Keating lashes Shorten: Labor is too far from the centre

Keating lashes Shorten: Labor is too far from the centre, by Troy Bramston.

[F]ormer prime minister [Paul Keating] fears Labor has not kept faith with his legacy and is playing to its dwindling base rather than making a compelling pitch for the winners of the new economy that the Hawke-Keating government created.

Mr Keating worries that the party lacks faith in the market to improve economic and social outcomes as it did a generation ago.

“The Labor Party today has not taken ownership and leadership of its own creation: that is the huge and wealthy middle-class economy which Labor exclusively created,” Mr Keating says.

“Labor has now, and has had, the core Labor program, and it’s now got the core Labor vote, which is about 35 per cent.

“Labor is now being attacked by the Greens in the capital cities, where votes are being sheared off. And it is being attacked by people like Pauline Hanson, who are pulling away blue-collar workers. But it is not getting concomitant support from the centre, which is locked up under the Coalition’s 42 per cent of the primary vote — and that is because it has lost the ability to speak aspirationally to people and to fashion policies to meet those aspirations.”