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.