March 25, 2004 | Peter

Complete Idiots

Likely PM Mark Latham must be very happy with Senator Bishop and his old right faction in WA right now. As Latham gets up a head of steam to wrest back government from Howard and Co, an old style ALP scandal breaks out in the west. And here the now rabidly right wing ‘West Australian’ is giving it everything with headlines that suggest that the old bogey of union-led corruption is back at work in the ALP.
Sometime ago the right in WA split, with Stephen Smith starting another faction who often vote with the left. Right wing senator and ex-Shop Assistants Union head Mark Bishop has accused the two major unions behind the left of dodgy member numbers, which affects voting power on various party organisations. The unions claim it is about technical issues, and are suing Bishop for defamation. This was all to be sorted out by state ALP secretary, and ex-Shop Assistant Union official, Bill Johnston. And ex-Premier and convicted criminal Brian Burke is supposedly mixed up in it all somewhere. Burke hangs around the fringes of the WA ALP doing extraordinary damage to the party and frustrating the hell out of Premier Gallop who does not want the electorate constantly reminded of the bad old days of WA Inc.
Out of all this came the startling news that right wing Police Minister Michelle Roberts wants the top job, although she is prepared to wait another term. The Liberals, who have themselves been hamstrung by constant leadership speculation, know just how much such stuff helps and will be very happy about this. Premier Geoff Gallop, although a little tarnished of late, is a smart politician and generally seen as a definite asset as leader. Michelle Roberts’ main claim to leadership is that she breathes.
So, this is just what Mark Latham, Geoff Gallop, the ALP, and, I submit, the Australian people, do not need. The national ALP office is apparently getting involved, and I trust they will speak sternly with some people who can’t help but place their dubious personal and factional ambitions before the good of the party.

Posted by Peter at 11:43 am | Comments Off on Complete Idiots |
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