Category: Julia Gillard

29 Dec


Australian politics 2014: Decline & decomposition


{Graphic by @deptofaustralia}

Abbott has to perform well as prime minister next year, not just to preserve his leadership and give the Coalition a chance of re-election but also to restore public faith in the political class and Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy. The year 2015 has to see a restoration of political stability in the national interest. […]

15 Jul


Brutal asylum policies & the Left’s ‘blame voters’ moralism


An ‘election ploy’, but is it effective?

In New Matilda today I have a major piece rebutting the dominant Left explanation for Australia’s brutal asylum seeker policies: That such policies are “poll-driven” in that voter attitudes on the issue are enough to swing elections. It is mainly a response to two NM articles last week written by their main political writer, Ben […]

04 Dec


Abbott & the auto-unravelling of the Right


Grown-up government

For some time, this blog has insisted that an Abbott government — far from getting a smooth ride, even with a big parliamentary majority — would most likely face “crisis and volatility” at least as much as the ALP had over the last few years. By way of contrast, the rapid accumulation of problems for Abbott in […]

23 Sep


The modern crisis of Australian Laborism (Part 2)


What happens now?

By MARC NEWMAN This article continues the analysis of Labor’s crisis — especially in terms of its meaning for trade unions and social movements — begun here. Despite the defeat of the ALP, the election was not a crushing victory for the conservatives. Fewer seats fell than expected, and some of the LNP gains in the lower […]

18 Sep


The modern crisis of Australian Laborism (Part 1)


Hawke Keating colour

In the first of two posts on the modern crisis of Australian Laborism, MARC NEWMAN looks at the roots of the ALP’s problems in its embrace of neoliberalism in the 1980s. *** Labor’s voter base remained stable for the bulk of the 20th century, through numerous changes in political circumstances. It only dipped below a 40 […]

06 Sep

Comments Off

The Left, the Greens and the crisis (from Overland)


Peak Greens?

My long-form essay on the trajectory of the Greens since 2010 is now up at Overland Journal‘s website, and will be in the print edition due out next week. No comments option at Overland, so feel free to comment below. The rise of the Greens represented a historic realignment of the Left of Australian politics, […]

05 Sep

1 Comment

Some observations on the election and politics


ACTU leader Ged Kearney with Gillard earlier this year

by MARC NEWMAN Reflecting on the campaign so far, its possible to advance a few ideas about current events, likely trends, and Left strategy. The Age/Nielsen poll published on Monday (see graphic at the end) showed some very interesting things about Queensland. Fully 16 percent of the voting public are intending to vote for right-wing […]

20 Jul


Turning point: Asylum, Rudd’s realpolitik & the Left


Because all aspiring boat people have the Fairfax newspapers home-delivered

Some moments have “turning point” written all over them. So it was when Liz and I started Left Flank three years and two weeks ago, when we highlighted a speech by Julia Gillard justifying her “lurch to the Right” on border security, and compared her language with that of John Howard — defending Hansonism — from 1996. […]

10 Jul


Caught flat-footed: The Greens without Gillard


Too much the consummate politician?

Today at The Guardian I have a piece on the Greens’ strategic dilemmas after cosying up so close to the Gillard government. With the political class loathed by many ordinary voters, it should be no surprise the Greens have suffered politically and in the polls from their association with Gillard and the “old Labour” project […]

27 Jun


Kevin Rudd, anti-politics & the ends of Laborism


Just in time or a little too late?

In Capital, Karl Marx elucidates the inner workings of the capitalist mode of production by making certain assumptions about the behaviour of real people. He describes capitalists as mere “personifications” of capital and other social relations. But these assumptions are just that: assumptions for the sake of clarifying underlying social processes without having factors like […]