Labor needs diversity

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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.

Via Alan E. Brain, who also examines the cut-and-run urgings of ironically-named academic D. Day.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/22/2004 at 04:46 PM
    1. It was Kim Beazley Sr who once remarked that the ALP was once inhabited by the cream of the working class and was now inhabited by the dregs of the middle class.

      Posted by SB on 12/22 at 05:01 PM • permalink


    1. Phil is acting very strange since the last election.  But some bits still ring true: like getting completely wrong the reason why “conservatives” accuse the ABC of bias.  And if Phil is so impressed by people who have pilot’s licences as well as winning political office, well, there’s another name I could mention.

      Posted by cuckoo on 12/22 at 05:02 PM • permalink


    1. They would have gotten more sense from Doris than David.

      Posted by Habib on 12/22 at 05:08 PM • permalink


    1. I see it but I dont believe it. Mind you, the philster talking about people needing to have a real job, unlike himself of course, who has been hand reared on hand outs for years.

      Posted by Nic on 12/22 at 05:17 PM • permalink


    1. What exactly does “honorary associate of the history program at LaTrobe University in Melbourne” mean?

      To me it implies the guy is such a raving dickhead that even La Trobe History Department draws the line at actually paying him.

      Posted by James Hamilton on 12/22 at 05:42 PM • permalink


    1. Sure Kim Beazley the older said that, but it should be pointed out that a lot of the working class have moved on and are now members of the middle class.

      Just who are the working class today?

      Certainly agree that Labor needs a greater diversity of representatives as it seems that there are too many youngsters who sign up soon as they go to university and then join a faction, get a job in an electorate office or a union and on it goes.

      Little real life experience to speak of.

      Posted by Darlene Taylor on 12/22 at 05:58 PM • permalink


    1. There was a good doing-over of David Day by Hal colebatch in the November issue of Quadrant, plus letter in December issue.

      Posted by Kevin Dunn on 12/22 at 07:17 PM • permalink


    1. Not to mention Alan Carpenter -W.A.’S education minister-former drive presenter and political reporter ABC.Isn’t Beattie also ex-media tho not Aunty, perhaps S.A. premier has a link to media?

      Posted by crash on 12/22 at 07:17 PM • permalink


    1. I’m sure that when the paddo pastoralist was talking of the inbred labo(u)r elite he was talking of himself, his most favourite topic.

      Posted by rog on 12/22 at 07:29 PM • permalink


    1. Darlene asks just who are the working class today

      Why they are the derided Mcmansion aspirationals, subjects of the leftie elite scorn.

      (take the “f” out of leftie and you have elite)

      Posted by rog on 12/22 at 07:34 PM • permalink


    1. My god!  That can’t be Phillip Adams writing, it would seem that he has been possessed by aliens or something!

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 12/22 at 08:19 PM • permalink


    1. I am happy to say that Phillip has talent, and in this case uses it wisely.

      Posted by blogstrop on 12/22 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. He missed one ex-ABC incompetent:  Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Minister Liddy Clark takes the cake.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 12/22 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. Yes, but Liddy was only a presenter on Play School.  State Govt should have been a breeze after that.

      The other cruel irony about Kim Snr’s quote was that his son turned out to be the greatest exemplar possible of the trend.

      Labor doesn’t need working class candidates, it just needs ANYONE else apart from ex ABC journo’s, university-to-union officials, MP’s staffers & other party hacks, or teachers.  If they need quota’s for anything, it’s one limiting these people at preselections

      Posted by Waste on 12/23 at 10:56 AM • permalink


  1. Phil’s article is really a light summary of Barry Cohen’s excellent article on what’s wrong with the ALP’s makeup.

    It seems Barry’s straight-talkin’ is permeating through some of the desciples.

    Posted by underscore on 12/23 at 01:41 PM • permalink