The splintering of Labor?

The current embrace of Greens policy by the Labor Party makes me wonder whether the events of 1954/55 might recur. Back then, a number of Labor politicians became concerned at what they perceived was the growing influence of the Communist Party on the Labor Party. It led to the formation of the DLP and helped keep Labor in Opposition until Whitlam won in 1972.

Since last year’s election, we have seen Julia Gillard’s true left-wing colours. This is demonstrated by her embrace of Greens’ policies such as the carbon tax, gay marriage and euthanasia. This is now causing significant concern among the more conservative members of Labor.

Perhaps the Labor Party will avoid such a disruptive split – Gillard might come to her senses and realise that shifting the party to the left and embracing Green ideology could lead to the exit of the right. But the Labor research which showed that it needed to staunch the loss of Labor voters to the Greens by moving leftward, suggests that it is blind to the possible repeating of history.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

174 Responses to The splintering of Labor?

  1. Bill

    Anything’s possible, but perhaps only if the polls start looking dire. If that happens, the heat is on, but you’d suspect they would just ditch Morticia and try to distance themselves from the Greens. Not actually split.

    Gay marriage is only a symbolic issue. Carbon tax is meaningful, but wont have disastrous economic effects at $30 tonne. Detrimental of course, but not disastrous. They would still have the option of exempting every corporate lobby etc that has any political clout from the tax.

    It just isn’t as serious an issue as communism.

  2. .

    Gay marriage and euthenasia?

    A conservative would want to keep out of people’s private affairs so at least euthenasia is approved.

    A raving libertarian would see no role of the Government in end of life law or family law which ought to be treated as private law such as trusts etc.

    She’s left wing because she supports the pillorying of businesses, even righteous non rent seekers with good P&L statements and a heart.

    The left cannot justify the RSPT on the grounds that recent goodwill towards Aborigines by FMG for example is fake/forced because State Governments repressed them for so long on mission stations.

    Did she come out against Rudd’s unconstitutional liquor excise hike or criticise Swan’s mad design of the RSPT where the tax rate cut in below the cost of capital?

  3. Adrian

    if people want to live an altetnative lifestyle – fine – just don’t expect me to pay for it via the welfare state.

  4. Rococo Liberal

    What Adrian said!

  5. boy on a bike

    They’ll never split. Labor used to be full of people that believed strongly enough in things to fight for those beliefs to the bitter end. Their beliefs and values were more important to them than the Party.

    The current crop are all Professional Politicians – they change their beliefs more often than I change my jocks.

  6. Both parties are like that, the only thing that really matters to them is being in power and remaining in power. Principles are for the smaller parties.

  7. dover_beach

    A conservative would want to keep out of people’s private affairs so at least euthenasia is approved.

    If only it were that simple, dot. I don’t think wishing to keep out of people’s private affairs means that we turn a blind eye to the abuses that may occur therein. Further, I’m not really sure people have a ‘right to die’, and I certainly don’t think this means that others are obliged to assist them in exercising this ‘right’ which is what is involved in euthanasia. We could discuss this further in the Open Thread if you like.

  8. JC.

    They’ll never split. Labor used to be full of people that believed strongly enough in things to fight for those beliefs to the bitter end. Their beliefs and values were more important to them than the Party.

    Hawke’s party was never like this lot of useless trogs. There was serious idealism. their policies may not have been up to scratch but they never forgot the average dude and how to better his/her life.

    I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Hawke quite the party in disgust as a result of this carousing with the Greens. If I were a labor traditional supporter I’d be really upset about this attraction to the hard left Greens.

    I think the party should split, as there’s no commonality with Gillard’s inner city leftism and the respectable dudes like Ferguson and so on. Let them make nice with the Greens and see where that leads.

  9. Steve Edney

    Carbon Tax, Euthenasia and gay marriage sounds like the LDP policies to me.

  10. daddy dave

    I’m not really sure people have a ‘right to die’,

    People already have the right to die.
    Euthanasia laws aren’t about giving people the right to die, they’re about giving doctors the right to kill.
    Seriously, what’s with the needles and machines and stuff? Let’s pass a resolution that doctors can carry around large handguns and use them at point blank range on willing recipients who are tired of life. Oh, that’s beyond the pale? Why? Because needles are so much more civilised? How about dynamite? You see…. the use of needles fools us into thinking it’s a medical procedure. It’s not.

  11. JC.

    Steve E

    LDP policies.

    Carbon tax with real income tax set offs.

    The other two.. the LDP says the state gets out of the business while the Greens/ALP Alliance are trying to insert themselves. Big difference.

    Frankly I have a serious issue where the state is the medical insurer and also making decisions about euthanasia as I don’t fucking trust them.

  12. JC.

    Steve…

    Let me ask you a hypothetical. In a nightmare Wayne Swan is the treasurer, who made a promise that he would balance the budget by 2014.

    He knows that he was able to quickly knock off a coupla 100 thousand octogenarians by refusing them medical treatment for all sorts of ailments, he could get into balance and stop the Libs from ratting on him about Labor’s spending habits at the election.

    What do you reckon he’d do? Not an easy answer is it?

  13. No Worries

    Frankly I have a serious issue where the state is the medical insurer and also making decisions about euthanasia as I don’t fucking trust them.

    Same here. But add in organ donation too.

  14. papachango

    Andrew Bolt has some fantasy of the sensible Labor people defecting, hooking up with the Libs and taking government, with Ferguson as PM and Abbott as Deputy.

    When he’s not busy firing cheap potshots at ‘teh Left’, Bolt is often on bang on the money with his political predictions (e.g. eerily accurate with Rudd’s knifing), but I’m not sure what he’s been smoking to come up with that idea.

  15. No Worries

    if people want to live an altetnative lifestyle – fine – just don’t expect me to pay for it via the welfare state.

    Unfortunately, voting for a free lunch is a national pastime.

  16. Louis Hissink

    Papachango,

    Andrew Bolt had no such fantasy – he explicitly pointed out that Ray Evans did.

  17. Steve Edney

    Its ok JC, I was stirring. I realise the difference at least for the Carbon tax.

    The point is that Gay Marriage and Euthenasia are libertarian rather than left wing.

  18. No Worries

    When he’s not busy firing cheap potshots at ‘teh Left’, Bolt is often on bang on the money with his political predictions (e.g. eerily accurate with Rudd’s knifing), but I’m not sure what he’s been smoking to come up with that idea.

    Bolt was in love with Gillard a couple of years ago.
    Yes he got the knifing right, but he thought Gillard would be an improvement, though we didn’t get to witness the spectacle of a Rudd-led minority government for a more valid comparison.

  19. dover_beach

    dd, I’ve responded to you in the open thread.

  20. JC.

    Andrew Bolt has some fantasy of the sensible Labor people defecting, hooking up with the Libs and taking government, with Ferguson as PM and Abbott as Deputy.

    I’d buy that in a second. Ferguson would make a decent PM. I’m sure there are smart, reasonable Labor people thinking what the fuck am I doing here. However I think their tribalism gets the better of them and they wouldn’t try that on, but I’m sure it’s not lost on them.

  21. papachango

    Agree with dot re the state as medical decision maker, but with voluntary euthanasia subject to checks and balances, and any doubt about the individual’s wishes erring on the side of life, what’s the issue.

    Your hypothetical about knocking off octogenarians to balance the books is a strong criticism of socialised medicine, but would be an issue with or without voluntary euthanasia. In any case Swanny would go ahead, knowing the media would blame the Libs’ ‘heartless economic rationalism’ for killing all the oldies.

  22. Steve Edney

    He knows that he was able to quickly knock off a coupla 100 thousand octogenarians by refusing them medical treatment for all sorts of ailments, he could get into balance and stop the Libs from ratting on him about Labor’s spending habits at the election

    No its very easy. There is only a couple of hundred thousand Octagenarians in the country. Wayne Swan may be incompetent but I don’t think he is evil. He’s not going to wipe out an entire generation to balance the budget when he can raise taxes.

  23. papachango

    Louis – yes but why is he giving it airtime; does he think his blog will encourage Fergo to defect?

    I’d forgotton about his infatuation with Gillard – at the time lots of conservatives were taken in by her standing up to the nasty teachers union. But yeah that was a dud call too. His track record is OK though – he was one of the first to call Latham as being madder than a cut snake

  24. boy on a bike

    Speaking of knocking off the oldies, will the carbon tax apply to cremations?

  25. papachango

    The greenies want to end cremations and bring back burials as a more eco friendly departure. But no graveyards mindyou, you’re buried beneath a tree as an appeasement to Gaia. (This has seriously been suggested)

  26. JC.

    Steve

    He’s tapped out on taxes.

    the mining tax
    the levy
    carbon tax.

    One more or an increase and the horses are going to stampede. My guess and this is just a guess would be that Swan would prefer the knock off the oldies.

    That way he would avoid being branded as tax and spend and could actually show he has been cutting real spending.

  27. boy on a bike

    Well, there you go. A carbon tax on cremations would provide a financial incentive to getting buried under a tree. How much carbon dioxide would an average body give off, including fuel? How much more will pensioners have to save for that final day in order to send the ATO a final cheque?

  28. JC.

    papa.

    If the greens a trying to stop cremations I’m going to will that I get burned into a cinder.. the the very last spec of fuel just to spite the bastards. In fact I’m going to ask they pour kero on me just to prolong the burn intensity and piss them off even more. I want the flames 30 feet high.

  29. No Worries

    One look at Ferguson’s results at the last election ensures that Paul Kelly’s fantasy, as reported by Bolt, is not very realistic. Ferguson sits on a huge 2PP margin, while his biggest rival is the greens. IF Ferguson allied himself to the coalition, he would need to capture every liberal vote, and at least one third of his current labor rust-ons to follow him, and I don’t think the liberals would leave the seat uncontested either. Additionally, quite a few more labor voters would register a protest by voting green.
    Paul Kelly is considered an expert political commentator ? Really ?

  30. JC.

    Worries.

    He won with a huge margin. If the Libs sent him their preferences he could afford to lose every greens preference and some traditional supporters.

    He’d still win his seat I think.

    Don’t forget there are just are a large number of ALP supporters that despise the environmental movement as much as the next reasonable person.

    (There is nothing wrong with these people and would only take a little tweaking at the edges to help them understand economics a little better).

  31. JC.

    oops… just as large a number….

  32. I don’t think gay marriage is a left-wing issue so much as an issue that lies on the clash between tradition and modernity. As with feminism and racial emancipation the issue is boosted by the left. And I suspect, when it becomes normalized, conservatives will claim that it was never anything to do with the left. That said I’m sure the Catholic Right etc in the ALP will be fuming.

    Euthanasia is not a left-wing issue either. It’s another clash between tradition and modernity. I’m not sure what the polls say about euthanasia but last time I checked a majority of Australian citizens were in favour of same sex marriage. It isn’t controversial for the mainstream. Libertarians should be in favour of both.

    Green policies and the interests the ALP represent do clash in certain ways. That is when the interest of working class people and that of the environment (as imagined by Green politicians) clash. But there are differences between the situation in the 50s. The ALP and the CPA nominally represented the same interests. There was co-operation. They were comrades.

    The Greens are different, they aren’t a ‘working class’ party. There’s far more competition between the Greens and the ALP than co-operation. The Greens are Labor’s enemy #1 in certain seats in this country. What the ALP will do is whether the storm and try like Hell to marginalize the Greens at the next election.

    They did so at the last Vic election. The ETU which had supported the Greens backstabbed them. They had a banner outside their headquarters obviously intended to snub them. It read:

    THIS TIME WE’RE VOTING LABOR

    It was written in red.

    That said it might split the electorate. Greens voters in the main don’t like the Libs so it hamstrings the Greens there. This will benefit the Coalition but not like the DLP did.

  33. But no graveyards mindyou, you’re buried beneath a tree as an appeasement to Gaia.

    I’m dead set against any laws dictating burial rites. But personally I’d like to get planted underneath a tree. 🙂

  34. Wayne Swan may be incompetent but I don’t think he is evil.

    Um no. He’s evil. He’s Adolf Eichmann with glasses. 🙂

  35. JC.

    Euthanasia is not a left-wing issue either.

    Depends. It depends on how it’s structured and the amount of input the state has. You can’t easily dismiss those concerns and suggest it’s not a left wing issue. Leftwing euthanasia.. at least where the left has control of it should frighten the daylights out of people with good reason because it wouldn’t take long before we lurched towards eugenics.

  36. JC.

    Here’s a question for you, Adrien. Which Greens party rep would you have abiding trust in to do the right thing and not insert their environmental, misanthropic religious convictions and begin practicing eugenics? ummm.

    How often have you privately heard a greens supporter suggest humans in Africa are a blight on the animal kingdom there?

  37. daddy dave

    “euthanasia” already applies to babies and children in the Netherlands.

  38. daddy dave

    no they love Africans, JC. It’s Westerners that are a blight on the environment.

  39. Chuck

    When he’s not busy firing cheap potshots at ‘teh Left’, Bolt is often on bang on the money with his political predictions (e.g. eerily accurate with Rudd’s knifing),

    A while back Bolt predicted Keneally to win the upcoming NSW election. i think it was just after she took the leadership, So Bolt isn’t exactly a dead eye dick.

  40. No Worries

    JC
    I think it depends on what labor voters would consider the greater outrage : Ferguson’s lack of “loyalty”, or the continued pandering to the “environmental” movement. As always, hard to pick sentiment, and its possible the greens have peaked.
    It seems labor voters need a fourth alternative, when current labor, liberal and green alternatives are found wanting in their eyes.

  41. boy on a bike

    JC

    Go out Viking style. Get cremated on a huge bastard of a wooden boat.

  42. C.L.

    A Swan/Gillard split?

    ALP concerns that Greens territories bill could lead to gay marriage are legitimate, says Swan.

    It was Gillard’s Brown-placating baby and now her Treasurer is supporting those who rolled her.

  43. boy on a bike

    The Libs should run an ad that shows a bunch of eldsters queueing outside a government office. They’re all there to get weighed, so the ATO can work out how much to tax them when they go up in smoke. Or they could show a weeping widow standing in front of her dead hubbie on a set of scales, with an officious bastard handing her a carbon tax invoice.

  44. JC – It depends on how it’s structured and the amount of input the state

    This is true. Euthanasia is a minefield. But I don’t think the notion that you are entitled to terminate your own life if you choose is inherently left-wing or right-wing.

    Which Greens party rep would you have abiding trust in…

    None.

    …to do the right thing and not insert their environmental, misanthropic religious convictions and begin practicing eugenics?

    Even if the Greens did actually correspond to that stereotype, and I haven’t met any that do, the system of liberal democracy would prevent them from doing it.

    How often have you privately heard a greens supporter suggest humans in Africa are a blight on the animal kingdom there?

    Never. Maybe I don’t get out often enough. But I don’t know too many political types these days.

  45. No Worries

    A Swan/Gillard split?

    Swan for PM ? This nightmare keeps getting worse.
    On the bright side, it would fracture the party. Not even Ferguson could bear that, irrespective of political future.

  46. johno

    Labour has split before and it can split again.

    As well as looking at the 1954/55 split over communist infiltration, it is worth considering the 1916 spilt over conscription and the 1931 split over depression era economic policy. In both cases, a senior ALP Minister (PM in 1916 and Treasurer in 1931) left the ALP to lead a newly formed Party into government. The new Party comprised the senior Minister, his supporters and the Opposition Party. If Labour does split, which senior Minister will lead the split and will Tony Abbott be prepared to let them take over the leadership of the Opposition? If not, would Malcolm Turnbull lead a Liberal Party Split?

    An important difference between the Greens and the Communist in 1954/55 is that the Greens aren’t agents for a hostile foreign power. This was one of the key reasons that the Groupers took on the Communist in the trade union movement and why the DLP fought so hard to keep Labour out of office. In the absence of this external threat to Australia’s security, there may not be enough loyal ALP members willing to split the ALP to fight the Greens’ takeover of the ALP. They are more likely to stay and fight the Greens internally.

  47. Peter Patton

    An important difference between the Greens and the Communist in 1954/55 is that the Greens aren’t agents for a hostile foreign power

    All very true. But the Greens are agents for a hostile foreign power – the UN.

  48. Karl Kessel

    The ALP might not split, but the Left already has and the effect is really bad for the ALP.

    A rarity for anyone who reads this site, in over a decade of voting I’ve voted almost 50 – 50 between the ALP and the Coalition but when a vote for the ALP is a vote for an ALP / Green setup they just will not get my vote.

    If One Nation had formed a coalition with the Libs and Nats my reaction would have been the same.

    The next month or two of polls will be really interesting. There is a good chance swinging voters will come to the conclusion that the supporting the Greens by voting for the ALP is a disaster.

  49. .

    Remember after Rudd got voted in and the Liberals were going to be terminally and fatally split?

  50. papachango

    JC – you need to go to Varanasi for your final trip. Think huge bonfires by the banks of the Ganges – it’s a pretty confronting sight.

    ‘course the greenies would prefer you went to Tibet instead where the chop you up and leave you on a hilltop for the vultures to feast on

    Here’s the original styory on greeie burials. It’s farcical. Apparently a cremation emits 50 litres of CO2, assuming this is at standard pressure I thought is bugger all?

  51. JC.

    Wow, so go up in blaze of glory. That sounds good papa.

  52. .

    Yeah sure, people want to be eaten by trees and have wooden plaques that rot after 30 years.

    I remember Mum visiting her Mum and Dad’s graves. Big beautiful gothic marble monstrosities.

    I think the dude is off his chops if he thinks a majority are in with him.

  53. Peter Patton

    Maybe the film Soylent Green will turn out to be far more prescient than thought.

  54. papachango

    It costs a fortune (by Indian standards) to by all the necessary wood, but if you do the flames are 30 ft + high.

    Those that can’t afford the lot are tossed in to the river half burnt. Not sure if the greenies prefer this or not.

  55. Nick Ferrett

    One look at Ferguson’s results at the last election ensures that Paul Kelly’s fantasy, as reported by Bolt, is not very realistic. Ferguson sits on a huge 2PP margin, while his biggest rival is the greens. IF Ferguson allied himself to the coalition, he would need to capture every liberal vote, and at least one third of his current labor rust-ons to follow him, and I don’t think the liberals would leave the seat uncontested either. Additionally, quite a few more labor voters would register a protest by voting green.

    I think the Libs would agree not to run a candidate against Ferguson in a heartbeat if that is what it took to get government. They would certainly have no problems directing preferences to him. In his seat, he might actually be better off with a Liberal running against him and directing preferences than no Liberal candidate at all.

    It won’t happen though. Why would Abbott agree to some sort of cross-party government in which he doesn’t get to be PM? He is in with a great shot to take the prize without the necessity to compromise at the next election.

    His real risk, at this stage, is that the carbon tax will raise a big pot of cash for Julia to spend at the next election. Alan Kohler makes the point here.

  56. Peter Patton

    Those that can’t afford the lot are tossed in to the river half burnt. Not sure if the greenies prefer this or not.

    Couldn’t the cost be socialized, by having collective farewells?

  57. boy on a bike

    Fuck a duck Patton, don’t suggest that the government gets involved. Swan will be torching people on bales of $100 bills.

    Hang on – they could give the job to Garrett. He could fully immolate an entire graveyard just by turning up for a photo op. Spontaneous Lurchian Combustion.

  58. papachango

    maybe but even going into the Ganges half burnt is highly auspicious for the whole afterlife/reincarnation thing. It’s actually quite similar to the Greenie tree burial, as the river to them is some sort of Earth Mother.

  59. JC.

    Swan will be torching people on bales of $100 bills.

    Hey, stop complaining. It’s a stimulus and keeps the economy from going into deeper recession.

  60. No Worries

    Those that can’t afford the lot are tossed in to the river half burnt.

    Viewing a doco caller River Monsters last night, featuring small Amazonian catfish that enter the body through biting a hole in the skin, that medical examiners first thought were bullet wounds.
    Turns out hundreds of these small catfish infiltrate the body and eat it from the inside out.
    A bit like what the greens are doing to labor. Gaia would be pleased.

  61. Infidel Tiger

    Ha ha! Last week the media were spinning harder than a nuclear powered washing machine that the Libs were in turmoil.

  62. Bill

    Cant believe the Greens actually would let you be buried under a tree. It means cutting some roots.

  63. Peter Patton

    the river to them is some sort of Earth Mother

    Last time I saw it, they must have been pretty shirty with their mothers, as they were using it as a toilet-cum-washing machine.

  64. JC.

    No bill. You got it wrong. They plant you… umm plant a stiff first.. and then stick the tree on top.

    It’s a natural, sustainable fertilizer. In fact no more of this potash nonsense which just degrades the natural environment and there isn’t enough of it to leave our great grand kids.

    What we want is sustainable fertilizer!

    When do we want it?

    We want it now!

    In fact you could grow entire harvests by planting stiffs in the soil first then stick the crop on top it.

    It’s sustainable.

  65. Peter Patton

    featuring small Amazonian catfish that enter the body through biting a hole in the skin, that medical examiners first thought were bullet wounds.

    They can also enter via one’s urethra.

  66. JC.

    Jeez. That’s one place I’m not going. Rain forests sound like just heaven. We used to call them jungles.

  67. No Worries

    They can also enter via one’s urethra.

    Any hole probably, but I didn’t want to go there.

  68. boy on a bike

    Saw a bloke get a leech on the end of his tackle once – not a pretty sight.

  69. Bill

    Thanks JC, (I should have twigged to that).

    I hope thats as close to Soylent Green as Prime Minister Brown is going to get.

  70. Tal

    Gotta love The Cat the topic starts off about bad government and now I’m reading about catfish up the jacksie

  71. Peter Patton

    No-one gets out of here alive, tal. I’m pretty sure those catfish have special methods for you, too!

  72. Gabrielle

    Gillard: denies any splintering as no Labor MP said anything to her about it. They just love her.

  73. No Worries

    Gotta love The Cat the topic starts off about bad government and now I’m reading about catfish up the jacksie

    Same thing.

  74. Infidel Tiger

    Jeez. That’s one place I’m not going. Rain forests sound like just heaven. We sued to call them jungles.

    P.J O’Rourke wrote a great essay on what a shithole the Amazon is.

  75. Gillard: denies any splintering

    Well that proves it then, dunnit.

    Last time she denied Labor instability only a week or so before she ended up deposing Kevin Rudd and becoming Prime Minister in his place, as a result of the calmness, serenity, and lack of hostility within the Labor Party.

  76. Rococo Liberal

    Lyons was not Treasurer in the Scullin Government, but Postmaster General. He was Acting Treasurer for a while in Scullin’s absence at an Imperial Conferencein London. He resigned from that position because Caucus overturned Government policy.

    In both 1916 and 1931, Labor had won power in an election just two years before in landslide proportions. In 2011 this isn’t the case, but the underlying problem is the same, the ALP is unfit to govern because its MPs are mostly useless gits and World conditions have suddenly become difficult. At the same time the Opposition in 1916 and 1931 had uncharismatic leaders (Cook and Latham) who could not have been PM. Tony Abbott is obviously the man who should be PM.

    There is no popular/charismatic PM in waiting on the ALP benches. Hughes was already PM in 1916 and Lyons had a high public profile because he had conducted a popular campaign throughout the country that ensured that Australia would not default on its debt to Britain.

    I think that it is more likely that a few Labor MPs in marginal seats could move to the cross benches, and there give the ALP support on supply, but not on the mad Green policies. Eventually of course this would lead to another 1931 scenario.

  77. An important difference between the Greens and the Communist in 1954/55 is that the Greens aren’t agents for a hostile foreign power.

    PP beat me to it.

    P.J O’Rourke wrote a great essay on what a shithole the Amazon is.

    Christopher Hitchens on PJ O’Rourke’s foreign correspondence: an example of travel narrowing the mind.

  78. JC.

    RL

    Did you do an Arts degree with hons in Labor history 1916-31?

  79. Marks

    Personally I think the ALP has actually morphed into the DLP and that Kevin Rudd is actually the love child of BA Santamaria.

    The difference is that if there is a split, the left is likely to be the rump and will align with the Greens most likely. That is not going to help the coalition in the same way that the fifties split did where the DLP preferences went to the coalition. Green and Labor left preferences are more likely to go to the New DLP (Otherwise known today as the ALP).

  80. boy on a bike

    Rog, can I interest you in some unique and endangered rain forest catfish for your bath tub?

  81. Fran Barlow

    Dover_beach said:

    Further, I’m not really sure people have a ‘right to die’, and I certainly don’t think this means that others are obliged to assist them in exercising this ‘right’ which is what is involved in euthanasia.

    I believe the right to die is the flipside to the right to life, and I’m against “catch-22” claims that anyone who wants to die must lack the competence to conclude that this is best.

    I agree that nobody is obligated to assist someone in doing so, but providing we can be sure that a person really were freely choosing to die and seeking the support of a disinterested person or persons to assist I see no ethical problem. Those assisting in such circumstances should be given immunity from prosecution.

    Inevitably, there are going to be some murky situations in which ostensibly interested parties — beneficiaries of wills for example, but nonetheless capable of hearing and conveying the uncoerced intent of another may be callled upon to attest to the person’s fitness to make a judgement. I’d be happy for matters to be heard ex parte by a judge of the District Court and determined there.

  82. Peter Patton

    I’m with Frannie 100% on this. Except, prefacing the whole debate with the word “right” probably creates more heat than light.

  83. Fran Barlow

    Personally I can see a split of left-leaning ALP to The Greens leaving behind a purely rightwing ALP as likely to benefit both groups.

    Instead of ructions within the ALP people have a clear and plausible left-of-centre choice, and if they don’t like that they can choose one of the officially rightwing groups. This differentiation would give both groups space to pursue a clear and distinct demographic in which the constituents of each were more happy with those they were voting for.

    It might even be that the Liberals might split between conservatives and liberals. Then we could have a parliament in which one broad coalition faced the other but in which more fractious social issues could be taken out of the mix. A rightwing coalition government might find itself opposing gay rights, euthanasia, asylum seeker policy, policy on Afghanistan and drug law reform, carbon pricing etc against a coalition composed of liberals and Green/Left with some Indies chipping in to tip the balance. Regardless of who won though, core economic policy — around which there is a fairly solid consensus — there’s that word again, would be more or less consistent. The right wouldn’t have to wear the heat or couldn’t take the credit for (depending on your POV) liberal/left policies and the left couldn’t be wedged for supporting rightwing social policy.

    It’s hard to imagine that people like Judy Moylan and Mal Washer are all that impressed with current arrangements but they might like these rather better.

    A system in which we had single member PR would lend itself very well to such arrangements.

  84. Peter Patton

    And, it has nothing do with “right/left”. Once we move away from the production line, I start getting suss at anything claimed to be a “left-wing” notion.

  85. Fran Barlow

    Since we are doing social issues …

    the war on drugs … Hands up all those in favour of staying until the job is done … Hands up all those who think they know what the job is and that it is worthwhile …

    Oops … did I really say “hands up”?

  86. Peter Patton

    Fran

    Things are very interesting at the moment, on the political identity front. Before Gillard fell over the line, I had suggested Turnbull becoming Treasurer in a Gillard government. I still say that the ALP and Libs are closer ideologically than the ALP and Greens.

  87. Peter Patton

    I am all for significant liberalization of drug laws, though probably better incrementally than revolution-like. One positive is that if it goes horribly wrong, it would not be politically as difficult to re-regulate than might be the case in other policy areas.

  88. Peter Patton

    Fran

    By the way, you’ll find the vast majority here are very pro-liberalization of drugs, too.

  89. dover_beach

    I believe the right to die is the flipside to the right to life

    Hmmm, I’m not sure that it is the flipside since the flipside of a right is an obligation, not another right; nor am I sure that asserting a ‘right to life’ makes much sense either. I think a ‘right to our bodily integrity’ makes more sense.

  90. Oh come on

    the war on drugs

    Fran: that’s your gotcha moment? bwhahahahaha. You dumbarse.

  91. Quentin George

    “Lyons had a high public profile because he had conducted a popular campaign throughout the country that ensured that Australia would not default on its debt to Britain.”

    He was also a former ALP Tasmanian Premier.

    PS, You forgot the split in the ALP that happened pre first ALP Federal Government. The ALP demanded all party members take policy from caucus or risk suspension from the party. Many members, including future PM Joseph Cook, resigned rather than take this pledge.

  92. Quentin George

    Also, Scullin was doubly screwed in 1932 because dickheads like Jack Lang were peeling off the ALP from the left at the same time as Lyons was challenging the Keynesian inclinations of the Treasurer.

  93. Euthanasia is not the same thing as the “right to die”.

    You have the right to die now. Kill yourself, you won’t be charged. Fail to kill yourself, you still won’t be charged.

    What is illegal is getting someone to help you kill yourself. That is what euthanasia is. It’s got nothing to do with the “right to die”.

    And it’s illegal because who is to know if the people killed by doctors really wanted to die or not? When it’s just the doctors word against a dead person? Nobody, and that’s why it should remain illegal.

  94. Fran if you weren’t such a giant fucktard who’s commenting here because LP is boring now that all the dissidents are banned, you’d already know that 99% of Catallaxy are against the war on drugs.

    There’s probably CL, Steve from B and Harry Clarke who support the war on drugs amongst the lot.

  95. Infidel Tiger

    From what I can gather CL certainly doesn’t.

  96. Peter Patton

    Is Fran on LP’s ‘permanent moderation’ list too? That list must be almost as long as the electoral roll by now!

  97. Don’t think she is PP, but I wonder if they really do have a list of people who have been ‘naughty and nice’. There’s a lot of them now so you never know.

  98. You have the right to die now. Kill yourself, you won’t be charged. Fail to kill yourself, you still won’t be charged.

    Tony Windsor would consider that a death threat…

  99. Peter Patton

    Tim, an extraordinary number of people have posted they are on that list. And they hate liberals as much as they hate more authentic leftists, including THR!

  100. Jc

    What do you mean he would. He does.

    But I still reckon he set it up.

  101. They should have once a year on LP where all the banned commenters could come on and have an awesome comments biff. Halloween would seem appropriate. Or possibly Walpurgis Nacht.

  102. daddy dave

    Hands up all those in favour of staying until the job is done … Hands up all those who think they know what the job is and that it is worthwhile

    I’m against the so-called war on drugs. But then I also think prescription drugs are too regulated.

    Hey, here’s a thought. Deregulate the sale of painkillers and you don’t have to pass any stupid legislation about euthanasia.

  103. Peter Patton

    Hilarious! 🙂

  104. daddy dave

    …An overdose would be $20 and a short drive away.

  105. Infidel Tiger

    Prescription drugs are a racket. So is having to go to a doctor to get a referral to go to a specialist.

  106. IT, I saw something recently about antibiotics being freely available in India, leading to lots of the type of overuse/misuse which is leading to antibiotic resistant bugs.

    [Predicted response: something about the kama sutra]

  107. …An overdose would be $20 and a short drive away.

    Just remember, as a friend of mine who worked in an emergency ward advised, never try and kill yourself within half an hour of a hospital because they will bring you back. She told me one shocking story in that regard, the police brought in a dead aboriginal kid so she asked them, “how long since he died.” They said about half an hour. She advised they might be able to revive him but he will be effectively a vegetable. Cops insisted, the rest is tragic.

    A big iv hit of KCL can do the trick via heart attack but apparently very painful. Used in lethal injections but only after putting person into coma.

  108. Infidel Tiger

    I don’t think it should a free for all, but repeat prescriptions for the pill etc. requiring you to go your GP put pressure on the hip pocket and the medical system.

  109. Instead of ructions within the ALP people have a clear and plausible left-of-centre choice, and if they don’t like that they can choose one of the officially rightwing groups.

    There’s a trend in campus politics for the Liberals and the right-wing Labor people to form tickets together and run SRCs as a team against other factions. If this trend is meaningful enough you could see some kind of dissolution of the current parties and reformation some time down the line.

  110. Quentin George

    I don’t know Adrien, that’s been going on for ages. I remember at my uni the campus ALP and Liberal clubs running a unity ticket. The other parties were “Activist Left”, “Real Left”, “Revolutionary Left” and “Independent Left”.

  111. daddy dave

    IT, I saw something recently about antibiotics being freely available in India, leading to lots of the type of overuse/misuse which is leading to antibiotic resistant bugs.

    There’s a case for restricting antibiotics.

  112. I don’t know Adrien, that’s been going on for ages. I remember at my uni the campus ALP and Liberal clubs running a unity ticket. The other parties were “Activist Left”, “Real Left”, “Revolutionary Left” and “Independent Left”.

    Who said political choice was dead? 🙂

    I might be dating myself but the ALP Left-Right split only manifested on campus when I was there. For some strange reason I didn’t pay much attention in the ensuing years. Over the last few I’ve heard that Liberal-Labor Right tickets have become standard.

  113. Quentin George

    This was ten years ago. I imagine it’s got even more de rigeur since then…

    I do remember the SRC trying to restrict the right of on-campus residents to vote because they were all “brain dead conservative country hicks who just vote for the party promising them the most beer”

    And the ALP/Liberal unity ticket did just that.

  114. JC.

    This talk about splintering and coalition forming gets me a little worried. It’s not the first time that politicians figured out that creating relatively unassailable coalitions of convenience helps then gang up against the punters.

  115. Quentin George

    JC – on the other hand, coalitions tend to fall apart at the first fracture. Were it not for the ALP, ALL politics in Australia would involve coalitions.

  116. Peter Patton

    I don’t know. The DLP/Coalition anti-Communism alliance saved the nation. See, those Rock Choppers aren’t all bastards. Well at least not all the time.

  117. Quentin George

    Aye, but eventually the DLP dissapated, and its remnants were equally absorbed by the Liberal Party and the ALP.

    Political history of Australia is driven by the two strands of the ALP attempting exert control over its members, and a continual drifting away of its members – two of the longest serving conservative PMs of Oz were former ALP office-holders, Hughes and Lyons, and Cook (as earlier said) was in the ALP in his youth.

  118. Fran Barlow

    Yobbo said:

    Fran if you weren’t such a giant fucktard who’s commenting here because LP is boring now that all the dissidents are banned …

    You know Yobbo, scarcely a day goes by when you don’t say something silly. Hurling around epithets just makes me laugh.

  119. Tim Quilty

    Don’t forget the green-left and the feminist-left factions….

    I don’t think you should be rude to Fran like that Yobbo, I think her comments add something here. But yeah, the Cat is a drug legalisation friendly space.

  120. Gabrielle

    Never fear Tim, as Fran will have the Cat conforming in no time.

  121. C.L.

    It’s good having Fran around, even if I do disagree with much/most of what she says.

  122. Tal

    Fran ya gotta stop saying hands up

  123. Rob

    “This is true. Euthanasia is a minefield”

    I guess that is one way to carry it out, but surely it would too messy. I guess it would solve the question of burial or cremation.

  124. .

    the war on drugs … Hands up all those in favour of staying until the job is done … Hands up all those who think they know what the job is and that it is worthwhile …

    Oops … did I really say “hands up”?

    Never mind fran, you can indulge in your fascist fantasies with the continuation of the war on drugs with “harm minimisation” and various other shithouse soft wet left plans to criminalise drugs and then give Government a leading part in the drug cartels.

    I guess your all for high excise taxes on tobacco and the murderous chop chop market too.

  125. TerjeP

    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!

    Steve Edney you are confused. The LDP does not now nor has it ever had a policy advocating a carbon tax. I suspect you have not read the LDP policies. You should, some of them are extremely good.

  126. .

    I should have noticed that Terje. Considered it a dropped catch by me you got as a run out.

  127. JC.

    I thought John H carbon tax idea was essentially adopted by the LDP, no?

  128. You know Yobbo, scarcely a day goes by when you don’t say something silly. Hurling around epithets just makes me laugh.

    You would be banned for this sort of commment at LP, Fran, because you are disagreeing with the majority.

  129. Tal

    Sam who know’s Fran may turn

  130. Boy on a bike

    Yobbo, you should know by now to address her as “Miss Fran”.

    But I wouldn’t worry if I was you. In my day, the Headmaster would cane your arse off for such disrespect. These days, you’d at least get a merit badge just for showing up.

  131. Peter Patton

    Terje

    Shouldn’t you post a disclaimer that you are a leading political Party member and candidate? 😉

  132. Peter Patton

    A think a couple of demands to “put hands on heads” from Miss Barlow would put the fear of Trotsky into any wayward youth.

  133. No Worries

    On topic.
    Labor is splintering.

    Labor will debate gay marriage policy at its national conference in December and Ms Gillard urged her troops to save the fight until then. ”The focus always has to be governing in the national interest,” she said

    Gillard says this on the day her own caucus finds out that they weren’t briefed on a greens amendment that would have opened the gates on whatever the territories wanted. She is saying to caucus yes we can all debate it in December, meanwhile we’ll make the changes now. She must think her caucus is as stupid as Oakeshott. He would vote for the “carbon tax” tomorrow – details unknown.
    If this was just a stuff up on Crean’s part like Coorey says, then why are we hearing so much about unnamed labor MP’s indicating their discontent to journalists.

  134. daddy dave

    “This is true. Euthanasia is a minefield”

    I guess that is one way to carry it out, but surely it would too messy. I guess it would solve the question of burial or cremation.

    It would certainly add some excitement to the whole thing.

  135. Peter Patton

    I’m really concerned about the way she is handling this. If this gets up, all the credit will go to the Greens, which will just make the luvvie Labor-to-Green leak even larger and stickier. And all the backlash will go to Gillard; not the Greens.

  136. No Worries

    In other splintering news, it looks like the environmental lobby is splitting from the Greens.
    Gunns makes more concessions to win environmental approval, but Greens (McKim) still want to block the whole thing. And right on cue the menopausal matron shows up to pour petrol on the sparks.
    The pulp mill was of course Milne’s cause célèbre, and gave her sufficient prominence to get into politics. Can’t have these things resolved when you’re bucking for Greens leadership.

  137. ken n

    Aside from the politics, I believe that taking away the minister’s power to overrule a territory law is appropriate. I don’t see why territory legislatures’ should not be able to pass laws applicable within the territory.
    Whether states and territories should be able to legislate on euthanasia and same-sex marriage is a different question. I believe they should but I can understand those who say such matters should be covered by commonwealth law.

  138. Peter Patton

    I don’t see why territory legislatures’ should not be able to pass laws applicable within the territory

    I do. They have neither the historical credibility nor are they presently sufficiently substantive.

  139. No Worries

    If territories want more self determination, perhaps they could try a little harder to pay their own way and not be GST sinks. If they want to do social engineering, perhaps their agenda should include more economic vitality.

  140. Rococo Liberal

    I’m all for the war on drugs, but it needs to be fought with more intelligence.

    One wonders that if we legalised and regulated heroin , crytal meth, crack, ice, exctasy, etc would there be in a reduction in the crime associated with the use of these drugs. Of course not, an increase in use would lead to more assaults by drugged idiots and more robberies to pay for legal drug habits.

  141. .

    Of course not, an increase in use would lead to more assaults by drugged idiots and more robberies to pay for legal drug habits.

    Bullshit.

  142. rog

    Yobbo confirms the majority position on Catallaxy

    scarcely a day goes by when you don’t say something silly. Hurling around epithets just makes me laugh.

  143. ken n

    PP if I knew what that meant, I might agree or argue.

    What if the NT, to encourage it’s economic development, introduced something like the “right to work” laws that have done so much to improve the economies of the southern US states? No closed shops, greater flexibility in negotiating work practices and such.
    It would be a valuable economic experiment. Rates of growth, unemployment could be compared with the states.
    Leave aside the constitutional issue – should a commonwealth minister, at the stroke of a pen, be able to veto this?
    I say no.

  144. Peter

    No matter how divergent the views in the ALP are, there will never be another “split” like 1954/55. Back then the men (they were all men) sacrificed their careers and livelihoods for strong principls they held. Many of today’s politicians do not have strong principles, they are just pragmatists. The ALP Right will not split becasue they wouldn’t dare risk their perks etc for the sake of policy. This is the state of politics in Australia today.

  145. TerjeP

    Shouldn’t you post a disclaimer that you are a leading political Party member and candidate?

    I might if I was. 😉

    Just for the record I am not in any leadership position within any political party. I was in 2007. I am not currently a candidate for any political party. I was in 2007 and 2010. I am a financial member of the LDP and I’m involved with the ALS.

    When I speak I speak for myself.

  146. Peter Patton

    Terje

    I’m just ribbing you, having just read similar demands made on you elsewhere in Blogland. 😉

  147. Peter Patton

    It would be a valuable economic experiment. Rates of growth, unemployment could be compared with the states.
    Leave aside the constitutional issue – should a commonwealth minister, at the stroke of a pen, be able to veto this?
    I say no.

    It might well be, but your one hypothetical – which by the way, could just as easily go to some extreme you might not like so much – does not a case for State status make. Besides, there are still six other non-federal entities, which can carry out such experiments.

    Running a State is a very grown-ups responsibility. You don’t dole out power like that in the way you might a tear-away school kid – or employee – a project with significant responsibilities and status, in hope of converting them to responsible citizenship! It’s like the argument the Palestinians should be given a State. Nonsense.

    As for the ACT. Canberra was built explicitly to house the Commonwealth bureaucracy. It is irredeemably, and inescapably umbilicaly tied to the Commonwealth.

  148. ken n

    OK PP I was trying to test whether attitudes to territory power here was affected by the issue.
    Power of self government is not in my book “doled out’ as some kind of favour. I cannot see why residents of territories should not have the same right to elect a government as those is states. They are not children.
    Perhaps attitudes to the issue are affected by our views on the nature of government. If so, as with many issues, it’s not worth arguing.

  149. .

    I cannot see why residents of territories should not have the same right to elect a government as those is states. They are not children.

    Because they are tax eaters.

    The solution is to make them self funding.

  150. daddy dave

    Canberra was built explicitly to house the Commonwealth bureaucracy.

    And for this reason the ACT should not, and can never be, a state. But NT should be a state, or at least part of one.

  151. Peter Patton

    dd

    I agree. And I am glad you added “or part a state” re the NT. The problem with the NT is it is just so bloody big.

  152. No Worries

    As for the ACT. Canberra was built explicitly to house the Commonwealth bureaucracy. It is irredeemably, and inescapably umbilicaly tied to the Commonwealth.

    Someone should have told that to Tom Uren.

  153. .

    They shouldn’t be a State. But they deserve autonomy on non economic decisions. But also economic decisions amongst themselves if self funding.

  154. I do remember the SRC trying to restrict the right of on-campus residents to vote because they were all “brain dead conservative country hicks who just vote for the party promising them the most beer

    I remember that amongst student hacks I was in an inter-factional minority of those who actually understood and supported things like the separation of powers, due process, democratic elections etc. The Libs, tho’ smug, were fairly good about it but the ALP, Trots and National Party all thought democracy a gross inconvenience.

    Sad innit.

  155. Rococo – an increase in use would lead to more assaults by drugged idiots and more robberies to pay for legal drug habits.

    Would it? Some of those drugs you mention ie ice cause psychosis but I wonder if anyone ever mugged anyone because of pot.

  156. .

    No, but they do get a wedge and a twitter account.

  157. Troy

    an increase in use would lead to more assaults by drugged idiots and more robberies to pay for legal drug habits.

    This assumes that drug use would increase. It dropped in Portugal when they decriminalised

  158. Pingback: Club Troppo » Missing Link Friday – the trouble with talkback radio

  159. daddy dave

    It dropped in Portugal when they decriminalised

    That makes no sense at all. I’m in favour of decriminalisation, especially for pot and ecstasy, but there’s no rational explanation for this effect. How reliable is it? How did they establish levels of usage?

    The usual explanation for this effect is that drug-users are seeking the thrill of breaking the law, and that thrill has been taken away, but that explanation doesn’t wash. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    The predicted effect should be that usage will rise – but we have to accept a rise in use as a possible consequence of decriminalisation.

  160. Peter Patton

    They shouldn’t be a State. But they deserve autonomy on non economic decisions. But also economic decisions amongst themselves if self funding

    Well surely, residents of Sydney’s eastern suburbs deserved said autonomy even more so. Why should our non-economic “autonomy” be oppressed by the great unwashed?

  161. .

    Usage will rise by a very small amount. So small that it practically doesn’t matter – considering the costs of prohibition.

  162. .

    Patton – I thought you had border control vis a vis salubrious parking fees.

  163. Troy

    How reliable is it? How did they establish levels of usage?

    I have no idea but that is what they are claiming. It could just be that government is spinning the figures to make their policy look successful. It makes no sense to a lot of people that violent crimes would increase when gun control laws are made. But apparently it happens.

    Btw, if heroin was legal I still wouldn’t do it.

  164. Peter Patton

    dot

    Still doesn’t mean I can call the Oak bottle-o and get them to home deliver a bottle of Bollie, and a gram of pharmaceutically-certified MDMA or Charlie, en-route to attending an Elderly Aunt’s “Toodles” euthanasia party, does it? 😉

  165. Peter Patton

    ken

    OK PP I was trying to test whether attitudes to territory power here was affected by the issue

    In fact, you have just changed my mind a bit here. If we look at the issue, not as an abstract right to “self government” issue, but as a strategic and personal “if I want to be able to do x and Y” – in this case gay marriage, legal drugs, and euthanasia – then perhaps I could support your desire to give State autonomy to the territories.

    I would go along to the extent I was persuaded they would use their State autonomy to pass legislation, of which I also approve – that will not get passed in the historical States – due, for example, to the rusted on power of Rock Choppers.

    As I support liberalization of drug laws, euthanasia, and am indifferent-supportive of gay marriage, the question becomes how certain am I that ACT/NT will not be even more regressive. I am persuaded they will not be more regressive.

    Therefore, I change my mind, and support giving State autonomy to ACT/NT. Though, still, is the guarantee of high quality drugs, quick and painless suicide, or introducing the world to another Mister Patton, really worth moving to Alice Springs or Fyshwick for? 😉

  166. C.L.

    Libyan Rebels Cry Out For Help – From Bush:

    “Bring Bush! Make a no fly zone, bomb the planes,” shouted soldier-turned-rebel Nasr Ali, referring to a no-fly zone imposed on Iraq in 1991 by then U.S. President George Bush.

  167. Tim Quilty

    DD – The usual explanation for this effect is that drug-users are seeking the thrill of breaking the law, and that thrill has been taken away, but that explanation doesn’t wash. It just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    I thought the usual explanation was pyramid selling – if an addict can push it to enough people they can pay for their own habit. Which would in fact explain the effect.

Comments are closed.