October 16, 2004

POLICIES OVERBOARD

Oh no! What about ease the squeeze? What about Medicare Old? What about no more fat kids? What about brainwashed, Kyoto-chanting schoolchildren?

Donít tell me all these wonderful policies have simply been abandoned ...

The Labor Party has removed from its website the policies it took to last Saturday's election, leaving just a parting shot at the Prime Minister, John Howard.

The hundreds of pronouncements made by the Labor leader, Mark Latham, and his frontbench during the election campaign have been archived while Labor ponders its policy direction.

The only remnant of its failed bid for government is "Truth Overboard", the almanac of what Labor said were 35 lies that Mr Howard told on issues ranging from bulk billing to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

UPDATE. Beazley overboard!

Posted by Tim Blair at October 16, 2004 03:44 AM
Comments

He who controls the past, controls the future.

Posted by: a guy in pajamas at October 16, 2004 at 04:08 AM

Well, for that, Labor would first have to control the present, which they obviously don't.

Posted by: PW at October 16, 2004 at 05:10 AM

The ALP have a policy of throwing policy overboard? One bad result and they cut and run? What about the policy of Truth in Government?

Back to staring at a white sheet.

This could be a new dawn for the ALP, a policy to put the "U" back into labor and take out the "ham" in Latham.

Posted by: rog at October 16, 2004 at 07:57 AM

Tim, are you absolutely convinced your Labor politicians descended from those tough convicts sent to Australia and not from pansy French ancestors? They're already raising the white flag?

Q. How many Labor politicians does it take to mimic the French?

A. I dunno. How many are there?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at October 16, 2004 at 08:53 AM

Um...is the ALP amnesiac? If Howard lied about WMD, so did Kevin Rudd, who said, "Without a doubt Saddam has WMD".

Posted by: Quentin George at October 16, 2004 at 09:35 AM

No no no. WHen Howard says it, it is a lie. When an ALPer yelps it, its "fake but accurate." Or "inaccurate but sincere." Or something. But not a lie!

Posted by: R C Dean at October 16, 2004 at 09:39 AM

put the "U" back into labor

What an excellent slogan! What an incisive (implied) diagnosis!

I have been having some trouble with a string of public and quasi public servants and the thing that has struck me is that no one seems interested in working. They show up, do stuff and get paid of course. But no one seems interested in doing their best at their actual job.

It reminds me of a meeting I once attended with a group of health care workers. When asked what their goals were no one said anything like, "To improve the health of residents of this community." No. All they talked about was how they could use their jobs for their own personal advancement. I was shocked.

Have teachers stopped telling kids that if a job's worth doing it's worth doing well?

Posted by: Janice at October 16, 2004 at 09:39 AM

To be honest the 'blank slate' was not all that surprising to me. I think the ALP is so rattled that it doesn't really know where to go next. It's tried big target, it's tried small target (as noted at this blog). Both have failed.

So, I guess it was only a matter of time before the ALP's own footsoldiers were resigned to their party's failure....

There was a letter in the Australian this week calling for the end of the old ALP and replacing it with a 'social democrat' party which cut the unions loose and focused on the urban trendy left and its Keating/Whitlam paradigm (higher education funding, green issues, blah blah blah).

Also, a question for the psephological anoraks out there (could be an honours thesis in it for an enterprising indiviual too) - has anyone thought to compare the rise in Liberal votes in blue collar areas, and decline in white collar areas, with whether the booth voted yes or no in the republican referendum? My guess is there is a correlation of sorts.

Therefore it is plausible that the 2004 win for Howard is bigger than what it seems - has he set in train a genuine realignment of Australian politics, of sorts?

Posted by: Alex at October 16, 2004 at 10:17 AM

You can get lots of good program ideas from combinations, like feed the clothed and clothe the hungry.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 16, 2004 at 11:33 AM

If I lost and there is three years before the next election I would delte all policies and go back to the beginning a very good place to start as Julie once said.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at October 16, 2004 at 12:44 PM

Therefore it is plausible that the 2004 win for Howard is bigger than what it seems - has he set in train a genuine realignment of Australian politics, of sorts?

Howard's electoral genius is that he has hung on to formerly Labor suburban seats, and now turned them into safe Liberal seats, like Lindsay and Macarthur.

Sure, in appealing to the aspirational seat he has lost a bit of the latte-set along the way, but they live in safe Liberal or safe Labor seats so generally, he can afford to fob them off.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 16, 2004 at 12:52 PM

"Sure, in appealing to the aspirational seat he has lost a bit of the latte-set along the way"

That's a feature, not a bug.

Anyway, summng up everyone's comments on this and other threads, here are some surefire winning slogans for the ALP for the next election:

PUT THE "U" BACK INTO LABOR

WE ARE THE BLANK SLATE!

ALP - FAKE BUT ACCURATE

EASE THE SQUEEZE AGAIN

FEED THE CLOTHED AND CLOTHE THE HUNGRY

FREE BEER

IT BELONGS TO THEM - LET'S GIVE IT BACK

LATHAM - THE THUG WITH BREASTS

LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES - VOTE ALP

NO FAT CHICKS

FREE TH REFUGEES

FREE MUMIA

NO SAP FOR JOBS

YOU ARE ALL STUPID FASCIST RACIST SCUM

VOTE ALP - BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT

ALLAHU AKHBAR

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 16, 2004 at 03:25 PM

Hi guys,
In Sydney (where I have been able to crunch more numbers quickly) this election showed a swing against the Libs in all seats held prior to 1996, and all the trendy inner seats.

The mortgage belt is now "safe Liberal".

The interesting seats however are Reid, Chiffley Prospect, and Greenway (Central West Sydney) have all swung by over 8% in the past two polls. If ever there was a case for the eroding heartland, it is here, where the trendies have never treaded.

Posted by: PeteD at October 16, 2004 at 04:03 PM

Trendy inner seats, where trendies live in old workers cottages and keep in touch whilst workers head out and build new modern Mcmansions, play golf and go fishing.

Q: will the trendies move out to the Mcmansions in 50 years?

Posted by: rog at October 16, 2004 at 05:09 PM

Woops, another theory overboard, from the Guardian so it must be right;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5040686-103550,00.html

Posted by: rog at October 16, 2004 at 05:29 PM

FREE MUMIA

Free? Where's the money to pay for that coming from? You don't think there's just a massive stockpile of Mumia lying around in the treasury, do you?

Now, subsidized Mumia for the poor, that might make sense. "Ease the Mumia Squeeze", perhaps. But free is clearly nonsense.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at October 16, 2004 at 08:36 PM

I remember a friend who tried to get elected on the Student Union withe the catchphrase "FRY MUMIA!"

Needless to say, despite my assistance on the campaign trail, he lost...

Posted by: Quentin George at October 16, 2004 at 10:09 PM

Who is Mumia?

Posted by: Janice at October 16, 2004 at 10:17 PM

I prefer my mumia rotisserie style.

Posted by: Dan Collins at October 17, 2004 at 02:26 AM

Janice:

Mumia is a convicted cop killer on death row in Pennsylvannia. Some people want to free him, for a number of reasons. This is a fairly objective summary.

Or you can go to www.freemumia.org for the excrutiating details.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 17, 2004 at 08:28 AM

In the interest of fairness, here are two opposing views of the Mumia story:

Supportive of Mumia.

Not Supportive.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 17, 2004 at 08:41 AM