By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Looking for the Light on the Hill: Modern Laborís Challenges
By Troy Bramston (Scribe, $32.95, softcover, $279 pages)
The Australian Labor Party is in crisis, but Troy Bramston points out how Labor can get its “mojo back” with new ideas, a new strategy and refreshing party values.
Written by a party insider and former Rudd government adviser, the central argument of this book is that Labor’s effectiveness and purpose in politics is being damaged by twin problems which undermine its very existence: leadership anxiety due to loss of its inherent culture of strong, bold and pioneering leadership and an identity crisis that has emerged because Labor has failed to rejuvenate its values, philosophy and purpose for the modern era.
Fundamental change is needed in three areas: leadership, values-based policy development and advocacy and internal party reform.
Looking for the Light on the Hill also examines the party from the inside and outlines a series of suggested reforms to increase party membership and to boost engagement with the community and internal activism. It also draws on specially commissioned surprising new polling and on Labor’s history, with fresh and new perspectives and insights provided by current and former party figures.
Bramston draws on his own experience as a Labor party member for almost 20 years, as an adviser to federal Labor for 10 years and as a Labor historian.
This is a party that supposedly promotes democracy, welcomes participation and encourages robust debate.
He says Labor “is in trouble and has lost its way” and proceeds to show how it can “once again find its way and rediscover that beacon of hope and promise: the light on the hill”.
This book is certainly relevant, appropriate and essential.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.