Category: Kevin Rudd

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

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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

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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 […]

31 Jul


Opinion polls, asylum seekers and Rudd’s strategy


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


Making things happen: race, borders & the state



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 […]