He laughed, I felt like a gringo…
The ALP has managed to retain its stranglehold on the Western suburbs seat of Kororoit, helped by a low-level dirty tricks campaign, one augmented by some rather deranged attacks on chief rival Les Twentyman by right-wing blogger Andrew Landeryou.
In the UK, (New) Labour has had its flabby neo-liberal arse kicked in the Henley by-election, being beaten not only by the victorious Tory candidate — as widely expected — but also the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, and even the fascist British National Party. To its credit, Labour did manage to defeat the UK Independence Party, (Bananaman Owen of) the Monster Raving Loony Party, the English Democrats, The Common Good and Harry Bear of The Fur Play Party. Blondes also proved more popular than brunettes, with Amanda Harrington of the Miss Great Britain Party narrowly defeating Louise Cole, also of the Miss Great Britain Party. On the other hand, the turnout was only 34,761, or 50.32% of the electorate — a drop of 17.58% — so it’s still possible brunettes are the real favourite among the Tory-loving voters of Henley.
Also in the UK, after the disastrous performance of the SWP front the Left List (nee Respect ‘the Unity Coalition’) in the May local council elections, four councillors from Tower Hamlets — the jewel in the tarnished bronze crown of Respect — have defected to Labour.
On a somewhat related note, Nick Lowles of Searchlight magazine asks ‘Where Now?’ for the campaign against fascism.
Back in the former British penal colony — in the words of renowned British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, home to “a sort of excrementitious mass, that could be projected, and accordingly was projected — projected, and as it should seem purposely — as far out of sight as possible” — the Australian Democrats have finally limped off the political stage, the final whimper coming nine years after the sentence was read by John HoWARd and Meg Lees shaking hands on the regressive GST. Lees resigned from the party in 2002, to form the ridiculous stunt known as the Australian Progressive Alliance. Naturally, it sank without trace.
The demise of the Democrats has been greeted with some regrets. For example:
I REMEMBER the great joy and the palpable sense of possibility I felt when Natasha Stott Despoja, at age 26, became the youngest female elected to the Federal Parliament in November 1995. Finally, here was one of us elected to the people’s house. A Doc Martens-wearing senator who was proudly and determinedly herself, blowing the winds of change through the Old Boys Club in Canberra…
Finally, on a bright note for bosses, in Perth a trouble-making trade union leader has been given his marching orders by police (Police ‘grab’ union leader Dave Robinson, PerthNow, Paul Lampathakis, June 28, 2008): “PROMINENT unionist Dave Robinson was “grabbed”‘ by police this morning and marched away from outside the WA Labor State Conference, at Perth’s Hyatt Hotel”. In even better news:
Magistrate: “Civil disobedience is merely a euphemism for breaking the law”
A boss who drove a semi-trailer through a group of protesters, endangering the lives of several people, walked free from court this week without so much as a slap on the wrist. Anthony Elliott, the owner of the Elliott Group of companies in Melbourne, had all 15 charges against him dismissed after a 4 day court hearing…
The moral of these stories?