In my thesis, and frequently on this blog, I am at pains to stress that the ALP's problems are not fundamentally about leadership, messages, narratives and all that stuff.
Problems in these areas are symptoms of deeper problems they are not causes.
For a time during the Hawke and Keating Governments, I managed a government program called the Australian Best Practice Management Program.
This experience exposed me to the thinking of W. Edwards Deming, the great American management thinker who influenced the development of post-war Japanese manufacturing.
Deming savaged people who thought they could get improved quality and productivity out of deeply flawed systems. It is not the workers who are the problem, it is the systems and the managers who design and administer them. Improve the system, through deep knowledge of it, and productivity and quality must improve.
To me this is an article of faith. It seems obvious to me and probably to you too.
Yet when people come to thinking about what's wrong with the ALP, and how to improve it, they revert to the sort of shallow thinking that Deming attacked so brilliantly.
People say the way in which candidates are selected doesn't matter. They think the ALP just needs a better narrative on some other faddish tosh.
Anyone inulcated with Deming's thought, knows that nothing could be further from the truth.
Political parties are systems and processes designed to mediate between the voters and parliamentarians - what we see on display now in NSW and federally is what happens when those systems break down.
The ALP's systems are like post-war American manufacturing, far too tolerant of failure and poor quality.