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Australian Politics

What have you really noticed about Bill Shorten?


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With so much of the same old, same old meeps about the Lib-Lab monopoly/duopoly and the clatter of mismatched voices who want something new, but can’t articulate what that is; the question is “have you actually taken the time to notice what Bill Shorten is about?”

Is it possible that for some, the inner voices of cynicism and pessimism developed by participating in the mob culture of screaming against a two party system, automatically disregard even the most progressive and positive reforms from Shorten’s Labor, just because they are a major party?

Is it possible that some are so fixated on the decisions of leaders of the past they did not agree with? Is it possible that due to this, they are not yet ready to notice Labor in 2016 and view them with a clean slate? Turnbull has been afforded this opportunity, but I do not notice this being extended to Shorten.

Is it possible that this is just a rant by someone who is dedicated to the Labor cause? Possibly. That is for the reader to decide.

However, all I can talk about is what I have noticed from my own perspective. So I will outline a few things that really strike me about Bill Shorten and his leadership and the direction he has been taking Labor thus far.

I will do this as counters to two distinct areas of the narrative I have noticed in the context of myth breaking,  of “Both Parties are exactly the same” as I see it – “Underpinning Values” and “They are selfish and out of touch and just don’t listen.”

 

Myth: Both the Major Parties are exactly the Same

Underpinning Values

I personally always find this statement extremely confusing. I will begin with the underpinning values of both parties, as I see them.

Liberals – The Liberal’s values are underpinned by individualism. In terms of public social policy, they believe that everyone is born equal and it is up to the individual’s inherent propensity to ‘make it in life. They believe, this in turn this develops the country as a strong and prosperous country.  Liberals believe in small Government intervention as they see Government intervention makes individuals lazy and reliant on Government and this weakens society.

Government intervention is usually paternalistic with punitive measurements seen as a guiding hand, that is required to motivate those without an internal propensity for self-development.

They believe in low taxes and favour a user pays system instead of major investment in Government funded services. The Liberals are semi anti socialism of the public sector and favour privatisation and outsourcing of the public sector where they can achieve it.

They believe in the free market and the balance of power in favour of the employer is the best result for the economy.  Liberals have a disregard for the value of a person’s labour and believe low wages and low cost to employers create more jobs and are drivers for the economy.

Liberals do not promote Government intervention in high unemployment as a large surplus labour force drives wages down, as opposed to a tight competitive labour force.

The Liberals believe in maintaining the status quo through conservative and nationalist values.

Malcolm Turnbull and his predecessor Tony Abbott, continue to champion their commitment to these values. Abbott being more vocal and committed to these values than Turnbull, who is committed to these values, but remains largely silent on the intent or values which underpin his policies. 

Malcolm Turnbull’s reason for going to a double dissolution election, was a policy which has star chamber type elements and strips away the civil rights of the worker, including apprentices. He saw this as so important, so vital to the progress of the nation.

Malcolm Turnbull continues with Tony Abbott’s abhorrent budget cut regime progressed and championed by Turnbull, with all the pomp and ceremony of an entitled King.

Labor –  Labor’s values are underpinned by a form of collectivism and solidarity. Their valued are based on democratic socialism, egalitarianism and laborism. Labor recognises that not everyone is born equal and that it is the Government’s duty to intervene and provide assistance to those who need a hand up to achieve equality. They believe in a Welfare State to provide protection and social and economic benefits to the nation’s citizens.

Government intervention is incentive based and with a propensity towards proactive rather than reactive measures. (Such as investment in preventative health measures and needs based education funding).

Labor believe in the socialism of the public sector as opposed to the privatisation of the public sector to provide the best services to the community.  They believe the right assistance can develop individuals into strong, productive citizens, able to engage in the community, and break down the hindrances that were preventing them from doing so. Labor’s values consider external factors to the individual’s inherent drive and personality, and do not seek to place blame on the individual, but seek to address these hindrances and strive to provide an egalitarian society.

Labor’s overarching philosophy is Laborism, which values the labour of the working class. Laborists believe in the protection of safe work, rights and wages. They also believe this drives productivity and keeps the economy strong. They strongly believe that everyone should have equal access to work and a fair days work for a fair days pay. They believe in the Fair Go for workers.

Laborism is consistent with Government intervention in job creation projects to bring equal opportunity to everyone through the ability to access secure work, self development and career progression. They strive for low unemployment as this also creates a better standard of living though higher productivity and higher wages.

Labor believes in collective progressive policy which seeks to challenge the norms of the status quo. They are the leaders of every major positive reform contemporary Australia has ever had, such as: Medicare, Superannuation, Collective Bargaining, Fair Work Tribunal, Gonski, NDIS and NBN  

Under Bill Shorten’s leadership, his message is clear that he has returned to the true Labor values ingrained in Laborism which distinguishes Labor as a defiant opposition to the conservative alternative.

His very vocally championing egalitarian values and laborism as progressive solutions. His rejection of the increase to a GST as it would hurt the most vulnerable, his damning rejection of changes to Medicare and tenacious protection of our universal health system, his rejection of the removal of penalty rates and his submission to the Fair Work Commission to protect same.  His endless counter attacks on the Government to protect pensioners and families from harmful cuts and to stop the Liberals making the unemployed starve for six months!

His policy for protecting workers from underpayment, from exploitation and ensuring clarity of the term “Internship” to separate this from an essential learning or training activity from one of exploitation of the working class. In addition to policy for mandatory quotas of apprentices in Federally funded projects and investment in upskilling and training in new technologies.  There many more examples of this differentiation between Shorten’s Labor and Turnbull’s Liberals, and they can be found here.

Both parties are selfish and out of touch – they just don’t listen to the people

Liberals – The Liberals view of “the people” traditionally focuses big business as centric to their policy development.  A key focus of economic policy management is built around the rhetoric of welfare bashing of ‘lifters and leaners’ or ‘taxed and taxed nots’ so cuts will be met with little resistance from the public, through the stigmatisation of this group.

Engagement with the “community” is often restricted to attendance at high end functions, with high end priced tickets for high end donations.

As described in the section above, the attacks on families, welfare recipients and workers are a testament to how out of touch the Liberals are with the every day Australian and their families.

Turnbull’s “look at moi” empty verbose rhetoric, where he talks at people and not to them. An example of this is, his common phrase of, “We simply must remember….” in my view is a clear indication of class separation where the ‘people (a forgetful and unintelligent lot) need a gentle paternalistic guiding hand from those who need to remind us of our place.”

Labor – The Labor movement invests in grass roots activism. Under Bill Shorten engaging with the public has been a central focus.  Community Cabinets in QLD were introduced by the Labor Government and Shorten’s personal style is community forums, where he openly takes questions from the floor and answers questions in an open public forum.

Shorten has done about 150 public forums in the last 18 months and numerous live Facebook feeds direct to anyone on Facebook who cares to subscribe to his live posts.

As for if Shorten is in touch with the people. I will leave you with his budget reply address for you to decide.

My personal view on Shorten

I have had the personal opportunity to attend one of Bill Shorten’s community forums.

In my own experience, he fielded a huge variety of random questions and answered them in detail. He was relaxed and open and quite focused on the night being about the people and their questions and not about us listening to a speech about him or Labor.

I had the opportunity to ask a question.  He approached me after the event and asked me to write to him in more detail with my concerns and expressed genuine interest in speaking to me further. I saw him openly engaging with others with genuine interest as well after the event.

He did not have to do that. He did not have to seek me or others out. He had enough people around him to purposely avoid me, if he wanted to. It speaks to his genuineness as a leader. I wish everyone could meet Bill Shorten because until you meet him up close and speak with him, you don’t realise that much of the negative media portrayal and other people’s negative perceptions are so very wrong.

I have not been truly excited about the vision of a Labor leader in a long time, but I truly connect with Shorten’s vision and leadership. In my opinion Shorten is the real deal. His ability to remember names, faces and detail of questions at community forums is phenomenal. You kind of need to see this in action. He is a highly intelligent man with great compassion and a great passion for people and their concerns, which is truly visible at a community forum.

I truly believe he will win the next election outright and will go down as one of our greatest Prime Ministers in our history.  I have 100% faith in him and the direction he is taking Labor.

Conclusion

It is such a shame that for many engaged in ‘left politics social media commentary’ disregard the shift in direction under Shorten’s leadership.  It is disappointing that those on the ‘left’ who oppose Shorten’s Labor discuss him as if he has evolved from some 1980’s mindset where neo-Liberalism was forging it’s place across the world and judge him on the decisions made by former leaders, which really should be critiqued in the context of that time. It is also frustrating that the progressive policies and Laborist solutions he is putting forward, fall on already made up closed minds and deaf ears.

Whether you think post is just a rant from a someone who is dedicated to the Labor cause, or a genuine attempt to implore people aligned with the left to view Shorten and his modern Labor party with a fresh open mind and really critique his current direction which is ingrained in the values of laborism and truly engaging with the the people. As well as a plea to not to continue to compare and contrast with the decisions and leadership of Hawke, Keating, Rudd or Gillard, which many say they have issues with, then that is up to the reader to decide.

Labor’s policies will not suit everyone, nor are they perfect with no room for improvement. However, it is very, very evident that Bill Shorten making a dedicated effort to meet as many people across as many communities as possible and he is really listening and is open to positive and progressive ideas for change and he has already led substantial policy development as a testament to this shift to the left and laborism.

For those who genuinely and fiercely arguing to topple both of the major parties from power and who are insisting Shorten does not have ‘Leftist’ values –  have you really truly taken the time to noticed what Bill Shorten is about?

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About trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and you will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

Discussion

25 thoughts on “What have you really noticed about Bill Shorten?

  1. It is simple. Liberals don’t listen to the people, because they believe they know what is best for them. Neoliberal ideolpgy/dogma policies will solve all.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Florence nee Fedup | September 12, 2016, 7:57 am
  2. Great article, again, Trish. Yes it really annoys me when people say, “they, both parties, are just the same.” That is utter bullshit and just what the MSM wants the sheep to believe. I to believe Bill Shorten is a good man. a caring man and a very genuine man who does really care for Australia and its people.
    Keep up your top class articles Trish, it is always a pleasure to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Geoff Geyer | September 12, 2016, 8:25 am
  3. A job well done deserves reward and yours is a resounding HUZZAH ❤

    I disliked Bill Shorten until the ALPNatCon2015 because I`m an Albo man

    Yet when I saw him with Ged Kearney via an IPhone tweet I saw something real in that Ged openly defied Labor`s AS stance and Bill came on board with her
    What was said up close is unknown to me but Labor changed it`s mood on AS policy from then on

    Anyone who compare what the LNP do as to how Labor would act have no idea
    Also around this time it became clear many on social media that the Greens had a similar policy to Julia Gillard regarding "offshore processing" {Their`s was/is Indonesia and Malaysia}

    Bill Shorten has withstood the TURC as did Rudd/Gillard/Garrett and the Murdoch kill off as well as the Pickering set
    He`s a proven stayer and that`s what Labor needs

    As a Ruddite,I firmly believe that when he agreed to Rudd2 and taking over the NSW Labor branch {Sussex Street} opening up their activities for airing he firmly entrenched a reform which has lead to Rudd`s Rule being applied

    It may be harder to remove an PM/LOTO as 60% of the Caucus must agree to a vote
    He also gave Members a vote on leadership and some States have gone with his having members having a say in who`s pre-selected

    This last part is one bugbear for supporters as the SDA has far too much influence-but that fight continues and though Labor may not be perfect,we have Bill Shorten who`s come out of the fire Phoenix like

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Bighead1883 | September 12, 2016, 9:31 am
  4. Trish

    Your personal interaction with Bill – most excellent to hear. That he sought you out at the end of the meeting – very impressed. Have had similar experiences – except they weren’t politicians – long story, not applicable here.

    I continue with the opinion that Labor is far too neo-liberal in its approach to economics. And I won’t mention refugees…. ooops. Nor will I express despair at the inability of self-proclaimed progressives to work together… ooops#2 – Bill is looking better than he did after his involvement in the rise of Gillard, the demise of Gillard, the rise of Rudd…. ooops#3 (I do believe Rudd had to go, but the manner in which he was despatched, a cock-up)

    I did put the above reservations aside when I voted for Labor in the HoR this year. Would I do so again? Given how I and other progressives have been treated by many of the Labor faithful…

    Like

    Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 12:17 pm
  5. Voting for Labor in the HoR and not in the Senate is like hobbling your horse and expecting it to win the race

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Bighead1883 | September 12, 2016, 12:51 pm
    • You’re really not into any diversity of opinion at all, eh, Biggie?

      One of the worst periods in Australian political history (well in Australian history really) was when Howard held both houses.

      Like

      Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 1:14 pm
  6. How does Howard reflect what I wrote?
    I call it as I see it and thank you and the Greens for assisting One Nation to rise to 4 Senators where it would have only been 1 if Greens had not of played Turnbull`s BS reform game

    You don`t have the moron brigade here to jump up and down pointing fingers

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Bighead1883 | September 12, 2016, 1:49 pm
    • Bighead

      You made reference to the balance of power by stating:

      Voting for Labor in the HoR and not in the Senate is like hobbling your horse and expecting it to win the race

      The above words are yours aren’t they?

      You do understand what happened when, during Howard’s leadership, the LNP voted for the LNP in both the HoR and the senate, don’t you?

      Please let me know – I am happy to go into further detail if you do not get what I am saying.

      Thank you

      Like

      Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 2:33 pm
      • My reference is clearly a Labor sided one D
        You brought in Howard which has no relation to what I said

        Seeing as you brought up having control of both houses,under Hawke/Keating we had the greatest period of middle class growth in Australia`s history

        Again it wasn`t all perfect but it far outshone Fraser and the catastrophe of wilful profligacy of Howard years where surplus was achieved by selling off massive amounts of our commonwealth to benefit their corps mates

        You see what Greens don`t get at all they blew their lot when Gillard`s Malaysia solution was hypocritically rejected
        This was the second major policy rejection and never to be forgiven by Labor

        I don`t have problems with anyones differing opinion D,but I wholeheartedly agree with Trish Corry using the Cicero reference to explain reality over daydreams

        Like

        Posted by Bighead1883 | September 12, 2016, 2:51 pm
        • Bighead

          Analogy, capiche?

          A Labor party with power in both houses could be just as dangerous as an LNP government was and could be again although, I hope the trend towards voting for smaller parties continues for this very reason. Now I know the Labor party shits rainbows and fluffy kittens, but you just never know when the wrong leader gets control…

          The senate often manages to do what an opposition can’t or won’t – this may be good or bad. In the case of Gillard’s incumbency this was a very good thing, when Abbott was also PM, that the senate could reject much of the Hocking horrors was also a good thing.

          I know I cannot convince you that progressive means more than just Labor – but I want to know the answer to this>

          Do you want me to shut the eff up and never darken Polyfeministix again?

          @ Trish

          We all start as ignorant. Am I making a point that the Greens should be in government? No. Although that may happen in years from now – who can say? What I can say is that Labor was once inexperienced, so was I when starting my first job and so were you. If experience was a reason to stop people from doing anything, we’d all still be in caves.

          And Trish, should I stay or should I go?

          Like

          Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 3:58 pm
          • Should you stay or should you go? I’m not sure why you have asked that. Have I given you an indication that you are not welcome to comment on my post or my blog in general? Commenting does not automatically mean agreement. It would be challenging agreeing with multiple views on a blog. I’ll just leave the Cicero excerpt. I have already explained the context in which I have used it. You can contextualise it as you wish.

            Like

            Posted by trishcorry | September 12, 2016, 5:27 pm
            • That means I’m welcome, just so long as I don’t bring the moron brigade?

              Lovely.

              I am not expecting anyone HERE to agree with me – I thought I’d made similar reference earlier. I just believe in diversity and that includes being here having a little look around and making a comment or two, or three, maybe even more than that.

              😀

              Like

              Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 5:40 pm
              • I do not recall calling you a moron, nor a moron brigade……

                No, most people here may not agree with you. I don’t promote my own blog a lot. So I don’t get the same amount of comments on here.

                The AIMN where I post and we have mainly engaged as well has a high level of commenters who hate Labor and support Green or hate Labor and support Independent. That doesn’t mean that represents the readership, but a very vocal few who comment.

                This is my own blog. I have a disclaimer on the side which says:
                I love to discuss Australian Politics and Feminist Issues. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and you will find my blog posts with a left wing/progressive slant.

                All of my writing is strongly underpinned by my personal values and beliefs associated with Laborism. The central arguments in all of my posts speak to this. Leftism as self labelled by people today is far too broad for me to identify with.

                By diversity, if you mean agreement, that is not a given. If you want to disagree with my central arguments on my own piece(s), need to come with solid convincing arguments that are not flawed. It is a simple process.

                It does not mean I am not open to discussion, but it means that I have already presented my argument in my own piece. If I disagreed with it, I wouldn’t have written it.

                If you see a flaw in it – feel free to say so, but back it up with solid reasoning. Because you have an opposing argument, it does not mean that I need to agree with you, have no rebuttal. It also doesn’t mean that you cannot consider a rebuttal and counter argue that. It is a simple process. Serious debate on serious issues does not mean telling everyone how great they are every five seconds. Serious debate is not always fun, but it can really progress issues forward.

                I don’t write for popularity nor click bait and I never have. You will note all of my posts, bar a few attempts at satire, are all on serious issues.

                I do not intend to change my writing style, away from these values, to appeal to a wider readership. No one expects conservative commentators to start championing the Greens or Labor, however, it appears to be an expectation from a small but vocal group of Greens or Independent supporters for Labor aligned bloggers to abandon their values, disparage Labor and champion the Greens. I find that extremely absurd.

                You are welcome to comment on any of my posts. I have banned one person in three years, no one else.

                Like

                Posted by trishcorry | September 12, 2016, 6:09 pm
                • Biggie was the one to refer to morons, Trish. Don’t you read his comments?

                  By diversity I mean heterogeneity of opinion – not as you put it By diversity, if you mean agreement, I don’t expect agreements no Trish, you thought that up all by yourself.

                  Having a difference of opinion is not, “click-baiting”, insulting or trolling or anything else. I may be wrong and that’s not unusual, but you’d rather snipe at me on trivialities and deliberately misinterpret whatever I write to you than have a chat.

                  Between Biggie not understanding the meaning of “analogy” and you having difficulties with “diversity” yet neither of you have the cojones to just tell me I am not welcome.

                  But you da boss, I know when to leave well alone.

                  (but it was a little bit of entertainment, a slice of self-indulgence for yours truly, just to see whether you could treat anyone outside of the Labor party with respect)

                  Like

                  Posted by diannaart | September 12, 2016, 8:43 pm
                  • Yes I read his comments. I have zero love for the group you associate yourself with on AIMN. I think he made a fair point, not to bring them here. With clickbaiting – I was simply referring to that my articles are all on serious topics. None of them are click bait style articles. This was in the context of not changing my writing style to attract more people commenting (including the commenters you associate yourself with).

                    Your point about diversity was about commenting. I was simply making the point that diversity of opinion does not mean automatic acceptance of your opinion.

                    Thank you for your very telling last line. This really does show that your presence here was not genuine. This shows that I am a personal target of attack by you and your group for you to come to my personal blog and say that, when I have been attacked by your group for a long time on AIMN. That is really sad behaviour from grown adults. Please think hard about what personal satisfaction you have from group targeting another person and the consequences of negative affect that has on the person you target. This is not about me, this is about the next person the group you associate with decides to target. Shame.

                    I did say you were welcome to comment on any of my posts. But now I will say, please do not come again.The benefit of the doubt has now passed. Respect is a two way street.

                    Like

                    Posted by trishcorry | September 13, 2016, 2:31 am
                    • Trish

                      I recommend a recent (slightly into the future book if we continue business-as-usual) book, The Mandibles, by Lionel Shriver, set in the USA, though no less relevant here, it follows the fortunes of the Mandible family, there is a great deal of economics discussed and is actually interesting even for an economics ignoramus such as I. The writing is sharp, witty and funny in the because ‘it is too true’ tone.

                      At least we can agree on something; respect is a two way street.

                      I have never used insults, nor deliberately mocked the meaning of anyone’s comments – such as I have received from you (mockery) and Bighead (insults).

                      The only people on AIMN who hate Labor are nutters like Neil of Sydney.

                      I remain opposed to the LNP and their attendant parasites – we do have that common goal – just thought I’d remind you.

                      Au revoir

                      Dianna

                      Like

                      Posted by diannaart | September 13, 2016, 9:01 am
                    • High time you realised that YOU are the problem Dianna
                      You caused Truthseeker grief years back on his site over nothing as well

                      YOU fit in perfectly with the bullies on AIMN as Trish`s article showing up all those pathetic comments proved

                      Like

                      Posted by Bighead1883 | September 13, 2016, 11:23 am
                    • Bighead

                      The issue Truthseeker and I had a falling out over, many years ago, was domestic violence, which is NEVER “nothing”.

                      Like

                      Posted by diannaart | September 13, 2016, 11:59 am
  7. Thanks for the comments everyone. People can take my post as they see it. I have an overarching question in the article if some are indeed closed of with preconceived ideas. Some may be and will remain the same and that is their choice but some may take a different perspective and that is their choice. I think I just get sick and tired of the frustration I feel when I read misconception and lies time after time and deviate rhetoric such as placing shorten in an era of when neo-liberalism was making it’s way in the world. In context, many major countries adopted the same strategies as Keating did for say jobseekers, as it was NECESSARY for the type of employment market we had at the time and for skills transition. Keating did not introduce the harsh measures, just the mutual obligation component. Financial penalties occurred under Howard. To be fair Gillard continued this and Abbott made it even worse than Howard.

    Shorten is not Keating, Hawke, Rudd or Gillard. He is showing himself to be a unique and strong leader.

    For those who barrack for a party who has no experience in Governing and who judge Labor from the outside as if they know it all. I will leave you with this excerpt about the philosopher Cicero. Cicero’s expertise was realism in politics and critiqued the idealists.

    Cicero’s critique of philosophical idealism is evident in his criticism of those who he felt just sat around in corners (or gazed at stars), presumably discussing what the ideal state would be like, and never actually involved themselves with the hands on experience of governing.

    Like

    Posted by trishcorry | September 12, 2016, 2:03 pm
  8. Bighead

    Analogy, capiche?

    This is the crap AIMN fosters

    Like

    Posted by Bighead1883 | September 12, 2016, 6:30 pm
    • How we all wish Labor had won #AusVotes2016 and Bill Shorten was now PM

      I`m afraid we`re in for a hell of a ride into an abyss of bankster want
      Global austerity policies are fiscally imposed by governments as ordered by the bankers,the very same bankers Western Democracies bailed out and never jailed like Iceland has done {26 now] ad finally Ireland is now doing as well

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by Bighead1883 | September 13, 2016, 7:50 am

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Trish Corry

trishcorry

trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and you will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

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