19 May, 2016. 11:34

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN USED TO introduce his classic tune Born To Run by saying: “nobody wins, unless everybody wins,” but he doesn’t do it anymore, because it’s just not true.

However, that’s the essence of the new mantra coming out of the Labor camp this morning, with National Secretary George Wright confirming that opposition leader Bill Shorten will receive a participation ribbon as he walks out the door come July 3.

In an effort to spare feelings and cushion the blow of being less popular than the Coalition, Australia’s oldest political party has been giving participation ribbons to each of their outgoing leaders.

In 2004, Mark Latham received his green ribbon after he was schooled by John Howard, a man who’d just led the nation into two conflicts that the UN found to be unjust.

“Yeah it was grim,” recalls Latham.

“Bomber Beazley came in and said, ‘Mate, you know what I’ve gotta [sic] do now, don’t ya?” and I said yes. He pulled out the ribbon and pinned it on my off-the-rack Kelly Country three-piece, then we both cried in each other’s arms until Simon Crean turned up with the bush chook [Emu Export] cans,”

“But everybody else who’s still in the Labor Party will get what’s coming to them and I hope they all get stuck with the green ribbon at some point.”

As the election draws closer, many political analysts and commentators agree that there’s not much Shorten can do now to save himself.



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