According to Patricia Karvelas, writing in the Australian on 30 December, 2005, (Labor backing for Mundine), senior Labor figures have backed incoming ALP president Warren Mundine’s call for the party to become more mainstream and to avoid focusing on marginal issues.
Mr Mundine is to be the next rotating Labor national president,replacing Barry Jones, on 28 January 2006. A subsequent report says he hopes for preselection for the Senate, which will apparently mean that the Party’s gender policy will need to be set aside.
The Australian reported that the NSW ALP Secretary Mark Arbib had observed that Mr Mundine’s presidency would help bring the party in touch with mainstream values.
"Warren Mundine isn’t a politician – he comes from the Sydney suburbs but has spent a great deal of his life in country NSW," Mr Arbib said.
"He will bring a commonsense and practical approach to the party presidency."
This call is timely. The Labor Party is our oldest political party. It is inevitable that at some point in the future a federal Labor leader will be called on to form a government.
It is often said that oppositions do not so much win government , but that governments lose elections.
Be that as it may, the people are reluctant to elect an opposition whose leader is not seen as safe, competent and serious.
Mr Latham demonstrated that he was not ready. However much some in the media were campaigning for him, the electorate were becoming more and more suspicious about him, and his decisions.
One example was his endorsement of the diminishing republican movement’s policy that Australians were to be forced to keep on voting on the republic until they finally get it right.
Not only did he endorse this, much to the horror of his colleagues, he promised a plebiscite or referendum each year of his government!
A Latham government would have had little time for anything else.
And not only did he endorse this foolish, impossible process, he also supported grafting an elected presidency onto our Westminster system, which must have sent shivers up the backs of most experienced Labor (and Coalition) politicians.
While the media played this down, ACM made sure that voters in selected key electorates were aware of this.
About one million pamphlets on this were distributed.
This is one issue which traditional Labor voters know concerns only the inner city elites. It is marginal to their real interests and concerns.
More recently, federal frontbencher Martin Ferguson called for an end to the Labor alliance with the Green Party on the environment.The Green Party is a most passionately republican party, although what that has to do with the environment is not clear.
If it is time to break the alliance with the Green Party, it is surely overtime for the ALP to stop doing, without question, the bidding of the diminishing and increasingly eccentric republican movement.
Yet the ALP members on that waste of time and money, the Senate Inquiry, adopted, without demur, the script written by the republican movement.
Even one of the ARM leaders on the inquiry who had earlier approved the ARM script, Liberal Senator Marise Payne, actually dissented in part, but only after fellow republican Professor Greg Craven explained what the likely consequences of the ARM plan were.
So how many tails should go on wagging the ALP dog?
The ALP is a venerable party,and from its ranks comes the alternative government of the Commonwealth.
Both in its own interests and those of its supporters, it must stop being the captive puppet of minority elite groups. Mr Mundine and Mr Ferguson recognize this.
As I have said on several occasions, all –all – of the great Labor leaders were constitutional monarchists.
The republican objective was foisted on the remaining, and it seems the mainly disinterested delegates, towards the end of a national conference years ago in Hobart. It has no enthusiastic support in the party or among its traditional supporters, except of course among those inner city elites.
It will not be long before a realistic Federal Labor leader moves away from giving little more than token respect to this objective-if that.
The republican objective will then surely wither away until it is finally thrown into the waste paper basket.
Until next time,