Carlo's Corner: We can thank Labor for Abbott

Having tried absolutely everything they could think of to win the support of voters besides push good polices in favour of working people, there was really nothing for Labor's parliamentary caucus to do except launch yet another leadership spill on March 21.

It might have been a farce that will help worsen Labor's defeat in September, but it did reveal one startling fact: Simon Crean is still in parliament. I know, right?

If you want a sense of just how hopeless, morally empty and utterly pointless the Labor Party has become, consider the fact that Chris Bowen and Martin Ferguson resigned, but not because Bowen locks up children or Ferguson backs the fossil fuel industry which is destroying the planet. No, they fell on their swords because they backed the losing side in a leadership contest that featured one candidate.

It is hard to know what is more shocking ― their crimes against humanity or sheer, jaw-dropping incompetence.

It would almost be amusing to watch ― if it was not for the fact that we are all but guaranteed to be living under a Tony Abbott-led government come September 15.

This takes a special kind of incompetence. Abbott remains widely unpopular. In December, Abbott's disapproval rating soared to 63% ― the second-highest ever for an opposition leader.

Not just that, but Liberal state governments are slashing jobs, cutting workers’ compensation, closing hospital beds and kicking teachers. After Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced mass sackings and huge spending cuts on services last year, polls showed he would lose his own seat in an election.

But not even direct experience of the alternative is saving Labor. Abbott could call a press conference and proceed to drown kittens, and still Labor's polling numbers would continue their slide.

Labor's problem is not its leader, nor is it the internal squabbling. Its problem is it stands for nothing ― except power. The party belongs to a machine that allows the Eddie Obeids to wield control. This is as appealing as swimming in vomit while listening to a Taylor Swift album.

The one time in recent memory that a Labor leader actually tried to stand for something ― a mild policy to tax the mining oligarchs to spread the wealth a little more ― the caucus panicked and dumped him. It is like they are so allergic to principles that the sight of even a weak one causes them to break out into factional war.

It is like Labor is trying to be hated. Gillard won plaudits for slamming Abbott's misogyny and the very same day her government pushed through a bill to slash payments to single mothers. It was like a doctor lecturing school kids on cancer, then giving out free cigarettes.

An Abbott government will undoubtedly be worse. But a party that stands for nothing except power ― and power for the likes of Obeid ― cannot stave off Abbott.

The ugly truth is it is not Gillard or Abbott, it is Gillard then Abbott. Due to Labor.

Time to gear up for a fight against the attacks that will come with a Liberal government ― and to build a real alternative to the Liberals.

* * *

In other news, the world finally has a new pope and, according to a longstanding tradition dating back centuries, he hates gays and women.

Pope Francis is also heavily implicated in the crimes of Argentina's fascist junta — but as Jesus teaches, none of us are without sin. And, really, who among us can honestly say we have not kidnapped and tortured the odd priest?

The mainstream media coverage of world figures has sure been interesting of late. Apparently Pope Francis, who backed a dictatorship that slaughtered thousands, loves the poor. And Hugo Chavezredistributed wealth and lowered poverty, was a tyrant. The corporate press might not be much good at depicting reality, but at least its black-is-white message is consistent.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.