|You really need to tick both boxes for the House of Reps.|
It’s kinda depressing being a lefty nowadays.
I guess it always has been depressing, to some extent. In my youth I have seen right-wing governments lay the smackdown on ordinary people. The attempt to put in place laws that not only discriminated against workers, but sometimes also against common sense. And, more than not, discriminate against good taste. In the fifties the conservative government’s attempts in trying to criminalise the communist party in Australia whilst simultaneously attacking the lack of free speech in communist countries defied any sort of logic. As the saying goes, the past is another country and they do things differently there. One could always rely on the conservatives to belt the little guy and promote the interests of business over all else. It used to amaze me why Australians would consistently vote such oppression into office. I’m less amazed these days.
The one thing that used to be in the left’s favour was its fierceness and its ability to take the raw fight right back to the conservatives. The likes of the member for East Sydney, Eddie Ward, for instance. Ward saw no man as his master, and would even turn on fellow Labor members if they showed the slightness weakness for true Labor values. Ward had his faults, a lack of foresight primary amongst them, (he was arguing for cuts in defence spending right up to the beginning of World War Two). So, while he was far from perfect, you could be sure that if you were an ordinary worker he would fight tooth and nail for your interests. Even his folly about defence cuts was that so more money could be provided for social security programs.
The left in Australia have been utterly abandoned. We have no Labor leaders left in the Labor movement. The Greens are doing their best, but if they ever are to become a true mainstream party it still lies two or three generations away. The Labor party are devoid of interest in even supporting the little people. Lawyers are in charge on both sides of Parliament. Rarely have modern politicians striding the expensive red or green carpet has ever earned a cent getting their hands soiled with good honest dirt (even figuratively - a few years as a shop assistant would do some of these stuffed-bunnies a world of good). The left is filled with hacks, timeservers and wannabees. The right consist of what they have always been, rent-seeking ideologues. They have never changed, and there is certain honesty in that. The Lib-Nats are professional bastards now, and professional bastards always. But the conservatives are committing the lesser sin. We expect nothing else. That’s their job, to screw with the ordinary Australian. And they do it well. Not so the Australian Labor Party, they have sold us out completely. Where is the party of social values? Where is the party of social Justice?
Would Eddie Ward participate in secret negotiations with the Americans under the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TTP)? Would Gough Whitlam? Negotiations that would seem to negate a citizen’s right to have a say on binding laws in this country. Negotiations that may mean an end to cheaper medicine in this country? Is this really a Labor government doing this to us? Really?
The only comfort in the pending elections for an Australian with a socially progressive outlook is that it doesn’t really matter who wins; it will be either tweedle dee or tweedle dum. Both parties are now identical and neither party offer any hope to left-of-centre values. They might as well join forces officially and become the “Laberal Party”. Why the hell not?