August 30, 2015 | Graham

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the (Labor) party

It is quite clear from the Trade Union Royal Commission that not only are a number of unions riddled with criminality, but those same unions believe they own the Australian Labor Party.

All large organisations will from time to time harbour criminals. That is a given of human affairs. What counts is not whether this happens or not, but how you deal with the criminals once discovered.

Good organisations root them out, but corrupt organisations support them and try to hide their sins.

I know a lot of people who think of themselves as good are involved with the Australian Labor Party. Some of them are friends of mine, and they are people I regard as good.

But a good person would not act to protect the guilty parties, and that is what the Labor Party is doing.

Someone who is a party to that becomes an accomplice to the crime. Unfortunately a lot of Labor Party members have become accomplices.

One who hasn’t is Martin Ferguson, himself a former ACTU president.

Australia needs a decent left of centre party with ambitions to form government. It hasn’t got one at the moment.

It’s time for all of us who care about democracy to form a unity ticket, not matter how we vote, and support reform of the social democratic party.

Out of the last three Labor leaders only one, Kevin Rudd, wasn’t a puppet of the unions and a beneficiary of dodgy practices by union officials or themselves.

If the Labor Party isn’t dedicated to rooting these crooks out, then it doesn’t deserve to continue to exist. Which is a tragedy that should not be allowed to happen.

But can it be avoided?

So many prominent parliamentary members are owned by crooked unions. A clean out would involve removing people like Bill Shorten and Penny Wong federally, and others like Joanne Miller in Queensland.

It’s hard to see that happening. So maybe the solution is to set up a new social democrat party without union ties, and with a real concern for the interests of those the unions are supposed to represent.

Such a party wouldn’t necessarily seek to win election in its own right, but it would seek to give voters in working class electorates an honest party that they could honestly vote for.

And it would provide real pressure on Labor to reform.

The alternative is to allow Australian politics to stray into a twilight zone where government alternates between generally honest centre-right parties, and generally institutionally corrupt centre-left ones.

It’s time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of the Labor Party and support reformers like Martin Ferguson.

Posted by Graham at 6:59 pm | Comments (5) |