Tag: ALP

Australian PM: Every US Mass Shooting Has Justified Our Gun Control Measures | Crooks and Liars

America listens to an Australia’s PM not being lobbied or supported by the NRA

25By John Amato — August 1, 2022Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told CNN that, sadly, every mass shooting that occurs on US soil has reinforced their commitment to the gun control measures they implemented in 1996.

Australian PM: Every US Mass Shooting Has Justified Our Gun Control Measures | Crooks and Liars

We have a conundrum: The Greens want to flex a bit of muscle, and Labor wants to exercise its authority – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.

(Often repeated since 2013) ( John Lord)

We have a conundrum: The Greens want to flex a bit of muscle, and Labor wants to exercise its authority – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Cold welcome: another chapter in Labor’s hard luck story – Michael West

Over in a minute: Prime Minister Tony Abbott (centre) with former Australian prime ministers Malcolm Fraser, Julia Gillard, Bob Hawke, John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating, at the completion of the Gough Whitlam memorial service in Sydney.

The history of Labor has always been to clean up the self-crowned “better managers” mess.They have always been there to give the nation a “progressive shove”, and get going again. When we are on the road to progress, and moving forward the LNP step up the chorus calling it a mess and echoing “we are the better managers”. If the 24/7 news cycle actually printed the news along with a little critical precise of our historical facts the LNP might just feel they need to pitch in and actually help this country instead of themselves and their minority of friends. I remember feeling the dark shadow of fear that pass over us when Abbott came to Government. Simply compare Fraser Abbott and Howard with Whitlam, Hawke, Keating,Rudd and Gillard.

No sooner back in office and the ALP is hit with a crisis. The gas shortages plaguing the east coast have all the makings of a giant clusterfrig from the parties of government.

Labor, while holding power only a third of the time in Australia’s history, seems doomed to get the call from the electorate just as trouble is brewing.

Jim Scullin’s team took office in October 1929, the month the Wall Street crash unleashed the Great Depression. John Curtin took over in 1941 as Japan was preparing to widen the war in the Pacific. Gough Whitlam’s ambitious program was derailed when the quadrupling of oil prices in 1973 unleashed rampant inflation and unemployment in the Western world.

Bob Hawke had better luck, coming to power in 1983 as a long drought broke. But Kevin Rudd was hit with the global financial crisis in 2008.

We can only wish Team Albo better luck in the long term.

Source: Cold welcome: another chapter in Labor’s hard luck story – Michael West

The Verdict: Labor tax solution better than Coalition, worse than Donald Trump – Michael West

tax avoidance, OECD, Labor policy

When your better than the LNP but still shite

Timid, worse than Donald Trump but better than the Coalition. That’s the verdict on Labor’s policy to combat multinational tax avoiders. Although large corporations have been subsidised through the pandemic like never before, they will still now enjoy years of tax-free profits thanks to gaping holes in Australia’s tax system. Callum Foote consults tax law experts.

Source: The Verdict: Labor tax solution better than Coalition, worse than Donald Trump – Michael West

Even if Albanese wins the election, oligarchs will still run Australia | The Shot

Why we need a Labor Government

Fearful of a war with the all-powerful Murdochs, Albanese may yet embrace some kind of Faustian pact: go easy on me and I’ll eschew a judicial media probe. The lessons of recent history should dissuade him: in 2007, the Murdochs warmed to Kevin Rudd, who’d played nice with them, only to turn on him at an early opportunity. What’s the moral of that story? Simple: they’ll come for Albanese whether or not he plays nice. If Albanese launches a judicial inquiry into the media oligarchs, their bilious front page lies about him will be seen for what they are: sour grapes. That’s in his best interests. Imagine a battle of ideas, on a playing field that doesn’t tilt too egregiously towards the top end of town. Given clear air, progressive policies sell themselves. And that is in everyone’s best interests.

Source: Even if Albanese wins the election, oligarchs will still run Australia | The Shot

Comparing the budgets — Labor cares and Liberals spend

Abbott came in like a stormtrooper yelling “the Sky was falling in”. “ditch the bitch”. It wasn’t the ALP saved us from the GFC we were the world’s best economy and Wayne Swan the best Treasurer. All while the Libs cried we couldn’t afford it. Our debt was $200bn and the media and LNP were beside themselves. Today it’s $1tn and their LNP are saying that’s fine, it’s Ok we’ve got good bones. However we need to be worried about China who we not so long ago celebrated the signing of an FTA.

Hit by their 6 year economic down turn exacerbated by the pandemic The LNP did what the ALP did to save the Nation but with a twist. They created JobKeeper which was on reflection a $50bn gift to profitable businesses and not direct gift to people who needed it the most. That coupled with corporate tax cuts saw housing become unaffordable and stock buybacks make the  market boom while the majority of ordinary Australians dipped into their savings to survive and take on multiple jobs without benefits. Meanwhile we watched wage and superannuation theft grow along with the wealth and income gaps.

Analysis of his speech showed the word “billion” appeared only once. This mention related to criticising the Liberals for losing billions by ripping up defence contracts. The word “millions” was only mentioned twice — once in relation to permanent cost of living savings for “millions of families” and once criticising the Liberals for their wasted millions on car parks that never got built. The Labor budget reply speech word cloud also showed where the emphasis of the speech was instead of cash. Labor will care about Australians. That’s a simple message that will resonate with Australians who have lived through three years of uncaring Liberal government when we needed care the most — bushfires, pandemic, flood and rising cost of living. The Liberals will paint this “care” as unaffordable, but I think Australians have worked out that it’s not economically irresponsible to “care”. Indeed, it’s reckless for society and the economy not to care.

Source: Comparing the budgets — Labor cares and Liberals spend

Don’t tell Mr Menzies: how Victoria became the progressive jewel in the national crown – Michael West Media

Once upon a time Victoria was a byword for conservatism. Then it raised a Cain. Before you could say wine bars and Sunday trading, the state was skipping past the rest of the nation. And no matter how the nation votes, it is likely to remain a fortress for the anti-conservative forces this year. Mark Sawyer looks at political trends in the People’s Republic of Below Murray.

Source: Don’t tell Mr Menzies: how Victoria became the progressive jewel in the national crown – Michael West Media

On China, national security and defence, both the Coalition and Labor are prepared to play politics, but they use very different language – ABC News

Side by side photos of Penny Wong at a microphone and Scott Morrison standing at a podium

Let’s remind ourselves. Tony Abbott closed down Radio Australia the heartbeat and our biggest influence in the South Pacific. He had little or no ambition to be culturally part of the region and really was a catalyst in allowing China’s expansion in to fill a hole. Abbott was an Anglophile and wanted us to be more NATO than AUKUS. He was happy to cement our relationship with China and steal the ALP’s efforts. Andrew Robb quit and went to work for the Chinese. Back then it was all about shirtfronting Putin not Xi.

How quickly things change when leaders change. Morrison is quite the opposite a struggling leader in the polls and drawn in to become the Right-Wing of the L-NP’s puppet. He once claimed to be a moderate and stabbed Turnbull in the back. He’s spent 3 years politically scapegoating, dog whistling and flying false flags. Muslims are long gone and of no use as a threat, Australian Africans are like Lebanese beacause while black they’re actually Christians and amplify our racism. So it’s back to the future and drwing board. He’s now channeling Menzies and the politics of the 50s and 60s yelling “Reds are under our beds” and  China’s CCP is the threat.

Oddly enough Xi isn’t doing the same and has never really attacked our Democracy or political system in the way Morrison and Dutton are doing China’s. He’s simply initially reacted to the L-NP  and not our Democracy. For 9 years the L-NP have allowed News Corp and Sky News to run a Sinophobia campaign,while Abbott Morrison, and the LNP obediantly stayed shtum. Silent to Murdoch’s personal revenge campaign on China for having been thrown out of the country. He even claimed Wendy Deng his wife was a Chinese Party operative. Xi simply asked for the rhetoric to be toned down.

Morrison’s politicizing of China has resulted in destroying a successful economic relationship built over years to let News Corp, Ch9 and Stokes’s Ch7 stoke the flames of China-hate. He has now even sacrificed our sovereignty to the US and UK in the process. Welcome back to the 50s and 60s and that politicized prism through which we now view China in this election year. It’s the the same prism that allowed Indonesia to massacre 1M Chinese and left-wing unionists in Indonesia and had us go to and lose a war in Vietnam, and yes it was “all the way with the L-NP back then too. They were “keeping us safe”!

How does Labor see the world? The best guide is a landmark speech on Australia’s place in the world, delivered last year by Labor’s foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong at the Australian National University.

Source: On China, national security and defence, both the Coalition and Labor are prepared to play politics, but they use very different language – ABC News

A hot Kurri Kurri: why Labor’s fossil proposal is even worse than the Coalition’s – Michael West Media

Fossil fuel subsidies

The point isn’t whether or not the ALP’s proposals are better or worse than the LNPs but rather why has politics driven the ALP to come to an agreement of any sort with the LNP over the Kurri Kurri gas plant? It’s very existense serves no purpose now let alone in the future. If there isn’t a finacial case is there is there a welfare case for an electorate in transition?

The Kurri Kurri gas plant proposal. No financial case, no necessity, a billion-dollar price tag, infrastructure unfit for purpose, a nearby gas plant that does the same job and faces the rising affordability of batteries. Callum Foote reports on why Labor’s proposal may be even worse than the Coalition’s.

Source: A hot Kurri Kurri: why Labor’s fossil proposal is even worse than the Coalition’s – Michael West Media

After the seven hottest years on record, Labor lessens its climate ambition – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Whilst Labor’s policies are preferable to the Coalition’s, they fall far short of what must be done. We cannot afford the timidity shown by the two major parties who bow to pressure from vested interests and are paralysed by fear of reprisal from their colleagues as much as from the electorate. Nor can we afford the denial from Barnaby’s mob and the Pauline and Clive cults. When Labor form government, the necessity for action will only be greater and the voices demanding it even louder. I hope they are ready.

Source: After the seven hottest years on record, Labor lessens its climate ambition – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Socialism comprehends empathy; conservatism and its partner capitalism do not.

Source: Which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Australia Won Universal Health Care — And How Workers Saved It With a General Strike

In 1974, the Whitlam Labor government introduced Australia’s first universal health care system. Despite its flaws, Medibank was a huge step forward — and Australia’s unions organized a general strike to defend it against conservative attacks.

Source: How Australia Won Universal Health Care — And How Workers Saved It With a General Strike

If anyone should go, it should be Joel Fitzgibbon – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As Labor goes through yet another bout of self-destructive leadership undermining and internal dissent, and a shadow cabinet reshuffle is leaked to the press ahead of time, this morning’s news should be enough to show them the way.

If anyone should go, it should be Joel Fitzgibbon – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Victoria budget: Victorian government steps in where federal government did not

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas hands down his budget.

Record fiscal stimulus of $25 billion over four years will capture the headlines. But what the Victorian government has done with it is perhaps the bigger story. Education jobs, a massive social housing build, support for the tourism sector – it’s by and large the right package for this recession.

Victoria budget: Victorian government steps in where federal government did not

Coronavirus Victoria: Poll shows Daniel Andrews’ support still strong but Liberal leader Michael O’Brien floundering

Virginia Fricker is so appalled by Daniel Andrews performance she is considering voting Green for first time.

Support for Premier Daniel Andrews remains solid, with just over half of Victorians backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic despite months of tough lockdown restrictions and criticism over the failed hotel quarantine program.

Coronavirus Victoria: Poll shows Daniel Andrews’ support still strong but Liberal leader Michael O’Brien floundering

We don’t need more political gamesmanship – we need integrity – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Hang the names out so we can see them (ODT)

We don’t want another party vying for a centre that keeps moving further to the right. We want people with integrity who make decisions based on expert advice about the best interests of the nation, not on how to appeal to people who will never vote for you.

via We don’t need more political gamesmanship – we need integrity – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Labor lost some skin but it’s still in the game – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

“You cannot possibly believe in democracy if at the same time you think your party is the only one that should ever win.” (John Lord)

via Labor lost some skin but it’s still in the game – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Doomsday is nigh | The Monthly

I suspect that part of the angst comes from reviews of internal polling, which shows a bleak picture for Abbott in particular. This is a serious repudiation of the hard right of the Liberal Party, along with their backers at News Corp, 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and elsewhere. But it also shows how precarious the position of the cultural right in this country is. They are reliant on favours and iffy government handouts to do business. They are beneficiaries and champions of middle-class welfare and rent-seeking. They are fanatically committed to outmoded forms of power, both literal and figurative. They are openly bigoted and intellectually barren. They have little to fall back on. No wonder they fear the drop. Here’s to giving them the push.

via Doomsday is nigh | The Monthly

Economy, corruption and democracy, Coalition style

They all downgraded Australia badly during the two years Tony Abbott led the Coalition Government starting in late 2013. That will be no shock to those who have followed Abbott’s dismal 25-year parliamentary career. What may surprise is that nothing much improved under his immediate successor Malcolm Turnbull. Nor under the latest Coalition work experience prime minister Scott Morrison.

via Economy, corruption and democracy, Coalition style

The gross incompetence of a mediocre middle-class – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I mean, have a look at this latest mob now in power … can anyone for the life of you recall … even in your own workplace or pub … in rumour or frustrated experience … a worse, more hopeless collection of crooks and fraudsters hell-bent on screwing over what should be a healthy (for everybody), wealthy (for the economy), and well educated with excellent communications systems society … and we end up with nothing but the threat of bankruptcy in every aforementioned topic!

Source: The gross incompetence of a mediocre middle-class – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Labor wins and Coalition reels in Super Saturday byelections

Australians said an Emphatic “No” to the LNP’s Drift Back to Abbott’s Right-Wing White Pacific Dream. This was a “No” to Right-Wing Drift of Turnbull’s LNP Policies, Media Influence and intrusion, IPA Lobbying and benefiting of  the few who only believe in the “me” and not the collective “we”who make up this multicultural country called AUSTRALIA that was also a proud global team player. (ODT)

Labor has secured a major victory over the Turnbull government in a marathon political contest across five byelections, gaining ground in key seats in a show of strength ahead of the next general election.

Labor held its four electorates while the Coalition failed to regain one of its old strongholds, in an outcome that dashed government hopes of turning the tables on its rivals.

via Labor wins and Coalition reels in Super Saturday byelections

Day to Day Politics: When your own side does it. – » The Australian Independent Media Network


8 I may receive some criticism for my remarks about Victorian Labor but the fact is corruption is corruption, no matter the colour it comes in

9 Over the last two years, wages have grown by only four percent while company profits have increased by a massive thirty-two percent, eight times faster than wages.

10 Cabinet ministers on $400 000 a year talking about the need to reign in welfare. The same goes for penalty rate cuts. It was so important for people on $40 000 a year to take a pay cut. When the Senators discussing it were on $200 000 a year at least.

My thought for the day

“There are real known facts in the world”

via Day to Day Politics: When your own side does it. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We need to talk about Jean – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Let’s start at the beginning. We knew the Liberals, in concert with their media arm, the Murdoch press, would launch a propaganda scare campaign against Labor’s very sensible, fiscally responsible, wealth-inequality battling policy to no longer give self-funded retirees cash they don’t need. How did we know? Because that’s what the Liberals and their media arm, the Murdoch press, exist to do. The sky is falling. Everyone is ruined. The economy will rise up like an angry god and smite us all for hurting those who have bestowed trickle-down wealth upon us. And so on and so forth.

I must admit, it’s a sad turn of events that the likes of Leigh Sales on ABC’s 730 is also playing this game, seeking out Lyle-we need those dividends to live-Essery, to show their sad sad faces on TV, to tell Labor how naughty and mean they are for hurting Jean and Lyle, who did nothing to deserve this. But that’s the thing. Jean and Lyle did do nothing to deserve this magical cash-back bribe from Howard and Costello, other than possibly considering voting for Pauline Hanson, and no one should be rewarded for that dirty idea.

via We need to talk about Jean – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wayne Swan on retirement, Abbott, Turnbull and right-wing radicalisation

[Former PM] Tony Abbott and a group of extreme right-wing thugs conducted one of the most vicious and destructive scare campaigns in modern history on deficit and debt — which has since doubled and even tripled, in some years … And they have been aided by the Murdoch press, which has acted as a cheer squad and echo chamber.

via Wayne Swan on retirement, Abbott, Turnbull and right-wing radicalisation

The Atlantic Explains How Media Outlets Should Report On Blatantly Partisan Benghazi Committee | Blog | Media Matters for America

Source: The Atlantic Explains How Media Outlets Should Report On Blatantly Partisan Benghazi Committee | Blog | Media Matters for America

Fact check: Did the Government inherit the ‘worst set of accounts’ in history?

Julie Bishop wrong on the history of Australia's financial accounts

  • The claim: Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop says the Abbott Government inherited the worst set of financial accounts in Australia’s history.
  • The verdict: Large borrowings to finance Australia’s participation in World War I and World War II and the impact of the Great Depression led to much higher deficits and levels of debt than any government has experienced since. The Howard Government also inherited more gross and net debt and a higher budget deficit relative to GDP than the Abbott Government. Ms Bishop is wrong.

Albanese Brands ‘Negative Abbott’ A ‘One Trick Tony’ In Stinging Parliamentary Attack

If you like passionate politics and zinging one-liners, then Anthony Albanese’s speech in parliament today won’t disappoint. Chris Graham reports.

Labor heavyweight Anthony Albanese has delivered a stinging rebuke of the Abbott Government in parliament today, describing the Prime Minister as ‘one-trick Tony’, courtesy of his incessant negativity in opposition and government.

Speaking to an almost empty parliamentary committee room, the Opposition spokesman on Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism delivered a speech that was clearly pitched at the party faithful. Although this is one of those occasions where you can actually pick your party – both Labor and Liberal appear to be heartily sick of Abbott.

As all good ageing hippies should, Albanese began his speech with a reference to the Rolling Stones.

“Those great philosophers Jagger and Richards wrote and sang in 1965 ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’. Australian voters might be reminding themselves of this today as they consider the disappointment known as the Abbott Government,” Albanese said.

And then he got nasty.

“This is a government defined by disappointment, deceit and incompetence. The opposition leader who promised so much has morphed into a confused Prime Minister, a man rapidly sinking into the quicksand of his own negativity.

“Not only can he not lead the nation, he cannot even lead his own government, which is desperately split on policy and political direction and crippled by internal power struggles.

“The source of this government’s dysfunction is the cynical opportunism of its period in opposition.

“Most parties in opposition focus on holding governments to account and rebuilding their credibility by developing new ideas. That’s what Dan Andrews did in Victoria in the past few years. He made himself a participant in the battle of ideas and now he is Premier of Victoria.

“When the Abbott Government was in opposition its only focus was attacking the former Labor government.

“As Opposition Leader the Prime Minister transformed the Coalition into the Noalition, building his entire case for power on anti-Labor hatred and three word slogans.

“Everything about politics, and nothing about policy.

“That’s why the Tories have retreated to their comfort zone today. Without positive ideas, they’ve been forced to lean heavily on Tony Abbott’s regressive and punitive personal ideology, one that values individualism ahead of equity and opportunity.

“The Prime Minister’s negativity did make him a formidable opposition leader, but they make him a pretty bad Prime Minister.

“We now see that negativity is all he ever had. It is his only weapon. He is a one trick Tony.”

And you’ll note Albanese hasn’t even got to the part about Abbott’s broken promises yet. Or the budget.

“You can’t win the battle of ideas if you have no ideas. You can’t run an economy on three word slogans. You don’t create jobs by saying no to everything. And you don’t inspire people by misleading them.

“Before the election, the Prime Minister promised no cuts to health, education, pensions, the ABC or SBS. He promised no new taxes.

“In government he has cut $80 billion from health and education, slashed funding for the ABC and SBS and created new taxes, whenever people visit a GP or fill up their car at the petrol bowser.

“Rubbing salt into the wounds, he has since insulted the electorates’ intelligence with Monty Python-esque claims that he hasn’t broken any promises.”

And at this point, Albanese really got started, zeroing in on the Coalition’s real weak spot – virtually everything it’s done since it got in office.

“The Prime Minister is on the wrong side of history, his place defined not by leadership and forward thinking but by a sad yearning for a less equal and less progressive past. A place where average Australians pay a Medicare levy every week, only to be told they have to pay again to visit a doctor. A place where education is about entrenching privilege not spreading opportunity. Where climate science is derided and where a visiting US president’s praise for the splendor of the Great Barrier Reef is attacked by those opposite as an affront to our national sovereignty.

“It’s a place where our renewal energy target has been so successful that it has to be scrapped, where we have only one woman in the cabinet, where radio shock jocks and partisan newspaper columnists set the government’s political agenda, where bigotry is a right, where people communicate over ageing copper wire rather than 21st century fibre, a place where the long-faded trappings of our colonial past are revived through the re-introduction of the British honours system.

“The Abbott Government has misread the egalitarian nature of Australian culture. Australians care about the fair go. Part of what defines us is a generosity of spirit, one that embraces a sense of community and common interest.”

Which is all, of course, true.

But you might equally argue that the parliamentary wing of the Australian Labor Party has misread the electorate too, by installing Bill Shorten to the leadership position, rather than Albanese.

You might also wonder why this sort of parliamentary theatre is delivered to an empty committee room.

Either way, Albanese’s stirring speech suggests that Labor senses there’s more than a few drops of Prime Ministerial blood in the water, and they intend to finally start turning up the heat.

It’s the final sitting week of parliament for 2014… expect things to descend from here.

You can watch the full 10 minute speech on Albanese’s Facebook page here. Albanese moves onto transport and infrastructure, and a brief tirade on the G20.

Filed under:

Labor and Liberal MPs call for Australia to recognise Palestine: Bolt has gone silent

Palestinians hold a large Palestinian flag during a rally in Rafah.

Demonstrators hold a large Palestinian flag during a rally in Rafah

Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group says international recognition is the only way to end deadlock and bring peace to Middle East

Australia must recognise Palestine as a separate state to help facilitate international peace, a Labor MP said.

Maria Vamvakinou tabled a motion in parliament on Monday calling for the government to support Palestine, in response to the UN international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, which was on Saturday.

“On this day, we need to acknowledge and understand that the prospects for a two-state solution are increasingly dissipating and we are left with very few options,” Vamvakinou said in tabling the report.

“We are, potentially, embarking on a road map that leads to nowhere. Such a prospect will have horrendous implications not only for the Palestinians and the Israelis, but for the international community. Essentially there will be no peace for any of us.”

Vamvakinou, who co-convenes the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group, said international recognition was the only way to end the deadlock.

“Australia and indeed this parliament must now recognise the state of Palestine and Australia must vote yes at the UN for Palestinian statehood,” she said.

The motion had bipartisan support, with Vamvakinou’s co-covenor the Liberal MP Craig Laundy, speaking for the motion.

“The people of Palestine, for the last almost 60 years, haven’t had a fair go,” he said. “Imagine if you will, coming home this afternoon to your home, going to put your key in the door and it didn’t fit.

“You knock on the door. Someone you don’t know opens the door and they’re in your home. That’s what happened here, that’s what happened all those years ago. And a people have been displaced and fighting for an identity ever since.”

He accused lobbyists of hijacking the debate. “The things we discuss in this chamber should not be influenced by the lobby. They should be influenced by what’s right.”

Laundy told Guardian Australia that he is using his position as co-chair of the friendship group to “continue the discussion with my colleagues and try to progress the debate towards a meaningful, two-state solution”.

A number of countries – most recently, Sweden – have formally recognised the state of Palestine in a diplomatic push to get UN backing for a resolution on ending some Israeli settlements.

Three state branches of the Labor party – New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland – have adopted positions recognising Palestine, a move the head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia, Izzat Abdulhadi, calls encouraging. “We need international support … We’re not asking for the moon,” Abdulhadi told Guardian Australia.

He said he has regular dialogue with the government over the issue. “We’d like to have a Palestinian state based on negotiation [with Israel] … but it is impossible now,” he said.

Guardian Australia contacted the Israeli embassy for comment.

Relations between Australia and the Palestinian delegation have been strained for more than a year, since Australia softened its stance on Israeli settlements.

“This shift reflected the government’s concern that Middle East resolutions should be balanced,” the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said in November 2013.

“The government will not support resolutions which are one-sided and which prejudge the outcome of final-status negotiations between the two sides.”

Supporters of Australia’s policy shift see it as vital for a more fair and frank discussion on the vexed Israeli-Palestinian issue within the UN, which they say is biased towards Palestinians.

The anti-politicians are not helping


  • October 29, 2014
  • Written by:
  • Anti-politicians are everywhere. Clive Palmer is the left’s current favourite anti-establishment politician because he is blocking some of Abbott’s nastier budget policies. Palmer has broken progressive hearts before, such as when he stood next to Al Gore and promised to help repeal the Carbon Tax only if it was changed into an ETS; he followed through on the repeal bit but failed to save the ETS. This time we’re all really hoping he sticks to his guns on higher education policy after disappointingly letting Abbott’s do-nothing Direct Action policy through today. It’s easy to forget, while appreciating Palmer’s Abbott-blocking ability, that this was the man who fought tirelessly to destroy two of the previous Labor government’s most important progressive policies – the mining tax and the Carbon Price. So Palmer’s not a progressive politician, even if he does have some really interesting ideas about asylum seeker policy. Just ask the people who voted for him – those people he’s ultimately beholden. Or look at how he makes his money.
  • Many left wing independents or minor parties spend most of their time bemoaning that the incremental improvements of the major progressive party aren’t fast enough, large enough, or anywhere near revolutionary. And they often spend most of their time fixated on one or two causes which they feel effectively differentiate them from the progressive major party. However, a pragmatist would say that in a country where an extreme right wing conservative such as Abbott can be elected as Prime Minister by a healthy majority and go about undoing Labor’s policy reforms (such as mining tax, Carbon Price, Medicare, ABC funding, health and educational funding, a social safety net just to name a few), it’s unrealistic to believe you’ll achieve any progress by throwing your weight (and lack of vote) behind an ideologically pure revolution, or a single policy ideal, that has no hope of success, and no hope of changing anything. And it’s unhelpful to spend all your time, energy, campaign dollars, talent and voice in the community bagging the progressive option when it’s the option you really want if you really do value progress.

    You might not like everything a major party like Labor does, and the flash and colour of an independent or a minor party who promises you the world without any hope of delivering might seem like a tempting option. There’s no reason why these colourful and passionate people can’t contribute to the debate and provide fresh ideas – and sometimes some great blocking skills. But ultimately we need the workhorse – the progressive major party – to be in power if we don’t want the country run by conservative neoliberals. So who are you supporting in the 2016 election? I hope Australian progressives are realistically ready for the fight.

Filed under:

Progress despite the haters:

What I’ve learned this week is that Labor leaders will always be more popular after their time in office. I think we’re already seeing this in the way that the public admire Gillard not very long after her opinion polls were as low as Gough’s. Because Labor reforms are enduring. They might not be perfect at the time, they might not go as far as the Greens would like them to, which is irrelevant when you consider the Greens don’t actually have to fight to turn ideas into policies. And of course Labor governments and oppositions will make mistakes and will be lambasted by their own supporters amongst others and will hopefully stick to their values in the end.

One thing I’ve learned about politics is that, like life, it’s complicated. I’m proud to stand by Labor while they keep fighting the good fight. Implementing good public policy isn’t about ideological purity. It’s about outcomes. Outcomes can be messy, ugly, and usually less than perfect and can make enemies of powerful people. Progress doesn’t often come about in a revolution – it can be just a preference over something worse. But any progress is better than no progress. And of course it’s preferential to be going forwards, however slowly, rather than backwards like we are under the Abbott government.

My support of the Labor Party isn’t about aligning my identity so closely to the party that the minute they do something I disagree with, my faith crumbles irrevocably and I turn my back forever on the movement and become bitter and twisted, and likely to lash out. I don’t hold the unobtainable expectation that the Labor party will be everything I want them to be all the time without fail. How is it even possible to be everything to everyone when everyone has different opinions about what this ideal looks like? Being a Labor supporter is about supporting progressive policies that align with my values. This means taking the good with the bad, disagreeing when you disagree and giving credit when credit’s due – all in equal measure.

I don’t think Gough got enough credit for his brilliant political career while he was in power, just as Labor gets no credit for their previous two terms, nor for the work they are doing in opposing Abbott. People always wait to say the nicest things about people after they’re dead – when it’s too late for them to appreciate the compliments. I keep this in mind while I watch in frustration modern Labor deal with the exact same situation. Gough supported Labor to the end. I’m happy to wait 30 years for Labor to get credit, as long as in the meantime, they keep reforming. Because it’s the progressive outcomes that are important. Far more important than what haters say today.