Labor party

Lessons from Australia for the Labour party

I have had people ask me why I post on politics in the UK and in Australia.

My usual answer is because I believe them to be relevant. Those two countries provide a hint as to what happens in domestic politics. Especially with the Labour party.

Whilst National maintains loose ties with the Conservatives  in the UK and somewhat closer ties with the Liberals in Australia it is Labour that maintains very close ties with Labour in Australia and the UK labour party.

Many of David Shearer’s and now David Cunliffe’s strap lines and core policies come from UK Labour. So watching what happens in those countries leads to a closer and better understanding of what is going on here.

Which brings me to Labour’s problems in New Zealand…and the similarity between the problems the ALP is currently experiencing.

THE time has come for someone to take the Labor Party by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it recognises reality, truly admits defeat, reorders its priorities and changes key policies that have failed it repeatedly at the ballot box.

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Logic and survival dictate that the ALP must drop the convoluted arguments it has used for defending the carbon tax, the mining tax and its economic management for much of the past six years. Labor has to do what Tony Abbott did to the legacy of John Howard’s Work Choices, and bury and cremate the mining and carbon taxes.  Read more »

John Howard on parties, membership and ideology

John Howard was interviewed by The Australian in Australia and offers some interesting perspectives on political parties, membership and ideology.

“All political parties need reform,” Howard said in an interview with this columnist to mark the 40th anniversary of his election to parliament.

“The greatest problem that my party has, the greatest problem the Labor Party has, is that we no longer pursue with zeal the idea of expanding the membership.”

The problem has become ­particularly acute for Labor.

The party’s terrible result in the West Australian Senate ­election underscores the need for reform.

With its two lead candidates beholden to unions and each representing polar ideological ­extremes, it is not surprising Labor received a dismal 22 per cent of the vote.

Both Labour and National face similar issues here, though I suspect Labour’s issue is more pressing.

When Howard joined the Young Liberals as an 18 year old in the late 1950s, he said it was the “mission” of every member to ­recruit new members.

“We spend too much time arguing about what the existing membership does rather than throwing open the doors to new members.”

However, given the loss of members in both major parties, retaining new members has ­become a life or death matter. At Labor’s peak in the 1930s, it boasted a membership of more than 150,000. The Liberals had a membership of more than 150,000 in the 1950s.

Today, membership of both major parties has declined even though the population has expanded. Labor and the Liberals each have about 45,000 members nationally.

“People don’t join local sporting clubs, local churches, local service clubs and political parties the way they did 50 years ago,” Howard says.  Read more »

Labor to refund illegal $200,000 donation

Here is a great headline, unfortunately its Labour in Aussie.

Labor to refund illegal $200,000 donation used to fund polling in Kevin Rudd’s seat of Griffith in 2013 federal election

LABOR will refund an illegal $200,000 donation that was used to fund polling in Kevin Rudd’s seat during last year’s federal election, according to a report.

The donation was allegedly paid to Labor’s Griffith branch bank account by Taiwan developer and former banker Kung Chin Yuan on September 3, The Australian reports.

Labor officials found the transaction during an audit and were advised by lawyers that it breached state electoral laws.

It is illegal in Queensland for a registered political party to receive a gift of foreign property.  Read more »

Dodgy ALP/Union ratbag convicted

Contrary to his own over inflated legal opinion of the merits of his case…Craig Thomson was convicted yesterday on fraud charges, for paying for hookers and other services on his union credit card.

Former federal MP Craig Thomson has been found guilty of obtaining financial advantage by using his Health Services Union (HSU) credit card to pay for sexual services and making cash withdrawals.

In handing down his findings, Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg found Thomson dishonestly used his union cards while national secretary of the union.

Thomson sat quietly in the front row of a packed Melbourne Magistrates Court as Mr Rozencwajg delivered his verdicts.

The magistrate said the court had heard from several union witnesses who made it clear that union credit cards were for business purposes only.

“This must have been known by the accused,” Mr Rozencwajg said.  Read more »

Aussie union ratbags cost Labor a lot of votes

The stench of corruption in Australian left-wing politics and union is so overpowering it is now costing Labor significant votes.

The Abbott government has regained the lead in the latest Fairfax-Nielsen opinion poll for the first time in two months, helped by a sharp drop in support for Bill Shorten’s performance and a Labor primary vote lurching back into the low 30s.

The result has all but restored the balance that saw the Coalition easily elected last September.

After several weeks in which the Coalition government has successfully linked industrial relations reform, union power, and corruption allegations in the building industry in national debate, Mr Shorten’s personal approval has slumped by an unusually decisive 11 points.

The deterioration comes after a week in which Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the terms of reference for a wide-ranging and potentially open ended royal commission into union corruption, naming five unions specifically – one of which was the AWU, the union giant formerly run by the Labor leader.  Read more »

Corrupt, dodgy ALP ratbag set to have his millions reefed back

Eddie Obeid the ALPs virtual mafia don is set to have a good chunk of his ill-gotten millions reefed back by the NSW government.

The state government is set to pass extraordinary laws to strip corrupt former Labor minister Eddie Obeid and his family of at least $30 million in profits from a coal deal at the centre of a historic corruption probe.

A day after Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the government would pass special laws to tear up three corruption-tainted coal exploration licences, Mr O’Farrell said it was also working on laws to confiscate the proceeds of corrupt activity by former Labor figures and businessmen.

He said on Tuesday the laws to cancel the licences would be introduced in state Parliament next week, while additional laws to claw back proceeds of corrupt coal ventures from Mr Obeid and others were still
in development.

“I’m told that it will take a little bit longer,” Mr O’Farrell said.

The best cricket commentary ever

Malcolm Knox writes in the Sydney Morning Herald about Chris Rogers and his century:

But on a two-paced, up-and-down fourth-day wicket, a batsman needed luck, and nobody could say Rogers didn’t deserve a slice. He inside-edged Ben Stokes past his off-stump, and survived a low edge off Broad after lunch. Yet his innings was notable less for the nicks and nudges than for the sparkling strokeplay. Rogers always drives well down the ground, and he leaned into the ball with his trademark minimalism, no backlift, no follow-through, just a twinkle of a weight shift and the ball was somehow racing, again, through the field.  Read more »

Who killed Holden?

smashed

The unions of course…who else…with some help from idiot governments over the years who addicted the company to corporate welfare which the unions trousered.

THE outrageous assertions by the unions and the Labor Party that General Motors’ decision to leave Australia was a result of government policy is an insult to any thinking Australian. To suggest that General Motors Holden made its decision yesterday is totally absurd. These decisions take months to make.

The true culprits are the unions and their enterprise bargaining over many years that has made their own members unemployed. The cost of wages is more than double what it should be.

It was a great effort by the unions to achieve high pay rates, but now there are no jobs. Any Australian who does not recognise the truth is sadly deficient in reasoning ability.  Read more »

From bad to worse for dodgy ALP ratbag

Michael Williamson’s life is going from bad to worse as his corruption case progresses through the courts.

Now they are unpacking his mistresses life.

The long-time mistress of disgraced Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson is the target of new court action launched by the union to recover $2.4 million of misappropriated funds.

Proceedings began in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday to recoup the money from the union’s former procurement officer Cheryl Rose McMillan and her close friend Alf Downing, whose company supplied union paraphernalia.

The action comes after the union’s former head, the ex-ALP national president Williamson, gave a formal undertaking to help recover money from others, including his former lover, Ms McMillan.

”We gave an undertaking to the members that we would pursue any moneys that had been misappropriated and return them to the union,” NSW HSU secretary Gerard Hayes said of the court action. ”This is another step in that process.”

Abuse of Privilege must be exposed if our democracy is to survive

Following the Nathan Rees affair it is interesting to note the difference in the Australian media from our own media.

Nathan Rees affair is so similar to that of Len Brown’s it is astonishing. What isn;t similar is media reaction. Whereas media here rushed to defend Len Brown they are climbing into Nathan Rees.

Perhaps the most clear example is this statement at the Daily Telegraph as to why dodgy rooting ratbag politicians need to be exposed. It is so relevant to the Len Brown affair that it must be read in full.

Andrew Clennell (State Political Editor at The Daily Telegraph) comments, emphasis is mine.

WHEN a patient sees a doctor, a client sees a lawyer, or a constituent consults their MP, the last thing they should be worried about is being hit on.

Once you choose to share your story with, and seek advice from, someone in a position of power, you should expect not to be the subject of sexual advances. Particularly when you are a vulnerable single mother and your MP is a former premier. 
Read more »