• Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Labor frontbencher Mark Butler has delivered a scathing critique of Labor’s election failure and called for a “ruthless” examination of all its policies, including on climate change.

Nothing should be sacrosanct, Butler said on Monday, launching in Canberra Story of Our Country: Labor’s vision for Australia, by academic Adrian Pabst.

The call by Butler, past national president of the Labor party, for a root and branch overhaul of policy contrasts sharply with the line from the current ALP president, Wayne Swan. Launching the same book in Sydney last week, Swan declared Labor should not walk away from its election agenda.

The two views reflect the different strands in the party’s current internal debate about its future policy direction.

Swan said Labor had had “an agenda to be proud of, not to resile from, after a narrow loss.” “Sometimes you’ve got to take one for history and maybe, in a sense, we did that in May,” he said.

Butler, who is spokesman on climate change and energy, painted the defeat much more darkly. “Let’s not sugar coat the result in May,” he said. “We got our lowest primary vote in a century, against a government the Prime Minister himself described as The Muppet Show. When you get your backside handed to you by Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog, it’s time for some serious reflection.”

Butler said while arguably Labor at state level was the natural party of government, “we face a much harder task when it comes to the bread and butter of federal politics: national security and broad economic management.

"Our only three victories over Liberal governments since World War II all involved an immensely popular leader, a compelling national vision and a superior campaign,” Butler said.

“Every federal election is monumentally tough for Labor and 2022 will be no different.

"That’s why our policy and campaign review must be ruthless and unsparing.

"It will – and it should be – deeply uncomfortable,” Butler said.

“Nothing should be excluded or treated as sacrosanct.

"The area I had responsibility for – climate change and energy – must be part of that thorough examination.

"As should all of our taxation policies and the spending commitments they were directed at funding.

"Of course, any review will be guided by our values as a Labor Party. But all of us should welcome it being utterly thorough,” Butler said.

The election campaign post mortem, due to be finished next month, is being done by former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill and former Labor minister Craig Emerson. The broad policy overhaul will go on for much longer, as the opposition prepares its pitch for the 2022 election.

Swan, a former treasurer who is no longer in parliament, said in last week’s speech: “We were right when we argued for a fair distribution of wealth and when we argued to stand up on a pivotal issue like climate. We might not have got every bit of messaging and campaigning right, and our defences could have been constructed better, but we were where it mattered, when it mattered. And we will be again, in the future. It’s in our DNA.”

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/mark-butler-calls-for-ruthless-re-examination-of-labor-policies-including-on-climate-123172

How to effectively increase your sales

We are living in a digital age where we are more exposed to media such as television channels, internet mediums. All of us have Facebook, Instagram, etc. companies now are targeting different medium...

News Company - avatar News Company

8 benefits of early childhood learning

Early childhood education aims to build the foundation of learning. Parents usually enroll their children in preschools or daycare centers to carry out their job responsibilities. Some send their ch...

News Company - avatar News Company

Scott Morrison's 'resilience' speech overshadowed as McKenzie crisis deepens

Sport Australia wrote to McKenzie's office before the election expressing concern it was being compromised by political interference. Scott Morrison will use his first major 2020 speech to press his p...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

The US presidential primaries are arcane, complex and unrepresentative. So why do Americans still vote this way?

Like the other Democratic candidates for president, Elizabeth Warren has spent months canvassing Iowa to meet voters while spending little time in other states. CJ Gunther/EPAWhile political parties i...

David Smith, Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney - avatar David Smith, Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney

Marketing, not medicine: Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab whitewashes traditional health therapies for profit

Netflix's new show fails to critically explore the alternative therapies it promotes. Adam Rose/NetflixIn Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix series, The Goop Lab, Paltrow explores a variety of wellne...

Nadia Zainuddin, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong - avatar Nadia Zainuddin, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong

Not all Australian parents can access quality childcare and preschool – they can't just 'shop around'

Governments spend less than half the amount per child in early childhood education compared to what they spend per child in school. from shutterstock.comMany providers of early childhood education and...

Kate Noble, Education Policy Fellow, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University - avatar Kate Noble, Education Policy Fellow, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University

How to cope with extreme heat days without racking up the aircon bills

Even without air conditioning, there are still many things you can do to prepare for extreme heat and stay comfortable on hot days. fizkes/ShutterstockSummer in Australia is getting hotter. Extreme he...

Emma Power, Senior Research Fellow, Geography and Urban Studies, Western Sydney University - avatar Emma Power, Senior Research Fellow, Geography and Urban Studies, Western Sydney University

Seniors struggle with technology, and often their kids won't help

Many older people are wary of asking for help with technology. ShutterstockSeniors may not enjoy the stereotype of struggling with technology, but undeniably many older people do have difficulty maste...

Bernardo Figueiredo, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, RMIT University - avatar Bernardo Figueiredo, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, RMIT University

How contagious is the Wuhan coronavirus and can you spread it before symptoms start?

Cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have increased dramatically over the past week, prompting concerns about how contagious the virus is and how it spreads. According to the World Health Organisation, 16-...

C Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Head, Biosecurity Program, UNSW - avatar C Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Head, Biosecurity Program, UNSW

Sick and Tired of Your Dead End Job? Try Teaching!

Tired of the same old grind at the office? Want an opportunity to impact lives both in your community and around the world? Do you love to travel and have new experiences? Teaching English is the perfect job for you! All you need is a willingness to ...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Impact of an Aging Population in Australia

There’s an issue on the horizon that Australia needs to prepare for. The portion of elderly citizens that make up the country’s overall population is increasing, and we might not have the infrastructure in place to support this. Australians h...

News Company - avatar News Company