More Labor Pains
Some will dismiss Michael Costa’s essay on the ALP in today’s ALR, recalling his undisciplined moments as a State Minister. But he reminds all the party rhetoricians and windbags that talk about our sacred Labor values can’t ignore the one great underlying reality of government : how you allocate scarce public resources given the endless demands and the hostility to any revenue measures.
He’s also right in seeing the 1997 State conference decision blocking electricity privatization as the fatal mis-step for NSW Labor. The only future for Labor is to re-embrace the Hawke-Keating economic reform agenda – he’s right there – and see the NSW Right evolve into something broader – my words – and something beyond brutal union control.
He overlooks the value of environmental leadership in the package. He did as a minister and does in his analysis.
Nor do he and others appreciate there is only one ingredient that can bridge the gap between inner city and working class constituencies and that’s clever-footed, smart, improvising leadership al la Wran,Hawke,Keating. Others as well.