Crikey Says

Dec 5, 2012

Crikey says: why disloyalty should not be death

Plenty you can say about Labor; transparency should be part of it. Not that anyone really listened to John Faulkner. Joe Hockey proves why nobody should listen to him. What Julia Gillard was told about those WikiLeaks cables. Are good leaders psychos? Not Jac Nasser, we think.

The punishment for disloyalty is death. That's how the script runs, right? Labor elder John Faulkner's persuasive and powerful speech yesterday on the need for reform of the ALP, and for broader reform of the political process, was shrunk by much of the media into the usual "politician criticises own party" beat-up. Labor must be in trouble. MPs were issued the usual "please explain" on their colleague's apparent crime: to talk openly about problems within his party, and to make suggestions on how to improve the situation. The media's entrenched habit of beating up dissent acts as a dumbed-down short circuit of important political debates which deserve more thoughtful consideration. It encourages politicians to slavishly parrot their party's talking points like so many robots in suits. Why does everyone in a party have to (pretend to) agree on everything? Why can't politicians say what they think on policy? It's not so much the case in the US, where there's greater tolerance for politicians to speak their minds. So we say bravo to the Faulkners. We say bravo to the Petro Georgious, the Malcolm Turnbulls, the Fiona Nashes, the Mal Washers, the Tony Crooks, the Barnaby Joyces. Not because we necessarily agree with them, but because it's healthy and constructive for the deep-run differences of opinion that inhabit every corner of Parliament House to be out in the open, where the public can play a role in understanding and debating them.

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4 thoughts on “Crikey says: why disloyalty should not be death

  1. Barbara Boyle

    Is John Faulkner the last of something fine in the ALP?

    In a way, I should be grateful to the media- by not reading the oh so predictable commentariat, I have much more for worthwhile pursuits.

  2. klewso

    Again, another example of their funnelled vision (how we’re allowed to see “news” on which to base our opinions) – through the edited views we get from our viewsmedia?
    Their “edited high-lights”.
    As they see fits their “public interest” priorities, rather than ours?
    They own the remote and the viewfinder.
    The US also has greater media diversification.

  3. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    [We say bravo to the Petro Georgious, the Malcolm Turnbulls, the Fiona Nashes, the Mal Washers, the Tony Crooks, the Barnaby Joyces]


  4. AR

    In explaining the Westminster system to a politically aware amerikan many years ago, she was aghast at the rigidity of the party line concept, dissent being deselection.
    The difficulty BO has had with blue dawg Dems,(the equivalent of RINO, Repug-in-name-only)in passing legislation even in his first 2yrs when Dems controlled both Chamber of Congress is considered normal, hence the invention of port barrelling, earmarks,defence industry largesse and bridges to nowhere.
    I believe the ALP began to die in the early 80s when the apparatchiks (graspers & graduates in the party structure, soft hands and shiny pants)gained control and claimed that, when the Drover’s Dog waltzed in, it proved this was the way of the future and the concept of local input, meaningful conferences and listening the the membership was jettisoned.
    What remains will be flotsam.

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