Labor’s Political Paralysis

The government is in disarray. In the final sitting week before the handing down of our national budget, the squabbling within the Labor Party has reached fever pitch.

There is open lobbying by supporters of the various leadership contenders for caucus votes. There is, however, one noticeable exception: no one seems to be working to keep Julia Gillard in the Prime Ministership. Even those who have benefited from her protection and patronage, propelling them well above their capacity, seem to accept that the Gillard experiment has failed.

Reports indicate that Kevin Rudd is still shy of having the number of votes necessary to reclaim his ‘rightful place’. Previous outsider Simon Crean is attracting an array of backers while Bill Shorten seems content to bide his time in the hopes of becoming a Hawke-ish messianic Labor figure at some time in the future.

It is an unedifying spectacle that further discredits this government – a circumstance that one could scarcely imagine given their atrocious performance in office.

While this furious factional brawl is erupting, the important issues facing the Australian nation are being ignored. The entire debate is now consumed with the politics of survival rather than the responsibilities of governing.

The government have misrepresented official job statistics, distorted facts and misled the Australian people. Its leadership has been prepared to twist any circumstance in order to gain a sliver of perceived political advantage. But it has all come to nothing and brings to mind the biblical adage about there being no benefit if you gain the world but lose your own soul.

The Labor Party have lost their soul. It has become a party in pursuit of power for power’s sake, more intent on dispensing patronage than prudent policy.

As their membership base narrows ever further, dominated by militant unionists and apparatchiks, they have left their working class credentials far behind.

Increasingly the Australian people are coming to understand that Labor values are not mainstream values. They know that a person, or a political party, that is focused solely on their own interests has little time to take an interest in others.

No one really knows how this latest Labor disarray will resolve itself. Whatever they do, Labor are unable or unwilling to do any more than paper over the cracks that are ripping their party apart. It is a party that has lost its way and is bereft of the leadership needed to get its house in order.

The unfortunate consequence of such a listless lot running the government is that our nation isn’t achieving its full potential. For that to happen, the Australian people know we need a new approach and a new government. Only an election will deliver what our country so desperately needs.

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