Bob Hawke comes good

Bob Hawke is slamming the power of the unions in the ALP and julia Gillard isn’t at all happy:

THE Prime Minister has dismissed a call by the Labor elder Bob Hawke to slash the power of unions within the ALP.

Julia Gillard defended the factional and union influences that were responsible for the destruction of Kevin Rudd’s leadership in 2010.

Mr Hawke, a former prime minister and boss of the ACTU, said in an interview with the Fairfax publication The Australian Financial Review that while his “first love” was the trade union movement, its influence over the Labor Party had grown to “suffocating” proportions.

But yesterday Ms Gillard said the unions were the champions of ”working Australians”.

“I believe our great trade union movement is important to Australian society and to representing the needs of working people,” she said.

“It was the trade union movement, shoulder to shoulder with the Labor Party, that fought back and got rid of Work Choices.”

Responding to Mr Hawke’s advice to the ALP to recognise the perceived negative association with the unions, Ms Gillard said the matter had been adequately addressed at the party’s national conference last month.

She tried to soften the public rebuke to Mr Hawke, once the nation’s most popular leader, saying he was an important part of the ALP’s history.

“Bob Hawke is, of course, a living legend,” she said. “Bob is right to say that the Labor Party needs to keep modernising.”

His criticism of undue union influence within the ALP mirrored the view of another former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who savaged the power of the unions and factions in a speech to the national conference.

Mr Rudd said the party had failed to take any significant steps to rein in the power of factions and union bosses.

“While some claim we have moved forward on party reform, the truth is we have barely moved at all,” Mr Rudd said.

It seems to have escaped the notice of all the union aligned politicians in the UK, Australia and here that they are all facing the very same problems. Undemocratic, union controlled parties with falling membership is the common theme. But so wedded are they to being told what to do by union bosses they seem incapable of reforming themselves.

David Shearer has much to do if he is to succeed where the ALP and UK Labour will undoubtably fail.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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