Uniter, not a Divider

Kim BeazleyJPG.jpeg

Julia Gillard made one extremely interesting suggestion in the remarks she made yesterday at an Australia Day function when announcing that she would not contest the ALP leadership. Gillard suggested that Beazley should drop his affiliation with the Right faction as a token that he would take advice from all groups within the part and to symbolise his desire for inclusive leadership. The suggestion doesn’t appear to have been accepted wholly, though Beazley says he will occasionally attend Right faction meetings and visit other factions as well.

Peter Fuller argued on another thread that Crean in particular was torn down because his relative independence from the Right was not well received. Crean and Latham both had a leadership base with a fair degree of Left and Centre support.

I think it’s a good idea. Wayne Goss became leader of the Queensland ALP after a period of open factional warfare, and his factional non-affiliation (though he was close to the AWU) was very helpful in ensuring that the disparate elements of caucus could be melded into a cohesive election winning team.

ELSEWHERE: The Devine Miss M says that Gillard’s being single and childless would make her a better leader. miss piss (of best Tassie blog fame!) artfully deconstructs Miranda at piss’n’vinegar.

It’s also important to remember, in the context of the contest, that unanimity is not the same thing as unity. The fact that Gillard made several constructive suggestions – also arguing that “new policy solutions – not timidity” was key (as against the “small target” strategy associated with Beazley) – demonstrates that her and Rudd’s participation was a plus in airing the issues that Beazley must deal with as leader. Beazley will make a full statement on policy and strategy on Friday.

Gillard is right about this:

Our recent history demonstrates that electing a new leader, even in an uncontested ballot, does not guarantee party unity. A new culture – of mutual respect and shared conviction – is the key to party unity. We must all make the effort to heal old wounds, and our colleagues need to be tough on those not prepared to play for the team.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Mark

How much did the Bomber pay you to use a 30 year old (or thereabouts) photo of him? On the substance of your post, I’d like to think that Beazley will be more inclusive and exhitit greater policy backbone than heretofore, but leopards usually don’t change their spots (proudly mixing metaphors), and the Right isn’t likely to loosen its grip on the levers of power (such as they are in opposition) now it’s got them back in its greasy paws again.

flute
2022 years ago

Who was Gillard’s audience when she spouted off? She should have kept the dirty dacks on the bedroom floor next to the laundry basket where all dacks should be. Not aired in the public arena.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“How much did the Bomber pay you to use a 30 year old (or thereabouts) photo of him?”

Back to the future, Ken, back to the future.

“leopards usually don’t change their spots (proudly mixing metaphors), and the Right isn’t likely to loosen its grip on the levers of power (such as they are in opposition) now it’s got them back in its greasy paws again.”

I daresay you’ll be proved right, Ken, but it’s important that Beazley be held to his statements – one reason why having a contest would have been a good idea.

“She should have kept the dirty dacks on the bedroom floor next to the laundry basket where all dacks should be. Not aired in the public arena.”

Let all the snakes that lurk in the mud come out, Flutey. I think it’s a positive thing – for the reasons I argued above. And btw do we know if Gilly’s laundry is a room of pristine cleanliness and sparkle?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“Peter Fuller argued on another thread that Crean in particular was torn down because his relative independence from the Right was not well received.”

That’s an interesting take, but I think Crean fell down largely because he was uniquely unappealing to people who respond to pollsters. Had he not conveyed an inimitable impression of the kind of charismatic leadership one gets when you dress a mannequin in a gray cardy and provide it with a voicebox set to eternal whinge, all the factional machinations in the world would have been to no avail.

I should think that Beazley’s threat to visit with all the factions has totally put the wind up them. One hour meetings will inevitably stretch to half a day or more as Kim lumbers in to share the all-encompassing sweep of his grand vision in 100,000 or more better-have-your-Macquarie-handy words.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Suki has a good take on the new ALP team building exercises, Geoff:

http://notanothertermplease.blogspot.com/2005/01/things-to-take-to-team-building.html

Irant
2022 years ago

Not sure what the Devine Miss M did on her holidays but she dang well seemed resonable in today’s column. I’m sure I’m not reading it right.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Maybe she hooked up?

Irant
2022 years ago

You know Mark, I think you’ve nailed it. Wanna bet how long it lasts?

flute
2022 years ago

Far from reasonable in my opinion. By saying that Gillard would be good because she’s single and childless is incredibly sexist.

Polly
Polly
2022 years ago

The holiday cheer will have warn off by nect column. She is probably already regretting todays.

yellowvinyl
2022 years ago

so, Irant, which bars in Sydney are favoured by right wing columnists looking to hook up? that is the question!

Nic White
2022 years ago

It goes without saying that Kim will need to focus on uniting the party by inclusion in policy making, rather than just beating everyone into submission, and to learn from his mistakes and develop a better strategy to deal with Howard in 2007 if he wants to win – which he does and rightly so.

I think he can do it.

Irant
2022 years ago

Not sure yellowvinyl. Me city drinking is usually North Sydney now (being where I work). So I hang out at pubs which seem full of IT types. If I was a right wing columnist I’d hit the lefty bars anyway and hook up. Sparks would fly and she’d have material for a year’s worth of columns.