This book attempts to understand how two sister centre-left parties, the British Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party (ALP), have sought to adapt to the modern era and effect changes. It identifies and examines a range of drivers for Labour's desire to experiment and find new forms of citizen engagement. Linked to the influence of the New Social Democracy (NSD) is the lingering legacy of the new public management (NPM) reforms implemented in the public sectors in both countries. For Labour, democratic renewal is an attempt to secure wider legitimacy in neoliberal settings; similarly, the NSD is also linked to the debates about the perceived shift from government to governance. The NSD has attempted to respond to these debates and in Britain a concerted effort has been made to reformulate the role of the state and, by extension, civil society. The book examines how far the NSD has influenced Labour governments in Britain and Australia. It establishes Labour's interest in democratic renewal, specifically, the role of political participation and civic engagement in the wider context of democratic theory. Given that the NSD calls for an 'active citizenry', this is important. A central motif of democratic theory is an ambivalence about the role of political participation in a modern liberal democratic polity. The book explores how far New Social Democratic governments in Britain and Australia have been successful in seeking to link new forms of public dialogue to existing democratic decision-making processes in the modern western world.
Explanations of working-class politics in Australia and Britain have traditionally been heavily rooted in domestic 'bread and butter', socio-economic factors, including the much-debated issue of social class. 'Traditional' and 'revisionist' accounts have greatly advanced our knowledge and understanding of labour movements in general and labour politics in particular. This book offers a pathbreaking comparative and trans-national study of the neglected influences of nation, empire and race. The study is about the development and electoral fortunes of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the British Labour Party (BLP) from their formative years of the 1900s to the elections of 2010. Based upon extensive primary and secondary source-based research in Britain and Australia over several years, the book makes a new and original contribution to the fields of labour, imperial and 'British world' history. It offers the challenging conclusion that the forces of nation, empire and race exerted much greater influence upon Labour politics in both countries than suggested by 'traditionalists' and 'revisionists' alike. Labour sought a more democratic, open and just society, but, unlike the ALP, it was not a serious contender for political and social power. In both countries, the importance attached to the politics of loyalism is partly related to questions of place and space. In both Australia and Britain the essential strength of the emergent Labour parties was rooted in the trade unions. The book also presents three core arguments concerning the influences of nation, empire, race and class upon Labour's electoral performance.
of capitalism. Yet a survey of Donald Sassoon’s opus, One Hundred
Years of Socialism, indicates that perhaps a better claim for the defining
trait of the centre-left is revision and change. As Sassoon reminds us,
labour and socialist political parties are constantly undergoing periods of renewal and reinvention. Indeed, revision could be a defining
characteristic of many centre-left political parties.
This book attempts to understand how two sister centre-left parties –
the British Labour Party and the AustralianLaborParty (ALP) – have
, as well as
Department of Treasury and the Office of Education (then part of the Prime Minister’s
Department) were all privy to discussions. It was, however, officials in the Department
of External Affairs who dealt most directly and regularly with the State Department
about the educational exchange program. So while the scheme was educational in
focus, it lay from its very beginnings firmly within the foreign policy domain. The minister for External Affairs at that time was Herbert Vere (‘Doc’) Evatt, AustralianLaborParty (ALP) member for Barton and a former
and Paterson 1991: 22, 23). To persist with
Keynesian solutions would have provoked conflict with capital, something
social democrats have rarely countenanced.
To see how the change in economic conditions in the 1970s affected
social democracy, we shall examine the cases of Germany, Sweden
and Australia. These are important case studies. In the latter case, the
AustralianLaborParty (ALP) served as a model for some ‘modernising’
social democrats, such as New Labour in Britain, partly because it commenced its neo-liberal programme relatively early (in the early 1980
The main focus of this book rests upon the ways in
which questions of empire and commonwealth, nation, race and their interplay with class have
influenced the character and fortunes of the AustralianLaborParty ( ALP ) and the British Labour Party ( BLP ) from their formation at
the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. Primary, but by no means
exclusive, focus rests upon Labour’s electoral fortunes in the two countries. While
there have been many individual studies of these parties within their
-descended Catholics. Ultra-enthusiasts for the war were often
respectable, British-loyal, Protestant and bourgeois; but most support
was not restricted to these and was often based on a national pride in
the country’s soldiers.
War-questioners became dominant in the AustralianLaborParty (ALP), which in 1916 consequently expelled from its ranks the
British-born Commonwealth Prime Minister, W. M. Hughes. Hughes was a
-list elections; parties are listed in the top row and candidates in columns underneath a line. Known as the group-ticket vote, a single preference is
enough to cast a formal vote (for a party), with the parties then directing the flow of preferences. All ungrouped candidates (i.e. unregistered
parties and independents) are placed below the line, on the right-hand
extremity of the ballot, what Orr (2010, 284) decries as the ‘lumping
of independents in an undistinguished mass, tucked away at the end
, constrained by the ‘overarching argument … that FOI
represented a threat to the Westminster system’ (Stubbs 2008, 671). Politicians
lacked the ‘vigour and vision’ to push it, and officials were divided, rather than
uniformly opposed (671).
Whitlam’s openness, 1972–75
The arrival of FOI in the US attracted some minor interest in Australia, provoking
scholarly debate and a series of books in the late 1960s (SSCCLA 1978). The first
clear commitment came as a result of small group of activists and their ‘casual’
lobbying of senior members of the AustralianLaborParty in the
), 53–71; Worker , 26 January 1927.
Australian Worker , 2 June 1921; AustralianLaborParty,
Manifesto of the AustralianLaborParty to the People of the Commonwealth , 1919, pp.
Australian Worker , 22, 29 September 1937.
Ibid ., 2 June 1921