Shadow housing minister Kelvin
Thompson faces losing his seat in the Victorian ALP factional war.
Labor has little enough front bench talent to afford losing the likes
of Thompson.

Take the letter he circulated to caucus earlier
this year recommending radical – but sensible – changes to the way the
front bench is selected. Thompson recommends that the leader should be
able to choose his own front bench. A brave stand, and a meritorious
argument. Surprisingly, the letter, written the week before Kim
Beazley’s ascension to the leadership, has until now not seen daylight

“It is time to admit that John Howard’s team has been
more disciplined and loyal than ours,” writes Thompson. “Not because
they are intrinsically more disciplined and loyal individuals, but
because the power of the Leader to choose the front bench locks in that

You can read the full letter on the Crikey website here.