Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wither now, Aussie Labour?

If the New Zealish Labour Party thought it had woes, then they need only look across the ditch and see what REAL problems look like.  And it is really sad as, viewed pragmatically, Abbott's victory offers a brilliant opportunity for the Labour Party to regroup and get ready for what should be a straightforward return to power in 2016, for it won't take long for Tony Abbott to become so hated that people would even vote Kevin Rudd back in.

However, I confidently expect the Australian Labour Party will not manage to put its house in order and will go into the 2016 election - and the one after that, and the one after that - as a disorganised, dishevelled, hate-inspiring rabble of self-serving divisionists, gleefully plotting against each other and not giving a damn about the party, far less the country, because their seats will be safe.  After all, if they've managed to cling on to their seats through the routing of Rudd, they'll probably never lose them.

Blessed with playing opposition to what will be the most hated government since ... er ... their last one, Labour will not be ready. Abbott is going to be loathed, his policies are going to be hated and his MPs are going to turn out to be drivelling morons who couldn't even find a place in One Nation. In fact, there is a possibility Labour and the Coalition will be so hated that, next time round, Australia will see it first ever Green government, with One Nation forming the opposition. Or the other way round ... because both the big parties are going to be despised and disowned for a very long time.

(Okay, that last bit is a bit fanciful.)

So, what now for the Labour Party.  In a sane world, Rudd would step down.  But this isn't a sane world.  This is the mad world where Tony Abbott gets to be PM, so all bets are off.  He should go.  But who would replace him?  There aren't enough Labour MPs left to have a leadership race and an election, are there?

You can imagine the conversations between the remaining members of caucus: "Right, I'm standing and so are you. I'll vote for you and you vote for you, and that way we can say the new leaders was elected after a fiercely fought contest, winning the overwhelming support of the Labour Party cauccus. All three of them ..."

At least the travails and misery of the (sort of) left in Australia should serve as some sort of warning to our lot.  But will they heed it?  I fear not.

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