Sunday, January 02, 2011

Economic Reform

Like this line from today's Australian from Swanny:

"There's a strange paradox in Australian political life where those who call loudest and most often for economic reform are those most likely to criticise any attempts to carry it out."

I'm just happy that Swanny has decided to get on the front foot in the new year. The post election period has been marked by navel gazing, a shocking state election campaign in Victoria, and a whole lot of nothing on the Federal stage.

If you have a good story to tell- get out there and tell it. For all Keating's weaknesses, this is one thing he was good at- getting the good news out there. People may not like you, but they will respect you if they are reminded of some of the results you are achieving.

What's more there is no point trying to hide from the conservative press. They're always banging on about economic reform, you give it to them and they are still unhappy. What do you honestly expect? Labor should get stuck into the conservative press. Pulling the pin on stimulus measures, the ETS, and the Human Rights Act will not win over the conservative nay sayers- the response will be (1) see we were right all along; and (2) Labor has lost the strength of its convictions. Lose lose.

It's good to see that Swanny has woken up to this paradox, and has the strength of his convictions to get out there and spread the good news in the new year. Although it does remind me somewhat of Shaun Carney's recent article about the decline of support for Labor in the community. There is no rush to Labor's defense from a dwindling grass roots supporter base, or the disillusioned new left that has moved to the Greens. The fortunate few careerists of the parliamentary party have to make the case for themselves these days.


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