I will now attempt to elucidate the points I think Menzies' speech has in common with the PM's thoughts about Labor's polity ensconced within contemporary Australian society, thus to prove how it is not heresy to say that, yes, Menzies and Gillard may have something worthwhile in common with each other. Not everything, or even a majority of things, to be sure because that would be a betrayal of Labor's core reason for being a party opposed to what the Conservative Liberal's stand for in other areas. Instead, I just want to point out that it is worth considering that maybe a Prime Minister from the Labor Party can have a few things in common with a PM from the Liberal Party, which they can have in common with the Australian ethos and its people, in general.
Of course, I will not agree with all Menzies' positions either, and neither would Julia Gillard. Paragraph 1: 'His (the bishop's) theme was the importance of doing justice to the workers.'
Now, whilst Labor will always have, as it's core philosophy, 'doing justice to the workers', and rightly so, it's true to say that the definition of a 'worker' has changed in some important ways from the days when the ALP ethos was originally conceived as being, approximately, 'by the worker, for the worker', when 'the worker' was broadly conceived to be, 'not the boss', but an employee.
Now, I think we all have to agree that, and as John Robertson interestingly put it recently in his interview with Barrie Cassidy on Insiders
, that these days 'workers' are also Small Businesspeople. To my mind this group also includes Micro Businesses which do not have a shop front and are run from home, Contractors and Sub-Contractors. These are all people who just want to work hard for a decent living and provide well for their families. A fair day's pay for a fair day's work is what they also want. And so, as the party which seeks to protect 'workers' from exploitation, the Labor Party should be seeking to embrace these people and win them over from the Conservative camp where they are parked now. They are there, I believe, due to their now outmoded allegiance to the sort of small 'l' Liberalism principles, which appear to have been superseded by big 'C' Conservatism and Libertarianism, which pays fealty to the multinational corporations, and national monopolies and duopolies, who seek to expand at the expense of the little guy. In the same way that unscrupulous employers have always sought to exploit powerless employees.
So, in other words, it is right and proper for the ALP to proudly say they seek to represent these 'Forgotten People'. Where once, back in Menzies' time, they were an understandable and natural constituency of the Liberal Party, now they are not. In fact, many of these demographics didn't exist back then, and it is just a failure on the ALP's part that they didn't cotton on to them before the Liberal Party did. They are a more appropriate constituency of the ALP. 'His belief, apparently, was that the workers are those who work with their hands.'
As we know, Labor represents not only those who work with their hands, but also those who work in the Services sector, and the Financial Services sector, and the Health Services sector, and the Education Services sector. Also, as I alluded to previously, those in the Brain Services sector, who contract out their brainpower and talents in areas such as IT, Design, Engineering, Economics, Journalism, Life Coaching, and all those new areas of our new Green Economy, which will flower in the years to come. 'He sought to divide the people of Australia into classes.'
Well, as you, I, Menzies and Gillard would agree, Australia strives to be a classless society. However, I would add the rider that, it is not to say that there are not 'Elites' in Australian society today. And not just the 'Intellectual Elites' that the Liberals seek to deride in their malevolent attempts to encourage the spread of anti-intellectualism for their own political benefit. What IS true is that there are Economic Elites and cadres which have formed in Australian society.
There are the wealthy Self-Funded Retirees, who were gifted largesse from the Public Purse and a powerful voice during the Howard years; the Housing and Investment Elite, who made their fortunes off the decisions made by government favourable to them, which started in the Hawke/Keating years, as a result of Capital Gains, Negative Gearing and the subsequent Housing Bubble. Also, there has come to be those financially-favoured by the Resources Boom, plus those who have made their fortunes by investing wisely, and those who have profited as a result of the Liberal Party's weakness when it comes to taxing Trusts equitably and fairly compared to PAYE taxpayers.
I'd say that these new 'Elites' form the base of the Liberal and National parties today.
I think the new 'Demarcation Lines' I have drawn between the Labor and the Liberal Parties should be those that they should now function around.
What do you think?