Message vs The Messenger

There are 2 writers that TAFKAS tries to almost always read – Troy Bramston in the Oz and Aaron Patrick in the AFR.  This does not mean TAFKAS always agrees, but in his opinion they usually offer quality insights.

Separately, Bramston and Patrick have been writing about the issues within the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party and their criticisms (oversimplification) are that the ALP’s problems are the leader (per Bramston) or that the ALP’s problems are the policies (per Patrick).

In TAFKAS’ opinion, they are both right.  Both the ALP leader and the ALP’s policies are crap.  Unimaginative, recycled, repeatedly failed.  But the bad leadership and bad policies are not the core problem.  They are a symptom.  The core problem is that the Federal Parliamentary party is populated by proven failures, long past their used by date.  Albanese.  Plibersek.  Dreyfus.  Fitzgibbon.  Burke.  Keneally.  Clare.  Bowen.  O’Connor.  Shorten.

With the exception of Dreyfus, these are all professional politicians who have had no substantive career experience outside politics.

Yes.  The very same can be said about the LNP.  But this is where TAFKAS’ interest lies.

Our political system requires a well functioning opposition to keep the government to account.  And because the current opposition is a many times reheated failed policy and personnel soup, the LNP government can continue to be the unimaginative, cowardly seat warmers that they continue to be.

If you offer a starving man a choice between an a week old moldy sandwich or a plate of canine excrement, chances are he will take the moldy sandwich.  And this sadly is the choice offered to Australia.  A moldy sandwich government that offers this from its leader:

Scott Morrison has conceded he has no legal powers to override state leaders closing their borders for health reasons, amid growing frustration among Victorians locked out of their home state and stranded in NSW.

Come on ALP.  Lift your game.  Clean your house.  And if you do by some miracle get into government, perhaps this might force the LNP to lift its game.  It was many years in the wilderness that brought Bob Hawke and many years in the wilderness that brought John Howard.  Yes.  These were at the price of Keating as PM and the later years of Howard, but still.

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33 Responses to Message vs The Messenger

  1. Pyrmonter says:

    I do wonder from time to time how things would have gone had Peacock won in ’84 or ’90 – both of which were closer than usually remembered. I suspect the latter (in which Hewson was prominent and effective in the campaign) would have seen rather more economic reform than we eventually saw under Howard. Whether it would have stuck (the extensive reforms of Greiner and Kennett didn’t) is a different question.

  2. Herodotus says:

    And if you do by some miracle get into government, perhaps this might force the LNP to lift its game.
    Just like what happened last time?
    There’s one writer at Catallaxy I might have to stop bothering to read.

  3. H B Bear says:

    Liar deadwood levels are approaching levels last seen in national parks about this time last year. For a so-called “progressive” party not much change or new ideas to be found among that time serving dross.

  4. stackja says:

    ALP Evatt policies.

  5. H B Bear says:

    You forgot kd Wrong. Like the picture of Dorian Gray we have seen her grow old and grey on the red leather and the taxpayer tit.

  6. Texas Jack says:

    I tend to agree that it might be better if we were suffering along with the possible short-term pain of the ALP actually in power – but only if that came packaged with a solid chance that the Coalition might edge itself to the right while in opposition. Let’s face it, we have the worst of all worlds now with Liberal Wets in all the right places delivering absurd Turnbull-Lite policies that make progressive Labor types all wince with jealousy. Frankly, I’d ask anyone who voted LNP north of Brisbane to think about what they actually received for voting Morrison? With few exceptions they’re getting most of Shorten’s sheet regardless of the packaging.

  7. Jock says:

    Que? Yes the States have power to enforce their borders, unless someone tests that in the HC. Anyway the Feds do have the power to deny the States funds and other federal niceties, but Taffy forgets the “politics” of this crap. The biggest users of border closures are of course the ALP. Is the ALP Federal opposition going to sanction its ALP governments in Danistan, Queensland and WA? I think not. Will they use the same powers to coerce State compliance with federal wishes? Not a chance. In fact they would probably shovel more loot their way using Wuhan Flu as cover. I agree that the ALP needs to lift its game, but when you see their current spending wish list I dont think I want them to improve.

    As to Bramston. He’s yours.

  8. Mique says:

    I do my best to avoid Bramston and have never heard of Patrick. But I do not agree that there is anything inherently wrong with a government that sits quietly on its collective arse and does not rush into what brain-damaged ALP zealots persist in calling “reform”. It’s a feature of the Coalition, not a bug, and it’s precisely why the ALP struggles in the electorate. The essential difference between the Whitlam shambles and the rare competence of the Hawke government was that Whitlam was a radical and Hawke was conservative, and that by anyone’s standards. Historically, Australians very wisely reject radicalism, a lesson the ALP finds hard to assimilate.

  9. davie says:

    There was a good analysis of Labor in the weekend Australian 2nd Jan, how it is beholden to super funds and bodgy class-action lawyer groups. Well worth reading.

  10. H B Bear says:

    The Liars have always been reliant on union money. Increasingly this means public sector unions for warm bodies and industry super funds for cash. Private sector union membership must be approaching rock bottom.

  11. H B Bear says:

    Mique – as soon as Keating got his hands on the levers he drove the Liars off a cliff. Howard was dealt back into the game after the Lieborals years in the wilderness.

  12. Genghis says:

    TAFKAS
    The problem the ALP has and it is enormous is the Greens. Should they be at all supportive of jobs they could lose the Green secondary votes and even move them to the LIBs heaven foirbid because the LIBS are as shallow as Labor.

  13. Davey Boy says:

    Aaron Patrick is the muppet who characterised those opposing the (recently-abandoned) $10k Cash Ban bill as “far right”:

    “A fight by far-right groups to defeat a ban on cash purchases over $10,000 is gaining political support”

    He’s just another swamp-dweller, media subspecies, happy to smear the man in the street to protect vested interests.

  14. Peter Smith says:

    Troy Bramston? You have to be joking. Did you read him on Trump? Talk about a poisonous, and to boot, lying pen. Don’t know the other guy. Avoid writing this stuff, otherwise I will stick to currency lad and give you a miss.

  15. Mike Ryan says:

    Aaron’s OK. I enjoy Troy’s analysis (mostly) and disagree on many issues. On occasion he drifts off th the Lefty Lunatic zone.
    Labor must decide whether it’s a Greens party or a worker’s party.
    The union and super funding should help.

  16. tombell says:

    the trouble is sometimes so-called “bad” policies can become politically “good” policies – particularly with changing demographics. Look what’s happening in Georgia with the Senate run-offs. It’s quite possible the Dems take control of both houses. And yes I’m well aware of the claims of fraud. But if he GOP can’t sustain a charge that the count in the run-offs is flawed what does that leave us with other than the uncomfortable truth that a majority of the Georgian population thinks socialism/MMT/ green new deal etc. are great.

    so for me the scary scenario is when a majority of Labor (and for that matter Liberal wet) voters don’t see the Greens as a necessary evil for Labor to win government. Why? Because they align entirely with a socialist/Green world view. then we really are f*cked.

  17. David says:

    The ALP/Greens have the: media, education system, bureaucracy, charities, vast majority of think tanks, big business, NGOs, Industry super funds, and most professional bodies to hold the government to account and push their agenda. They don’t need a few figure head politicians for that.

  18. Roger says:

    Scott Morrison has conceded he has no legal powers to override state leaders closing their borders for health reasons…

    Takfas, whatever we may think of him, Morrison is correct on this, as the High Court has recently ruled (twice).

    What do you expect him to do, send in the army?

  19. Roger says:

    Labor must decide whether it’s a Greens party or a worker’s party.

    That’s the nub of their dilemma.

    Only a few within the pariamentary ALP seem to grasp that, though, and they’re not exactly prospering.

  20. Ubique says:

    Troy Bramston suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome of the worst order. He’s not far off barking mad in everything he writes about President Trump. I’ve stopped reading anything he writes, just as I did PVO some years back.

  21. EllenG says:

    It has been some tine since competence was a driver in Australian party politics. As far as the ALP goes we can see the Dalek effect right across the spectrum of State and federal reps and increasingly in the hacks who get public service jobs. In many ways the issue of our times in politics is the outcomes of government. It’s clear that politicians are wholly absorbed with polling and voter influence. The ability to deliver an effective result in what government does clearly us not in the job description used by preselectors. Expecting policy of a useful kind from this ALP is like imaging Trump can actually concentrate on anything fir longer than it takes to eat a Big Mac.

  22. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    There are 2 writers that TAFKAS tries to almost always read – Troy Bramston in the Oz

    LOL. You need a brain transplant TAKFAS. Do you read Krugman too?

  23. @Bruce of Newcastle

    LOL. You need a brain transplant TAKFAS. Do you read Krugman too?

    Yes. TAFKAS reads Krugman and Gittens and PVO and Jessica Irvine.

    TAFKAS has sufficient self confidence that he can read people with whom he does not always (or ever) agree with. What’s the point of only reading/listening to people one agrees with?

    Honestly. Criticise the ideas not the authors.

  24. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    There are 2 writers that TAFKAS tries to almost always read – Troy Bramston in the Oz and Aaron Patrick in the AFR

    Are you trying to be funny?

  25. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    Labor must decide whether it’s a Greens party or a worker’s party.

    They won’t even consider making such a “decision” until Albansleazey and Blabbersack are punted for greenfilth imbeciles (BIRM) at the next feral erection.

    Exhibit A: Joel “Mainland spies ruv me wrong time when I’m not simultaneously opposing coal mining and trying to steal enough votes to barely scrape home in my working class coal mining feral electorate” Fitzgibberin’ …

  26. Squirrel says:

    It’s personnel and policy, but the problem starts with personnel.

    If the people who run federal Labor were as close to battler-dom as their carefully presented c.v.’s would suggest, they would know how to win back and hold (unlike the 2007 flash in the pan) the Howard Battlers.

    Too many of them look and sound like the doted-on products of middle or lower middle class families (the working class battler stuff more often being grandparents or earlier) who were brought up to believe that the world revolves around them and that everyone takes as absolute gospel the glib, know-it-all piffle which they start talking from the time (usually early/mid adolescence) they get serious about politics.

    Their problem is that too many of the people whose votes they need can see right through them.

  27. Roger says:

    If the people who run federal Labor were as close to battler-dom as their carefully presented c.v.’s would suggest, they would know how to win back and hold (unlike the 2007 flash in the pan) the Howard Battlers.

    For starters, in the post-election loss review, they wouldn’t have sent a Victorian & a Geelong Grammar School graduate, Richard Marles, to QLD to ask CFMMEU member coal miners in “a place called Moranbah” (his words) why they didn’t vote ALP (duh…because they’d lose their jobs). They would have sent Fitzgibbon, if only for the sake of appearances and the fact that he at least speaks the same language.

    That was Albanese’s call, btw. The first indication that he was out of his depth as ALP leader.

  28. Angus Black says:

    Surprising. I’ve always found Troy Brampton a cut and dried factional warrior – I don’t think I’ve once been surprised by his slant on any issue.

  29. Rabbi Putin says:

    They won’t change their personnel or their policies because that would mean they’re admitting they were wrong, and it’s something the Left just cannot do.

    If you want an alternative, support the minor parties. They are the future.

  30. Rabbi Putin says:

    Maybe the ALP should just learn how to steal elections better like their US counterparts.

  31. Fisky says:

    The current government is vulnerable on mass immigration, stagnant wages, house prices, and a few other issues, but Labor can’t do anything about that because they support all these dumb policies. Labor is simply appalling on China and suspect that issue will sink them as well.

  32. Gorgiasl says:

    The book “Labor’s Forgotten People” by Michael Thompson discusses how Labor’s identity politics has led to it losing its way. Nicely summarised in Quadrant here, the book is a quick and entertaining read which suggests that if dramatic changes don’t occur Labor will remain in the wilderness. No sign of those changes yet!

  33. Forester says:

    I read Troy’s articles too, Troy knows what needs to be done, but knows it would no longer be the Labor party. The entire front bench would have to resign, one third independent directors of super funds, IR reform, 180 degree turn on energy policy.

    Similarly the Labor-Lite party knows what needs to be done and they’d all be voted out at the next election of they did it.

    Our yoof are determined to have their go at getting socialism to work, it’s a hopeless case.

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