How many saviours does the federal Labor Party have – and how will it fit them all on the green leather benches in Canberra?

Yesterday, The Australian

Simon Crean is under pressure to decide his political future,
with the Victorian ALP quietly preparing the ground for his expected
successor, union boss Martin Pakula. The former Labor leader, demoted
last month to the regional development portfolio and now on a
taxpayer-funded study trip to Europe, could be forced to make up his
mind by as early as October. A factional brawl sparked by the two-year
membership rule for pre-selectors… will be resolved by the ALP’s
national executive this week, but the legality of the rule itself is
expected to be decided by the courts. The national executive ruling
will shape the factional brawling expected in the lead-up to a range of
pre-selections as the Right fights to install rising star Bill Shorten
in the western Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong…

The Oz listed a whole new range of “new-generation candidates
queuing for parliament” – ACTU assistant secretary Richard Marles,
national ALP assistant secretary David Feeney, millionaire Evan
Thornley and Melbourne silk Mark Dreyfus.

Labor industrial relations spokesman Stephen Smith hit back saying:
“There is a story today which struck me as a bit of a beat-up and an
overstatement.” “A mixture of new blood and experience is always
desirable,” Smith
said. But with all these saviours suddenly discovering their vocations,
where will Labor find seats for the likes of Shorten, Thornley and

Labor might have gained seats in 1998, but the MPs that entered
Parliament that year and some who have hung on for longer scarcely
inspire – Ann Corcoran in Isaacs, Steve Gibbons in Bendigo, Harry
Jenkins in Scullin, Gavan O’Connor from Corio and Spring Street
graduate and Member for Maribyrnong, Bob Sercombe.

Do any of these add anything to Labor’s chances of winning government – from a Victorian perspective, let alone nationally?

PS Just how big a disaster was Simon Crean? There’s more heresy from Peter Brent and Mumble Politics.
“Roosters and Lemmings have something in common: an interest in
downplaying their electoral prospects under former leader Simon Crean.
Roosters because their shenanigans nudged him towards resignation, and
Lemmings because of their December 2003 decision to elect Mark Latham.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey