Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has expressed “deep surprise and disappointment” over the decision of Opposition leader Bill Shorten to support a mandatory data retention scheme the kind of which was proposed by the Gillard Labor government in 2012.
In a scathing speech given to the Senate on Monday, Senator Ludlam accused Labor or forgetting who it used to be and what it uses to stand for.
“If Labor supports this bill they will be demonstrating once and for all that they now stand for nothing, Senator Ludlam told the Senate chamber. “If Bill Shorten had any political conviction at all he would renege on this position which Labor has consistently held for three years and support The Greens policy.”
Sources close to The Greens say that the crossbench party are concerned that this latest decision by the Labor leadership might lead to Labor continuing to adopt a whole raft of policy positions which it has consistently held for a prolonged period of time. There is particular concern that Labor may now go on to support enterprise bargaining, compulsory superannuation and an independent Reserve Bank.
“Sometimes I just don’t understand Labor,” an unnamed Greens volunteer told The (un) Australian. “It’s almost like they’re a completely different party to us with their own set of values and their own separate agenda.”