September 24, 2013 | Graham

Another reason Labor lost

Mike Kelly talking to Waleed Ali tonight on Radio National provides a complete picture of why Labor isn’t coming back any time soon. Kelly, a military officer recruited from the army by the ALP specifically to run for parliament, was a star candidate, a minister, and the member for the bell wether seat of Eden Monaro.

Based on his interview he has the qualities that suit him for none of these things.

It is widely expected that Bob Carr will resign from the senate in another sign that Labor was full of main chancers with no interest in the electorate and unsuited to rule.

Kelly apparently thinks that being a main chancer is the main qualification for being a senator. So he has put up his hand to fill Carr’s position, but on conditions. He wants to still be able to run for Eden Monaro at the next election.

He argues that he should be in the senate, because the defence minister is in the senate, and he is the best person to shadow them.

He also argues that he is the best person to represent Eden Monaro, and he has a family history there which goes back more than 150 years.

Oh, and he wouldn’t want to stand in the way of a woman getting into the senate, and he is happy for one to take his senate spot once he’s left it to run for Eden Monaro at the next election.

A cynic (yes, I’ll put up my hand as one) would say that while he dearly wants to run for Eden Monaro again, he needs an income in the meantime, and one which allows him time to campaign for the seat. Being a senator meets that need.

A realist would say that he is delusional and probably narcisstic. Especially as he also asserted that the Labor party can win the next election. (Maybe it can, but not if it keeps telling people it will – that is the sort of dumb pride that comes before a numbing fall).

The myth that Labor politicians are trying to spread is that they lost the last election because of disunity. This is an alibi. It is an attempt to avoid the blame for poor policies, poorer implementation and abysmally bad personnel.

Kelly exemplifies all that was wrong with the last government. He refuses to accept any blame, and he still thinks that politics is a way to spread benefits around to yourself and your mates, and that electors will reward him for that.

Just as well this guy wasn’t in the army in a time of national emergency. We need adults in parliament and in the armed forces.

He’s not likely to be in either place for the rest of his life, and it is in Labor’s interest to ensure this is the case. They desperately need adults in the party.

Posted by Graham at 10:12 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Mike Kelly’s service in Iraq, Somalia, East Timor and Bosnia earned him the Chief of the General Staff Commendation and membership of the Order of Australia. Based on this extraordinarily childish post, I don’t think any fair-minded observer would have to think too long before deciding which of you more deserves to be called an “adult”.

    Comment by William Bowe — September 24, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  2. Don Edgar sums the general situation up pretty well in OLO today”

    “Labor’s downfall was based on a growing elitism within the party, the promotion of an in-group over consideration for their wider support base, a self-focus seen as undermining the wider public good.”

    He was an army lawyer William. Possibly the safest place for him to be in the army.

    Comment by Graham — September 25, 2013 @ 7:43 am

  3. Kelly might also like to explain why the defence ministers (of which he was one) hid the contents of this report

    This is the guy who wants to hold the government to account? Appears he understands how to avoid being held to account.

    Comment by Graham — September 25, 2013 @ 8:19 am

  4. He needs an income?
    As a fairly high ranking officer, he would be receiving a reasonably generous military pension?
    Moreover, if he was any sort of a lawyer, he ought to be able to earn a decent living as one?
    Particularly if he lets the world know, via his RSL contacts, no win no fee! Or, cut price conveyancing is available for his ex-army mates?
    He could even conduct a modest conveyancing only practice, from home and or his car, to save outlays? And in so doing, only tie up one day a week!?
    And isn’t he entitled to some sort of comparatively generous parliamentary pension as well? Or, is that the reason he wants to extend his total parliamentary service?
    I dare say if he gives up the sauce and some of the excess food he is apparently chowing down, he may well be able to not just live within a budget, but reduce that more than ample waistline as well? Others manage on a lot less!
    His main problem was, I believe, he was a Rudd supporter, and carries the baggage of military command and control thinking; when what labour needs, is new visonary ideas, a more inclusive approach and independent thinkers? Not more elitists?
    If he truly wants to serve, he needs to buy several pairs of walkers, and set about wearing them out!
    He’ll win admiration and respect, if he’s constantly seen out and about conducting a listening campaign, and perhaps retake the seat.
    I don’t believe he has a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning it from the senate!
    If something is worth doing, then its worth doing well; and if something is worth having, then its worth fighting for!
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan Goulding — September 25, 2013 @ 11:14 am

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