A ‘Swift’ kick to Labor

The Labor Party’s lost my respect . . and my vote” by Rod Swift – The Stirrer

Rod Swift

Sometimes, albeit rarely, a piece of writing just reaches off the page, grabs you by the throat and says, “I’m important!”

Often these are the pieces which are written out of anger and frustration as, burning white hot with rage, the author pours their indignation onto the page in a ‘stream of consciousness’; steam, literally pouring out of their ears as they write.

When such emotion and purpose is filtered through a writer who is already supremely skilled, the results of a late night ‘rant’ can be devastating.

Last night, I read just such a rant about the ALP by Rod Swift on a private news group. I immediately emailed and insisted that he publish it somewhere. It was just too good to remain private.

Doug Pollard  has wisely accommodated it on The Stirrer today and I highly recommend that you click the link and read it.

I am not aligned to any particular political party. I have never, and will never, be a member of any particular political party. But in this piece I can confidently say that Rod Swift speaks for me. Labor’s desertion of the left and its traditional progressive values is a disgrace and a tragedy.

Rod is the news presenter at Melbourne’s GLBTI community radio station, Joy 94.9, a spokesperson at Australian Coalition for Equality and, formerly, the convener of Gay And Lesbian (WA). You can follow him on Twitter at @RodCub.

Please, as Molly Meldrum would say, ‘do yourself a favour’ and read “The Labor Party’s lost my respect . . and my vote” by Rod Swift. Whether or not you agree with the sentiment, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a devastatingly good piece of writing.

The Labor Party’s lost my respect . . and my vote” by Rod Swift – The Stirrer

Chrys Stevenson

14 thoughts on “A ‘Swift’ kick to Labor

  1. John Turner, Australia

    Both Rod Swift and Gladly need to become educated as to the problems the ALP face. Right wing think tanks, supported, and briefed by USA billionaires run a continuous propaganda barrage against any progressive move. If you need more information read George Monbiot’s Guardian article yesterday (19 February) or, for a more in depth study, Alex Carey’s work published as, “TAKING THE RISK OUT OF DEMOCRACY, Corporate Propaganda versus Liberty and Democracy.” Even on Monday’s QandA a think tank representative ran a twitter across the screen, “Something for nothing, Labor debt”. The neo-liberals, Abbott, Robb, Hockey, Pyne and even Turnbull, are scared stiff by the possibilities brought to light by Modern Money Theory.
    A budget outcome is not a legitimate aim for a sovereign (currency issuing) government.Taking action to ensure unemployment and underemployment are minimised should be the principal aim
    and there are enough unemployed resources to provide public housing for all the homeless and to provide proper education and health care for everyone.
    If you wish to see how a society could provide excellent well-being for every citizen look to the Northern European countries and go to either of the following sites.;

    Click to access SGI11_Social_Justice_OECD.pdf

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      John, I’m not quite sure why you have torn in here with such a condescending tone. I have made only brief comment on Rod’s article and Rod’s article is an opinion piece, not a theoretical treatise on “why” Labor has moved to the right.

      The fact is, we are both on your side and you have not a clue about how much either of us do or don’t know about the machinations which drive our political masters increasingly towards conservatism.

      You are welcome on this blog, but next time, don’t come thundering in on your high horse. Share your information with us. Don’t do us the discourtesy of assuming we are numbskulls.

  2. John Turner

    Had either you or Rod Swift seen either of the two sites to which I drew attention? Had you seen the Monbiot article and were you familiar with the efforts of the late Alex Carey? My intention was only to interest you and those who read your blog in learning more about the obstacles faced by progressive people and parties in the face of deliberate, well funded, well planned and quite deceitful propaganda.

      1. John Turner

        The title of Rod Swift’s article put me on edge and you, in largely supporting what he had written, were not helping to avoid the election of another neo-liberal/conservative government. What progressive people need to do is point out the successes the ALP has had under very difficult conditions, particularly since the 2010 election, and the disadvantages which will accrue, to all but the top few percent of the population, if we allow the American think tank influences to prevail and elect Abbott, Hockey, Robb, Pyne and even Turnbull.
        Americans think they are free. Compared to the Scandinavian countries the average American Joe is not free; at least not in the sense that he (or she) is well cared for or well educated or even able to protest any unsatisfactory situation. America has never had less equality of opportunity as it has now or such inequality of wealth or incomes..
        There are some who join progressive parties for their own benefit and I am not sure of how that can be prevented but such people need to be prevented from reaching important positions. The influence of the right wing in the last NSW Labor Government was obscene.
        I don’t think that there are many, if any, in the PM’s cabinet who are there for the wrong reason. Progressives don’t need stirrers; they need thinkers prepared to attempt to educate the bottom 60%.
        A well remembered UK Labor politician Denis Healey stated, “The conservatives win government because they convince the working class to vote against their best interests”.

  3. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    John, thank you for your apology for your condescending tone. Most gracious of you, I’m sure. I am sorry, but I won’t give the ALP a free pass for their appalling policies failures because Tony Abbott would be worse. I know there are many good people within the ALP who are working hard, from the inside, to effect change. Those people need we disenfranchised progressives to keep howling long and loud at the ALP so the faction leaders can’t say, “Well, no-one seems to be complaining.” Regardless of whether you choose to brand Rod and me ‘stirrers not thinkers’ and ‘uneducated’, we will continue to do what we do because we know that being articulate squeaky wheels does help to achieve meaningful change. It is painfully slow, and we change the zeitgeist little by little, but it’s still worth doing.

    Again, you are welcome on this blog but it’s my blog and while I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say, I do expect, nay demand, to be spoken to in a respectful manner. If you can’t manage that, your tenure here will be very short.

    1. John Turner

      I don’t see you, me, or any other thinkers on the left of centre, as “disenfranchised progressives.” We have plenty of avenues of action without attacking our own side.
      I prefer to raise my concerns directly with my elected representatives and ask my friends to do likewise if they are similarly concerned on a particular issue. Own goals serve no useful supportive purpose.
      For example, many weeks before the Treasurer gave up on his aim of a budget surplus for 2012-3, I contacted my local member (a minister) and stated as firmly as I could that a budget surplus should not be the aim. A surplus should only be the aim if there is virtually no under-employment and inflation is threatening to adversely effect the economy by undermining our competitiveness. It was obvious during last winter that some steam was going out of the economy and any government austerity anywhere in any downturn will only make the downturn worse.
      The Opposition will probably trot out their debt truck as the election approaches. They are already complaining about the large amount of interest being paid on Federal Government borrowings. Their supporters, the financial institutions, love that interest but they won’t say so; they know it is upper crust welfare.
      The government really has no need to borrow money form the private savers. They could simply go through the charade of owing what they need to the Reserve Bank. The published result for any loan tender shows whether the Reserve had to buy any of what was on offer. They seldom do. The Reserve could buy the lot and the government could pay the Reserve the interest, which would mean nothing, as the government would get it back as a dividend.
      We do not need the European austerity disease here and I am working to see that the opposition does not get the chance to apply their policies.
      The ‘Australia’ only appeared after my name because I sometimes comment on US economic and political sites and I made the wrong selection on the occasion of my first comment.

      1. Abbie

        I think John, you meant to start off by saying;

        “I am sorry Chrys and I will always try to maintain a respectful and considerate tone when commenting on your blog…..”

        Then you meant to continue with what you wrote….


    2. Hypocritophobe

      “I am sorry, but I won’t give the ALP a free pass ”

      We are as one on that.And we grow in number each micro-second.

      I had a friend who had a dog who behaved a lot like John.
      You just always have to let them have the last bark.
      Used to run in circles on the back of a small truck,just barking repetitively,over,and over and over.No matter how loud or how often you yelled SHUT UP!!!!!
      It barked back.After ten louder and fiercer yells, with threatening gesticulations and clenched fists thrown in, the dog would start to get the drift and it’s barks would drop in volume.But the last bark always persisted.Sometimes the last bark was almost a harrumph, or whisper bark.Almost an acknowledgement of wrongdoing.
      But there was ALWAYS that last bark.

      The dog is in the afterlife now.No doubt still having the last bark.

      1. Abbie

        It is never the dogs fault..always the owners. A dog that barks incessantly is behaving neurotically and is proving IT is ‘pack leader’. The owner is at fault and the owner is the one who has to direct the dog how to behave.
        AKA This dog on this thread is neurotic.

  4. Paul

    Interesting discussion here. I was concerned by the title as to me it implied that his vote would go to the Libs.
    Perhaps it would have been better titled ‘The Labor Party’s lost my respect and my (primary) vote.’
    Since there is now no hope of getting a more progressive government my aim in voting is to try to avoid getting the Libs in and most particularly Tony Abbott.
    From my point of view, the labor party long ago lost my respect, and my primary vote, but I always make sure my last preference goes to the Libs.

  5. Abbie

    I have really enjoyed this piece written by Rod and the comments here on Chrys blog.
    It was such a relief to read a piece that spoke for me, all but in one area.

    I was a fierce Rudd supporter, NOT because I liked the man ( that is irrelevant) but because I thought he could lead our country to a more progressive place ( beginning with the Apology and going on with organ donations et al). I did not like some of his personal ideas ( eg his Christianity) but was willing to overlook that to get to the areas of where things needing fixing, and quickly. Within 18 months he did a hell of a lot of work winding back Howards foolishness, but was stopped at the ( Senate) gate with the Mining tax ( the ‘proper one’), the ETS ( the ‘proper’ emissions tax) and the Intervention in the NT.

    I wanted Gillard as my first female PM but not then, and not that way.
    If she had waited for the next timed election she would have done better and not had to give up her left wing ideals for the sake of the ‘faceless men’.
    Blaming Rudd for standing again in Feb 2012 is foolish. He had no choice and was pushed to it when he knew it was not the right time. He did it for the sake of the party….and his not being given a front bench position after the last election was stupid and a waste.

    Now I am totally disillusioned;

    1 Asylum seeker policy
    2 Single parent being put on Newstart when their children need them MORE not less till 16 years
    3 Carbon Tax (ETS should be introduced NOW)
    4 Continuing in the Intervention and income garnishing in NT (Watch Abbott expand that to other Centrelink recipients)
    5 Continuing the access of SRI in public schools
    6 Need to dismantle middle class welfare
    7 Watering down of the Mining tax ( should be doubled and no compensation)
    8 Rolling back of privatisation of essential services ( electricity et al)
    9 Need for Feds to take over public hospitals ( one of Rudd’s initiatives)
    10 Stop pandering to the red necks and get a grip and show leadership even when it is ‘unpopular’.

    Who to vote for?
    Never Liberal, never ever….


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