Thu 10 Jun, 2004 11:19 pm
Peter Garrett, former lead singer of Midnight Oil, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and former Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, has joined the Labor Party, and has been nominated for a safe seat in Sydney for the next Federal elections.
A colleague at work felt he had sold out his principles.
I thought he'd made a fairly pragmatic decision - realistically, the only way to achieve anything is to belong to one of the major political parties. He can push his agenda, and be better heard, but he may have to toe the line on some things he doesn't like.
What do you think?
For our non-Aussie friends, the Labor Party is similar to the Democrats in US, Labour in UK, and heaven knows what elsewhere.
C'mon! Labor is effectively quite a lot left of the Dems - surely!!!
I think Garrett has stopped mucking about - ie farting around with parties who will not, in the near future anyway, have any power to set, as opposed to prune, agenda.
Having said that, I suspect that ALP discipline will be very difficult for him - but, he is a bright and realistic man, I think - mebbe he'll cope for a while, anyway?
Politics is the daunting art of the possible - and carrying the can - and always knowing that people are full of unreasoning prejudice against you - and that you must, by definition, almost always displease 50% of your fellow Australians.
Good luck to him - I hope he brings some environmental and so forth guts to the ALP - and doesn't get crushed in the process.
Lol! I hadn't read his quotes above when I wrote that!
I don't think it's such a great idea all round. Peter's not going to fit in with his green credentials and the party may take it out on Latham if there is a voter backlash. However, the good thing is that it increases the profile of the ALP as much more dynamic than under Crean - so Howard's got a reason to be worried.
He's already sic'ed Alexander Downer onto Peter, stand by for some more 'probing' examinations of Peter's personal life and previous statements.
I think Peter Garrett is smarter than most of the liberals combined. It should be interesting.
He's already indicated that he will to 'toe the line' on some of the more contentious issues-which is in keeping with being a prominent member of one of the major parties.
"Garrett did not specifically address the reports but said he had voted in the past. Voting is mandatory in Australia; failing to do so is punishable by a fine.
Haha. Voting isn't mandatory.
Turning up at a polling booth, IF you are enrolled, is.
They'll have to do better than that to discredit him.
I so hope they don't turn the same politics of personal attack on him as they did with the egregiously painful Cheryl Curnow.
I suspect he might handle it better, though.
Sounds as though he has thought it through Wilso.
Dealing with a NSW Right sub-branch, which it seems he will have to do, with many with their "it was my bloody turn" noses out of joint, is gonna be tough.
The NSW Right are real toe-cutters. Yeccccchhhhh!
To me, it would have made more sense if he'd joined the Greens. They would seem to be the logical choice, given his stated ideals. Also, with the Greens he wouldn't be nearly as constrained about saying what he actually thinks/believes in public. I can see him facing a lot of personal conflict in having to "toe the party line".
I think the Labor Party is cynically using him to increase its "youth vote". An effort to stop the drift of votes from Labor to the Greens. I suspect, in the long run, joining Labor will damage his credibilty & he'll regret this move. I can't see him having much impact on the NSW Right, which runs the show.
Are you sure you're not talking about Ralph Nader?
Say, msolga, as long as you're here: I never did thank your for that delightful afternoon of skiing. As a token of my appreciation I would like to offer you a gift. Only one, mind you, but it's your choice.
Which one would you like.....?
Just one? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm .... I'll have to think very seriously about this, Gus.
Well hurry up, dammit... I can't be standing around here all day.
The little one with the bandy legs. Now, let's not ruin margo's thread, Gus ... Do you have any comment about Peter Garrett joining the Australian Labor Party?
Margo is used to me disrupting her life. She certainly won't mind if I muddy up the carpet in this thread.
Another thought about Peter Garrett & the Oz Labor party: How on earth will he be able to suggest strategies for say, saving forests in Tasmania, when the Forestry union will be fighting tooth & nail in the ALP to protect jobs in the industry?
I suspect it's a little bit of six of one, half a dozen of the other. Joining the Greens, he may have been able to be more outspoken, but as a member of the Labor party and therefore probably a member of the next government, possibly as a minister, he'll have more chance to influence policy. Remembering of course that the greens could very likely hold the balance of power in the senate.
Remembering of course that the greens could very likely hold the balance of power in the senate.
Yes. So just imagine a Green team of Bob Brown & Peter Garrett! The Greens would gain an even greater share of disenchanted Labor/Liberal voters. Garrett could be really influential in that situation. And not have to compromise nearly as much as in the ALP.
I'm with Deb.
Being a member of one of the major parties is probably the only way to get things done - at least if that party is in power. (and Deb is closer to mainstream politics than the rest of us)
There is very likely to be a change of government by the end of this year (well...maybe). PG was obviously looking for something to do - he misses performing? Mark Latham thinks he'll bring something to the Labor Party (I do wish they'd spell Labor correctly - labour, people - my hands don't like it this way!) It makes Mark Latham look better, pro-active, and certainly differentiates them somewhat from the Libs.
As for Peter Garrett, I think he'll chafe greatly under the restrictions of the party line. Already, he's had to agree to woodchipping in Tasmania, foreign bases in Oz, what else.???
The combination of Bob Brown and Peter Garrett is attractive, as Greens members. But holding the balance of power in the Senate is really only a spoiling position, rather than making policy. Yes, you can force concessions, but only on major party agendas - more bribing really. I suspect, also, that it won't be long until Bob Brown hangs up his hat.
He's intelligent and articulate - no doubt about that - and it'll serve to make politics more interesting for a while. The not-voting thing will come back and bite him on the bum, I suspect.
We live in interesting times.