It’s true. Disunity is short-term electoral death. It’s also true that a political team that doesn’t want to be held accountable by its own side is basically governing for themselves, neither in the interests of a party philosophy, nor in the interests of good government.
So when Chris Evans trots this out, it’s hard to tell if he is arguing to protect the implementation of Labor’s coherent policy platform (ahem!), or just to protect the jobs of the upper level of the parliamentary Labor party. Maybe for him, as is the case for much of the senior political class, the interests of the government and the Party reduce to that of the top 20 leaders and influencers.
Something like, perhaps, L’état, et le parti politique, c’est moi.
“Shut up, just shut up,” he said. “No party can succeed if it’s got people … offering negative views. I don’t think it’s in the interests of the Labor Party.”
The problem is that core ALP leadership is performing so poorly, and failing so spectacularly at putting forward any sort of coherent agenda, or implementing even the most basic policy, that no-one in Caucus is willing to let problems slide by. Maybe from self-interest, maybe from real commitment, it matters not which.
From this situation, this writer really misses the Hawke/Keating/Walsh/Button ALP – the one I joined many years ago. The reality is that what is really in the interests of the Labor Party – and its traditional constituency – is complete electoral wipeout and an influx of grownups, and the elimination of the political class that current identifies its own interests with those of Party, voters, and government.
These problems for the party are all of the Labor political class’ own making. The past three years of reform talk is necessary, but as I have noted before, unlikely to produce anything of real substance.
Sad thing is, every time someone senior speaks about the interests of “the Party”, regardless of the side of politics, my immediate thought is just whom do you think actually is the Party? My answer to myself is never heartening.