In Australian politics today, the neoliberal consensus seems unshakable. But the experience of the Curtin and Whitlam Labor governments shows the potential of progressive populism to deliver social change — a potential we can also glimpse in the recent growth of the Greens.
Liam McLoughlin is a teacher and writer who publishes satire and analysis at Situation Theatre.
The Write Stuff, a recent collection of essays from the ALP’s conservative wing, argues that Labor must shift even further to the right to become electorally successful. The book’s authors couldn’t be more wrong — to win, Labor must ditch the neoliberal policies they celebrate.
Australian PM Scott Morrison is often compared to Donald Trump. Morrison is certainly a race-baiter who serves the rich, but his brand of reheated “populism” borrows far more from Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and former PM John Howard. Unfortunately, it’s not dead yet.