Stephen Cable: True Signs of Desperation

When you start relying on leaders from 25 years ago, you are truly desperate.

Nothing says desperation more than calling on the Hon. Bob Hawke to do your selling and evoking the memory of a labour dispute from more than a century ago. Alas, this is what the modern Labor party has come to in order to try and win some bush seats at the next election.

As reported in The Weekend Australian by Troy Bramston, the National Country Labor Forum was held in Rockhampton on Saturday with State and Federal politicians in attendance including Bill Shorten. Apparently, they screened a video of Mr. Hawke talking about the Labor party being founded in the bush with reference to the shearers’ strikes in the 1890’s as prime evidence of the Labor Party’s love of country folk. No doubt Joel Fitzgibbon will dust of an old Akubra and blend right in at Australia’s beef capital. According to Joel, “The Labor way is to create both opportunity and equality of opportunity in our regions.” Unfortunately this wasn’t the view held by Labor when they devastated the cattle export industry because of a one sided documentary shown by their good friends over at theirABC. I suppose Labor is hoping that this can be swept under the carpet and all will be forgiven. You can be sure that ‘equality’ and ‘opportunity’ in this context means government tax and spend programs rather than tax reduction and removal of government impediments.

It is an interesting choice of historic event to reference to as it does indeed bring to remembrance a day when the Labor Party often actually represent working people. Its power and force derived from the labouring man who believed that political representation was the road to security and wealth. Calling on a leader from a time when Labor was politically sensible shows they’re desperately trying to take the focus off the current leadership and focus on a man who was Prime Minister more than 25 years ago. If you a needed previous PM, why didn’t they pick the Hon. Kevin Rudd?

He is a Queenslander after all and quite recent. Plus, if you ask the Labor party, he saved us all from the GFC. I’m sure that reminding the bush that you spent billions of dollars on school halls and gave millions to the UN, will be a sure winner in country Queensland. And while they were at it, they could give us an update on the 2020 Summit that Kevin held. What a lost opportunity to inform Maranoa on how that plan’s progressing.

At the time of the Shearers’ Strike, agricultural industries dominated economic life in this country. That is no longer the case, although our primary agricultural industry is sizable, as a percentage of GDP, agriculture sits at 2.3 per cent. Mining, finance, construction and education are all larger slices of the economic pie. The economic power now lies elsewhere and so does Labor’s power base and this is the true crux of the matter for the Labor leadership. Although they may have started in the bush, their heart and soul is no longer there and hasn’t been for a long time.

They are now the party of the inner city activist. They are the party of the academic who has no interest in the struggles of taxpayers. They are the party of the environmentalist who wants to return Australia into a wilderness, empty every farm and kill every mine. Labor is trying to walk a tightrope and be both the party of Paris and the party Parkes. This is not possible if you are being honest with the electorate. It is only possible if you promise lavish debt spending and boost your employment numbers through government largess. You cannot simultaneously expand energy prices and expand manufacturing. You cannot give a job to UN bureaucrats and jobs to kids in Ipswich.

For Australia to grow, Canberra must shrink.

The modern Labor party is mainly detached from the bush, their concerns and their priorities. Shorten has tied Labor’s wagon to gay marriage, the republic debate and a host of policies that look suspiciously like motherhood statements. Every day he seems to be veering closer to Corbynite territory and seems unable to keep at bay Labor’s ever growing distaste for Israel. By recalling the past and basing their renewed interest on far away historical events, they are somewhat similar to an absent father who, after many years of neglect, now wants to reconcile.

They turn up on the doorstep and ask, ‘remember me?’

The answer is yes, they do remember you, but not the way you’re hoping.

Stephen writes at and for Liberty Works in Brisbane’.

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16 Responses to Stephen Cable: True Signs of Desperation

  1. Entropy

    Of course the Turnbull Coalition Team is trying to make it easier for the ALP.
    But I think that spending is the only way the ALP could win bush seats. I wonder how much a safe national party seat would cost them? Maybe the Qld ALP will soon find out.
    Strategy two would be an alliance with ONP (alliance would not exist officially of course) against sitting members.

  2. Entropy

    Sorry, how much The ALP would cost us to win a country seat.

  3. mizaris

    The modern Labor Party is detached from reality. They do not see that this country is broke, broken, and drowning in debt. Unfortunately the Australian Conservatives may not have enough time/money to run a candidate in every seat (not unlike the DLP did one election), but perhaps it’s worth a try anyway.

  4. John Constantine

    Their billion dollar taxfunded abc dominates the media in regional areas, often only their abc radio and the local town fairfax newspaper are the way that politics reaches a big regional demographic.

    Hawkie will make a certain demographic consider the alp, and their abc will be massively promoting regional independant options to the turnbull debacle coalition.

    Their abc independants will be called conservatives, but reveal the dark hearts of Stalinists once elected.

  5. Robbo

    It’s actually a bit sad seeing the ALP drag out poor old Bob Hawke to sprucing for them. The poor old bastard has difficulty these days remembering his own name ler alone the names of those he chooses to attack. Giving the booze a solid belting over a great many years has caught up with Hawke and he is only inches away from becoming a dribbling old wreck. If those in charge of the ALP had any sense of decency they would leave him alone to his old age musings.

  6. Robbo

    Spruik for them – bloody computer.

  7. Allen

    Mick Young was the last of the true Labor politicians.
    This current lot would not even know of him.

  8. jupes

    A party with only the tiniest degree of competence would defeat these socialist loons.

    If only there was such a thing in Australia.

  9. gabrianga

    Would that have been the video produced by Weinstein at Terrigal?

  10. Dr Faustus

    Nothing says desperation more than calling on the Hon. Bob Hawke to do your selling and evoking the memory of a labour dispute from more than a century ago. Alas, this is what the modern Labor party has come to in order to try and win some bush seats at the next election.

    The unspeakable Shorten has taken this further, embarrassingly attempting to channel Hawke’s former glory as the Great Conciliator.

    ‘Australians need a pay rise’: Bill Shorten calls for grand bargain on wages

    Unions, business and the federal Parliament should come together and strike a “radical” grand bargain that would deliver a much-needed pay rise for ordinary Australians, Labor leader Bill Shorten says.

    Hawke was able to achieve his ‘grand bargain’ by virtue of his personal authority, captains of industry of integrity and influence, an ACTU leadership unusually focussed on the national interest, a super smart Finance Minister in Peter Walsh, and a fuck-off Treasurer focussed on kicking the right heads. And John Stone.

    By contrast, Shorten is loathed by his own party members and personally despised in the polls, working at the instruction of a corrupt and criminal union cartel, pandering to business rent-seekers attached to the public trough, and supported by Bowen and Jim ‘Who?’ Chalmers.
    And the Greens

    You can see how this might work out…

  11. Nato

    I find it beneficial, when I hear / read ‘labor’ to think, not Labour, but Lawyers. Everything they say then makes a Lot more sense.

  12. Roger

    If you a needed previous PM, why didn’t they pick the Hon. Kevin Rudd?

    Kevni is happily ensconced in his New York penthouse.

    Up the workers! Right up ’em.

  13. John Constantine

    Hankie could beat their black handed turnbullites.

    And the filth know it.

    Watch the turnbullites election winning machine go flat out to outflank hawkie to the left.

  14. Crossie

    The modern Labor party is mainly detached from the bush, their concerns and their priorities.

    Sadly so are the Liberals and the Nationals.

  15. Jessie

    Absolutely sickening the manner ALP use and abuse bush people for their own purpose. And develop myths of phantasmagoric magnitude from mis-reporting historical out-back stories.

    Find Frank Hardy’s book The Unlucky Australians. No mention of the development of turkey nest dams reducing the need for stockman. And therefor reduction in the on-site employment of house maids, education and feeding of children and so on.
    Read the passage written where Lingiari is conning the local aboriginal men to stay on with his (?his) activist campaign. And not getting the numbers needed as the months and hard living dragged on. Lingiari offered one old bloke a young girl that he was keen to ‘marry’. At a time when this cultural practice of grabbing young girls had been thwarted.
    Each and every grain of sand poured into that old man’s hand by Whitlam represent every single horror, terror and torture that bush young men and women over several generations have now endured: forced polygamy and rape under pretend cultural practices, backward education and re-tribalisation practices including forced male genital mutilation.

    Click Go The Shears dates from time of shearers strike in 1890s, newly unearthed lyrics reveal
    Yes, interesting. But more interesting is previous to the strike the development of the comb and cutter. Cleaner and quicker shearing. And did the blade shearers like this new development?
    After Fredrick York Wolseley demonstrated his successful machine in 1887, shearing machines were installed in 14 large sheds within a year.
    *doesn’t mention the usual dissimilitude, striking, tampering and burning of shearing sheds though. All avail on Trove.

    What a horror the ALP perpetuated on many good folk over many generations. And still does.

  16. Jessie

    Much like the excellent articles written the waterside workers and abattoir fiascoes etc, available on the HR Nicholls website. How we miss Ray Evans.
    Below, only much earlier.

    A Sheep Shearing Machine
    An exhibition of Wolsley’s Australian sheep-shearing machine (says an exchange) was recently given at Euroka Station, near Walgett, in the presence of a large number of squatters. …….The invention is the result of many years study and untiring labour on the part of Mr Wolsley……..
    A number of sheep were shorn to the perfect satisfaction of the most fastidious of those present ………………. The time occupied with each sheep being from three to four minutes, each animal being turned out like a clipped horse without the slightest injury. Several sheep were shorn with ordinary shears, and then run over by a machine, when half to three quarters of a pound of extra wool was obtained by the latter process, thus showing the machine would effect a saving of wool valued at one thousand pounds at a good sized shearing.
    Besides it is expected that the wool uniformly cut by the machine will bring a higher price, as there is no second cut, and every particle comes off whole and clean. …….
    Source: North Australian Darwin Friday 7th January 1887 p3 (Trove)

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