“For all of us” – seriously, this time

Centre for Policy Development Director Miriam Lyons has an excellent article in On Line Opinion today:

If it is not to wilt in the shade of Howard’s legacy, a Labor government not only needs to win debates, but to change the terms in which they’re conducted. To do this, it will have to overcome the new political correctness – the reluctance to state the bleeding obvious for fear of being called a bleeding heart.

Lyons makes a powerful case that Labor needs to turn around the “people like us” style of governance characteristic of the Howard years and really govern for “all of us”. Social inclusion, she suggests, is not only absolutely necessary for facing the challenges Australia confronts, but could also be a powerful electoral theme. It’s well worth a read for an informed take on exactly what opportunities have been missed in this year’s campaign.

Cross-posted at PollieGraph.

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Posted in federal election '07
12 comments on ““For all of us” – seriously, this time
  1. […] Cross-posted at LP in Exile. […]

  2. Razor says:

    If Rudd does win and does follow that sort of advice, at least he will only have a one term government.

  3. Katz says:

    Whitlam won two elections. He was then voted out by a landslide precipitated by an unprecdented use of the reserve powers of the Governor General.

    Labor supporters feared that after the Whitlam debacle Labor would be in the wilderness for a generation. Instead, in 1983 they were back.

    And it cannot be denied that during his three years in office Whitlam achieved a revolution in governance and public policy whose results are still being felt more than 30 years later.

    The Whitlam experience raises at least two questions for Labor.

    1. Does Labor have a vision for social and cultural change that is comparable in any way with the Whitlam revolution?

    2. If so, is Labor willing to suffer the short-term pain in compensation for the long-term gain enjoyed by Whitlam’s supporters and admirers?

    My answer to question 1 is that Labor has no challenging vision comparable to Whitlam’s. And therefore any answer to question 2 is irrelevant.

    Labor can nibble a bit around the margins of public policy and perhaps demonstrate itself to be a more dignified and efficient administration than Howard’s clique of lunatics, fixers, parrots, and puppets. But that’s as far as Labor is likely to go.

    Latham is correct. We have convergence. Live with it.

  4. wpd says:

    Yes Katz. Rudd will be ‘proper’ ‘efficient’ ‘hard working’ and so on. But I have never seen any evidence that he is another ‘Whitlam’.

    Indeed, he would feel insulted if anyone suggested a likeness. Sad but true.

  5. boredinHK says:

    “….perhaps demonstrate itself to be a more dignified and efficient administration than Howard’s clique of lunatics, fixers, parrots, and puppets. ”

    I hope they can at least follow through on pledges to reinstate the role of ministerial responsibility.
    While I’m compiling a wish list let’s also hope they aren’t as corrupt and prone to the sale of assets as the recent NSW governments. The Carr and Iemma governments are a disgrace. (This is in absolutely no way an endorsement of the opposition parties.)

  6. philiptravers says:

    And what is Rudd doing when he says giving Defense the highest priority!? Adding military uniforms to our budgets!?So I guess he has lost a few votes with his priority today as a man who was a diplomat!? But that statement must mean he sees something on the horizon that isnt himself stark naked!? Conscription for all those people older than him I suspect,because well, there is nothing in the policies as stated so far that indicates a future,for me,and I dont give a rats arse in pleasing Labor fools!?

  7. Paul Burns says:

    Would like to make an observation on the likelihood of an unsafe economic future. Our current levels of private debt are apparently comparable to the levels of private debt before the 1890 depression and during the 1920s.Does this mean the Rudd Government will have the misfortune of presiding over a new great depression soon after they come to office, so if they do have any reforming plans they’ll be irrelevant.

  8. Razor says:

    Paul Burns – you forgot to mention that similar debt levels as the 1890s and 1920s will cause terrible economic problems because nothing has changed in how economies are understood or managed – nothing what so ever.

    Do you prefer Chicken Little or Hanrahan??

  9. Katz says:

    Paul Burns – you forgot to mention that similar debt levels as the 1890s and 1920s will cause terrible economic problems because nothing has changed in how economies are understood or managed – nothing what so ever.

    Yep, these days it’s the taxpayer (or more to the point the great-great grandchildren of the taxpayer), through manifold means of the US Federal Govt accepting sovereign risk, that has prevented several financial crises from ripping the bottom out of the world’s financial system.

    It’s no different with the current subprime crisis. The US Treasury is tipping billions into the banking system in an effort to simulate financial wellbeing.

    Thus the US private finance system is the best system that public borrowing and public financing can buy.

  10. Razor says:

    2 questions Katz.

    Do you think Paul Burns’ concerns are reasonable based on comparing the 1890s and 1920s with now? If so, why?

    Do you have a better system than that of Central Banks targetting inflation and ensuring the orderly workings of financial markets? If so, what is it?

    (Your snide remarks about the operation of the US system shows your anti-US bias. Given that the ECB, BOE, BOJ, RBA etc etc etc are all operating in the same manner, what exactly is your problem with the US Fed Reserve ssytem?? Is just that they are Yanks???)

  11. Katz says:

    Oh dear Raze. I hope your rictus of indignation proves not to be fatal.

    1. I didn’t mention the Fed Reserve Bank. I mentioned the US Treasury. Do you know the difference between the two?

    2. On the more general point, it is well known that since the end of the Bretton Woods system the US Federal Reserve Bank has been essentially the Central Bank for the capitalist world. There is nothing that all of the other banks can do to preserve world financial stability (although I imagine it is possible for some of them to disturb world financial stability.) Thus, the anti-American bias that you appear to be so eager to detect is in fact just a pragmatic recognition on my part of the importance of the US Fed.)

  12. Paul Burns says:

    Oh,
    Chicken Little, mate, Chicken Little.

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