||Issue No. 123||21 December 2001|
The Unmaking of History
International: Global Year in Review
Unions: A Year at the Barricades
Technology: Unions Online 2001
Republic: Terror Australis
Economics: 2001: Annus Horribilis
Campaign Diary: Melanie and Me
Politics: Tony Moore's Final Word
Review: You Are the Weakest Program
Legal: The New McCarthyism
The Locker Room
The First Bastion
Tom Collins' Christmas Wish
Tony Moore's Final Word
Extracted from Strewth
Wide boys, spivs, spin doctors and hereditary idiots have hijacked a once great Australian institution.
"The Working Class can kiss my arse, I've got the foreman's job at last".
Thus goes the unofficial anthem and possible epitaph of the ALP. Thanks to the wide boys, spivs, spin doctors and hereditary idiots who have hijacked a once great Australian institution. Strewth! thinks the Liberal party is fucked and this is how it always has been. But if the ALP is up shit creek as well, then we're all knee deep in it.
Labor has lost both its heartland and its headland. The weirdest part is that a so-called Labor Party hasn't got a clue about the working class. Like the media, the average ALP pollie or aparatchik only meets a blue collar worker when a tradesman fronts up at the back door or they bump into the office cleaner. Labor leaders go on about 'battlers' and 'true believers' but this is outdated nostalgia for the manual workers of their dad's day, a concept as outdated as Howard's mainstream. The only blokes wearing singlets and blundstones these days are slumming it actors or tap dogs. Your average working class lad from Bankstown wears synthetic tacky daks, is into Hip Hop and speaks Lebanese or Vietnamese. Less Henry Lawson and more Ali G. They're more likely to be down the mosque, the mall or the multiplex than spending time at a trade union meeting or the pub. These people deserve a fair dinkum worker's party, but Labor's leaders barely know they exist.
The ALP knows a fair bit about job creation. Pity they're mostly jobs for the boys. The hacks who've knackered Labor are a particularly unimaginative lot who will do anythingSI repeat anythingSfor a tedious job in a ministers office or in a union or in the public service. They will vote as they are told to and block all manner of great ideas just to ensure they are rewarded with the next job up the greasy pole. The greed of these lacklustre lackeys for the next 'job' is comparable to that of the dumb, spoilt sons of the rich lusting over the next board position or OneTel scam. Except that coming from humbler pens, the ALP piglets squeal with excitement into very meager troughs. The loyalty of ALP apparatchiks can be bought for pathetically small prizes - a 'researcher', or 'adviser' or 'organiser'. The hope is that one day they will be pre-selected for a seat, or get appointed to a glamorous job on, say, The Water Board. This is the scummy gene pool from which Mal Colston slid.
Worst of all are the Labor Lords, whose daddys leave them a union, a seat, a ministry or often all three. Born with a silver spanner in their gobs , these working class heroes have no claim to leadership other than the accident of birth. It's time we had a national Labor leader whose mummy didn't force them to the front of Gough's choir in the It's Time commercial.
The tragedy is that the politically numerate have triumphed over the politically literate. The genuine firebrands, characters and thinkers are being frustrated by Labor's hereditary peers and backroom boys, who are shoe-horned into electorates and ministries. But Beazley's loss has upset their future career plans, and the once unassailable NSW Right is looking like a clapped out hooker in a boarded up brothel. The ALP says its wants generational change and new ideas. Yet the leadership is firmly under the control of museum relics from the eighties. Forget the evil John Howard and awful Peter Costello. Australia deserves better than Simon Crean.
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