Why the 1967 referendum would be defeated in 2013

Recent analyses of public opinion In the United States have confirmed the significance of racial resentment for evaluations of Barack Obama. The report of the committee on the constitutional recognition of indigenous people has revived discussion of the lessons of the 1967 referendum. Unfortunately this discussion has ignored the significance of racial resentment in Australian […]

A French left without workers?

The rise of the French National Front evokes alarm on the left. Actually I think Marie Le Pen is unelectable whoever she runs against. The Presidential system in France was introduced to marginalize the Communist Party which could never secure a majority in a Presidential contest. Now the system works against the National Front. Whoever […]

Arrivals and Departures then and now

Often books written long ago and now forgotten shed much light on the present. An example recently read is James Jupp’s 1966 Arrivals and Departures on post- World War II immigration to Australia. He shows how Australian policymakers engaged in endless self-congratulation about what a success the program had been and how welcoming they were […]

NSW Labor 1911-2011, Labor & radical liberalism: two papers

I attended Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and the Australian Political Studies Association recently. Both papers inspired by contemporary issues. My ASSLH paper examined career of Richard Crouch the Deakinite Liberal who after losing Corio to Labor in 1910 joined the ALP as a result of his experiences at Gallipoli. Crouch was […]

From Communists in 1951 to refugees in 2011: Labor & the High Court

The federal Labor government of Julia Gillard struggles with the issue of asylum-seekers, the government’s rigid position is widely unpopular among Labor activists and party sympathizers and many were pleased with the High Court’s decision on the Malaysian solution. Caucus leaks to an extent akin to that of the Scullin government. We can see how […]

Ignoring the unemployed

Much airheadery on British riots. Some historical background provided by Gareth Steadman Jones’ Outcast London on the Victorian specter of the mob. One point. There has been much discussion of ‘social exclusion’ and the beneficial consequences of labour market participation. There is something to this although much popular discussion about social policy suffers from a […]

European fascism & Australian liberal-conservatism

The Oslo murders recall an older Europe: an act of fascist terror committed against supporters of a left-wing political party, indeed because of the killers concern with government policy he was more likely to attack supporters of a moderate left party because he saw it as having an impact on politics.

Rudd-Gillard and the end of old New Labor

How are we to explain Australian Labor’s woes? Some hints in an examination of British New Labour’s economic record by Duncan Weldon. He highlights how Labour’s model was unsustainable: Remember the campaign posters in 2005? How the issue of the economy was dealt with? A near endless repetition of macroeconomic statistics – the longest period […]

Listening to Labor’s true believers

The current malaise of the ALP has seen a recent upsurge of interest in primaries as a way to draw Labor supporters into participation within the ALP. But would this work? What do Labor supporters want? None of the recent discussion about primaries considers the example of Tasmanian state politics. The Hare-Clark proportional representation system […]