Shorten/Albanese, The Update

All that needs to be asked comes down, I think, to three questions.

Is Robbo more likely to win the 2015 election than Nathan Rees?

Is Albo more likely to win the 2016 election than Bill Shorten?

And, in what way is it good to lose, and bad to win?

In what way is losing preferable to winning?

Leave a comment ?


  1. You said three questions but have given us four,
    when only the first two are relevant.

    I’m at a loss with this albo/shorten thing. Neither feel right to me.
    I know you like shorten, so tell me: how will he cleanse himself of his role in the fall of Rudd, the elevation of Gillard, the dumping of Gillard and the re installment of Rudd?

    How can he do it?
    Do you think he has any chance at all, in the electorates mind, WITHOUT washing the blood off?
    Or better yet, can he wash the blood off at all, is it even possible?
    What will be the strategy, the rationale, the argument, for his newly cleansed self?

    I’ve asked you this before and you’ve never responded.
    How can you push shorten to the fore without addressing these questions?

    I think you need to stick your head in here more often. I think it’s important for the blog, the circulation of the posts, a little housekeeping, and for your direct polemic.

    • Was it wrong to remove Rudd?

      Was it wrong to remove Gillard?

      If it was right, in each case, or either case, what are you talking about?

      Was it wrong of Albo to conspire, thrice, to remove Gillard? And swear allegiance twice and break that oath?

      Was it wrong for Rudd and Gillard to conspire to remove Beazley?

      Was it wrong of Abbott to remove Turnbull, Peacock to remove Howard, Howard to remove Peacock, Peacock to try to remove Fraser, Fraser to remove Snedden, MacMahon to remove Gorton, Keating to remove Hawke, Hawke to remove Hayden, Hayden to try to remove Whitlam, Cairns to try to remove Whitlam, Whitlam to try to remove Calwell, Calwell to refuse to remove Evatt?

      What are you talking about?

      Are you mad?

      Please answer this.

      • No Bob, I asked the question first,
        You’re a speechwriter, you’re a writer, you’re a polemicist, you’re a strategist, you’re an ‘inside man’, your an observer, you’re the creator of impressions and the constructor of narratives,

        What’s the pitch for shorten?

        Sell him to me.

        Answer that then you can ask me anything you like.

    • no-one cares about either dumping enough to change a vote; they will care even less in 3 years; the only people who claim to care are people with agendas inside Labor

  2. Nice sunny day in Canberra. Perfrct for Bill and Albo to settle down for a good read:

    “Some things are so big you don’t see them, or you don’t want to think about them, or you almost can’t think about them. Climate change is one of those things. It’s impossible to see the whole, because it’s everything. It’s not just a seven-story-tall black wave about to engulf your town in northwest Japan, it’s a complete system thrashing out of control, so that it threatens to become too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too wild, too destructive, too erratic for many plants and animals that depend on reliable annual cycles. It affects the entire surface of the Earth and every living thing, from the highest peaks to the depths of the oceans, from one pole to the other, from the tropics to the tundra, likely for millennia — and it’s not just coming like that wave, it’s already here.”

  3. Would it not be nice to hold funerals for dead governments. I can’t see we should not commemorate the death of a government, especially if that government was pretty crook to start of with.

    I can see it all. A golden carriage being wheeled around our capital of Canberra. Inside a casket holding the remains of a very dead Government. The carriage wheels are newly gold embossed and drawn by six black horses whose manes are adorned by ostrich feathers and their tails adorned by white Leghorns.

    Behind the golden hearse and manacled together by chrome plated chains are the remnants of the dead Governmental officialdom. The ‘Stop the Boats’ contingent was led by a sombre Scott Morrison followed by Julie Bishop dressed in some kind of jumpsuit which had a flap with press studs at the back were her derriere still was pouting. A sorry procession steeped in a mien of dejection and desperation with the crowds six deep lining King’s Avenue. There was cheering with some jeering. Little black flags by the children pushed to the front waving frantically, some even enthusiastically. Police were busy holding back teenagers trying to hurl walnuts at Pyne and Greg Hunt with the miserable ‘reclaim the Carbon Tax’ all in a final death throe twitch.

  4. The last two questions are actually one, Judd. So there are three. My guesses:

    1. Robbo is a better bet than Nathan Reese - I’m not sure people are buying re-cycled pollies anymore.

    2. I believe Shorten (while less popular with Labor Heartlanders) could win the election.

    3 (a). Losing would only be a good result if it would allow Labor to clear out the deadwood, factions, etc and prepare properly for 15 years in power. It would, however, short-change the electorate and leave the biggest nong in Australian politics since McMahon in power for another three years.

    3(b). An Abbott victory would end the career of the spiv, Turnbull. Which would be a good thing.

    • Turnbull Is not a spiv. He’s urbane. I do understand though how you could confuse the two.

      It’s worth loading iview and watching him on Insiders yesterday. He was brilliant.

    • Australia voted Abbott in, this is something I’ll never understand.
      Turnbull defending the frequent wedding fare rorters has gone down in my estimations,but still heads above Abbott.

      Both Albanese and Shorten, on their own, better than Abbs and Mal put together.

      • Not buying re-cycled pollies any more? They bought Barnett and Napthine and O’Farrell. They bought, as Foreign Minister, Bob Carr. They favoured Rudd by 54 percent for a while. But for Palmer’s preferences, they would have bought Beattie.

        What are you talking about?

        Please don’t tell lies.

        I really hate it.

        • That for Glow Worm October 7, 2013 at 10:39 am (I guess?)

          • Probably - but it was a point of view, not a lie. My points of view may be erroneous, often, but I do not lie.

            I don’t think Reese could win against Farry O’Barrell where Robertson wouldn’t. Although the alleged bribery scandal may change things - scandal and smear often do.

            • What other Robbo are you talking about? The one who didn’t conceal the bribe offer? And would therefore be more likely to win than Rees?

              What planet are you on?

              One that spells him ‘Reese’, evidently.

              • Nathan Rees for me…always liked him.

              • According to the draft redistribution for NSW, I don’t think Labor stands any hope of winning in 2015. In fact, based on the redistribution alone, the ALP lost two seats to go down to 18. Rees is one the MP’s who are on dire trouble for 2015 on boundaries alone.

                Now looking at the form guide based on the Federal Election, and decisions taken by Barry while in office, I think that Labor are in a much better position than 2011.

                There’s a really good link from Antony Green outlining the changes. Basically, Robbo is actually a better bet on boundary changes alone to take Labor to the election than Rees, based on the redistribution. If the 2PP swing holds up at 3.8%, Labor will gain the following:

                Granville, Oatley, Rockdale, Monaro, Newcastle, Macquarie Fields, Prospect, Swansea and East Hills. That would make it 27 for the ALP, and Robbo’s job would be done. Also, I think the ALP will pick up Campbelltown, Londonderry and Kiama to make 30. Rees will have a hard time winning Seven Hills (the former Toongabbie) for the ALP. Too many Liberal voters in Winston Hills and Northmead.

                Link here:


  5. In 1966 it was preferable for the ALP to lose for opposing the Vietnam war than to win by supporting it. Winning is preferable to losing but it can come at too high a price.

    As character in Catch-22 remarks, “it is better to live on your feet than die on your knees” and that option should always be explored and is worth a high price…but the price can be too high.

    The ALp chose to “die on its feet” in 1966 but it was worth it in the longer term. It morally and intellectually dominated Australian politics for the next 30 years because it took that hit for principle.

    So winning is important but it may be necessary to lose a little now to win a lot later. And winning isn’t important for its own sake, only for its results. Many people seem to think politics is something like a football game in which you barrack for your team no matter what. But the ALP was made for the labour movement not the labour movement for the ALP. And the labour movement was made for the working class not the working class for the labour movement. And the cause of the working class is the cause of people from all classes who love freedom and equality. (Yeah yeah, the trumpets blow….its true though and has to be said from time to time)

    So….is Shorten more likely to win and if so would that victory be at too high a price? I don’t think he is more likely to win, assuming that the caucus is prepared to fully back up Albanese. If Shorten undermined him it would be different story of course. The possibility of this situation, Albanese leading a hostile caucus, is a consequence of the Rudd ballot. Others will know better than me how the caucus would be likely behave if Albanese was leader….

    I don’t think Shorten is in fact more likely (assuming a solid caucus) to win because he comes across to me as hollow, and I’m thinking a lot of people will feel the same. People don’t like that when they pick it up. And 3 years is long enough to pick it up. Furthermore he is I believe very much a man of the Right (not just the ALP Right but the right Right) and for that reason I wouldn’t like to see him as an ALP PM.

    Might make a handy deputy though.

    • Well balanced, Mr Dixon.

      But something intriguing and mysterious sometimes occurs when people of a certain persuasion become people of power (think of rabid, right-wing circuit judges who make it to the High Court - suddenly their judgements unexpectedly acquire gravitas and balance. Think of Thomas A’Beckett).

      I believe Shorten will be one of those people. I do not believe he holds his right-wing-ness very close to his heart.

      • ‘In the longer term’ meant a generation of Australians were smashed in their hopes and lives. Whitlam would have won with the same policies in 1966, and we all knew it. And he would have been PM till 1980. And we, not Gina, would be profiting from Australia’s mineral wealth.

        Whitlam, too, looked hollow and unconvincing to some of us then. But he would have won.

        ‘In the longer term’ is the phrase of an idiot.

        In the longer term, we are all dead.

        Like the five hundred of my peers who died in Vietnam.

        In the longer term? Go fuck yourself.

        In the longer term, without Shorten, the Labor Party is dead.

        • Maybe he would have won with the same policies Bob, but that was not the point. The point was that the policies were unpopular at the time - the half-smart move would have been to adopt them. if the ALP had done this it might have won the election but there would be no ALP now. I don’t believe Bob that you are too stupid to have got the point, I think it is the ill symptoms of partisanship showing.

          In the longer term is not the phrase of an idiot at all. As Orwell remarked (since you like authorities for the most banal observations) we can eat the seed corn this year so long as it is understood that we will all starve to death next year. Refusing to look at the longer term is the behaviour of an idiot. As of course you know. That hackneyed quote from Keynes has a lot to answer for.

          You go fuck yourself too. Don’t forget to wear a condom.

          “In the longer term, without Shorten, the Labor Party is dead” -Really? How lucky we are to have a saviour then? Or, rather, if the ALP is that stuffed that only Shifty Bill can keep it alive then maybe it is time to die?

          • “In the longer term’ is the phrase of an idiot.” Like when you tell a heroin addict that it may feel good but “in the longer term” it will destroy her. “Fuck off you idiot” says the junkie, and Bob.

            Like when you tell a worker in a noisy factory that while wear ear muffs may be uncomfortable now “in the longer term” it wills top him going deaf. (“Eh?” he says, boom boom.)

            But never mind reason, some out-of-context quote from a dead economist gives us a free pass to arrogant stupidity.

          • Erm…I meant “the half-smart move would have been to reject them and adopt the Liberals’s policies” of course.

            So much nonsense to counter, so little time.

      • Yeah, this happens Glow Worm. I don;t think Bill Deane was ever a rabid right-wing, correct me if I’m wrong; but his radicalism as a High Court judge was a surprise to most.

        • I was thinking more of Callinan and Gleeson - I exaggerated to make a point, and perhaps it would have been enough to evoke Beckett. Not rabid right-wingers, perhaps, but Justices who surprised many with their more balanced findings post appointment during Howard’s Prime Ministership.

          • Point taken for sure Glow Worm. Some people grow into responsibility….Callinan certainly improved, from a very low base to be sure.

    • only problem with that analysis is that Shorten has better policies and ideas than Albanese (who seems to have few)

      • Elucidate please, jsa.

        • Repeating some notes I made after teh first debate, where Shorten raised many non-standard issues.

          Labor must be BRAVE - party of the future - no more krudds (oops, Messiahs)

          a prime minister for the powerless.

          Don’t let Abbs’ bleak world view dictate our strategy

          People should know where we stand. We are the nation of the second chance. We should lift our refugee intake.

          It’s time for big thinking in aged care.

          women in austraalia still do not get an equal go — issue of assaulta — pressure on my daughters over how they dress and look - gender pay gap

          parents ask who will love their Downs son when they have gone?

          • Yeah I remember. Banal crap. Decaying platitudes.

            So far as there is any substance (not far) it reflects the world view of a social worker. (Lower middle class, remember?)

            • “Social work”: that is the future, that is what people want; climate change comes under that heading fundamentally; the shearers aren’t out on strike any more. Get over it

            • Banal crap which seldom comes from a political leader, adn I take it to be a very hopeful sign of a man who has done some thinking (unlike many in the party who are on auto pilot). Time will tell, but as I say, it is some sort of sign

    • Also, your views are over-determined; not only is Shorten the wrong man from a ‘high-moral-ground’ view, but he is also a loser anyway. Seems you are making it up as you go

      • I think my views have been very consistent jsa. I haven’t met Shorten personally but I’ve met people in the union movement who remind me of him, I think that I “know the type”, and Shorten has not impressed so far.

        The high moral view and the practical view are not counterposed. There is a lot of truth in the common observation that morality is just practicality through the lens of time.

        Remember the PNG solution and how some here, notably Bob, were just about wetting themselves with enthusiasm for this typical half-smart measure; which did help the ALP for a short time but “in the longer term” changed no votes (probably) and left the ALP without credibility on the refugee issue.

    • “Furthermore he is I believe very much a man of the Right (not just the ALP Right but the right Right)”. Facts in support of this stupid claim?

    • You talk about the Vietnam war. What exactly is the big issue that Albanese trumps Shorten on, beside being more “left”?

      Who knows, maybe one of them will take up the cause of some of our nearest neighbours currently being brutally repressed? Or maybe some ALP supporters will do so?

      “the Indonesian army is killing our families, and taking them to jail. This is the best thing we can do in order to expose the situation in Papua. We want to survive.”

      • Yeah so which is more likely to take us into war with Indonesia, jsa? You seem to be implying that you would support that. And this I would say is consistent with yoru support for Shorten.

        As per previous discussion, you are content for Shorten to be a CIA spy and a tool of Murdoch. This doesn’t bother you. Cool. So I don’t see what anyone could say that would shake your support for him.

        • My comment on your reference to the CIA included the word “fantasy” or similar, which you keep leaving out. Tool of Turdoch is a new one on me. I’m quite sure both issues are unimportant. Politicians can’t choose who they deal with, only how they deal, and THAT you don’t know.

          To accuse Shorten of being some sort of CIA mole is good old-fashioned bloody ALP internal stupidity

          No, war is not necessary to stand up for the opressed. But gutless ignoring of Indonesia’s mistreatment of West Papuans, following in the footsteps of the Dutch imperialists, is grotesque.

          Decency demands that
          Australia be firm but friendly in the interests of the helpless

          • Yeah? I recall you saying in response to my distaste for his grovelling to the Americans that you didn’t care if he was a CIA spy. I predicted that a ALp leader he would pay any price,any price at all, for Murdoch’s support. Your response was in effect that that was fine by you.

            So it seems to me that you agree with my criticisms of Shorten you just don’t see any problem. And there we differ integrally.

  6. SHORTEN-ALBO:-All of this poncing and dancing around with each other is a long drawn out farce….all the time it is happening the Libz are getting away with murder and as usual Labor landing no punches. None of them are my pick but either one of them could handle the job.A choice between Mork and Mindy. By the time the election comes round Bill is gonna need a rug though. For Christ’s sake lets get on with it!

    • Too bloody true. Abbott and his band of bull shit artists are unbelievable. Like you say, they are getting away with bloody blue murder.

      I know we are isolated here over in the west, some would say in the twilight zone. We have heard nothing from the Labor party not a dicky bird.

      They had better get organised our beloved Labor party before these shysters get dug in.

      • ….here is a lovely perspective on this phill

        • He’s good isn’t he, our dear Mungo, I’ll pass this around…

        • To be fair, I think Abbott was perfectly entitled to use his entitlements to go to Mirabella’s wedding. The thought of seeing those beautiful red lips and a white wedding dress would be enough incentive to make a couple of mistakes with expenses. Oh, how I miss Sophie.

          • Damien , take a look at the site johnsalmond, has put up on the A Thousand years Of Sex thread and despair…Those people who hounded Slipper and Thomson; Abbott, Brandis, Bishop and Joyce have rorted plenty…I’m ashamed just to read about it, where is country going?

            • I’ve had a look at the site, Helvi, and I must say that I must reconsider my position on Abbott’s use of entitlements for Mirabella’s wedding. If the evidence is true and factual, how is he getting away with it, and someone such as Slipper, who has a dubious history, to be fair, being hauled before the courts on an extremely minor matter?

              This is the tip of the iceberg, really. I hope that this isn’t a repeat of the British Expenses Scandal, but I fear that this could be worse, if this runs and runs.

              Certainly, Abbott, and others, regardless of political allegiance, should be called to account for these activities.

              In regards to Mirabella, Canguro, I certainly miss Sophie for the reasons you’ve mentioned. There is such romance and poetry in what you’ve mentioned. It would be a perfect way to depart this world, in flagrante delicto, but, alas, it will never be. :sad:

              I also miss Mirabella, for her fighting spirit. I admire that in anyone in life. I didn’t agree with her all the time, but I felt she was one of the very best from the Liberal Party, and feel she will be missed a lot more in parliamentary debate, than her acerbic Liberal colleagues will dare admit.

          • Not so sure about the ‘to be fair’ sentiment, parliamentary allowances being what they are and not a cent more, so to speak.

            But, you say you miss Sophie. In which way, Damien? Is it the sense of beauteous lips half-parted and inviting, promising something passionate and a not a little dangerous to boot, knowing that she’s a woman capable of slipping the stiletto between the 3rd and 4th vertebrae as you approach the vinegar stroke? (and has probably done so before…)

        • Mungo as usual misses nothing. Great journo.

          This is really beyond a joke. We should all hang our heads in shame letting these scum bags get away with this.

          Did you hear Hewson Turnbull et al trying to justify this?

          With straight faces.

          We are mugs, no doubt about it. What’s more they know it.

          Still when you look at N.S.W. Labor they all have their nose in it.

          Some poor fucker in Australia tonight, will be wondering how he is going to pay his dentist bill.

          I fucking despair.

          C’mon the revolution. My absolute disgust for these two bob toe rags, will only be satisfied by hanging some of them out of a tree by their fucking bollocks. Bastards.

      • Check out this site. It’s quite a revelation. Except, I’d seen the excess costs of TA’s opposition cf. PM Gillard’s. So was wondering quite a while back. Here it is! coming through…

  7. Some people who wanted to get the best view of the funeral procession arrived the night before with sleeping bags and supplies of pre-cooked Brat Wurst and cold cabbage. Others had taken cricket chairs and women were seen knitting booties in keen anticipation of this funeral of a dead Government.

    I can see it all.

  8. My Dad, who is a country ALP member, reckons Shorten “because he is more ruthless” and that is called for by the times.

    An interesting observation….it a long way still from the promoted image of Shorten the Misty-Eyed Friend of the Friendless. There is a smell of onions about him….

  9. Seriously Bob, if Whitlam had won in 1966 by taking Australia into Vietnam, which would have been the way to win, then the ALP not the Liberals would have born the brunt of the anti-war movement and the ALP would have lost power in 1972 and never regained it.

    Think, man.

    • He would have won by taking Australia out of Vietnam, and cancelling the Birthday Ballot. He was a better campaigner, and a younger man, and had served, unlike Holt and Calwell, in a war and survived a shot-up plane on fire over the Arafura Sea.

      • In 1966 I think he would have lost if he opposed going into the war; but to be sure I was only a kid then. War has its own logic, getting in is one thing and getting out another.

        • The point anyway has nothing to do with Whitlam as such, the point is that the half-smart “winning is everything” advice for the ALP would have been for it to support the war. That way it would have had a better chance of winning. Opposing a then popular war was electoral suicide.

          But what would of been the death of the ALP would have been being the war government. It only won by seven seats in 1972 as it was.

          And if the ALP took the war path in 1966 and then lost, albeit more narrowly than it did? What then? As any old soldier will tell you, no conscripts were sent unwillingly to Vietnam, they just got a better deal if they agreed to go. Otherwise they stayed at home at home and drilled. Would the ALP, once it had decided for war, settled for that? or would it have pursued the Liberal government for its “half-hearted” support for the war….no, Bob, there are times when you have to stand on principle hell or high water. And it is not just good morality it is also good pragmatics, as is evident in the longer term.

          The rules are different for the ALP, the half-smart never seem to grasp that. (Should read Aesop’s Fable of the Ass and the Lapdog) They look at what works for the Liberals and think that if the ALP did the same their bums would be on the government seats forever…

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