Jacob Lynagh

Labor pains: They couldn’t have possibly united such a divided left

Yes, Labor lost the election, but much of the blame should go to their divided and delusional voter base.

 

 

It’s pretty clear to all at this point that if you’re talking about Australian politics online, nothing that you say is worth anything, because we’re all so foul-minded.

We’re being eaten from the inside as we blame those on the outside. The right is killing itself, the left is killing itself. We’re all responsible for our own destruction.

Every major election in any western country brings with it a sludge, a sludge that marks all who touch it and drags most to the great below. I’m not your father, I’m not here to say, “Let’s all play nice,” but surely you can admit that things have gotten pretty out of hand.

Immediately after the elections came the deluge of “she’s stupid”, “he’s a fascist”, “we’re all doomed and everyone who isn’t me is either dull or they’re immoral”.

We hear that the idiots are the reason why the ALP lost the election. We hear the meme-addicted friendlyjordies types telling us it’s the idiot poor people, or the idiot manual labourers; if you’re not like me, you’re as dumb as a plank of wood; that’s the only reason the ALP lost, you’re all racist idiots.

Surely you know, however, that people didn’t vote for the Coalition because they’re stupid, or because they’re racist; they voted for the Coalition because the ALP is a monogamous participant in a political three-way.

There are essentially three types of Labor voter, and with the passing of time, they are constantly being rent further apart.

First are the young left, the “radicals”, the campus protestors, the direct-action types who almost everybody is terrified of online. You know the type, purple hair, and piercings. No need to get into it any further. I don’t want to get doxxed.

Then come the old left, the ones who are really making the difference right now. The city-born, country-moved, little-l liberals. The type who went to private Catholic schools, and sent their kids there after them.

The old left voted in favour of marriage equality, and support no-fault divorce and unlimited abortion rights—but they still attend church every Sunday. They attack conservative priests, and can’t stand Israel Folau, but they still get a little touchy when they see the deluge of the young left’s anti-Christian comments on each of the ten-thousand weekly articles written about him. The ones who Malcolm effortlessly plucked from the Labor party, who own their own homes and are thinking of opening a little art studio or a hobby farm sometime in the future. They love and welcome immigrants, but would run for the hills if one moved next door.

Then there are the old-fashioned, steel-capped-boots-and-hard-work Labor voters. Heck, they may not even be left—we can’t really tell. They’re about two beers away from switching their vote to One Nation on any given day. They’re the backbone of the ALP, but as they’d sooner call you the “f-slur” than call you a “friend”, the other ALP camps are gradually elbowing them out.

Shorten completely neglected the younger supporters, who’d vote for Yassmin Abdel-Magied a billion times over before thinking about voting for Bill, and he neglected the core of his party, who think Fraser Anning is misunderstood and you’re a limp-wristed wanker.

So with these three—incredibly different—groups of people being represented by one party, how could Bill have won? Well, he couldn’t have. The ALP is the poor bastard stuck holding the reigns of three horses running in different directions. They weren’t doing themselves any favours though, they held onto the old left’s reigns the tightest—and the other two horses most certainly noticed.

So what cost the ALP the election? It could be anything really. The list of the ALP’s shortcomings isn’t exactly brief. Maybe it’s the anti-China rhetoric, maybe it’s the #MeToo movement dredging up the old (not legally proven, don’t sue me) allegations against Shorten, maybe it’s the union blokes not really liking the social leftism.

Shorten made a lot of mistakes, anything could have cost him this election. But to me, he lost the moment he started Christ-baiting, and the old left—the only segment of the ALP’s threefold voter base that he even attempted to speak to—abandoned him.

He jumped on Morrison’s back like a pint-sized Beelzebub and refused to let go, poking and prodding publicly about the most personal of topics—faith—and the churchgoing left didn’t appreciate that for a second.

Morrison, too, made a near-tragic mistake in engaging with him. “It’s none of your fucking business, so bugger off,” is literally the only reasonable response he could have made to Shorten, but in the end, the ALP’s crimes were worse.

Morrison’s win is a coup for his supporters, and a come-to-Jesus moment for Australia—in more ways than one. It reaffirms the love of Judeo-Christian culture that many Australians are shy about, and the love of money that many Australians aren’t.

The left hasn’t been so fractured since Stalin brained Trotsky. The old left is scared by the young left, and the young left thinks the worker left are dumb fascists. Shorten spent almost all of his time trying to win the old left back after Malcolm wined-and-dined them, and so he completely neglected the younger supporters of his party, who’d vote for Yassmin Abdel-Magied a billion times over before even thinking about voting for Bill, and he neglected the core of his party, who think Fraser Anning is misunderstood and you’re a limp-wristed wanker.

So did the Nazis take the castle because of all the idiot, racist kids? Well, since we’re not all wasting away in concentration camps, I bloody well doubt it. Are you misjudging those who are different to you? Yes, of course. Is that a problem? Yes, of course. What are you going to do about it?

 

Jacob Lynagh

Jacob Lynagh is an Adelaide-based freelance journalist who closely follows the political and social issues of the Pacific region and Middle East, as well as the rise and fall of nationalist and anti-fascist movements. He is a Grateful Dead fan, writes about classic Rock whenever possible and wishes the sixties never ended.

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