Category: Kevin Rudd

15 Jul

4 Comments

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

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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

10 Comments

Abbott & the auto-unravelling of the Right

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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

25 Comments

The modern crisis of Australian Laborism (Part 2)

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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

15 Comments

The modern crisis of Australian Laborism (Part 1)

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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

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

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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

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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 […]

31 Jul

2 Comments

Opinion polls, asylum seekers and Rudd’s strategy

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Rudd in charge

My latest piece at The Guardian, on how polls and public opinion have little to do with Rudd’s quest to establish political dominance: Again, the refugee issue clarifies Rudd’s approach. Central to his strategy is the use of regional (international) statecraft to establish authority. By having Indonesia expose Abbott’s plan to “turn back the boats” as a dangerous […]

22 Jul

7 Comments

Making things happen: race, borders & the state

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QLD_CM_NEWS_RUDD_19JUL13_

One of the most striking things about the mainstream media coverage of Kevin Rudd’s “PNG solution” is how the discussion is mostly framed by ideas, policies and language that are increasingly relics of a past phase of the interminable “border security” debate. By outmanoeuvring opponents to both his Right and Left on this issue, Rudd […]

20 Jul

29 Comments

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

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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. […]