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Not Dead Yet
Labor's post-Left future
With an election looming and criticism of the ALP now a national pastime, Mark Latham considers the future for Labor. The nation has changed, but can the party?
With wit and insight, Latham reveals an organisation top-heavy with factional bosses protecting their turf. At the same time Labor’s traditional working-class base has long been eroding. People who grew up in fibro shacks now live in double-storey affluence. Families once resigned to a lifetime of blue-collar work now expect their children to be well-educated professionals and entrepreneurs.
Latham explains how Labor has always succeeded as a grassroots party, and argues for reforms to clear out the apparatchiks and dead wood. Then there are the key policy challenges: what to do about the Keating economic legacy, education and poverty. Latham examines the rise of a destructive and reactionary far-right under the wing of Tony Abbott. He also makes the case that climate change is the ultimate challenge – and even opportunity – for a centre-left party.
Not Dead Yet is an essential contribution to political debate, which addresses the question: how can Labor reinvent itself and speak to a changed Australia?
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 49, Not Dead Yet:
READ AN EXTRACT
There is more to his Quarterly Essay than a loner’s visceral anger. His analysis is outstanding … A devastating critique of the unions as a moribund, unentitled and debilitating force in the contemporary Labor Party.
His essay sees a mellowing of the angry Latham of the past decade, replaced by one who acknowledges errors as Labor leader and gives his successors some credit.
Mark Latham’s vivid way with words and his sharp, unsentimental political analysis have always been his strengths.
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