The ALP to the Greens – fine, we’ll do some of what you call for regarding treating refugees marginally more humanely… but you’re not getting any of the bloody credit for it:
The release of children into the community was foreshadowed on the weekend by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who said she had been working with the Government to bring about the change.
But Ms Gillard today stressed the decision was the Government’s alone.
“These measures have not been part of a deal with other parties as has been suggested,” she said.
Yeah, if you’d just voted directly for the ALP, first preference, and the ALP hadn’t needed Greens support, it would have happened anyway, even though we went to the election in a dickhead-off with the Liberals as to who could be nastier to refugees.
It’s the new Australian Cold War, in which the ALP tries to cripple the Greens without pissing them off so much that they stop supporting it in Government. And you can understand why the ALP feels so threatened: the Greens want to actually represent progressives – by which they mean, implementing progressive policies in government! Rather than just taking the votes and then chasing the right! It’s vital that lefty voters don’t realise they’ve got an alternative that won’t take them for granted – we must somehow, against all the evidence, convince them that we still represent progressive ideals. But without actually doing it and scaring away the rightwingers we want to represent as well.
The people I feel sorry for are the rusted-on old Labor lefties, who are so desperate for any kind of indication that the party they support still has a progressive bone left in its corpulent body that they will choose to believe that today’s announcement validates their votes. You can still get progressive change by voting for the ALP! You can! Seriously! Please don’t tell me that the party I’ve devoted my life to supporting in its fight with the conservatives has completely, irredeemably sold out and that to meaningfully advocate for the principles in which I’ve always believed, I’ve got to go and work to build a whole new party.
Still, at least there are very few young Australian lefties who still believe that. I suspect the ALP is going to get much nastier than this – I suspect the Cold War will get much warmer – in its efforts to win them over.
It’s either that or actually start representing their views. And no-one who counts in the ALP wants to do that.