After ‘The Killing Season’

Opinion 2The Parliament is in recess. The media has gone quiet. Should we just move on?

I came away from the ABC documentary, The Killing Season, feeling that an embedded disease is eating away at Labor, chronically, sporadically. This was exposed by the handful of schemers among the current bunch of ex-union bosses and union annointees whose cohort dominate the Labor seats in Parliament, its National and State headquarters. They just about crowed, at every turn, their prowess as ‘warlords’, re-enacted for the viewers, driven basically by outrage of their spoils of office being jeopardised by the “catastrophic polls” that Kevin 07 had created!

That ‘Killing Season’ is over. These dwarfish warlords have knighted Abbott as monarch of the Antipodean realm, half-wittingly.

I wonder if they have since regretted their re-enactments for the documentary, and their blandishing of out of sight manoeuvres in the caucus germane to their existence in their union organiser days.

The documentary did not reveal why saner, wiser, and experienced Ministers failed to stop those few schemers, largely ‘wet behind the ears’ freshers, from spreading their germ warfare until it was too late?

Such a pity.

Perhaps Labor MPs are mere indentured operatives of current Union bosses. Paul Howe’s public proclamation during The Killing Season seems to confirm this prognosis. These days most Labor pollies owe their tenure, in some cases affording unimagined status, income, and the post-parliamentary “bankable insider knowledge” sought after by barons in the gambling, mining and banking empires, to the patronage of the union bosses, near and far. In recent years some of these anointed parliamentary seat warmers have been tapped on the shoulder. Yes, occasionally, mistakes are recognised, not without haemorrhaging though.

Another possibility is that these union/Party-bred pollies have in their DNA a dominant “warrior” gene that is essential for a union Organiser or a union Boss, whose stated reason for existence is to fight for victory for their members who have but to offer their sweat and toil to their capitalist employers. Alas, this is not the gene that is most needed in the running of a country not in continual outbreaks of civil war. Chairman Mao was the indisputable warrior who rid China of a century of subjugation aided by the comprador class who grew rich and powerful through supplication at the feet of the captains of corporations imposed by the Western conquerors in the Treaty Ports ceded by China after the Opium Wars. And he became an abject failure as the peace time monarch of China. Apart from quietly killing off dissenting Long March comrades in the Politburo (Parliament) one by one, he inadvertently gave the poor peasants a famine that claimed some 30 million lives.

Had the ‘Killing Season’ been nipped in the bud, Abbott would have been a mere footnote in our history, and Gillard might have blossomed as a PM by now, having logically ascended the edifice when Kevin 07 ‘astronauted’ into the UN firmament.

I am obsessed. Until Labor is rid of the stranglehold of professional pollies hatched in union/Party nurseries it will not attract nor endorse sufficient numbers of high calibre candidates from the real world (of work, survival, and acknowledgement) to convince voters that Labor is in John Faulkner’s words “electable and worth electing”.

To be sure, without unions we will see creeping slavery, heralded in through economic panaceas like Visa 457. But without throwing off the shackles of its birth and taking on the mantle of a social democratic party that is unfettered in its embrace of those outside its narrow and declining union base, Labor risks becoming a irrelevant rump, if the likes of Richard di Natale should become more prominent in our political landscape.

Some 8% of our entire population belong to unions. But we seem content for the ALP to be seen as a shopfront for union bosses. The irony is that in the 2004 Federal Election just 52% of union members voted for Labor. And we pontificate about fairness, equity, ad infinitum.

Ah, the vision, resoluteness, and incorruptibility of Gough, the management skills of Hawke, and the social instincts of Rudd on a good day. Is that too much to ask for this lucky country?

Chek Ling

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