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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, November 04, 2005

One-party state

The following powerful letter appears in today's Murdoch Australian:

"Wednesday's gutless performance by Kim Beazley and his front bench over the so-called anti-terrorism law will relegate the Labor Party to the Opposition benches for the foreseeable future. Cosying up to John Howard and Philip Ruddock and the security services has proven time and time again to be a foolish mistake for the Labor Party. The Tampa and the "children overboard" affairs, the deportation of Australian citizens, the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and now "specific" intelligence indicating a "potential terrorist threat" have all the hallmarks of a continued campaign of dishonesty and deception.

"The tragedy of the Labor Party's behaviour and the weak-kneed response by the state premiers to the demand for the destruction of Australian democratic freedoms is that by giving in to Howard, Labor has become as culpable as those who are its architects. The Communist Party Dissolution Bill of the 1950s drawn up by the Menzies government pales into insignificance when compared with the tools that have been handed to the security services. These same services have historically demonstrated a complete inability to manage the power that politicians want to give them (ask the ghost of Lionel Murphy). The courts, God love them, are often unsatisfactory and weak but they are at least a last resort. Labor has conspired to give even that away. This is probably the death knell of the Australian Labor Party as we know it."

Peter Dowding SC
Former Labor premier of Western Australia


Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Some would suggest that we have been a one-party state for a long time.

A telling letter, though. Let's hope there's some response from the old guard, perhaps even some spirited discussion. It'd be a start.

Friday, November 04, 2005 2:40:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Dirt, why the faith in a two-party system? :)

Friday, November 04, 2005 2:53:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Not from me, Shab. Young and naive fool that I am, I believe in multi-party and grass roots politics. In the absence of that, an opposition that does its job would be handy.

Friday, November 04, 2005 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

You can believe in a multi-party system all you like. Most other Australians are happy with the two-party system. There is nothing stopping people from voting for the minor parties, except their policies.

Friday, November 04, 2005 5:24:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Anthony, I agree in full. And my party is very minor. ;-)

Saturday, November 05, 2005 3:48:00 am  
Blogger boredinHK said...


Saturday, November 05, 2005 5:37:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

Anthony, I agree in full.

Hmmm... I expected you to attack Australian democracy as a sham and a conspiracy. Another time perhaps!

Sunday, November 06, 2005 4:18:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

"Hmmm... I expected you to attack Australian democracy as a sham and a conspiracy. Another time perhaps!"

Conspiracy is probabyl not the appropriate word. Sham? Ablsolutely.

Monday, November 07, 2005 11:03:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Sorry to disappoint you, Anthony.

Monday, November 07, 2005 5:46:00 pm  
Blogger psydoc said...

Dowding was a horrible premier. He seems to have first hand knowledge about dishonesy and deception with several of his senior colleagues being jailed for various offences. It is audacious that he would seek to lecture the Labor party on anything.

Monday, November 07, 2005 9:25:00 pm  

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