Labor Party rusted-ons can’t deny the decay under Albanese

Anthony Albanese’s Labor looks nothing like the party of old, writes Guy Rundle. Those on the left must now take active steps to oppose it.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP/Darren England)
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP/Darren England)

There’s two types of rusted-on now, as regards Labor. There’s the “first-order” rusted-on, the original true believer who sees the first duty of a Labor type as party loyalty. Criticise from within, organise factionally if necessary, but keep the faith with the party wherever it goes, and whether the compromises of its leadership are judicious and necessary or cowardly and ill-judged.

Such rusted-ons are having a hard time at the moment, to put it mildly. The Albanese government leadership are clearly a bunch of people who had, in 2019, their Straussian moment. Having lost to Scott Morrison in 2019, and facing a potential generation-defining loss in 2022, the leadership clearly decided it would have to adopt a veiled, trickster approach.

The approach was to create a program for government which conceded all major positions to capital and power, and would be willing to do whatever they asked, without hesitation, without cavilling. But this conversion would have to be kept from the core voter base, and above all from that remaining part of the membership who were genuine members (i.e. actually aware that they were members, and had paid the fees themselves).

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