The Liberal Party believes it has, for the moment, cleansed itself of its Right, but the Labor Party can never hope to cleanse itself of its Left. It is financially dependent on a corrupt union base for survival.
The Labor Party has always promoted health and education as its major policy planks. But not because it has a deep and abiding care for children and the infirm… health and education are its highest contributors to union coffers but only when Federal Governments contribute the initial funds.
I learnt a long while ago that crowds mean nothing in politics. Unprecedented hundreds of thousands turned out to support Whitlam post the dismissal, yet Malcolm Fraser won in a landslide victory for the Libs with no substantive crowds to support him. The people seem to know what's right without publicly demonstrating.
But the drastic fall in unionised workforce is now part of a long-term decline in which overall union membership has plunged from around half of the workforce to about 13 per cent in a little over 20 years. Julia Gillard was made aware of this as part of her illicit involvement with the AWU.
Thanks to an underestimated Treasurer Hockey the insane billions in support given to Australian car makers was stopped amid howls of anger from Labor. Soon after, Qantas stumbled and Shorten demanded it be supported with millions in Federal funds,
Hockey refused Shorten’s demands and two years later Qantas reported record profits without one cent of Federal support.
Other nails in the union coffin are Abbott’s multiple free trade agreements that were understandably ignored by Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. These agreements make our imports cheaper while ensuring tariffs become superfluous but they are cementing $5 a day workers in their third world countries for the next century. Plenty of work…but at slave rates.
The dirt cheap foreign products that can be purchased today will remain at the cost of those $5 a day workers.
Without tarrifs local industries suffer only because the same product that our workers produce on $200 per day can’t compete with a foreign worker on $5 a day, but prices become tantalisingly cheaper. Witness the drastic losses in our local industries to cheaper offshore labour and the current non-existent inflation rate that has made a near-zero interest rate movement a farce.
Every economic movement has another mostly unexpected harmful movement and Donald Trump has fingered the folly in the Obama/Clinton TPP agreement.
Unions are also caught between Labor's bible of political correctness and whistling at sheilas from a job site.
As Prime Minister, Gillard along with her hard Left Comrades, sneakily committed $80 billion to the ALP’s highly unionised sectors of health and education. It was a copied promise by Abbott, but only up to the four year forward estimates period. Anything beyond Gillard’s preferred out-years of ten or twelve was unfunded, fairlyland stuff.
But it didn’t stop her and Bill Shorten claiming that the Conservatives (Abbott in particular) had “slashed” $80 billion from health and education. This of course was, and still is, a crass nonsense designed, perpetrated, and perpetuated by Labor.
Most electors consider this diminution in union influence to be the twitching throes of a dying union-owned ALP.
The existential problem for Shorten is that if he moves away from the dying unions as the ALP’s main support base and looks askance at more fertile ground, he risks losing much of the remaining union support to the Greens, or even to a new far Left Party with a GetUp type base that would welcome them with open arms.
But the unions, although depleted, still have enormous clout financially and politically and the ALP cannot afford to thumb its nose at a 130 year-old power base of blue collar workers that could send it to Coventry at the drop of a hat.
Whatever happens from now on there are only three certain outcomes; unionised labour will shift permanently to third world nations, the ALP will continue to lose its support base and rich countries will get richer. Is that a good outcome?
I don't know, but if an aspiring politician wants political longevity it’s best that he/she stays well away from the Labor Party.