Mixed messages


They are coming thick and fast, the signs of post-election agendas unfolding on both sides of the Pacific. Condoleeza Rice as right hand woman to GWB is not expected to do other than harden the international face of the new Right. Plans are already afoot to pit her against Hillary Clinton in 2008. Here PM Howard’s first week in Parliament saw his big budget election promises turned into twenty-five bills which a much diminished and demoralised Labor helped pass into legislation.

So now only Labor is groping in the dark. Commentators applauded the low-key wisdom of Bill Shorten’s speech to the Fabians. Labor must move beyond ‘progressive left-wing views’, Shorten said, and in the direction of the ‘people who live in the outer suburbs and provincial cities – so that if you have a dream to have an intact marriage, to go to church on Sunday, to have a mortgage, to want to send your kids to private school “ then the Labor party of the inner city does not look at you disdainfully.’

Nice stuff if you can get it. But here at New Matilda we want to ask is that all there is? There’s a fair bit more required before we have an agenda for Australia in the kind of world we inhabit.

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Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.