Daybook (Aussie)

The day after Scott Morrison won the Australian election, to the shock of the meida caste, the nightly news instead lead something else, and then had a post that included Morrison being ambushed on the way to church.

This is the shortest reasonable analysis of what happened in Australia. Read the real thing. The sort version, for those who don’t want to read further is that you need to win the tradie vote to win power in an English Vote. The hipsters and Barista votes will never win you power.

So when the Greens organised a similar Franklin Dam style blockade of the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland, they thought that they were onto a political winner. After all, for the Greens this is not only well trod ground; this is what created them as a political force. It is their birthright and their reason for existence all rolled into one. The Adani blockade culminated less than a month ago with a “Stop Adani Convoy”. The timing of this was critical in that it was specifically designed to influence the Australian Federal election on May 17, 2019. What worked 35 years ago would surely work now.
On top of that, Bob Hawke passed away only a few days before the election itself. Labor and the Greens must have thought that they were onto a sure winner. The symbolism of such a passing at such a critical point in time was obvious for everyone to see. The opinion polls were so certain that Labor were going to win that three days before the election betting outlet Sportsbet paid out punters who had backed Labor to win.

But it was coal that really finished it off for Labor. Shorten did not publicly disavow the Green’s actions at the proposed Adani mine site. Labor did not know what to do as regards Adani. On the one hand a very similar tactic had worked extremely well for them in the past. But on the other hand there were a lot of coal jobs at stake, coal jobs in mining towns that are a traditional Labor heartland. So Shorten and Labor sat on the fence hoping that things would work out as before and that they could retroactively take credit for what the Greens had done in Queensland.
But Queensland is not Tasmania.
The state of Tasmania has only a paltry 5 electoral seats in the Lower House. But Queensland has a massive 30 seats. The country could ignore Tasmania’s wishes in the 1983 election, but assuming the same of Queensland was a serious oversight. Queensland won the election for the conservative Liberal party, not because of what they did but rather because of what Labor didn’t do. Labor didn’t stand up for its heartland in the face of the Adani protests. Not only that but labor has failed to understand that its traditional working class voters in outback mining towns are more and more in a high income bracket, a situation that is only a fairly recent development.

Adam Piggott