Some people have been blown away at recent results finding the Greens in a position where they have an opportunity to become balance of power or merely by just being the more preferred party over the two majorities in some electorates, but I’m not suprised at all. In fact the writing has been on the wall for a long time now.
The Greens as I have previously raised, do not infact represent the working-class, rather they merely campaign to appear as if they do. They have more in common with the inner city, wealthy elite of the Liberal party rather than the struggling working-class in the suburbs. Just like the Greens, this approach has been adopted by another ambitious minor party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. PHON are more popular in some electorates, mostly regional areas, over the major parties and in those electorates PHON has them eating out of her hands. They do there best to appeal to the struggles of the working-class, sure with less flash than the Greens bit still just as effective. Take a look at the “battler-bus” for an example of appealing to working class, the approach is different but is much of the same.
So what is the reason for this? Well mostly it’s the Greens and PHON’s ability to appeal to the working-class without actually being able or willing to do so. One of the perks of being a minor party is never being in a position to actually create legislation and deliver on those pesky pre-election promises. However, not all credit is to be given to the Greens and PHON, a lot has to do with Labor losing a bit of focus on our primary support base.
Over the years, our message as the “workers party” has been hidden behind other well deserving agendas but has slowly stepped out of the center spotlight. This is because, Labor too is ambitious, and rightly so, however, many blue collar workers who are the parties primary supporter base, feel as if they have been neglected. Which by any measurement is incorrect, we have just picked up a lot more goals but it’s getting mixed up with our message.
This is where both the Greens and PHON come in. While the Labor’s center stage spotlight appears to be away from the working-class, the two minor parties work tireless to appeal to it.
PHON claim to represent blue collar workers, battlers and lower income households, yet they support cuts to penalty rates, the attack on workers and unions. They have more in common with the far right of the LNP than they do with the blue collar working class. The Greens however, claim to represent white collar workers and again lower income earners, yet they support in many cases attacks on workers rights, corporations over workers and actually appeal to high income earners with a social conscience. They have more in common with the Left of the LNP.
What Labor needs to do moving forward is to put the working class issues back into the centre stage spotlight by focusing on Jobs, Workers Rights, Industry, Health and Education. When we focus and deliver on these issues, the working-class are more than happy about any progressive position the party takes as long as the working-class come first.
Time to put the working class back into the centre stage spotlight.
Jamie A Scicluna