Crikey Says

Apr 9, 2014

Crikey says: real democracy in Labor? Good luck

There's now a South African between David Jones and Myer. The killer bug that's eating half the internet. Guy Rundle on why Britain cares about Peaches. Bernard Keane on the anti-vaccination lobby and hate speech. What has the art world at odds. The racist cartoon tucked in a regional paper. And Jane Caro's week.

For over a century, the raison d’etre of the Australian Labor Party has been as the parliamentary wing of the industrial movement. In practice, of course, it has long been a far broader church than that and had to balance the views of disparate groups — Kim Beazley Snr’s famous utterance about the “scum of the middle class” replacing the “cream of the working class” was made decades ago.

In that time, however, trade union membership has fallen dramatically, from over 40% of male workers in 1992 to well below 20% now, and from 35% to the same level for female workers. Labor is now the parliamentary wing of a movement that is barely a shadow of its old self.

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One thought on “Crikey says: real democracy in Labor? Good luck

  1. Venise Alstergren

    It would almost be easier for the ALP to start from scratch. New Party, new name, new ideals. Let’s face it, endless patch up jobs will only wreck the fabric further– if possible.

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