She took a couple of days off but with mentions from Peter Costello in Federal Parliament and on ABC Radio’s PM program, our star new recruit Delia Delegate has produced this encore performance on the latest power structures in the Victorian ALP.
It is believed that the Socialist Left will never accept a deal that will install members of Labor Unity in the State Secretary and Bracks created Campaign Director’s roles. The Griffin forces regard Carr as a divisive force incapable of consultation, much like Conroy in the Right. Griffin is concerned that Carr will use the process of negotiation with Sword as yet another opportunity to shaft Griffin’s supporters. Their view is that getting Jim “No Name” Claven up as President wins the Socialist Left a high public profile and a beating from Feeney/Shorten’s conservative press baron mates, but no more power than they were getting anyway on Admin because the three officer positions receive one vote each on Admin. Some suspect that the Left may eventually be shafted by Sword who will have delivered very little to them except a ceremonial post which carries no extra voting power than the SL would have before the NUW moved to a neutral corner.
The comments about Sword are of course lies fueled by conservatives like Conroy who is desperate to destroy the Alliance and restore his Empire powerbroker role from the dustbin of history it is firmly in. The Socialist Left leadership and Sword are working together closely to reshape the Party. Carr is happy. Sword is busy with union business but is also happy with the turn of events.
They have taught Bill a lesson in politics and Shorten has been punished for his hubris. For all the spin of the conservative media barons and Premier’s spin doctors who show more loyalty to Feeney/Shorten than the Victorian Government, the NUW has triumphed. It delivered the Presidency to a nobody rather than Bill who has stroked himself about being PM to the extent of causing blindness. There are none so blind than those who will not see. A few in the NUW group are pushing for a deal with Labor Unity – no one credible hopes to rejoin Conroy’s dispirited and highly secretive organisation – to ensure that they are seen as neutral players, encouraging young talent and stopping branchstackers, like Miles in Geelong.
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The NUW group are confident of screwing a good deal out of Conroy and his lapdog with the laptop who is yapping constantly. So desperate are they to keep on side with the NUW that they are still inviting even prominent people once associated with Network and well known NUW officials to Labor Unity meetings, sending them newsletters. They serve as a reminder of the fact that Conroy runs the faction organisation for his own dubious benefit with secrecy being his ideology. Show us the bank accounts we contributed money to all these years, some say, and then we might consider coming back.
Conroy is remembered explaining his unorthodox approach to democracy this way at a Victorian Parliamentary Right caucus meeting: “Arguments are to be avoided, they are always vulgar and often convincing.”
Friday night is the first night of the rest of the ALP’s life. A new state secretary will come to reform the branch, expel branchstackers and their conservative catholic allies. There’s even a chance the Alliance might agree to David Feeney being out in the Head Office print room being “Campaign Director”, making sure the ink tanks are replenished although many in the NUW group would prefer a clean break for the sake of Party unity.
Modernisation has its critics, such as the many who like writing in Crikey in scathing and malicious tones about one of the nation’s great union leaders. As it prepares for its show-down with the conservatives from Labor Unity, it is interesting to see how the Bracks Cabinet lines up.
If you normally read the conservative’s favourite the Herald Sun, you might be surprised to know that the Modernisation Alliance has secured a majority in the Bracks Cabinet. Counting only formally committed Ministers, the Modernisation Alliance has 10 of the 19 member Cabinet. 11 of 20 if you count Gavin Jennings, the clever Cabinet Secretary. This means that policy prescriptions approved by the Alliance through its structures will become the Cabinet’s formal position. Sword and Carr have indicated they would use this new power prudently and decently for all.
The conservatives have 9 of the 19, with Bracks, Brumby, Hulls and Madden possibly changing sides. Bracks now appears to have committed to the conservatives, but he has many capable people on his staff who want him to join the Modernisation Alliance. Here’s Crikey’s exclusive Ministerial assessments about who lines up where and why.
Ministerial Report Card
Premier Steve Bracks
His disgraceful intervention in favour of Feeney has cost him the valuable support of National ALP President, Greg Sword. Bracks must accept the Modernisation Alliance’s achievement of stabilising the party or face the consequences. Is he rebuking his Chief of Staff for disloyalty?
John Thwaites, Deputy Premier, Health Minister
Titutlar leader of the Independents grouping, which will be part of the Modernisation Alliance. Thwaites respects Sword and his operatives in the FEAs have worked well with Network and oppose branchstacking by catholics from the conservative SDA. Known on the road.
Peter Batchelor, Minister for Transport
Active supporter of the Modernisation Alliance, former State Secretary, is appalled by the declining moral fibre of head office and the obsession with fundraising and talking to business leaders championed by Feeney. It has become a business and has lost the cultural vibrancy of the past.
Monica Gould, Minister of Nothing
Brilliant minister, unfairly shafted in last reshuffle without consultation with stakeholders. Third highest ranking minister, will be given major economic portfolio under new deal brokered by Greg Sword. Known on the road.
John Brumby Treasurer
Has continued in Labor Unity for now, but actively supports the NUW/Network group by employing fellow travellers like Matt Carrick. Carrick is a respected member of the Treasurer’s team and has won over Brumby’s staff to a pro-NUW position. The Treasurer’s next step will be interesting.
Bob Cameron, Minister for Local Government
Active supporter of the Modernisation Alliance, and participant in the Socialist Left group.
Christine Campbell, Minister for Senior Victorians
Demoted earlier to portfolios that no one could bugger up. Campbell is an SDA conservative catholic as previously exposed. She is one of the stem cell fanatics that are moving in on the ALP and making it less progressive than the average Lions Club. Could be replaced by Tim Holding.
Mary Delahunty, Minister for Planning
Regarded as unlikely to see out the year, sick of the job. Pays no attention to factions and doesn’t understand them at all.
Sherryl Garbutt, Minister for Environment
Labor Unity right winger who will stay with the sinking ship. Could be replaced by Matt Viney, an MP with strong environmental credentials.
Andre Haermeyer, Minister for Cops and Robbers
Andre left his wife to shack up with one of Bill Shorten’s girls at the AWU – Tonia Stephens. Unlikely to dump his faction (Labor Unity) and his wife in the same year.
Keith Hamilton, Minister for Agriculture
Pledge left Minister. While part of the Modernisation Alliance, is Chief Oxygen Thief of the Bracks Cabinet, a hotly contested position given the level of talent around. Known on the road.
Rob Hulls, Attorney-General, Manufacturing, Racing, Drinking, Rooting, Shooting and Tooting Hullsy will go with whatever Bracks and Brumby does, which means he’s torn. Believed to be not drinking which has destroyed the business of the Parliament House members bar, the Cricketers Arms and Imperial Hotel on Spring Street. A happy head law officer who is getting lots. Part of Labor Unity and doesn’t understand the factions .
Lynne Kosky, Minister for Education and Training
A good Minister from the Socialist Left who enjoys sticking it to left wing education unions who think they own her. Despite the contradiction she is a prominent Lefty and supports the Alliance.
John Lenders, Minister for Finance and Industrial Relations
From Labor Unity group. Will be replaced by Gould after the election who will take Industrial relations back according to some sources. Former State Secretary who allowed branchstackers to stack the Party in mid 90’s. Ran the notoriously bad ’96 campaign.
John Pandazoploulos, Minister for Employment, Gaming, Tourism
Branchstacker and reformed table top dance tipper but OK minister. From the Socialist Left, known for involvement in branchstacking in south-east. Alliance supporter.
Bronywn Pike, Minister of Housing
Out of her depth. Part of Pledge group, with ties to the SL. Is in the three blind monkeys celebrity candidate group. Alliance supporter.
Candy Broad, Minister of Energy and Resources
Obsessed with destroying Kim Il Carr in between reading cabinet papers. Highly talented minister from the Socialist Left faction.
Justin Madden, Minister for Sport
Employs the sharp Jeff Pulford but is otherwise pretty disappointing. Makes up the numbers but is very friendly to Sword. The Right’s version of Delahunty, a celebrity candidate who can only guess at the branchstacking, number crunching, muscle flexing that got them into Parliament and Cabinet because they did nothing to help themselves except show up. A Feeney/Shorten creation.
Marsha Thomson, Minister for Small Business and KFC
A challenger for the Gavin Jennings Sloth Award, enjoys playing factional games on ministerial time. Her whole staff is dedicated – especially Fiona Richardson – to running the faction apparatus of Labor Unity. How much time government funded Richardson spends on running Labor Unity.
Gavin Jennings, Cabinet Secretary
Decreed by the Herald Sun as a very lazy MP. The Herald Sun has got everything else wrong in its Murdochian presumption of promoting the Feeney-Shorten line so this is no exception. Supports Alliance.
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