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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am
Excellent column from … well, just read this extract before you hit the link:
Fewer and fewer Labor pollies have been self-employed, privately employed or even unemployed. They belong to a class who comprehend the outside world through focus groups, demographic analyses and what are virtually anthropological observations of voters, rather than direct experience.
The other day, I interviewed an up-and-coming MP, an impressive young woman who holds pilot’s licences for both agricultural and general commercial purposes, who has worked in air traffic control at Tullamarine and Mascot, as well as being involved on a family farm. Unfortunately, she’s a Liberal. That automatically, axiomatically makes her more interesting than most ALP counterparts who have been recruited from the ranks.
Politics should welcome people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, interests and experience. If Labor is to improve its empathy with the voters, it should be more eclectic in its pre-selection process—less reliant on characters who, on leaving school, join an ALP branch and sign up for a faction.
At state level, the situation is even odder. If you want to become a premier or chief minister, at least in a Labor state, it’s almost mandatory to have worked at the ABC. Premiers Brian Burke, Neville Wran, Bob Carr and Chief Minister Clare Martin are among those who come to mind. No wonder conservatives accuse the national broadcaster of bias.