

Could any run a small, uncomplicated business where a worker’s salary needed to be found each week?

Their overriding aptitude appears to be dutifully following the party line, topped up with smooth talk about things they know nothing about, such as calling essential plant life nourishing CO2 gas ‘carbon’ and wilfully calling it ‘a pollutant’.

All publicly back the global heating hoax, the mother of scare campaigns, launched and promoted by failed European politicians, North Atlantic academics and government employed scientists, and hyped-up by the likes of Al Gore, gullible journalists, and overpaid UN bureaucrats.

Yet they and others across Labor’s parliamentary ranks are the first to claim they’re only committed to Labor values.

Who are they kidding, when so much of what they’ve promoted kills jobs for phoney reasons?

It cannot be overstressed that the CO2 tax, which Ms Gillard promised wouldn’t occur under her watch, will boost electricity costs and threaten Australia’s cement, oil refining and steel industries, and the emergence of a strategically essential coal-to-liquid fuels sector.

It is primarily this, and playing second fiddle to the Greens, that explains why Labor is so electorally debilitated.

Rather than genuinely promoting Labor values, Ms Gillard instead went off on a tangent by following the Greens, who are even less in touch with reality.

Again, I won’t waste valuable space on that entity.

All one needs to keep in mind is that what the Greens seek are ever-higher taxes – regulating everything not yet controlled, including our still-free press – and ever greater spending on their pet hobby horse obsessions to ensure Australia attains European-style trickle-up poverty.

Little wonder nearly 1.3 million Australians have moved to the Liberals. More will follow.

With all that said, just so my many Liberal-oriented friends and contacts don’t become over confident, I remind them that but for the grace of clear-minded retired senator Nick Minchin, with support from a tiny group of level-headed parliamentary colleagues, they’d now be far worse off than Labor.

It’s not so long ago that all federal Liberal MPs’ electoral offices were inundated with thousands of phone calls, letters, and emails demanding they dump plans to tax the Greens favourite obsession – CO2.

That Australia-wide upsurge by Liberal Party members and backers told their MPs to abandon the Rudd-Gillard greenish path that the Liberals’ then leader, Malcolm Turnbull, had so passionately embraced.

Mr Turnbull was consequently challenged and narrowly beaten by Mr Abbott. Narrowly here means by just one vote.

Ask yourself, as I did at the time; what if that vote had gone to Mr Turnbull and he’d succeeded in his quest to transform the Liberal Party into a greenish Rudd-Gillard clone? Several long-time, highly experienced and astute Liberals have answered that question for me.

In a nutshell they contended – I believe correctly – that there would be no Liberal Party today.

And the reason is that not just 1.4 million – as with Labor now – Liberal backers, but more like 5 million or 6 million would have shifted their votes and financial support to another entity, probably the Nationals, or perhaps a newly created party.

And the rump Greenish-oriented entity Mr Turnbull was left holding would have staggered towards extinction or merged with the Greens.

Today a future akin to that faces Labor. Already over 1.4 million voters have deserted it. That said, one doesn’t need to be Copernicus to realise what’s needed, and promptly.

The Liberals did it – just in the nick of time, true – and by just one vote. But they bit that bullet. 

My advice to Labor is, therefore, do likewise, since it’s a tried and tested party rescue and resuscitation path.

Oust Ms Gillard, but under no circumstances re-embrace Mr Rudd.

They, far more than the other eight, put Labor on the path to possible extinction.

Find someone who’ll emulate Mr Abbott. Elect him (no  female Labor MPs fit the bill), promptly replace those eight ministers, then doggedly proceed, just as Mr Abbott did by expunging the Turnbull plan.

The person Labor needs for this unpleasant belated task is, of course, Simon Crean, as contended in this column a year ago tomorrow; see: ‘Labor’s energy reforms a slippery slope’ (August 2 2011).

Should have happened months ago.


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