Corrupt and Dodgy the world over

The ALP, especially in NSW is corrupt and dodgy. Controlled by union heavies they are single-handedly causing more damage to the Labor party than almost anything else and it is one reason why Kevin Rudd has moved to quickly cauterise the puss-filled would that is the NSW ALP.

John Graham, the assistant general secretary of the NSW ALP writes about just how bad things are:

On Friday morning NSW Labor’s Administrative Committee will gather at its Sussex Street headquarters following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the National Executive is intervening in the NSW Branch.

Perhaps surprisingly, the move is likely to be welcomed around the table.

This announcement is good news for party members. We know how big the challenge is to rebuild Labor in NSW.

The last federal intervention into the NSW branch of the Labor Party was triggered in 1971, in a report by Tom Burns, Labor’s federal president at the time.

Only 15 pages long, the Burns report “into the administration of the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party” sent shockwaves through Labor. It recorded a turbulent period in the NSW branch’s history.

A copy can now be found in the National Library, literally filed in the catalogue under both “political parties” and “mismanagement”.

It seems not much has been learned.

Forty-two years later Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that Labor’s national executive will again intervene in the NSW branch of the Labor Party. The national executive will take control of the NSW branch to clean it up over the next 30 days.

So it should.

The reports that the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption will shortly hand down, are expected to dwarf the Burns Report in their scale and impact.

That’s why ordinary members of the Labor Party in NSW will welcome national intervention. It represents a chance to break with our recent past.

John Robertson has made a start on the reform challenge, strengthening financial disclosure for members of Parliament, vetting new candidates and pushing a tough line on corruption. The NSW party office has started to reform its own processes – holding community “primary” preselections, and developing a new, more inclusive way of developing policy.

We know there is more to do.

The problem has been clear. The lawlessness that characterised Labor’s internal culture spread from Sussex Street, first to Macquarie Street, and then to the nation’s capital.

For decades the guiding motto of the NSW branch was “Whatever it takes”. In the end it almost seemed to become “Whatever you can take”.

I hope this intervention spells an end to that era.

Labour parties are the same the world over, bent, corrupt and dodgy.


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  • Mediaan

    Hard to figure out what sort of corruption. He mentions taking things, and a “blizzard of lawyers’s letters,” and changing selection practices. But NSW, long home of the Aussie branch of American organised crime*, can probably give us more options than this.

    Maybe the main one, the reason for Rudd’s lightning-fast move on this, is widening the range of votes when a new leader is chosen. No longer to be just caucus choosing a replacement leader, that seems the plan.

    * And source of the bits of American organised crime that filtered over here to NZ in the mid-fifties. I have always put the Bassett Road machine gun murders in this category.