Failings of the current Union/ALP affiliation arrangements.

  Failings of the current Union/ALP affiliation arrangements. By guest author

Bill Shorten, Mr 40%

Bill Shorten, Mr 40%

John B.

Well truth seekers, I have decided to make an exception to my usual policy of TSM being purely restricted to my musings/ramblings, for the sake of reproducing a comment/article posted by one of our valued commenters John B, who has, by his in-depth comments, and thoughtful, intelligent  and insightful approach, added greatly to our understanding of the workings, and need for reform, of the ALP.

I decided to post this, as I thought it was worthy of serious consideration and discussion, and to coincide with the ALP National Conference, held this coming weekend.

I would encourage all to read and share this article, and add your thoughts/comments   🙂

Failings of the current Union/ALP affiliation arrangements. By John B.

 

Current ‘whole of Union’/ALP affiliation arrangements have proved problematic and unproductive for the ALP.

While union affiliation fees provide a steady income for the ALP, it has failed to extend ALP reach into the unaffiliated ‘other half’ (900,000 members) of the broader union movement.
It has also inadequately encouraged or achieved inclusive democratic participation of union R&F membership in ALP affairs, or increased R&F ALP membership.
The current arrangement has fundamental design flaws, which in conjunction with greatly diminished union membership over recent decades has undesirably further distanced R&F from involvement in ALP governance – it has provided few progressive benefits to the ALP.
Regulatory inadequacies in Union and ALP rules are exploited by self serving manipulative factions to effectively acquire and retain control of ALP governance –factions who through collusion actively resist disempowerment by opposing and voting down any meaningful democratising reform.

Long term adverse outcomes for the ALP are a consequence of inherent flaws in current affiliation arrangements. Contributing deficiencies are:-

a) – it rewards Union management for misrepresentation/manipulation of union membership numbers (provides increased conference representation, assists appointment of their preferred party officers); Refer recent revelations from TURC re TWU membership audit. (Table on Page 1152)

b) – ALP financially benefits from inflated union membership claims – more union members= more affiliation fees received. This presents a conflict of interest to the ALP – both the governor and administrator of the scheme;

c) – it provides no incentive for Union execs to promote or recruit ALP membership from union rank and file;

d) – it enables, and has resulted in, union management effectively isolating/excluding union R&F from ALP governance conferences;

e) – it provides no incentive to eradicate unfair/undemocratic rules/practices from impacting ALP peak governance conferences – in fact, ineffective and ‘loose’ rules are guarded from reform by groups and factions that advantage from such rule deficiencies;

National Platform /Constitution Ch 12, Pt C Sect 10:
“Subject to rule 10(b), it shall be the right of each union to determine the criteria and procedures for selection of its delegates, subject to those delegates being financial members of that union and of the Party”
The above regulation is completely inadequate to ensure proper democratic process is practised in the governance of either Union or ALP – Union rules vary, but generally there is no proper nomination, election process, specified term of office, right of tenure, or expulsion procedure specified;

f) – it constitutes a financial disincentive for unions to affiliate with the ALP;

g) – it provides no effective proper democratic barrier to restrict strategic         collaboration/collusion of factionally aligned union execs in the appointment of state conference delegates. Factions thus effectively control the conference floor so as to thwart policy/rule reforms that may diminish their control;

h) –it has effectively created a division in the union movement;
there are two classes of union members in respect to ALP governance – affiliated unionists are allocated delegates to conference – non affiliated unionists have no access to ALP conference, and no way under the rules to achieve any representation at conference should their Union executive unilaterally choose not to affiliate with the ALP.
This group constitutes approx 900,000 unionists (statistically [2013 Fed. Election] 300,000 primary ALP voting unionists) effectively shut out of participation in ALP affairs through unilateral action of union executives– actions usually beyond those individuals control.

Affiliation has been abused by factional power-brokers and exploited by ambitious careerist union officials. It has demonstrably failed to recruit union members to the ALP, and is grossly undemocratic for the R&F of both unions and the ALP;
– it has been cleverly and shrewdly used to empower self-interested factions to effectively exclude ‘unfavoured’ R&F from participation in ALP governance;
– it has stymied party modernisation and delayed progressive reforms so urgently needed to embrace available new technologies for delivery of meaningful R&F inclusivity.

I am aware that many unions volunteer/donate support in many other forms during elections and at other times, but I’m not convinced the degree of that cooperation would change if present affiliation arrangements were replaced with the proposed arrangement (see proposal below).
The industrial and political arms of the Labor movement have much in common – they are interdependent in advancing the common cause of fairer more equitable wealth distribution.
The closer and more successfully they work together, the more powerful is the whole Labor movement.
The ALP needs deeper more inclusive and positive connections with the broad R&F membership base of all 1.8 million unionists in Australia and to utilise that connection to attract a larger political membership base.

This above critique has not been composed lightly – there is little point criticising without proposing a practical more productive alternative arrangement.
The proposed framework redefining ALP/union interaction and cooperation will not be favoured by those currently enjoying the control delivered by the current compromised (easily manipulated) affiliation arrangements. In association with other democratising reforms, it will deliver a healthier Union/ALP relationship and set the scene for substantial growth in ALP membership.

Framework and Benefits of Proposed Model:

( to replace the current affiliation arrangement)

Following is the framework of the proposed arrangement devised to replace the existing decaying and dysfunctional ALP/Union affiliation agreement with a broader, fairer, more robust and open ‘special’ membership system.

  1. The ALP should progressively replace current ‘affiliation’ arrangements with a system based on individual ALP membership.
  2. Abandon/phase out ‘whole of union’ ALP affiliation currently managed/implemented at union executive level.
  3. Calculate quota of delegate positions to State Conference using similar method as to that applied to currently affiliated unions, except that only ALP members who are also financial members of that particular Union are counted towards that quota.
  4. ALP and Union financial membership data records should be linked insomuch as required for each party to validate/cross-check an individual’s ALP/Union membership status.
  5. Union executives would now have real incentive to encourage union R&F members of their union to join the ALP – so to provide their union with maximum delegate representation at conference.
    Traditionally ‘non affiliated’ unions, who currently insist on distancing themselves from the ALP can continue as they are; except that if the union’s executive decline their right to claim delegate representation to conference, that unaffiliated unions R&F members who have joined the ALP can claim pro rata representation at State Annual Conference under a ‘generic’ trade union grouping created especially for that purpose.
  6. ALP membership should be offered to unionists at a special discount rate.
    Suggest $1.00 per week ($52p.a.)
  7. Current affiliated Unions can choose to retain current ALP affiliation fees formally remitted to the ALP under the ‘old system’ ($500*1%=$5 p.a. per union member) as incentive/compensation to assuage administrative costs of implementing the proposed system.
    ALP membership fee collection should continue to be controlled and managed by State ALP via auto payroll deductions etc.
  8. Provides an est. 900,000 current unaffiliated union members potential representation at ALP conference – a reason to join the ALP; an opportunity to have a say in determining policy and priorities of the Labor movement.
  9. Remediates a long standing neglected discrimination issue whereby ALP rules effectively prevent 900,000 non-affiliated R&F unionists from gaining equivalent ‘union’ representation on Annual State Conference – even though they may be ALP members. They are currently in effect a lower class of unionist in the eyes of the ALP due to the fact their union executive has unilaterally decided not to affiliate with the ALP.
  10. ALP membership now drawn from all 1.8 million union R&F members – assists generational change through accessing a fresh group of 900,000 working age union members.
  11. ALP/Unions should implement revised arrangements over a 12 month transition period to ensure smooth uninterrupted flow of finance and industrial/political governance operation.
  12. ALP rules should be further reformed to democratise and enhance participation/inclusion of R&F membership in relevant current/real-time union/ALP governance matters and surveys.
  13. To ‘road-test’ the concept (to re-assure the doubting Thomases):
    Following development of a suitable tailored membership benefits package, specially designed to be attractive and inclusive to all union members, perhaps members of unaffiliated unions should be the first offered the revised more attractive ALP membership.
    Keep in mind a basic marketing strategy – give them a reason to join the ALP !!!
  14. The future – open to expansion into other diverse areas from which further ALP membership may be drawn – the sky’s the limit;
    g. The proposed arrangement for ‘special’ ALP membership could be extended to individual members of other ’registered/regulated’ non profit organisations and cooperatives who seek input to ALP political policy formulation. Including groups of the population who presently have no political voice provides a broadening of the base of the ALP, and creates a new source of membership and supporters.
  15. Financial projections:
    Refer excel spreadsheet.
    A ‘what if’ guide only, based on best estimations from publicly available relevant information.

The spreadsheet was arranged as below to calculate a ‘dollar benefit’ comparison/analysis of the current system of union affiliation vs the proposed personal ‘special’ ALP membership system.

spreadsheet

Notes on the Spreadsheet calculations:

While conducting research to design this proposal, it became evident that Union/ALP affiliation financial arrangements are played ‘close to the chest’ by both unions and the ALP.

As no ‘actual’ account figures were available, to determine the total income the present union affiliation arrangements return to the ALP, it was necessary to apply ‘educated estimates’ as input data

Some approximate figures were extracted from published audited Union financial accounts via the web. I consider Union financial account entries provide a reasonably reliable basis for the estimation of the rate at which the ALP levies unions as affiliation fees.
When the amount of affiliation fees paid out are co-related to each Union’s declared financial membership base, it indicates that an amount of approximately 1% of collected union membership fees is remitted as an ‘affiliation fee’ to the ALP.

An average union membership fee of $520 per annum was utilised (as published in an ACTU Union information pamphlet , “How much does union membership cost?” ).

The average affiliation fee forwarded to the ALP was simply calculated as 1% x $520pa x number of affiliated members.

ABS figures indicate there are 1.8 million unionists in Australia.
It is generally accepted (though I have been unable to locate supporting data) that about 50% of Australian unions are affiliated with the ALP.

The above numbers were entered on the spreadsheet to perform basic calculations to establish the financial feasibility of replacing the current ‘whole of union’ affiliation system with this proposed individual unionist ‘special’ ALP membership arrangement.

 

The results to be very promising, as can be seen from the spreadsheet projections – of course these figures are based on estimates and approximations.

However it clearly illustrates the financial viability of the concept.

Those ’in the know’ with access to real data can insert properly verified numbers to perform a ‘real life’ practical comparison/evaluation.

…………………………………………….oooooo…………………………………

In Conclusion:

Almost everybody recognises that the present affiliation arrangement, despite its many shortcomings, provides reliable, essential and much needed income for the ALP.
Any move to change/reform the current system will not only face predictable stiff opposition from those factions empowered through it, but from many whose opposition is financially motivated – those concerned to ensure this reliable source of income for the party is not jeopardised.

I want not only for the ALP to retain this important income source, but to grow it – and also to strengthen the relationship with unions and unionists. Furthermore I consider this proposal represents a better way to achieve that income, with the added advantage of potentially significantly increasing ALP R&F membership while retaining and extending cooperative arrangements with the entire trade union movement.

It creates a broader, healthier relationship with unions in that all R&F union members are treated as equals in the eyes of the ALP, irrespective of the factional/political stance of union executives.
All Union execs under this proposed system would have a vested interest in becoming active recruiters for ALP membership – the more members they enrol, the more say they get in ALP governance.
Conference representation strength to be allotted using ALP (financial) membership data, that is cross checked with union (financial) membership data.
It would serve the interests of both the unions and the ALP to enrol as many ALP members as possible from within all Australian unions.

The integrity of membership records is enhanced by the maintenance of a cross referenced Union/ALP database – enabling the establishment of a secure web-based personal access ALP login facility.
It removes the ALP’s obvious conflict of interest, the ‘reward for deception’ that is inherent in the current system – where the ALP receive additional income resulting from union membership numbers that have been fraudulently inflated for the purpose of unfairly gaining additional delegates at conference.

Changes must be made to the existing system, as it is clearly not working in the interests of the greater Labor movement.
It has resulted in the ALP falling under the control of self serving factional groups who have contrived ways to ‘game the system’, using regulatory inadequacies to their advantage.
Union R&F numbers have been falling steeply for the last 40 years (union membership rate down from 48% to 17% of eligible employees), growth in ALP R&F membership has stagnated.
ALP Membership is not increasing – even with the worst government ever in Canberra tearing away at every aspect of our living and working conditions there has been no significant increase in membership.

Graph 2

How far does union membership have to drop before the ALP look seriously at their 50-50 relationship with affiliated unions ? Is it 10%, or perhaps 5%?

Labor

 

It soon becomes an almost ludicrous discussion.

ALP membership rate amongst unionists is appallingly low, especially considering unions are an integral part of Australia’s Labor movement. Even if every ALP member was also a union member, it would represent 2.2% ALP membership rate amongst unionists.
This proposal goes some way to addressing the long ignored R&F disconnection with the ALP.

I commend this proposal to all ALP members for consideration and comment.  

Gough-Whitlam-lithograf-from-Josef-Lebovic-Gallery-211x300

 

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45 Responses to Failings of the current Union/ALP affiliation arrangements.

  1. Bighead1883 says:

    This is a true thesis JB and I award you a doctorate in Labor/Union relations
    I have only 1 suggestion and that is above the spreadsheet calcs I would number your points
    This then makes the piece more easily able to be discussed and debated
    This will go down like a lead balloon to many of the Right Faction union bosses and the politicians they sided with them,but in saying that you have done the work of the Left for them because I would love to see what John Faulkner or Kevin Rudd would have to say on this
    I know Rudd has a Twitter handle so I`ll tweet the link to him by private message
    I haven`t seen Faulkner tweet as of yet

    Thank you once again because you have said so much of how we all feel in the Rank and File
    This meme truly belongs to your article John

    Liked by 2 people

  2. JohnB says:

    Thanks BH –
    Truthy might tweak it a bit to improve the para indexing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sandrasearle says:

    Truthie, this article needs to be seen by the ALP before the conference. It can be forwarded to Felicity Wade http://www.lean.net.au
    This is a working group for the ALP. They have been encouraging those of us who want to participate in formulating policy at the conference.
    Hope you get a reply from them. This article would go a long way to perhaps getting a much better outcome for R & F members. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cornlegend says:

    John B ,
    While I am in almost total agreement with the conclusions and sentiment of your article mate, I have a few concerns .
    [!.] you didn’t get your arse into gear soon enough , as to having a snowballs chance in hell of getting onto the Conference agenda, from personal experience you need it out ther at least 6 months before the conference to give it time, logistically, to get circulated and debated within factions Nationwide.
    Just another point and that is on Union Membership.
    I feel that the Unions, to stop the bleeding of membership need to be very flexible in membership fees to certain sections of the workforce .
    Now that section are really the future hope for the ALPs growth and they being the under 35s in particular engaged in casual and part time workforce participation .
    “Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that while the overall proportion of casual labour remains steady, there has been a sharp rise in the level of under-30s employed in a casual arrangement. Given casual workers have less income security and are denied access to benefits such as sick and annual leave, this increase is a concern as it could be a signal that such work is to become more common for all adults.

    In 1998, 63.2% of workers aged 15-19 were casually employed; in 2013 it was up to 70.8%. For those aged 20-24 the increase was from 30% to 38.5%. For all other age groups the level has remained relatively flat:”
    These workers stand to benefit from having Union support and it would encourage long term membership to the Unions, where sadly now they are failing
    Many young people I have spoken to just can’t afford to join a Union on the income the earn .
    I would therefore strongly argue that if these potential members were signed up at a token figure of say a dollar a week, as they realised the benefits of Union membership and hours and their mobility in the workforce increased, they would more likely soon grow, incomewise and move up to paying adequate dues .
    Right now, those on low incomes and with a political lean find it far more easy to just come up with $20 and join the Sex Party, Wikkileaks etc, or any of the plethora of small parties willing to give them membership and a say for $20 per annum

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bighead1883 says:

      These points of JB`s [or the majorityof them] were discussed @NSW ALP Conference where the Right Faction openly trashed Faulkners vision [which is an extension of Rudd`s logic]
      We see where the right faction has taken Labor after PJK lost-yes to 4 Federal losses in a row,
      It`s taken us to massive State Public Assets/Services sales in order to pay for governance through Federal funding starvation to the States
      The NBN and Renewable Energy Trust were cashcows for government and the LNP had to stop them because the TransNats [Banksters] couldn`t get control of Australia while we can pay our own way
      I personally don`t care if Genghis Khan leads Labor to the next Fed election I`ll vote for him and work on having him replaced [unless he`s a beneficial dictator]
      But what Shorten and Marles are currently doing is politicking against the ALP Left making their stance public prior the Nat Con-the Left have no counter argument ready unless they are much wiser and are going to play their cards this week end

      I agree with your breakdown on youth in the unions entirely Cornie,which is why unions have to be more pro active online,they`re still in last Century

      Liked by 2 people

    • JohnB says:

      Thanks Cornie for your reply and support.
      The timing of the article preparation was not consciously planned -it evolved from discussions enabled by Truthy’s launching of his Labor supportive discussion forum “We want our ALP back… It’s time!”.

      Labor’s lack of an accessible forum for discussion, organisation and activity on the internet has long been a shameful failure of Labor R&F communication strategy.
      For a while many of us thought independent media would fulfill that need, but when barge comes to crash only a Labor attuned site can provide the climate necessary to allow ideas to be kicked around without cheap political point-scoring/one-ups-man-ship derailing productive progressive camaraderie.

      In many ways, good ideas are the product of opportune discussion such as was/still is provided by Truthy’s earlier article.

      Prior to generation of this current article on affiliation reform I was preparing for reform discussions at branch meetings and (then) upcoming SEC and FEC annual meetings.
      At the Watson FEC on 7th May 2015 I put the following motions on which I spoke strongly in support – they were passed unanimously:
      1) That Watson FEC requests Labor seek active cooperation with the UNHCR to coordinate and regulate irregular refugee arrivals in Australia.
      That Australia negotiates a funding arrangement with the UNHCR to such that UNHCR accepts return of all irregular refugee arrivals in Australia, while facilitating, in cooperation with Australia, the orderly despatch of Australia’s agreed annual quota of refugees. Australia’s defence forces be returned to conducting humane search and rescue operations to minimise loss of life on our surrounding oceans.

      2) That Watson FEC requests Labor implements a system whereby members of unaffiliated unions are able to attain individual affiliation status, and that those affiliated members be granted conference delegate representation rights at National Conference similar to that provided to affiliated unionists.

      3) That Watson FEC requests Labor implements a system to provide R&F members of affiliated unions the right to democratically nominate and elect National Conference delegates.

      At the Canterbury SEC meeting (11th May) I was not permitted to put similar resolutions, as the meeting ruled that such motions needed to be foreshadowed, circulated to members prior to being put up for consideration or vote.
      So I forshadowed the following resolutions:
      1) That Canterbury SEC requests Labor implement a system whereby members of unaffiliated unions are able to attain individual affiliation status, and that those affiliated members be granted conference delegate representation rights at Annual Conference similar to that provided to affiliated unionists.

      2) That Canterbury SEC requests Labor implement a system to provide R&F members of affiliated unions the right to democratically nominate and elect Annual Conference delegates.
      The next meeting of SEC has not to this date occurred.

      So there are some runs on the board already so to speak.
      I understood that the FEC resolutions would go forward to 2015 Nat Con.

      (Will respond to union membership issues you raise in a later comment)

      Liked by 1 person

      • cornlegend says:

        Hey JB ,
        Don’t get me wrong mate, you did a bloody fine effort, something us disillusioned lot , who still feel the ALP is the best party to represent the people, should have got off our arse and done long time ago.
        We let them get away with murder
        The Right got there by stealth, and a fair amount of apathy on our behalf.
        I really believe the wrongs can be corrected and it is with starting points of efforts like yours that give us the momentum to start the fightback.
        Rudd and Faulkner started the conversation but we let it slide .
        It is a fight we MUST have, and bloody win.
        One thing JB, you have put a bit of fire in this old dogs belly to get off my arse and fight the right wing scumbags , the opportunists and the hangers on

        Liked by 1 person

    • JohnB says:

      On the matter of how the unions recruit and charge new /casual members I can only agree with your views.
      While the unions are not entirely to blame for the falloff in union membership they have not adequately addressed the problem. Globalisation/casualisation/media demonisation, scandalous corruption and industrial law change etc, (to name just a few) have all conspired to reduce union membership rates -but the ACTU and the unions response has been disappointing I think.
      Accepting the fact that all the above changes have occurred, the unions should have foreseen that fast decreasing membership and increasing difficulty in mounting ‘on the ground’ industrial actions/industrial law campaigns meant that they had to shift the focus of actions onto the political scene.
      To achieve that end they should have been actively recruiting their members to the ALP to drive more effective membership driven political actions to address globally driven economic pressures.
      Instead, they bowed to appeasing the powerful forces of industrial corporatism and used their factional based power to take control of the ALP.

      You will note that union membership staged a strong recovery between 1971 and 1975 – this was due to the courageous actions of a strong Labor government – to me , it was proof that a strong political presence is beneficial to unionists. To achieve that result again we need strong union R&F involvement in the political arm of the industrial movement – the ALP.
      Union R&F are not helped by union execs seeking refuge from their sinking ship in the ranks of ALP political appointments.

      The facts of industrial life these days is that lasting job security and safe/well paid work and conditions are more likely to come as a result of political action (pushed by ALP R&F) than from on the ground industrial action through their union.

      Like

      • cornlegend says:

        John, the reason I raise the Union fees is a young friend of my granddaughters works at Maccas 10 hrs a week
        She was keen to join the Union, but from memory they wanted around $30 a month .
        On Maccas wages that is a couple of shifts .
        They need to get them in, then worry about the fee structure .
        Why not $5 a month for someone like that ?
        Once they learn the benefits and protection a Union can offer they are more likely to stay a member when they move onto full time work
        Encourage them, not price them out of participatin

        Liked by 2 people

  5. cornlegend says:

    John B.
    I have 4 family members, plus a few friends attending the Fringe discussions/forums running in conjubction with the NatCon and will try to get them to get your article circulated as much as possible .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Frank Ston says:

    John
    Thank you for your concern, care and application to the fundamental issues that currently beset ‘Labor’.
    I’m not confident that your image is within reach but without those such as yourself, Biggie, Cornie and TSM’s secret weapon, young Fran we wouldn’t stand a chance in hell.
    I take cornie’s point about timing and inclusions of items into NatCon agenda’s but I have this morning been arguing with myself as to why Shorten would release the ALP sequel to the treatment of asylum seekers at this point of time viz a vis the NatCon. At this stage I’m prepared to file it under the heading, “How to wedge your party”.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Truth Seeker says:

      Morning Frank 🙂

      Like

      • Frank Ston says:

        Morning Truthy,
        I hope you have fair winds and calm seas, (at least as calm as Short-ones announcements of ‘policy’, just before NatCon, will permit).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Truth Seeker says:

          Mate, the bloody humidity gave me a major coughing fit and breathing probs whilst doing some shopping with SWMBO early this morning 😦 , so will be having a nebuliser shortly 😉

          But courtesy of Short-on, the day didn’t start well anyway 😡

          Hope you’re doing OK? 🙂

          Like

          • Frank Ston says:

            I’m struggling a bit at present with a change in some of the significant meds. The wind man dropped Seretide and Spiriva and replaced them with Anoro. My patterns have been al over the place and I’m going back onto the prior regime.
            And, I think there’s a URTI lurking somewhere at present , which, as you, know is a bit of a concern.
            At least you and I have our medications, Christ alone knows what to prescribe for the country.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Truth Seeker says:

              Mate, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling at the moment too 😦 I’m on Seretide and Spiriva, but I haven’t heard of Anoro? is it a replacement preventer puffer? O_o

              WRT the country, a good place to start would be with an enema designed to expel all right wing nut-jobs from the arses of both sides of politics 😯 😡

              Like

              • Frank Ston says:

                Yeah, you nailed it in one, Truthy.
                A very dear friend of my wife had been on a similar regime to me, Seretide, Spiriva and Ventolin/Asmol. She mentioned about a month ago that her specialist changed her meds by dropping the Seretide and Spiriva and replacing them with Anoro. The biggest advantage to me was that I could relace 2 puffs of Seretide in the morning and two at night together with I Spiriva in the morning with just one puff of the Anoro in the morning.

                Like

    • Frank Ston says:

      correction – after Fran, in the second para, please add,

      , supporting the excellent, direct and unambiguous work of Truthy,

      Liked by 3 people

      • cornlegend says:

        Hey Frank.
        I spoke to the problem child earlier and though she has the fire in the belly to take on anyone , I did have to giggle when I spoke to her this morning .
        She is nervous and said she feels like she will be “a political virgin surrounded by a gathering of worn out old political whores”

        Liked by 3 people

    • UniversalSoulJa says:

      If you don’t mind me asking would Fran happen to be that little firebrand Fran Whitfield ?
      I haven’t come across many young Frans other than her who will be at the NatCon

      Liked by 1 person

    • JohnB says:

      Thanks Frank for your support and kind words.
      It concerns me that we must wait 4 years for a NatCon to change Labor poiicies.
      The world is moving so much faster these days since the corporate neo-cons have come to realise that AGW and diminishing resources are directly threatening their profit based business model.
      They are playing for keeps – we are just a hindrance to their continued wealth accumulation onslaught.

      We haven’t got time to spare to wait 4 years for ALP internal procedural churnings to react to neo-con incursions on our country.

      Like

  7. Universal SoulJa says:

    John B .
    As a Union Delegate to the Conference I am only too willing to disperse this article as widely as possible .
    I do agree with the poster above, Cornlegend, in that you have left the run a bit late to have any significant impact on NatCon 2015 .
    I also concur on the need to get the casuals and part time young workers signed up to Unionism even if as a special free on minimal cost member

    Liked by 2 people

  8. cornlegend says:

    Geez, I’m pissed.
    My kids and their partners just left to meet up with Fran, one to go with Fran as an observer , 3 to the Fringe events .
    And here I am stuck home, babysitting with a knackered knacker :-{
    This is what I’m missing

    https://lab15.org.au/files/National%20Conference%20Agenda.pdf

    https://lab15.org.au/files/Draft%20National%20Platform.pdf

    https://laborfringe.org/#register

    Liked by 2 people

  9. consider says:

    John, it`s as if you have listened to every disgruntled and disillusioned ex and or member of the ALP, and put together their thoughts in a very cohesive, logical and sensible solution that will rescue this once great party from oblivion, if it is acted upon.
    Many of us have been saying similar things for years ( although not as detailed and clearly defined as presented by you). and have given up in despair.
    Congratulations for your great effort and I hope for the sake of the party your suggestions are acted upon.
    Cheers mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth Seeker says:

      Morning Consider 🙂 I hope you and the lovely Considerette are both well and happy 🙂

      Like

    • JohnB says:

      Thank you Consider for your kind words.
      These thoughts have been brewing in me since Rudd/Gillard times – and have unfortunately taken that long to germinate into fruition into this article – so kindly published by Truthy.

      I emailed this same (almost) article to at least 15 (progressive) ALP politicians at Federal and State level 3 weeks ago – with no replies/interest indicated.

      No one is listening – I fear for the future of our great party – the structure is quite solid – it only needs a few rule amendments to yet again to be the party of the people.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. consider says:

    Morning Truthy, both happy and still recovering from the dreaded bronchitis.
    Cheers 🙂

    Like

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