I tell you what’s really going to kill Labor at the next Federal election:
The media have worked themselves into a tizz over divisions in the Federal Labor party, after pro-coal resources dude Joel Fitzgibbon quit the front bench to go and lob bombs from the sidelines.
From the ABC:
Canberra’s revolving door of political leaders is creaking again.
…Fitzgibbon, freshly freed from the constraints of the frontbench, called a press conference on Tuesday to declare war (of sorts).
First came his battle plan.
“If you want to act on climate change, the first step is to become the government,” he told reporters.
“And to become the government, you need to have a climate change and energy policy that can be embraced by a majority of the Australian people.”
He then doubled down, with high-profile interviews on the ABC, suggesting a “substantial number’ of his 93 Caucus colleagues shared that view.
That statement is hotly contested by some of his colleagues, who say Fitzgibbon’s influence has been “massively overblown”.
The Murdoch press was having a go too
Divisions within Labor on climate change have deepened after two leading union officials and a former president of the ACTU condemned frontbencher Mark Dreyfus for describing Joel Fitzgibbon as being “out of step’’ with regional Australians on environmental policy.
… Mr Dreyfus lashed out at Mr Fitzgibbon’s push for a moderate climate change policy after the Hunter MP quit his frontbench position on Tuesday. “Joel is out of step not only with the Labor Party, but he’s out of step with thinking across Australia: in the regions, the cities, the unions,” Mr Dreyfus told the ABC.
Don’t worry about coal. It’s a side-show.
Because what happens if Fitzgibbon becomes leader?
Labor gets slaughtered on climate policy. The inner-cities will feel deserted on climate and there’s no competing with the Nationals in north Queensland on who loves coal the most.
And then Labor gets torn to shreds on China.
Remember that Fitzgibbon is hopelessly compromised on China, having been pretty much the first politician to be outed as a “cultivated agent of influence” for the Chinese Communist Party.
(I don’t blame you if you don’t remember. It was a decade ago:
PRIVATE records of a Chinese-Australian businesswoman close to former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon indicate he received substantial payments as part of a campaign to cultivate him as an agent of political and business influence.
The confidential papers of businesswoman Helen Liu contradict claims last year by Mr Fitzgibbon and his father, former Labor MP Eric Fitzgibbon that they had no financial or business relationship with Ms Liu.
The minister’s political standing had already been weakened by his failure to disclose that he had accepted two first-class flights to China bankrolled by Ms Liu, a wealthy entrepreneur with high-level political and military contacts in Beijing. He was also renting his Canberra residence from the Liu family.
The documents obtained by The Age show Ms Liu recorded her 1997-98 payment of 850,000 Chinese yuan approximately $150,000 at the then current values to Joel Fitzgibbon under the heading “money paid including expenses and gifts”.
A decade ago this didn’t matter. We loved China and the closer we were the better.
But now, the Australian public has shifted. Most Australian’s have become highly suspicious of China, and we have realised (almost too late) that we have become over-reliant on a single market.
Scomo has taken charge of the political and economic decoupling personally, and he knows the Australian public is behind him.
If Labor puts forward Fitzgibbon, expect the Coalition to tear him to shreds. It’s hard to come back once you’ve been tarred with the brush of a traitor.
And I just don’t think Labor gets this.
The Australian public is awake to how China is exerting influence in the world, and here within Australian shores.
Labor needs to distance itself from this, and fast.
Or it doesn’t stand a snowball’s at the next election.