Labor has only itself to blame. Former Labor premier Alan Carpenter promised he would change WA Labor – but the fingerprints of his disgraced predecessor Brian Burke were all over the place, even on Cabinet submissions.
When Carpenter pulled an early election, the long-suffering people of WA took the opportunity to install hastily-recalled Liberal veteran Colin Barnett and, in the aftermath of his victory, the rats are deserting the Labor ship.
Even in Freo, Labor candidate Peter Tagliaferri, a popular former mayor who Labor cajoled into the candidacy, could not turn the anti-ALP tide which swept Green candidate Adele Carles into the seat with 54 to 45 per cent of the vote.
Her win marks the Greens’ first ever primary-vote victory over Labor in any state or federal election. It signals mayhem for Labor.
Carles avoided any mention of the Greens’ loopier and more dangerous policies. She worked hard to portray the nihilist party as a respectable community organisation without the ratbaggery usually associated with Green politics.
The Greens showed themselves to be the mothers of reinvention.
But what is good for inner-urban Freo’s fashion-friendly residents is, unfortunately, death for the rest of the nation. Green policies don’t travel well.
The Greens, who display their environmentalist credentials by inhabiting seats most removed from the Elysian gloaming they claim to crave, would, through their anti-industrial policies, send Australia into penury at a rate that would make Pol Pot envious. We’d be at Year Zero in seconds.
For Greens, read Reds. As in the colour of the bottom line once the debts their anti-business and whacko social policies would shackle Australians with.
Veteran Labor strategist and parliamentary secretary Bob McMullan tried to pass off the Fremantle loss as a one-off.
Even if this is remotely true, it is a one-off of Labor’s own making.
MP-elect Carles credits concerns about global warming for her victory and there has been no greater promoter of hysteria over the climate change issue than the ALP, ably assisted by its media arm, the ABC.
The Greens, like the ALP, would destroy the Australian economy in the cause of supporting bad science and constantly altering modelling even though it is acknowledged that nothing Australians do would have the slightest effect on global climate change.
While many in the ALP find global warming a convenient prop to their stupendous moral vanity, the Greens see it as a quasi-religious cause.
Labor is now faced with the job of defusing the time bomb it has created.
It has to consider the very real prospect that, should it be foolish enough to push for a double dissolution of both House of Parliament, the ALP’s own frenzied propaganda on climate could hand the Greens a Senate majority.
Delightfully, this would happen even as a number of scientists are back-peddling on their forecasts of sea level increases and rising temperatures.
Forget polar bears. Labor’s inner-urban MPs would be endangered. Those who will drown first if the political tide rises against Labor in its city seats will be Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, who held Melbourne at the last federal election by less than 5 per cent, Sydney (held by Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek), Fremantle (held by backbencher Melissa Parke) and Grayndler (held by Transport Minister Anthony Albanese).
They will want the ALP to start talking to the conservatives about tactics quickly before the next federal election to give them more options, but they may find the unthinkable has already happened.
It may be that the Greens will be there first, looking for deals with the Coalition while Labor is still wondering why it was betrayed by its “bedmate”.
(In the first edition version of this article, an error was made nominating Bob McMullan as Maxine McKew’s husband. She is Labor figure Bob Hogg’s partner.)