Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kim Beazley

I’m a Lefty. As such, the ALP is my natural party of choice. But in recent times I’ve been raging against Kim Beazley. The problem is that Beazley never seems to make a stand on issues that really matter to me, e.g. Tampa, War in Iraq, Scott Parkin, David Hicks, Schapelle Corby, the new terrorism laws, Mick Keelty. My fury at the Beazley-led ALP’s refusal to represent me on matters of principle has actually had me contemplating casting a vote for Herr Howard and the evil empire.

Now that doesn’t mean for a moment that I can find anything to like or support in John Goose-stepper Howard. Quite the contrary. At the moment, he’s visiting the U.S. getting fawned over by the Warmonger-In-Chief and his psychopathic acolytes. The word ‘sickening’ seems so pitifully inadequate.

But it isn’t as if my vote would be the one that deprived the ALP of taking Government. My belief is that opinion-poll-chasing lefties look shallow and unprincipled, and have no chance of winning elections; (exhibit one: the lame Democrats in the U.S.). So, I thought that perhaps my vote should send the message that if the ALP wants to be nothing but a pale version of the Liberal Party, then it will do so without my support.

But voting for Liberals and the empty values of privilege, class and money goes against everything I believe in. So, I thought I’d better check my opinions about Beazley with the facts. This is what I discovered.

War on Iraq: I was wrong. It was actually Simon Crean who turned to water on this issue. Beazley was opposed to the war without the backing of the U.N. More generally he was opposed to the policy of pre-emption.

Scott Parkin: I hate it that this peace activist could have been detained, deported and billed for the process without even being informed of the charges against him. On the other hand Beazley did obtain a briefing from ASIO, and the process has been vetted and declared sound by the Inspector-General. Personally, I think the treatment of Parkin is too outrageous to be justified by anything, but given that due process was followed (however unfair) I won’t mark Beazley too harshly on this one.

Tampa: Beazley’s failure to take Howard on when he pulled the infamous Tampa stunt was unforgivable. No excuse.

Terrorism Laws: Fascist Governments around the world have discovered that fighting terrorists is a vote winner. Yep, it seems that the voters love wars on terrorism, concentration camps and draconian legal systems to protect them from the bad guys. No matter that the risk of being hit by lighting is much greater than the risk of being a victim of terrorism. This was a great chance for Beazley to show that he is a man of principle. He flubbed it. His response to laws that even Malcolm Frazer described as unfair and unnecessary was to argue that they did not go far enough. No matter that there is nothing in them that would have prevented any of the terrorist atrocities round the world. Kim’s choice was to move further to the right than Howard.

Schapelle: After saying all the right things about Schapelle Corby while public opinion was on her side, he’s had nothing to say about her, despite the reimposition of an absurd 20-year sentence for an offence that might have got her 12 months in a reasonable system. Where’s all your support gone, Kim?

Mick Keelty: I hate Mick Keelty and the AFP with a passion for disparaging Schapelle Corby’s defence during her trial and for setting up the Bali nine for a potential death sentence. Beazley and Howard refused to condemn Keelty for either act. Inexcusable.

David Hicks: Beazley has actually said some of the right things about the appalling treatment of David Hicks, but even in this area, he’s been fairly muted in the frequency and strength of his comments.

That’ll do for the moment. In summary; not happy, but not quite as bad as I had assumed. In particular his opposition to the war deserves praise.

Obviously I’m further to the left in the political spectrum than Kim Beazley and to some extent I have to live with that. But I have long believed that the electoral problems of the left, in America and here, are largely due to a failure to define principles and then sell them.

I’m still not sure how I would vote at the moment. One bulletin board poster made the point that by voting for the Libs in protest at the ALP’s betrayal, all we are doing is pushing them further and further to the right; making them want to be like John. It’s an argument worthy of reflection. The rock or the hard place. I dunno. Perhaps though, his opposition to the Iraq war might just be enough to earn Beazley my vote.


Blogger Carina said...

Too bad you're required to vote in Australia. Here in the US, despite the numbers of lazy bums who just don't get out to vote, it makes a pretty huge statement when someone--a consistent voter, knowledgeable about politics and such--plain refuses to vote.....and tells people so. :D

10:53 pm, May 24, 2006  
Blogger True Blue said...

It can be irritating having to vote, but remember ... your system gave you George W. Bush.

3:30 pm, May 26, 2006  
Blogger Carina said...

And not to stir things up....but I voted for him too! :D:D

I am mostly right-leaning in my political views, but there are certain aspects of the party platform (such as control of businesses, social security, welfare, etc) where I side with the Dems.

At any rate, I enjoy listening to all sides of political issues.

6:45 am, May 27, 2006  
Blogger Neville said...

G'day Mate,
Like you am a True Blue Aussie. Having been in business for most of my life, I voted in the early days for the ALP, then went Liberal for several years before moving over into the Nats camp. When they all caved in on the firearms issue I voted for Pauline. Now I am convinced the only way forward is to vote Independent as they are emerging as the ones with the power. I will nevee again vote for a political party.

8:06 pm, May 29, 2006  
Blogger True Blue said...

It's a real dilemma isn't it? Is it better to vote for the lesser of two evils or to repudiate evil altogether by voting for neither? I'm still not sure.

1:37 pm, May 30, 2006  

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