News Ltd wants a war between ALP and Greens; PM seems determined to give them one

I’m not sure why Julia Gillard thinks that giving News Ltd the war between Labor and the Greens over which it’s been salivating might be good for her government:

The differences between Labor and the Greens take many forms but at the bottom of it are two vital ones.

The Greens wrongly reject the moral imperative to a strong economy.

The Greens have some worthy ideas and many of their supporters sincerely want a better politics in our country. They have good intentions but fail to understand the centrepiece of our big picture – the people Labor strives to represent need work.

And the Greens will never embrace Labor’s delight at sharing the values of every day Australians, in our cities, suburbs, towns and bush, who day after day do the right thing, leading purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation.

The dig about jobs is one thing – it’s patently absurd; the Greens just don’t agree that to create jobs we have to pander to the rich – but asserting that the Greens don’t share “the values of every day Australians”? The Greens don’t want to see people “do the right thing”? They’re not “driven by love of family and nation”?

What spectacularly stupid arrogance. The difference between the ALP and the Greens is that the former love their families and nation and the latter don’t? Who the hell does she think she’s kidding?

As Bob Brown replied:

Hitting back today, Senator Brown accused the Prime Minister of “turning her fire on the very people who support her”.

“I think that’s an unfortunate and unwarranted and gratuitous insult and it’s not becoming of a Prime Minister to be talking in those ways about millions of other Australians.”

He said Ms Gillard’s comments were “a mistake”.

“I’ll talk to her about that,” Senator Brown warned. “She’s wrong.”

…”It’s very, very amiss language by the Prime Minister,” he said.

“When she describes one-and-a-half million Australian Greens voters as people who don’t have a love of family or of nation, for goodness sake, there’s something amiss by that insult coming from the Prime Minister.”

As for the jobs sledge:

He rejected Ms Gillard’s claim that the Greens have no moral authority on the economy, citing its support for the stimulus package which “saved the country from recession and the loss of 600,000 jobs”.

“It wasn’t the Coalition that did that, they opposed it. It was the Greens who stepped up to the mark and saved those jobs and small businesses in Australia,” he added.

Brown wants to leave it there, as he did after the Gillard’s stupid “extreme” smear last week. But who knows? Looks like someone in the ALP is really spoiling for a fight, and doesn’t care if they take the entire government down with them.

24 responses to “News Ltd wants a war between ALP and Greens; PM seems determined to give them one

  1. There was a line in there about Brown calling it “product differentiation” – which, considering the stories about the “real PM” being Brown, is maybe the only way the twats in the Labor brains trust can think of to “prove” the opposite…

  2. The ALP has to pick a public fight with the Greens because their close association is damaging them with the “battlers”. Gillard is merely doing the bidding of her party, which is desperate to sever the link being formed in the public’s mind between the ALP and the Greens.

    The ALP knows it is dead in the water at the next election if the common wisdon is that a vote for them = a vote for the Greens.

  3. narcoticmusing

    I just don’t see what Gillard thinks she will gain by alienating her base to impress the Lib Co base? They won’t vote for her, so why is she so determined to undermine herself? The fed ALP are utterly repugnant and dysfunctional.

  4. I just don’t see what Gillard thinks she will gain by alienating her base to impress the Lib Co base?

    She’s not alienating her base – she’s alienating the Greens’ base. She’s actually wooing the Labor base.

  5. narcoticmusing

    I think she’s lost sight of who her base is… because they are slipping fast and furious to everyone but her and for good reason.

  6. You don’t really think that Labor’s base consists of Greens voters do you?

  7. narcoticmusing

    I agree with that Mondo, no debate there. I certainly agree that a great deal of the ALP base consists of Greens voters. I also think they’ve been driven there from the ALP trying to appease the Right and I also think she’ll only continue to alienate that base by opposing the Greens and not working with them.

  8. “You don’t really think that Labor’s base consists of Greens voters do you?”

    The Greens base consists of what used to be a large chunk of Labor’s base. They moved to the Greens (I am one of them) because Labor is moving rightwards to the corporate world where the “economy” is seen as more important than the rights of the people living in it.

    Obviously the Labor numbers guys took the wrong lesson from the knife edge 2010 election and the NSW blow-out. The “labour” part of the base is sick of the corporate power brokers and spin-doctors in the NSW branch, so their solution is to “Punch A Hippie”. Idiots.

  9. “I think she’s lost sight of who her base is… because they are slipping fast and furious to everyone but her and for good reason.”

    Exactly. John Winston Howard in a dress with red hair.

    All my Labor mates hate this women, and will be voting anything but Labor.

    She has blown it big time, they will rue the day they sank Rudd and what’s more, they know it. Two or three faceless men of the Labor party are the cause of its demise. The old guard will be turning over in their graves.

    “The “labour” part of the base is sick of the corporate power brokers and spin-doctors in the NSW branch, so their solution is to “Punch A Hippie”. Idiots.”

    In a nutshell. Good point.

  10. “You don’t really think that Labor’s base consists of Greens voters do you?”

    Potential Greens voters, yes.

    The Greens seek to represent progressive Australians – such people are, I’d suggest, more than 14% of the population. Where are the rest? They’re voting ALP because they either
    (a) think the Greens are unreliable/loopy; or
    (b) think the two party system will never change so you might as well work within that system.

    Those are the voters the Greens need to target to grow; and those are the voters increasingly pissed off by obvious garbage like what Gillard was selling last night.

  11. I’m always willing to give the right wing cheer squad otherwise known as News Ltd a kick whenever I can. However, I reckon, on this occasion, it’s more about Julia being concerned at the effective manner in which Phoney and his team of second raters have managed to link Labour so closely to the Greens. It’s her way of cutting the umbilical knot.

  12. Julia Gillard believed both (1) opposing the Rudd ETS, and (2) promising not to introduce a carbon tax, were good politics. No-one should really be surprised that she now thinks attacking 14% of the electorate for lacking values is a good idea. Besides, News Ltd tells her it is.

  13. narcoticmusing

    Everyone seems to have summed it all up nicely Mondo – sorry if I confused you. I wasn’t debating that voters for the greens are part of her quickly exiting base… my point was that she will not lure those people back by being more like Abbott. She will not lure progressives back by attacking the Greens or pandering to right wing media. The problem is, she certainly won’t gain any right wing voters by pandering to News Corp – so what exactly is she attempting to achieve? That, there in, is my point. What she is achieving: at best, nothing (ie she won’t gain votes). At worst, alienating her base (those undecided sometimes Greens sometimes ALP votes).

  14. @autonomy1

    There is a much easier way to cut the umbilical knot (or do you mean the Gordian cord?). Gillard could leap up in parliament and announce she was ending the confidence and supply arrangement with the Greens. Oh wait.

    Gillard’s problem is that, like the NSW Right, she thinks symbolic gestures matter more than actual polices. The result is governing from the right while claiming to be on the left. The electorate never sees through that, which is why the NSW Labor government achieved such a stunning success last weekend. Oh wait.

  15. baldrickjones

    Yep, this is all News LTD’s fault. Not at all because of product differentiation – yeah? She is absolutely honest about the Greens. They are fringe wingers – no more than democrats and will eventually suffer the same fate. Anyone who has read their policy will agree. Why else can’t they win any seats? The evil MSM?

  16. baldrickjones

    Why is the term progressive so in chic? You are not right just because you have a developmental policy. And I agree with you on many things – getting rid of negative gearing on houses and FHB grant for example….

  17. azzawp wrote:
    Gillard could leap up in parliament and announce she was ending the confidence and supply arrangement with the Greens. Oh wait.

    ‘Oh wait’ is right on. What a great idea that would be. Destabilise the government and risk handing it to Phoney with all his erratic behaviour and nutty extreme right ideas.

    She knows the Greens really have nowhere to go so repairing some of the damage being done to the brand by distancing herself from the Greens is being politically artful.

    BTW: Cord sounds like an appropriate word to me. 😳

  18. Actually, the Greens do have somewhere to go. Given Gillard’s expressed contempt for Green voters I doubt they would punish their party for withdrawing from the confidence and supply arrangement. Attacking your friends at the request of your enemies has never been regarded as particularly clever politics.

    ‘nowhere to go’ is just new words for the familiar idiocy that claims Labor does not need to worry about the progressive vote because progressive electors will never abandon the ALP. That thesis was tested last Saturday. It did not test well.

  19. azzawp

    My point is that in Gillard isn’t dancing to the News Corp tune. In my view it is an artful political tactic to distance herself from the Greens because their (Labour) polling has shown that Phoney’s tactics of linking them to the Greens is deleterious to their brand. News Corp is aiding and abetting it but is by no means the only media group giving it news space.

    And the Greens do have nowhere to go. There only option in the world of realpolitik is to not preference. Which really was of little consequence so far as the NSW result was concerned as that was set in stone ages ago.

  20. The NSW result was set in stone because NSW Labor followed the sort of symbol over substance stuff that you are advocating. Gillard has not proved herself a particularly adept or artful politician in the past. An artful politician would not have committed the ‘real Julia’ gaffe. An artful politician would not have needed to repeatedly amend their cabinet list because they’d forgotten to include words like ‘education’. An artful politician would not be declaring herself a cultural traditionalist. Gillard has, however, been extraordinarily responsive to rightwing canards, usually by artfully surrendering to them.

    The NSWEC has not yet published the preference breakdowns in sufficient numbers to analyse the effect of Green preferences exhausting rather transferring. Clearly, if Balmain goes to the Coalition for the first time in its history it will be because of the exhaustion of Green preferences. Another historic victory for the nowhere to go thesis is Broken Hill. This election is the first time in the 120 history of the town the Coalition has ever carried a polling booth. They carried every booth.

    The main effect of nowhere to go in NSW appears to have been voters going directly tot he Coalition. I hope for the sake of your party that the nowhere to go thesis does not get many more such tests.

  21. “Yep, this is all News LTD’s fault.”

    They’re the big campaigners for a war between the ALP and the Greens – hardly surprising, since they declared their intention to “destroy” the Greens.

    ” They are fringe wingers – no more than democrats and will eventually suffer the same fate.”

    Only if they make the Democrats’ mistake and sell out.

    ” Anyone who has read their policy will agree.”

    Projection, much? You’re a rightwinger, they’re not trying to appeal to you. But to progressives keen to be represented rather than ignored (our fate under the ALP), they’re presently our best hope to bring the national politics back from the right. The two corporate parties certainly aren’t going to.

    “Why else can’t they win any seats? The evil MSM?”

    Well, you might have spoken too soon – they look like winning a lower house seat in NSW for the first time in their history. And they’ve certainly won several upper house seats – an increase on their previous position.

    Why haven’t they won more? Because we have an electoral system – single member electorates – where you can get 14% of the vote and less than 1% of the seats. Or ten percent and no seats. We have a faux democracy where the system directs votes away from a broad-based third party to the big parties.

    It’s hardly democratic, but that’s the reason they don’t have 10% of the lower house seats. It’s a bit unseemly for the people who benefit from disenfranchising Greens voters to gloat about it so shamelessly: you really should be embarrassed about it.

  22. The big parties are committed to the level playing field as a matter of abiding and deeply held principle, except where it applies to parliamentary seats.

  23. The dwindling Labor base still has some residual wistful progressives that will drift to the Greens in future elections. It has more angry right wing types that HATE the Greens for daring to usurp the territory they abandoned but still regard as theirs to ignore.

    Not sure who Gillard thinks she is wooing with this stupid strategy. I don’t think it will convince the swinging 10 or 15% in the middle whose votes make or break governments. They already don’t trust her and Gillard’s statements sound insincere. Abbott’s message that this is a fake lover’s tiff is cutting through. They will lose a few votes to the Greens that will mostly drift back on preferences but they will lose many more to the Coalition and this will sink them.

    I agree with Lenore Taylor that the timing was wrong (as usual) and that Gillard should have waited until there was a policy difference to give some credibility to the statements but sound political judgment has been lacking all the way through with this government. This is just another example.

    Bolt thought the crack about not sharing ordinary Australians’ family values was a dog whistled reminder to the bigots of Bob Brown’s homosexuality but I think it is just another reminder to the religious conservatives that the Greens favour same sex marriage. Different but perhaps not unrelated issues.

    Whatever. It is pretty grubby all round. Don’t know if it is the NSW poll that has spooked them or some polling of their own but they look like a government on the skids to me. What an incredible waste of public goodwill and political capital! What a shambles!

  24. Yep, I can’t believe how stupid our Prime Minister is. She constantly bowls short, slow and wide and Abbott licks his lips and hits her over the fence.

    She denounces the Greens for this that and the other and Abbott says “well why are you in government with them?”

    Damn! says Julia. Why didn’t I see that coming?

    Brendan O’Reilly

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