One may be mistaken for thinking how unexpectedly the worm of federal politics has turned. Labour’s greatest woes are a haemorrhaging primary vote from deserting working class and lower middle class, the previous Howard’s Battlers are becoming Abbott’s Army. It appears that they are not listening to labour any more, having heard such comments from local Labour MPs.
From a strategic and tragic dimension labour was destined to be brought to such catastrophe. If we were to look back a year ago, it was then Prime Minster Kevin Rudd was being suddenly dispatched by Julia Gillard at the behest of Labour’s faction lords. Now of course, a leadership change labour wishes to repeat, but dares not for lack of candidates. The media narrative back then still saw the entire Emission Trading Scheme, now a carbon tax, as completely viable and politically dangerous to a recalcitrant coalition. Labour had come to believe that it was Rudds back down on the ETS, not the ETS its self that was the problem electorally. It also believed that the media would be successful, despite the pocket resistance of Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, and a few climate sceptics, at shaping public opinion for labours climate change policy. As it can be seen now, this was a strategic blunder. Labour and its media lackeys are missing the point entirely.
For the last year or so many australian families have been heavily leverage on mortgage debt thanks in part to easy credit for the last decade but especially for the last round of a home-owners lenders schemes, introduced in the fall of the Global Financial Crisis as further stimulus. These families as well as many other sectors are caught in the trap of rising debt repayments and rising inflation in basic goods. The RBA’s inflation of 3-4% is laughable and highly manipulated. The true rate would be closer to double the official rate. Anybody who has been watching the prices in shops over the last 2 years knows that inflation is far higher. A majority of the inflation is from American QE1-2 money printing, inflating commodities prices. Further more, expanding carry trade with US investors seeking yield in our dollar and the relatively high interest rate. What has this all to do with labour losing the next election? Simply, many Australian families are in no shape for extra taxes,and this is exactly Abbott’s tactic, though he is unaware of the economics reasons for such.
Labour and the incestuous media cannot sell the public something which should have been sold to them years earlier when Australian families were riding high on good times, and their attention lax. Now it appears labour chooses to fight in Abbott’s Stalingrad of economic stress and rising food prices. He will turn the carbon tax into labour’s coffin, some labour MPs are already talking damage control and expect not to win the next election or the one after that.
Its far worse. If we can return to the economics of my argument. Those Australian families are about to be destroyed economically when the Australian property market bubble pops. If we are to believe Professor Steve Keens assertion that the Australian mortgage debt is far more comprehensively spread across society than it was in American mortgage crisis, even considering the toxic asset derivatives mess. Then this is a political time bomb that could destroy labour for a generation. It was labour who guaranteed the public that it shielded the economy from the GFC, it was the main plank of their former campaign. And its labour who is trying to introduce a carbon tax just as the bubble is popping.
Labour’s tragedy is pursuing a this carbon tax policy that it cannot sell now, the times do not suite it. Yet the bureaucratic bungling of the Rudd Leadership and now of Gillard, through the Building Education Revolution and Pink Bats scheme, require a big policy success, such as the carbon tax, a necessity. Every drip of Inflation and economic woe fuels Abbott. His image, an amalgam of working class, Catholic-Christian, and non-contrived, unpretentious Australian masculinity, is a direct threat to the childless and ambiguous Gillard. I’m sure, secretly Labour wishes Abbott was their leader, to cover for the true face of their party. A party of New-Left pseudo-intellectuals, who greatest concern is climate change and exotic herbal tea not the struggle of aspirational lower to middle class families and the cost of bread.
And this is why labour decided to pursue its Stalingrad, its Russian-winter, its Dien Bien Phu, it’s bridge too far. It no longer has the cultural milieu of the working class. Its a creature of the media and university, that progressive echo chamber. But the media failed as well, having assumed a climate change was settled and sold with the right scientists. For hilarity, one should read the editor of The Australian’s Paul kelly’s opinions spanning the last 4 years, damningly catalogued by bolt.
The other failure of the media is the complete misunderstanding of Abbott the man. I don’t know whether Abbott plays poker, but he would be a formidable opponent. Not because he can lie, in fact he’s a bad liar or evader I should say, nothing of the platitudinous guile and linguistic sure footedness of Barak Obama. No, it is his comfortability with risk that is disturbing to his opponents. Gillard’s Labour and Labour in general, always falls back to the time trusted conventional tactics of Media spin with an eye to Public Opinion. I’m not saying the coalition are beyond spin, they certainly are not. But any long term high-risk, high-return strategy must supersede the up and down popularity of week to week polls. This is the risk that labour can no longer stomach, though now with little option it has half-heartily pressed on with the carbon tax. Exactly the moment it shouldn’t. Abbott’s ability to be risky and unconventional will through attrition shake the government apart, much as Mao Tse Tung‘s red army seized the country side while the Chinese nationalists were hold up in the capital. The Nationalists Capital, is much like the Labour Governments Carbon Tax, allowing Abbott large political manoeuvring.
So how long for the Gillard government? The party will most likely replace her in a few months when the polling finally confirms just how much the labour vote has bled. This would allow an easy dumping of Carbon Tax, and a new agenda with a new leader. I doubt it would be Rudd, who has managed to distillate so much hatred within the labour party, a Machiavellian who seems to have missed the bit about- making your minions fear you but never hate you for they will plot against you. It will most likely be some no name unionist MP who can be safe with the working class and prevent any further haemorrhaging while allowing labour some dignity in defeat at the next Federal Election.