Will Labor split again? Who can be the Dirty Rat this time?

The first split occurred during World War I when Billy Hughes was expelled from the ruling Labor Party due to his support for conscription. ‘I did not leave the Labor party. The party left me’. With his supporters in the party he went into coalition with the Opposition to form the National, or ‘Win the War’, Party and won a sweeping victory in the 1917 election.

Hence the tag “That Dirty Rat Billy Hughes”. The late crime fiction writer Peter Corris told me that he grew up in a Labor community and in high school history lessons he found that William Morris Hughes did not have “The Dirty Rat” on his birth certificate.

Another war precipitated the second split in the 1950s. The communist influence in the Labor movement divided the party to the point where the most dedicated anti-communists formed the DLP, the Democratic Labor Party after they were expelled from the party under the leadership of the lunatic Dr Evatt.

They all lost their seats in the House in elections after the 1955 split but they played the role of the Greens by directing their preferences to the Coalition and holding the balance of power in the Senate from 1955 to 1974.

Historical update from Rococo Liberal.

You missed a Labor split that was probably the most important, when Lyons and others joined the Nationalists (not Nationals as you called them) and created the United Australia Party in 1931. That party went on to win the election in the biggest even landslide. It governed until 1941. It was resurrected as the Liberal Party in 1944.

The ALP has a diabolic problem at present because their primary vote is about 30% and they can only hope to govern with the support of Green preferences and the Greens in the Senate. I thought that they could win with a class war agenda on the basis of Mitt Romney’s 49/50 call on the people who will vote for handouts. This election disproved that proposition for the moment although the progressive left agenda has permeated the cultural woodwork so far that we are still in a critical condition. We still need a Trump.

Getting back to the dilemma of the ALP as described by Paul Kelly the other night. How can they build on their traditional base with sensible bread and butter policies economic policies and culturally conservative positions without losing Green preferences and bleeding membership as well?

There will not be a split because they don’t have anyone with the charisma, the demonic energy and the organizing ability of Billy Hughes to do it.

Fortunately their problem is our opportunity and we had better make good use of it because we have not won the war, we have just got a stay of execution!

Nice piece by Dominic Perrottet in the SMH surprisingly. He is the NSW Treasurer and Deputy Leader.

The election’s ultimate lesson is about mainstream Australian values

There’s an old saying that goes something like: if everyone you come across is a problem, maybe you’re the problem. Replace “problem” with “extremist”, and you have the 2019 Labor party in a nutshell.

On May 1, an Australian Associated Press story was syndicated across countless mastheads, entitled “The Liberal Party is riddled with right-wing extremists: Shorten”.

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33 Responses to Will Labor split again? Who can be the Dirty Rat this time?

  1. stackja

    ALP lost the suburbs in gaining the inner city.

  2. I’m just wondering whether this election just could be a wake up call to the LNP.

    They ostensibly won despite being marked as anti-climate, anti-social justice, anti-immigration (nee refugees), anti-worker and anti-whatever else.

    They were given a clear message that the Australian people were all for a government that was anti all of those things.

  3. Deplorable

    They were given a clear message that the Australian people were all for a government that was anti all of those things.

    Agree entirely as it was with Abbott’s election so it is now. Give the voters what they see as good policies and they will vote for them. Bedwetters and backstabbers in the parliamentary party are the problem, a lot of rubbish still requires removal from the Liberal party.

  4. bollux

    These are some of the things that Morrison needs to do and never will, thus giving Labor another look in next time. The way everyone is celebrating you would think this was an enormous majority, instead of wafer thin.
    1. Abandon the Paris agreement.
    2. Nuclear power.
    3. Coal power.
    4. No more giveaways to the U.N.
    5. No o/seas aid in cash-ever.
    6. No more renewable subsidies.
    7. No funding to schools preaching “climate change”.
    8. No diesel submarines.
    9. No Snowy 2.0
    10. Re jig NDIS
    11. Abandon NBN now 5g is here.
    12. Freeze immigration, especially 3rd world immigration.
    13. Abandon the HRC.
    14. Scrap the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
    15. Sell the ABC except for regional Australia.
    16. Downsize the Public Service.
    17. Get rid of the RBA and it’s wealth destroying “emergency interest rates”.
    18. Get rid of compulsory voting.

  5. rafiki redux

    Has the split occurred? Are the Greens playing a similar role to the DLP? Labor is on 30% because 10% has gone to the Greens and use their small parliamentary representation to force Labor to take up policies that are contrary to the interests of the Labor base in the population. The DLP subsided as Labor in the Whitlam era (post about 1966) attracted Catholics back to Labor with policies that did not alienate their base. Labor’s problem now is that if they try to attract Green voters back with Green policies they will do so. On the other hand if they return to Hawke era policies they will face Green hostility.

    It is good to see Labor in this dilemma.This extract in your analysis points to The LNP’s dilemma:
    ” I thought that they could win with a class war agenda on the basis of Mitt Romney’s 49/50 call on the people who will vote for handouts. This election disproved that proposition for the moment although the progressive left agenda has permeated the cultural woodwork so far that we are still in a critical condition.”

  6. Fred

    The benefits of being a Member of Parliament these days are too great. I doubt any Labor MP’s would jump ship in a hurry.

    As was said about Emma Husar “… another senior Labor source said it was unlikely Ms Husar would quit and force a by-election because she would find it difficult to get another job and needs the money.”

  7. nb

    Perhaps it is useful to think of the greens as the split. The split has happened.
    Is it more useful to think of the greens as concerned with the environment, or as communists in disguise? For me, the latter.
    Maybe I will reconsider if the greens put up new, safe, nuclear energy as a means of combatting climate change.
    At the moment, it is just all about a huge state, crashing the economy, overturning the society, violence, hatred – the usual grab-bag of destruction from the extreme left.

  8. stackja

    Division of Grayndler
    From Wikipedia

    Member Party Term
    Fred Daly Labor 1949–1975
    Tony Whitlam Labor 1975–1977
    Frank Stewart Labor 1977–1979
    Leo McLeay Labor 1979–1993
    Jeannette McHugh Labor 1993–1996
    Anthony Albanese Labor 1996–present

  9. Up The Workers!

    The dribbling leftard SJW Humpty-Dumpty-science gerbil wormist loons who these days run the Australian Liars Party, have convinced themselves that there are now some 79 allegedly sustainable different genders all running about on planet earth.

    Today’s A.L.P. and A.C.T.U. evidently represents only the 77 “new” ones.

    Decent Australian men and women, like Labor’s old working class/Unionist base and the anti-communist pro-worker D.L.P., are all utterly excluded.

    Unless I miss my guess, I’d say that it is mostly genders of the male and female persuasion who predominantly pay taxes and have the vote – which might just possibly explain why the Liberals are now governing in majority, and the head-in-the-sand Q.W.E.R.T.Y. Party are a miserable bunch of fact-phobic abject losers.

    Labor(sic) – They have no use for “U”!

  10. Percy Popinjay

    If the greenfilth destroy labore it will be all the latter deserve.

    There is no way that labore can possibly reconnect with its “socially conservative” “working class” base. It’s policies are increasingly aimed at the greenfilth’s natural constituency, which is well off white inner city boomer imbeciles, illiterate university “students” and public servants (BIRM).

    If you’re a socially conservative working class individual in an outer metropolitan/regional/rural area and you vote labore you’re an even bigger idiot than those in the new class labore are now desperately targeting.

    BTW, what is the difference in social, economic and environmental policy positions between Blabbersack and Adam “bum” Bandit? Answer – absolutely nothing.

  11. Percy Popinjay

    BTW, labore’s first preference vote is 34% and the gliberals’ a mighty 28%*.

    *excluding the Nats (4.8%) and the Qld LNP (8.6%)

  12. Rococo Liberal

    Rafe
    You missed a Labor split that was probably the most important, when Lyons and others joined the Nationalists (not Nationals as you called them) and created the United Australia Party in 1931. That party wne onto win the election in the biggest even landslide. It governed until 1941. It was resurrected as the Liberal Party in 1944.

  13. Rococo Liberal

    ”Scrap the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.”
    Why are you suggesting that? The AAT is a good forum for tax disputes.

  14. John Comnenus

    The ALP can’t thread the needle of maintaining support amongst its 3 key constituencies:

    1. the inner city Left run the Party and are most of its activist base. They want hard Green policies and max identity politics that is anti Christian.

    2. The blue collar base which tends to be old style Ozzie workers in suburban and regional Australia like central QLD, central and South Coast of NSW and Hunter region. These peoples interests are directly and negatively affected by the inner city Left greens policies.

    3. New migrants in poorer suburbs. These people are very concerned by the illiberal pro gay anti Christian rhetoric of the inner city Left.

    I doubt Albo can reconcile these groups. The inner city Left are totalitarian ideologues who will vote Green if Albo placates groups 2 & 3. Groups 2 & 3 will vote LNP or PHON if there interests are threatened by group 1.

    The most logical outcome for the ALP is to cede its inner city seats and propose a more moderate green and identity approach that will let it win enough seats to form government. Albo won’t lead this renaissance for the ALP.

    Basically the ALP can probably win government without group 1 but will find it almost impossible without group 2 & 3. In the end Sussex St and Trades Hall in Victoria will ditch group 1. But they will need more Losing to convince them of the obvious.

  15. Roger

    There’s a Labor apparatchik in Victoria, Kosmos Samaras, who has been one of the few on the Left warning that Labor has walked away from its natural constituency and has even come to despise it.

    If they don’t reconnect with the socially conservative working and lower middle classes (which he calls the sleeping giant of the electorate), he warns, “the whole country will become Queensland.”

    Frankly I don’t think Albanese is up to purging the prog-Left agenda from the ALP.

  16. Adam D

    As per usual the politicians (or more likely their overpriced advisers) are too smart for their own good. Not that I want an ALP ever, but the greens will never ever side with the coalition, conservatives or the right, even if they had a perfect green policy platform. They do not work on logic or emotion, so I don’t understand why the ALP think they need to move left.

  17. Biota

    Funny how the election seems to have turned Bowen’s ‘if you don’t like it don’t vote for us’ on its head. The LNP might as well have said that to the the inner city greenie electorates given the outcome. I have thought for a while that rather than pander to them they should ignore them and get their policies right for the rest. Then they don’t need the progressives that would never vote for them anyway.

  18. HP

    Labor already split. It’s called the Greens.

    The Greens were – and are – strongest in the seats that were traditionally solid Labor. Those safe Labor seats, I suspect, are also among the seats where a lot of frontbench Labor MP’s and powerbrokers hailed from, simply because they get voted back in every time.

    There are 2 ways you can react to your most senior guys being threatened in seats you held forever.

    First option is to follow the electorate in those seats in an attempt to keep them, which is what Labor has done till now: Do not critcise the Greens. To save their own skin, those in those seats and in charge in the Labor party quietly adopt more and more of the Greens’ policies.

    The second is to stick to your plan, in the expectation that your loss in those traditionally safe seats will be overcompensated by the win elsewhere. When faced with the same innercity green threat to traditionally safe Lib seats, like Kooyong, Higgings, etc., that is what Morrison did.

    Liberals were in mortal danger, under Turnbull, when they looked like they were going to do the same as Labor had done and bend towards the Greens. But this election, under Morrison, they stepped back from the brink and as a consequence it was returned with an increased majority.

    Confronted by the Green threat, Labor looked inward in fear and is punished. Faced by the same threat, Morrison looked outward with considerable courage and is rewarded.

    Good news for us. We still have a choice in the matter and can vote against it. Had Turnbull prevailed, we effectively would not have been able to.

  19. The people voted for the other guy’s handouts, Rafe. Just so that point is clearly understood.

  20. John Comnenus

    The inner city latte Left votes in ideology, the rest of the ALP votes for their interests. The Latte Lefts ideology is against most ALP voters interest. A split is probably one more election disaster away. QLD election is next year. The split will be raging in the Left if QLD ALP is smashed next year.

  21. Rococo Liberal

    I look at the election results and I find it difficult to believe all this talk about Labor’s working class support shifting to other parties.
    Labor typically wins the seats with the highest number of working class people in them.
    But perhaps the real problem is that the working class itself is shrinking. More people are either lower middle class or underclass. Labor keeps the underclass, but loses teh lower middle class.

  22. Clam Chowdah

    Bollux’s list is solid. But over seas aid has its uses when applied strategically.

  23. Clam Chowdah

    But perhaps the real problem is that the working class itself is shrinking. More people are either lower middle class or underclass. Labor keeps the underclass, but loses teh lower middle class.

    When people in mining start to earn large salaries from shift work, and then see half of their earnings ripped away in tax, they reassess their tribal loyalties.

  24. stackja

    bollux
    #3023240, posted on May 23, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Would enough voters agree?

  25. Pyrmonter

    Labor have problems – some long in the making, some recent. But they’re not alone. We have two groups of ‘parties of government’ – one on the centre left, and another on the right. Both are necessarily coalitions of interests, classes, ethnic groups and philosophies. The one on the right – spanning classical liberals such as me, as well as pragmatists, populists, reactionaries and the like – has many of the same issues.

  26. stackja

    Pyrmonter
    #3023416, posted on May 23, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    1940s ALP then came Menzies!

  27. Rob MW

    How can they build on their traditional base with sensible bread and butter policies economic policies and culturally conservative positions without losing Green preferences and bleeding membership as well?

    As soon as they come to the realisation that their base has moved up a notch or two on the economic prosperity scale with property assets, mortgaged, leased or not, and set aside liquid assets including for retirement and they will work out where they fucked up. Don’t come between a hard worker or tradie and their individual fetish for building a nest egg for themselves and their families, try and take this away from them, and they will beat the shit out of you.

    Trying to build an electoral base solely out of Gov’t dependency is a zero sum game when it comes to making your traditional base give up their hard earned liquidity.

    The ALP has had every opportunity to ditch the Greens and refused to take it. Jus one electoral cycle preferencing the Liberals or anybody else, win or lose, and the Greens would have been rubbed out, yet, they decided to put up with the blood sucking fleas based on the left’s notion of gaining power at any cost.

    The Liberal party has come close to having no principles but the ALP completely abandoned theirs a long time ago. Any organisation lacking in principles is not worth pissing on, even if they are on fire.

  28. Roger

    I look at the election results and I find it difficult to believe all this talk about Labor’s working class support shifting to other parties.

    Spend some time in Queensland.

  29. Dorothy

    BOLLUX, I couldn’t agree with you more on all those points, I am not holding my breath. I don’t think they will tackle even one your suggestions, if by any chance they do it will be a half hearted attempt to try and please everyone

  30. rafiki redux

    I argued early in the comments that Labor has split into Labor and Greens. A similar question might be asked about the LNP. Will the Nationals demarcate more clearly (in their favour) the boundaries between the two parties? The campaign to elect Jim Molan was driven by Liberals and annoyed Barnaby and no doubt many other Nats. The more interesting question is whether those Liberals who wanted Molan in (and the Photios group diminished) will push for the Libs to bring Bernardi and a lot of the AC members into the Liberal fold. I suspect Bernardi might be keen for this to happen. He has the apparently large number of AC members to bargain with. Some Libs in NSW at least might have an interest in dealing with a Mark Latham led (PH)One Nation. The high vote in the Newcastle area, plus Latham’s appeal, might drive their interest.

    Much to follow in the next few months. And the Cat is the place to watch and talk about it.

  31. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The good news is that the last in the “Wolf Hall” trilogy – “The Mirror and the Light” by Hilary Mantel is to be released.

    The bad news is that it will be released in March, next year.

  32. Boambee John

    John Comnenus at 0942

    The most logical outcome for the ALP is to cede its inner city seats and propose a more moderate green and identity approach that will let it win enough seats to form government. Albo won’t lead this renaissance for the ALP.

    Gaining the support of this group (and abandoning the quest for rich inner city electorates like Wartingah and Wentworth) could cement the Coalition into majority government for years to come.

    Whether ScoMo will lead this renaissance is open to debate, but his background suggests that he could.

  33. Squirrel

    “I thought that they could win with a class war agenda on the basis of Mitt Romney’s 49/50 call on the people who will vote for handouts. ”

    Well worth remembering that they won that war (collectively) in every part of Australia except for Queensland – the preponderance of seats in that State saved the Government. A solid three years of Government might win back some support elsewhere in the country, but that will be needed to counter the risk of a swing away in Queensland next time.

    On the subject of rodents, this classic must surely now be a must-(re)watch for the role of the mystery man who never appeared on camera – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rats_in_the_Ranks

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