The cries of a frustrated reformer

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:39:00 +1000

Lindsay Tanner was one of a generation of Labor activists who came to political maturity in the 1980s, writes Deakin University's Dr Geoffrey Robinson on The Conversation.

These were challenging years for the Australian left.

Labor’s 1983 victory set Australia apart from the right-wing ascendancy of Thatcher and Reagan but Labor confronted a largely conservative electorate: voters in the 80s strongly favoured tax reductions over increased social services expenditure.

The Labor Left was excluded from the early Hawke government. Tanner’s first major political intervention was the widely circulated 1985 manuscript “The Left in Crisis”, in which he pointed to the examples of Thatcherism, affluence and individualism as evidence that the left was in serious decline.

Read Associate Professor Robinson's full article.

Deakin University is one of The Conversation's funding organisations.


Dr Geoffrey Robinson
Dr Geoffrey Robinson
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  • Labor’s 1983 victory set Australia apart from the right-wing ascendancy of Thatcher and Reagan but Labor confronted a largely conservative electorate: voters in the 80s strongly favoured tax reductions over increased social services expenditure.
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20th August 2012