The current Australian Labor Party is the Clayton’s opposition: the opposition you have when you’re not having an opposition.
The current Labor Party draws its inspiration from Clayton’s beer, which was a non-alcoholic beer whose slogan read: ‘Clayton’s, the drink you have when you’re not having a drink.’
Clayton’s existed to offer Australians, particularly men, the chance to avoid drinking beer but appear to be drinking beer. Clayton’s looks exactly like beer and allowed patrons at pubs or social gatherings to avoid teasing or criticism from their peers. At the height of Clayton’s popularity, men in particular were expected to drink beer in every social setting, and to drink a lot, or risk having their masculinity or sexuality questioned. Indeed, the saying went;
‘Never trust a man who doesn’t drink.’
The current federal Labor Party embodies the spirit of Clayton’s beer because it offers the appearance of an opposition party, but in reality it is not an opposition party.
In reality, the current Labor Party offers no genuine alternative to the current government. The Labor Party supports the LNP in many policy areas, even those which contradict with the founding principles of the party. Labor continually contradicts itself on climate policy, and it has been unable to protect the rights of workers or to increase wages.
As a result, the Australia voting public is fooled into thinking it has a functioning opposition party and an alternative to the current government, but in practical terms it doesn’t. A recent reshuffle of the federal Labor government placed different members in different portfolios, but only time will tell if this makes any real difference to the operation of the party. Their current slogan is “On Your Side”, but whose side is that?
In many cases, Labor gives the impression of being beholden to the right wing elements of the party.
What is a right wing Labor member?
What is an ineffectual opposition party?
A Clayton’s opposition party?
Image: Matt Palmer