Sorry Bill Shorten, but you’re just not right

Mark Latham, The Courier Mail, May 24, 2016

In part, Mr Latham wrote:

Shorten has also moved Labor to the left with his embrace of the philosophical underpinnings of identity politics.

Post-structuralist Marxism argues capitalist social messaging and power structures are so debilitating for people that they can’t understand their true racial, sexual and gender roles in society.

Thus women are permanently oppressed by patriarchy. Ethnic minorities are the victims of embedded racism. All gender and sexual expression in society is fluid, meaning men can be women (and vice versa) whenever they choose.

Post-structuralism was the brainchild of Michel Foucault (1926-84), a radical, socially deviant French philosopher.

Foucault was opposed to the Age of Enlightenment, arguing that Western traditions of knowledge-based reason locked people into the “historical construct” of their identity “essence”.

He aimed to liberate the individual from these oppressive, bourgeois influences.

This philosophy has inspired the Safe Schools and Building Respectful Relationships programs introduced by the Victorian Labor government and supported by Shorten.

The programs’ authors have openly declared their commitment to post-structuralist Marxism.

One of them, Roz Ward from La Trobe University, told Melbourne’s Marxism 2015 Conference that: “The Safe Schools Coalition is making some difference but we’re still a long way from liberation; Marxism offers the hope and strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinarily new and amazing ways.”

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Mr Latham’s full article:

FOLLOWING Labor’s defeat at the 2004 election Bill Shorten, then a senior figure in the Victorian Right faction, wrote a campaign critique claiming the party had shifted to the Left and lost votes accordingly. On two issues — phasing out logging of pristine Tasmanian forests and opposing the American invasion and occupation of Iraq — this was a valid criticism.

As Labor leader I’d got ahead of public opinion and mainstream thinking, even though within a few years I was vindicated on both questions.

The Tasmanian forest industry collapsed anyway, with the unemployed workers missing out on Labor’s generous 2004 adjustment package.

The 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein lifted the lid on sectarian hatreds in Iraq, spawning the rise of Islamic State and new jihadist threats internationally.

In watching Shorten over the past 2½ years as Opposition Leader, I’ve often thought about his 2004 critique.

If he believes shifting to the Left is a vote loser for the ALP, why has he become the most dogmatically left-wing Labor leader since Arthur Calwell?

On each policy front — economic, social and cultural — he has moved the party closer to the Greens, antagonising the sensible, aspirational centre of Australian politics.

Shorten’s economic policy is straight from the old Labor playbook: taxing and spending at every opportunity.

He’s campaigning on a higher tax burden for individuals, companies, superannuants, property investors, capital gains beneficiaries and cigarette smokers.

Labor is advertising “100 Positive Policies” but for many voters it feels like 99 of these involve tax increases.

On the day the election was called, Shorten was asked on Seven’s Sunrise how he planned to grow the Australian economy. He pointed to two policies: education spending and bulk-billing.

“You grow the economy by making sure that when people are sick they can get to a doctor without having to pay a big copayment fee upfront,” he said.

This is one of the most nonsensical things I’ve heard. There is no relationship between economic growth and bulk-billing. While education investments can help the economy in the medium to longer term (if spent the right way), their short-term impact is negligible.

Shorten is the first Labor leader in 50 years to go to an election without a plan for immediate economic and productivity growth. His tax policies are likely to damage the private sector at a time when consumer demand and investor confidence are fragile.

Shorten has also moved Labor to the left with his embrace of the philosophical underpinnings of identity politics.

Post-structuralist Marxism argues capitalist social messaging and power structures are so debilitating for people that they can’t understand their true racial, sexual and gender roles in society.

Thus women are permanently oppressed by patriarchy. Ethnic minorities are the victims of embedded racism. All gender and sexual expression in society is fluid, meaning men can be women (and vice versa) whenever they choose.

Post-structuralism was the brainchild of Michel Foucault (1926-84), a radical, socially deviant French philosopher.

Foucault was opposed to the Age of Enlightenment, arguing that Western traditions of knowledge-based reason locked people into the “historical construct” of their identity “essence”.

He aimed to liberate the individual from these oppressive, bourgeois influences.

This philosophy has inspired the Safe Schools and Building Respectful Relationships programs introduced by the Victorian Labor government and supported by Shorten.

The programs’ authors have openly declared their commitment to post-structuralist Marxism.

One of them, Roz Ward from La Trobe University, told Melbourne’s Marxism 2015 Conference that: “The Safe Schools Coalition is making some difference but we’re still a long way from liberation; Marxism offers the hope and strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinarily new and amazing ways.”

Identity politics has also been influential in guiding Labor’s asylum-seeker stance.

Thirty Labor MPs and candidates have called for a softening of Australia’s border protection strategy.

Many more candidates hold this view privately.

If elected to government, a majority of the Labor caucus will want to abolish offshore processing, thereby restarting the people-smuggler trade

This would repeat the mistakes of the Rudd-Gillard years, when more than 1200 boat people drowned. For rational observers, it’s impossible to comprehend the thinking behind this barbaric, pro-death position.

Again, Foucault provides the philosophical justification.

Post-structuralism maintains that if Australians weren’t so inherently racist, the boats could flow, allowing asylum seekers to express their true identity, free from the restrictions of national borders and laws. The maritime death toll is irrelevant to this leftist outlook.

As strange as it may seem for the party of Curtin, Chifley and Hawke, Labor’s True Believers now believe in national, racial, sexual and gender fluidity. All nature-given identities are temporary.

Mainstream reason and rationality have been replaced by neo-Marxist interpretations of society and the need for language policing (aka political correctness).

This has happened for three reasons.

First, in trying to reunite the Labor caucus after the chaos of the Rudd-Gillard era, Shorten has had to make significant concessions to the Left faction.

Inner-city MPs such as Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong have steered the party down the narrow post-structuralist path of identity politics.

Second, as the Labor base has narrowed, with falling branch and union membership, Labor has become more susceptible to left-wing influence.

Early in his leadership, Shorten promised to democratise the ALP and reach out to mainstream community involvement.

But then he did nothing.

The result has been a collection of kooky Labor candidates, unrepresentative of public opinion on key issues such as border protection.

Third, even in Labor’s Right faction, Leftist social engineering has become popular.

Most members of the Right were political staffers and union officials, tutored in the command-and-control politics of factional manipulation. Now they see themselves as legislative social engineers — the rise of “Right Lefties”.

Ten years ago, Shorten was a conservative union leader aligned to Victorian big business — a protege of Melbourne millionaires such as Dick Pratt.

Today he’s a leftist Labor leader attacking millionaires, pushing tax-and-spend economics and advocating neo-Marxist indoctrination programs such as Safe Schools.

Will the real Bill Shorten please stand up.

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/sorry-bill-shorten-but-youre-just-not-right/news-story/0f75b272f7d1beefab9d8f30ea844d49

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