Senator Faulkner. I listened to your speech tonight on TV and felt heartened.
As a long time Labor supporter I have been desolated by the ALP over the past half dozen years, especially in New South Wales…so much so that when Premier Iemma was leading the State ALP I wrote to him and begged him to get rid of the crowd standing at his back when pictures were taken. And time has proved me right. I did feel that Premier Iemma was a decent, honest person unlike some of those standing behind him.
Among those standing behind the Premier were two, Arbib and Bitar who went on (especially one of them) to mix it in the Federal sphere, managing the last campaign, and we all know about the last electoral campaign, possibly the worst, most inefficient, awful campaign it has been my regret to see unfold. And these two have now gone on the join Packer after leading the ALP from Sussex St. And others have gone on to star in the Courts in one of the most dreadful, scandalous court cases in my lifetime.
What is wrong with the ALP? Can’t you get people who actually think and feel Labor and do not look on the Party as simply a ladder to life after politics with anybody who will pay them a big package of money.
We want people who have the ALP in their blood. Who think Labor and feel Labor. Not those who use the Party to achieve their own ends without any convictions.
And of course, this brings me to the parlous state of the Party in NSW. At the moment the Coalition is really not performing well and if there was a credible Opposition, i.e. the ALP, in the State Parliament I feel that the next election could be very interesting. But unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any heart, any fight in the State Opposition and I am afraid that they will be condemned to at least a second term to a very second rate Coalition.
I don’t know what you do to make sure that you enlist real Labor types. Maybe going back to a Labor household; a Labor life not necessarily in a place like Sussex St running the Party through Unions. I really don’t know the answer but you have been a Labor person for a long time. Perhaps you should ask the old time Labor people who even now live and breathe the Party.
But get rid of those career people who join a Union, become a Union official and go up through the ranks to Parliament with no home atmosphere to inspire them and motivate them.
Please Senator Faulkner, please, keep talking. Keep fighting. Enlist some of the true Believers but reform the Party and get rid of the users, the people with no background in Labor, those who really don’t know just what Labor is in Australia. I actually feel desperate after the past months.
The above remarks apply equally to you and the State ALP and also your Secretary currently based in Sussex St. You need a clean sweep; look for REAL Labor people who have the Party in their blood and not in their bankbooks or I may find myself looking for a person/s to vote for in the next State election.