Where has the Australian Labor Party of my youth vanished to? Where is the Party and the people of the 1970’s and `80’s which adhered to time-honoured and honourable Labor dictums like fairness, equality, justice and above all else, that innate sense of egalitarianism?
How can a Labor Prime Minister nominate and effectively pre-select as a Senate candidate, a person who isn’t even a member of her Party? And why should this even arise as a circumstance? Since when does the ALP reside in one person? Where is the Labor Caucus? I don’t care if said nominee is black, white or brindle; whether they represent a minority indigenous collective or the richest most influential people in the nation. There is a process for pre-selection of party affiliated candidates and that process resides with the local branches and the relevant State office. It most definitely does not reside in the Prime Ministers office in Canberra, or in the minds of certain so-called Party power-brokers who fear the on-rushing storm from the political wilderness which threatens to over-whelm the party of government.
I am frankly disgusted by this blatant exercise in political totalitarianism. I am disgusted to think that the Party I have supported all my adult life has lowered it’s sights to the point where sensationalism, parachutes and a sense of ‘whatever-it-takes’ holds sway over Party platform, process and accountability. Today’s Australian Labor Party is more of the ideological, hard-nosed right than of the equally hard-nosed but vastly more ethical left. I am not afraid to say that I lean left, in fact the more I see of the once great ALP in it’s current desperate-to-win-at-any-cost guise, the more left I lean.
The only saving grace I see in today’s Australian Labor Party is the fact that it isn’t as far right as the Conservative alternative, nor as unstable and opportunistic as I perceive the Greens to be. A Party of the people the ALP is most certainly not any more, A Party of and for it’s own continued existence it most definitely appears to be. Were I a member, which thankfully I am not, I would be calling upon the membership and particularly the senior Parliamentary membership to make post-2013 election – whatever the outcome – moves to supplant the Gillard cabal with a more people-oriented, Union-oriented executive. The Union movement is the salvation of the Party, it’s birthplace and its rootstock. The present graft is rogue and needs to be cut out. The current Prime Minister has lost sight of the Party imperatives. Whatever the outcome of any election later this year, she has to go before she damages the Party any further.