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Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred by Judith Brett

By Judith Brett

Judith Brett, award-winning writer and famous Australian political scientist, offers the 1st whole heritage of the Australian liberal culture, in addition to of the Liberal occasion from the second one half the 20 th century. The Liberal get together of Australia used to be past due to shape in 1945, however the traditions and beliefs upon which it's based were imperative to Australian politics considering the fact that federation.

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Where Liberals were heirs to parties whose essential function was to select the men who would form the government, Labor members had quite different priorities. As an early Labor parliamentarian put it: ‘We have not come into this House to support governments or oppositions. ’5 Labour parties first appeared in Australia in the early 1890s. The trade union movement had grown rapidly during the late 1880s, particularly among itinerant rural workers such as shearers. In the early 1890s, in deteriorating economic conditions, it embarked on a series of strikes.

Senator Trenwith, a former Victorian Labor leader, spoke of his aggravation at 23 O r g a n i s at i o n a n d t h e M e a n i n g o f F u s i o n middle party jump the way it did? How did those closest to Labor, the Deakinite Liberals, understand their differences from Labor, and what was it about the Labor Party that made an alliance with Reid’s conservative anti-socialists seem to them the lesser of two evils? 36 The insurmountable barrier between the Deakinite Liberals and the Labor Party was not Labor’s policies nor its attitude to the state, but the nature of the Labor Party’s organisation: the demands which it made on its members to subordinate their own views and judgements to the collective will of the party and the implications this had for parliamentary government.

21 We must, however, be wary of reading this later trajectory of political development back on to the events that set it in motion, or accepting at face value either Labor’s representation of its opponents or Reid’s of his new allies. If we approach Fusion from the side of Deakin’s Liberals the lines of division do not look quite so obvious. For the first decade Deakin’s Liberals were far closer to Labor than to Reid’s Free Traders turned anti-socialist. The Liberal Protectionists’ base was in Victoria where manufacturing industries had developed to absorb the gold-rush immigrants and the Victorian colonial governments had used tariffs to protect the fledgling industries, provide employment and put a floor under wages.

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