Yuri Non-unionist used to be with the ALP but got sick of the unions running the show and continues to urge the powerbrokers to cut the umbilical cord.

Well, credit where credit is due I always say. Sorry to get the trumpet out but I need to give it a serious blow. When I wrote my original letter to Simon, Bob, and Neville it was a serious plea from a former ALP member to give me the chance to be heard. I was looking and still am for a reason to come back and belong again but because of the ALP’s 60-40 I do not really have any hope of contributing to the party.

This letter prompted responses that I was among other things a Liberal plant or totally anti-union. This is not the case. In summary, this is a good paragraph from my last contribution from the Yuri:

“Where is my representation you pricks? Where is the representations from say everyone else not belonging to a union? How many Accountants or Computer wizzes have been preselected in safe seats rather than some useless union hack who has done his time in the party? Why not an electrician with his own business rather than an electrician from the Electrical Trades Union? How about a butcher instead of someone from the meat workers union? Why not Bob and Neville? You want to modernise the party then start be getting in touch with reality. Make me want to come back to party, make me want to belong again!”

Just to remind everyone that what I was basically saying is that given that today’s workforce is only made up of 25% union members then the rest of us have no say. That’s right 75% of the entire population is not a member of a union. I personally do not hate unions. I just don’t have a need to be in and I don’t need one. However, because of this I am completely shut out of the ALP and its conferences. I made mention and asked the question why a union hack like Jenny George can get shoe horned into a safe seat like Throsby and a non union person who is a true believer cannot? See also Mar’n Ferguson in the seat of Batman. Where is the safe seat for the other 75% of today’s society? Doesn’t the ALP want to represent everyone or at least a large part of the public?

Anyway, just to get the trumpet blowing it was good to see that a few people are jumping on my bandwagon. The former Victorian Senator John Button last week was telling us that in the Hawke (and yes I know where he came from and the ALP does sometimes get it right) cabinet they had a teacher, a shearer, a farmer, a small businessman, a few union reps, a former band manager even. In other words the cabinet was more reflective of the Australia today. This is what this good thing was saying a few weeks ago. Senator John is a man I always liked. He had no factional alliance being from the “Independents”. However, he then suggested that 25% representation from the unions at the ALP conferences was about the right mix. Where did he get this idea? Sorry, my trumpet is getting louder! He read it hear on crikey and Steve I will bet you a slab of VB that he is a crikey subscriber. (Not that I’m aware – Ed). Where else did he get this thought? No need to read Button’s thoughts on modernising Labor if you were already a crikey subscriber. Credit where credit is due I say.

If John Button wasn’t enough and also in weeks gone by the illustrious member for Werriwa, Mark Latham has also jumped into my band to give me a hand with the trumpet. He also has said 25% of the population into 60 of the delegates somehow does not fit. Good maths Mark, but again you only had to read crikey and read Yuri’s contribution. My God Steve, should I be looking for some royalties from all these politicians quoting me in the media these days?

Anyway, moving right along – can someone pass me another trumpet as the first one is wearing out a bit. Now Simon Crean is joined my crusade with the following quotes in yesterday’s media:

“Labor Party conferences will be larger with fewer union delegates and ordinary party members given greater policy and organisational voting rights under reforms designed to overhaul the ALP dramatically.”

Fantastic Simon and what about your quote: “would make it easier for people to join the party and would open up the policy and decision making processes to a wider group of people.”

Bloody brilliant Simon and thanks for listening to me a few weeks ago. Sorry to say boys and girls but you all heard it from on crikey some weeks ago. Simon Crean is simply again following Yuri the non-unionst.

Simon, you or Bob or Neville did not call me. However, at least my submission is obviously being taken seriously. All is somewhat forgiven.

Another quote from Simon in the Herald-Sun: “Mr Crean wants to limit union power in the party and weed out branch stackers”.

“Now, I’m prepared to put my authority on the line deliver on that front (branch stacking),” Mr Crean said

Oh good, he is quoting me again and the trumpet is certainly getting loud. This is exactly what I have advocating. Go for it Simon! Come on mate, don’t be a jelly fish on me either!

But wait! There is more, I have some steak knives to throw in! What about this pearler from The Age:

“Frontbenchers are demanding Mr Crean go further. ‘If we only get the 60:40 rule changed to 50:50, the reform process would be a complete joke,’ a frontbencher said.”

Well frontbencher whoever the hell you are; you too must subscribe to crikey. Again (another trumpet blow) this is what I said a few weeks ago. We all know that 50:50 would be next to useless and just mean that those union hacks and hopeless people called electoral staffers who we all know worked so hard to get such a job would just stack a little more in the local branches don’t we? So come on lets do this properly. You know about the saying “if the jobs worth doing, then its worth doing properly”. Never a truer word has been spoken. So I’m counting on you Simon.

Go forth Simon and do the job. Where do I join this crusade that I started many weeks ago. No apologies needed for not responding to my letter and its seems you have taken the Yuri message and are getting people to listen. Oh I feel just sooooo good at the moment. Any more trumpets lying around?

Again, boys and girls I am not anti-union. The fact is that the union’s membership is dwindling and 75% of the people do not belong. Lets get this party re-organised and get it focused again. Let’s have new direction. I want to come back and I want to be heard. Who knows? Maybe even I could win a seat like Throsby one day for the vast majority of people?

So far I only have me, Latham, and Simon on board. Johnny Button was probably making a suggestion only but hell its a damn good one. Anyone else want to follow Yuri’s lead. Afterall I reckon I pretty much started it. If anyone thinks I am a bit off the planet then have a look at the ALP’s web page:

“The most basic element of ALP membership is the local branch. When you join the Labor Party, you join a branch in the area you live in. As a branch member you can participate in the life and activities of your branch, and also become eligible to vote in internal elections and stand for office”.

Hee, Ha, Ha, Hee, Hee, Ha – don’t you love that comment “also become eligible to vote in internal elections and stand for office” Shouldn’t that read something like become part of a branch stack and then try an run for office? God, the ALP’s executive crack me up at times. I reckon Dave Hughes must have written that paragraph!

Oh well boys and girls the message is starting to get out and Yuri will watch with much interest the Hawke-Wran review of the party would that will report in early August. Well Bob, Simon, and Neville I hope there is something in there for me. If there is then I just might renew my membership and hopefully be welcome back to the fold. Trust me boys there a lot of people in that 75% that I keep talking about that can make a difference. Sorry if we did not come from a union and sorry if we did not have a cushy electoral staff job but I hope you see the light. Still waiting for the letter but as I said I think all could be forgiven. Glad to be of assistance boys. No thanks needed.

Yuri Non-unionist.

PS Anyone know a music shop that sells cheap trumpets? Mine has just blown up!

Peter Fray

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