Can Labor retain progressive voters?

Opinion 2Tutorial Number One.
Progressives are thinkers. Robust thinkers! They dislike being treated as though they were Red Guards cavorting in the cult of Mao.

Tutorial Number Twenty One.
Dead and rotting wood in Parliament and in the Party’s inner sanctum and fulsome Red Guards everywhere, only make progressives lose their natural affinity with us.

The test, the reckoning.
Recently I considered asking GetUp! to campaign vehemently for voters to go ‘Below the line’ at the coming Senate elections, hoping that a significant result will eventually dawn on our Party bosses that unless they do the right thing by Party members the aggrieved progressives might just not vote for Senate candidates in their anointed positions, nor indeed for any of them.

Disloyalty! Aye, I was cross with the Party bosses for hijacking our Senate pre-selection procedure. I’ll blow the whistle whenever I can – a matter of integrity, for progressives.

Another thing. It looks like Labor Herald is now just a propaganda rag. No progressives appear in the ‘Have Your Say’ comments anymore, not that they were ever significant. After they delayed and prevaricated on accepting my submission, After the Killing Season, I was advised a little time ago that due to an apparent IT hiccup they now were not able to accept submissions! Perhaps my proposed essay, Drawing biscuits to satisfy Hunger, had put the final nail in the coffin.

Elsewhere our culture is crude and sick. When the government proposed to outsource the payments function for Medicare, we rushed into a loud, gutter fighting mode: stop, stop privatising Medicare!!!! I guess that is what union bosses habitually do to show their often poorly paid members that they need their well-paid bosses, even though they are usually parachuted in from comfortable middle class private-school backgrounds with ne’er a day spent picking mushrooms, cleaning up 5-star venues in the wee hours of the morning, nor being shop assistants obliged to put on tap the sweet smile and jovial banter. The payments function in Medicare is little different from the function of paying bills from suppliers to a restaurant chain. The latter should not in any way affect the quality of meals served to diners. Will the progressive voter be conned by our dishonesty, or mere crudity? Doubt it.

Progressives are thinkers, unlike green suckers or old diehards.

Last week I bought a ticket online to a fund-raiser. It arrived in an email from a firm domiciled in the USA. … OMG! Has our Party been taken over by some American corporation? For a wee moment the Red Guards had penetrated my subconsciousness.

In Downfall: How the Labor Party ripped itself apart, Aaron Patrick probed into the Rudd/Gillard years and concluded that the fundamental problem was ethics, the lack of it. I felt vindicated. Patrick was no outsider. He was in the Shorten young Labor cabal, and at some stage in the inner sanctum of a Labor government.

One last exhibit for the progressives’ toilet bag. A deodorant to rid the Party of the smell of being the union bosses’s shopfront, with their anointees standing guard behind every counter; and at another level the percolating pall hanging over our MPs’ self indulgence: Tony Burke flying his family business class for a holiday in the Uluru costing taxpayers $12000; Gillard uncapping tertiary places costing billions per annum and (probably) provoking Abbott into deregulating fees to plug the budget leakage through the increasing attrition rates which followed Gillard’s headstrong tango with our education sacred cow.

Sure, without unions modern serfdom will emerge – witness the 50 million working poor in America. But if we continue to submit to the stranglehold of union bosses and indulge in the cult of sacred cows, for all to see, we will not only fail to keep the progressive voters, they won’t even cross the threshold henceforth, now that Rudd’s (inadvertent) Party reform has all but expired.

I ruminate over the history of the Romanovs: every fanciful indulgence to the end, whilst the serfs suffer in silence and the progressives cowered underground.

Lenin is nowhere in sight. But Richard and Nick are right in the fore ground. Sleepers Wake!

Chek Ling

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