What Federal Labor Must Do

by Bob Carr

 

The NSW experience showed that the public has no tolerance for successive changes in a party’s leadership. Changing leaders is now a political cliché, nothing more than a knee-jerk response to bad polls. The public won’t buy it.

You cannot throw a new leader – without preparation, mentoring, coaching or plain old fashioned political blooding – into a leadership breach and expect him or her to reverse the party’s fortunes.

The carbon tax is unpopular. Entrench it in law and let the public see it won’t wipe-out Whyalla and spike the price of cornflakes. The mining tax has critics. Spruik BHP's record profits and tell Australians they need to plan for the day when we haven’t a resources boom. The boats keep coming and the High Court junks government policy. It is not the first time the unexpected has happened. If you want certainty join the Benedictines.

Adopting a new Prime Minster while the big policy questions are yet to be hammered into place just won’t work.

“Hi. I’m your new Prime Minister. My faction made me your leader.”

Forget it.

Hard slog. Stick at it. Get the legislation in place and ask Abbott what he will do to reverse it.

Next year it will be a different conversation.

Ignore the polls, or pretend to.

Hold your nerve.

From Bob Carr's blog's  "Thoughtlines with Bob Carr"