Why I Am Still A Member Of The ALP


I’m sure by now we have all read the article by former ALP Member, former ALP Candidate for the federal seat of McEwan, Andrew McLeod, which appeared in the Fairfax media on Monday, titled, ‘Why I Left the ALP’. If not, here it is for you to read so that you can be informed and get the context around what I am about to say in reply to that piece.


I’d like to say I support the sentiments of Andrew McLeod, former ALP candidate for McEwan in 2001, and author of the piece in The National Times on May 27, 2013, titled ‘Why I Quit the ALP’.

But I cannot.

I think his logic is flawed.

I, too came to a turning point in my life as a result of ‘Tampa’ in 2001. The actions of Howard revulsed me so much that I went quickly and decisively from being just a supporter of Labor at the ballot box, to a member of the party. I wanted to no longer be someone who shouted at the Howard government from the sidelines, but instead an active participant in their overthrow. Also because the Pacific Solution disgusted me. Locking genuine refugees up until they went mad, in hell hole camps in Australia, for all to see, or in equally depressing gulags on desolate Pacific atolls, was just a bridge too far.

Luckily, the election of a Labor federal government in 2007 put an end to this, and a more humane regime was instituted.

However, this is where the issue becomes complicated and more than the essentially unsophisticated analysis of Andrew McLeod has allowed for.

The Federal Labor government tried to lead the discussion Andrew pines for. However, they have been thwarted at every turn by an opportunistic Coalition Opposition seeking to rekindle the flames of xenophobia and bigotry so expertly exploited by John Howard from 2001 on, and, frankly, an opportunistic group of People Traffickers, who have seen the federal Labor government’s attempted generosity towards Asylum Seekers as a weakness to exploit. And exploit it mercilessly to Labor’s cost they have. To the point where, combined with the Abbott Opposition’s advantage-taking tactics, the federal Labor government have been placed into a Lose-Lose situation. Unable to please the likes of Andrew and unable to please those in the electorate who can see Australia being taken advantage of by the People Traffickers and their boat-borne Asylum Seeker cargo. To the sickening point where the life of the Asylum Seeker is no longer sacred & they can die at sea for all the People Traffickers care, as long as they have banked their $.

However, the solution is not, as Andrew appears to suggest, throwing your hands up into the air and throwing open the borders again by rescinding the excision of the mainland. That way lies a bonanza for the People Traffickers which they would gladly and eagerly exploit to the max. And Australia, for all the good intentions of Andrew and his kind, simply cannot take every Asylum Seeker/Refugee who wishes to come to Australia. Our fragile environment simply could not stand it and our social fabric would be rent by it. Surely, Andrew, the people who live here already, the citizens of Australia, the electorate, get a say in all this? Form a new party, by all means, but at the end of the process democracy means respecting the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box and via the votes in parliament of their representatives, and, at the moment, that collective will is saying that they don’t want all power to reside with the Asylum Seekers and the organisers of their boat journeys. No matter how genuine is their cause. The Australian people want to retain control over their Immigration system.

That is why I have stayed a Member of the ALP. It is the only party that has tried to find a humane solution to this complex problem that will no longer stand for simplistic solutions such as the sort Andrew appears to be advocating.

That is why I support the Bali Process and the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island, which the Prime Minister and the Papua New Guinea prime Minister signed an Agreement for the week before last, because it will finally bring the ‘Justice is Blind’ principle to our region’s refugee intake.

No longer will those who come by boat get preferential treatment to settle in Australia compared to those who languish in camps, unable to afford the People Traffickers fee. Nor will they be able to guarantee that if they make it to Australia, that they get to stay in Australia. Now they can end up in any one of a number of regional countries.

That’s why I am still a member of the ALP. Because they are the only ones who have shown the courage and leadership required to tackle this complex issue head on from all angles & have come up with the most humane and rational solution respectful of all players in this issue. Asylum Seekers, the Australian People, and the Environment of our beautiful country, which I, for one, do not believe can cope with an overburdening of Australia. Despite others well-intentioned words.

1,052 thoughts on “Why I Am Still A Member Of The ALP

  1. No doubt Tony Abbott will be there on Sunday to have a go at the light switch.

  2. Independents end Coalition’s hope of no-confidence motion
    BY:BEN PACKHAM From: The Australian May 31, 2013 12:04PM 20

    THE Coalition’s latest attempt to force an early election appears doomed, with key independents condemning a new push secure their support for no-confidence motion against Julia Gillard.

    Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie accused manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne of discourtesy, saying they first learned he was seeking their support for such a motion in the pages of The Australian today.

  3. On the Geelong lighting thing and speculation about whether Disability Australia might be set up there, I’d agree with Leone that there’s not a huge employment, especially for ex auto workers.

    However, it may be a useful morale-economic boost, and it was Napthine’s suggestion. Victoria is still posturing on Gonski, albeit most expect it to sign. It might not be a bad opportunity to work a quid pro quo: get Victoria to sign up and in return, Geelong is offered this plum.

    I think the two Labor states will be in once they’ve squeezed the most they can get out of it. It would then only leave the two outer states and the NT. Even they might come on board in time, especially for the benefits to aboriginal education. Still a month to go, of course, but it would be good to get it all sealed.

  4. I live in a “safe’ Lib’ electorate..the local farmers are fervently conservative..now the sons hve the farm, they seem to continue the tradition…BUT!..their wives are mostly from non-rural areas…and while they may concur with their husband’s political line…I just bet the ones with young kiddies starting at primary school will put their ‘x’ on a different square than their husbands next election!

  5. GD. you are probably correct about the Geelong workers…however, with the younger generation coming up and the better education they will have had, THEY may be the target.

  6. If I lived in Pyne’s electorate and he sent me a birthday card I’d do something unspeakable to it and mail it back. Maybe even with added Ricin if I’d just watched QT.

    If old ladies love him then they must be putting some sort of medication in the water supply in Sturt. I’m an old lady and I can’t stand the bustard. I know lots of old ladies, they all think he’s a wanker. Perhaps the ladies in Sturt are so old they have senile dementia.

    Actually, come to think of it, if I lived in his electorate I’d move.

  7. I see. Thanks for the info about rural seats.

    I was wondering what Labor could do to one day win them back, but since most of them seem to be quite happy with their raving LNP tea party it’s probably not a battle worth fighting.

    Maybe when the pastures are roasted dry again in the next 10-year drought or washed away in the next flood they might be compelled to believe that just maybe something’s gone terribly wrong with the climate and maybe they should pay attention to what these “bloody lefty” climate scientists have to say.

  8. If there is a preselection battle for Batman I hope it’s played fair. The scuffle in Gellibrand between Conroy and Roxon’s candidates wasn’t very good PR.

  9. About Liberals running in National electorates- the Fibs, desperate to get rid of Oakeshott, looked into putting up a candidate in Lyne for this election. It was supposed to be some former football bloke who was used to live here but now lives in Sydney. I forget his name and can’t be bothered looking it up. Matt someone?

    They did some phone polling and began by asking for reactions to various names – Oakeshott, Gillespie, various other local politicians and mayors and this football bloke. My reaction was ‘Who? Never heard of him’. They must have had a lot of reactions like that because they gave up and decided not to run.

  10. Kirsdarke,
    One thing could be seachangers and treechangers, these are the people who made previously safe seats such as Corangamite, Page and Richmond marginal.
    Also Labor needs to ensure that their existing bases rural areas such as the hunter and the Latrobe Valley aren’t swayed to the nats by reinforcing the message that the carbon price did not cause the end of the world. In my view the Brumby Government completely mishandled contracts for closure and this enabled the Nats to run a huge scare campaign about it, the end result being that Labor’s result in the Latrobe Valley was one of the worst in decades.

  11. Also, another thing that Labor has to conted with is the local press with some of the papers, like the Gippsland Times in my area, pretty much acting as National Party propaganda sheets. When Darren Chester puts his promotional articles in the paper I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the paper’s genuine articles.

  12. Seachangers don’t always improve the Labor vote. Up here in Lyne we get lots of emigres from Sydney and sadly they just add to the Tory vote. They are usually more redneck than the local Nats. The majority of these seachangers are approaching retirement age or recently retired and they proudly boast they have moved up here to get away from the Asians and ‘ethnics’ and Muslims in Sydney. They bring their nasty racism with them. They can’t vote Liberal here so they vote National.

  13. From the At-Least-We-Know-What-They-Think-When-They’re-Not-Pretending-To-Be-An-Impartial-Journalist department.

    IT’s like there’s a competition on to see who can screw and manipulate reality in the most disfiguring way in order to make the government look bad.

    It’s a road map of Liberal talking points.

    Simon Benson, esteemed and respected political pundit from the Daily Telegraph reckons last week in politics was…

    … the worst week, of the worst year, of the worst parliament in the history of Australian parliaments.

    Tony Abbott described it, in a more unique use of subtleties: “We are now at the fag end of a very contentious parliament.”

    He was referring to the very issue that started the PM’s Hebdomas Horribillis, and ended it. The bungled attempt by the government to pass new electoral funding laws that proposed to take $60 million from taxpayers and put it in to political parties campaign coffers is emblematic of just how out of touch the political class in Canberra is with the rest of the country.

    How Labor strategists didn’t twig to the potential for Abbott to back away from it is staggering in itself. But Gillard’s own failure to walk away, even after it was dead, instead continuing to back it, is symbolic of how out of touch her leadership team is with the mood not just in the electorate but inside her own caucus.

    Labor elder John Faulkner couldn’t have been more blunt about his views on it when he labelled it a “disgrace”.

    But it wasn’t the only thing that ruined the PM’s week and diverted attention from the one issue Labor does have over the Coalition and is desperately trying to find clear air to campaign on: education.

    The well known Rudd supporter Anthony Byrne, the chair of the intelligence committee, fired the second missile on Monday when he attacked the government in parliament over funding cuts to the spy agencies. That too, was labelled a “disgrace”.

    Then there was the Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’ spectacularly inept response to suggestions that Chinese hackers had stolen the blueprints to its new $650 million office block. It all went pear shaped from there.

    The PM couldn’t buy a trick when it was revealed the NBN was exposing people to asbestos. And then news that a suspected terrorist wanted by Interpol had been living in low security detention centre in South Australia for a year as an asylum seeker.

    Labor MPs this week were even talking of just “bringing on” an election to put them out of their misery. The malaise that has been hanging over Labor MPs has now become a blanket of abject despair.

    Most MPs, if they are honest, now live day to day under Murphy’s famous law: If anything can go wrong, it will.

    And Simon Benson will be there to interpret anything at all as a disaster for the government.

  14. complete load of rubbish from a murdoch hack.
    and putting in the latin bit to make himself look smarter than he actually is was just desperate and if google translate is accurate he got it wrong. it should have been horrendum hebdomadam not Hebdomas Horribillis.

  15. “The lights will always be brighter under Labor”

    And much more expensive to run under the LNP!

  16. Labor MPs this week were even talking of just “bringing on” an election to put them out of their misery.

    Of course they were. Who would doubt the esteemed Mr Benson?

  17. Sigh. The One Man Labor Villification Band, Christopher Pyne, now that the Cross Benchers have farted in his general direction wrt his Faux No Confidence Motion, is already back with an attempt to get on the front foot with a release to the media, which Newsradio are dutifully playing every 15 minutes, for full brainwashing effect, saying, wtte, that of course the Cross-Benchers were never going to support the No Confidence Motion, so hog-tied to the ‘disastrous,deceitful,dysfunctional Labor government'(trade mark, Liberal Spin HQ), as they are.

    The man is a grub, a political filarial worm, whose belly couldn’t get lower to the ground if it was stuck down with Super Glue. In fact, a filarial worm is probably the only thing lower than a snake’s belly, except when picked up by a host, such as the Liberal Party, and the parasite finds a home.

  18. c@tmomma

    Yep. One reason why I am so grumpy today. The msm are doing their bit to boost up these frauds

  19. What I find most alarming about these fatuous prognostations from the OM. is that they don’t even write well! Their pieces of fluff could be penned by any second-grade blog poster with a grammar and spell-check! BB. Aguirre, Ian ,C@tm, etc and a host of other contributors on other blog sites write more lucid posts!
    What do these has-beens have to reccomend them?…Perception?..NO..they have ALL got it mostly wrong!..Astuteness..? NO..they nearly all sound like LNP. sound bytes…Originality..HAH!..again : HA HA!
    Thick, stupid, crawling, gutless, hollow, egotistical, blind, moronic and plain useless…….”Hopeless, gutless and useless” as my old uncle would say!
    They better start writing their next job CV. and include the phrase..: “Can’t judge, can’t perceive…can scribble a little “

  20. BB,
    I think it was you who first coined the term “it’s all about the polls” and it’s significance in the campaign against the govt.
    I think this week is a Newspoll weekend.
    As you say, the polls is the glue that holds the house of cards together..
    The govt is bad. Worst ever etc etc .
    How do you know? What is your proof?
    Well the polls would tell us so.
    Ask Joe Blow who is going to win in Sept. The answer is based on the polls.
    Take away the polls and the proof that the journos have to argue that their hypotheses are correct disappears.
    That’s why the polls are so important to them .It’s their proof.
    be interesting won’t it if things turn out very differently to how the polls predict it
    And remember that there’s 8% undecided and in Essential 19% say they are still prepared to change their vote.
    I think the polls are a con and part of their weaponry.

  21. Labor MPs this week were even talking of just “bringing on” an election to put them out of their misery.

    Anyone got that link again for me to the article outlining the Cameron Aroma Effect? As in, that’s exactly what Benson is trying to do with the above line wrt Abbott, and negatively wrt Labor.

    I want to photocopy the article and put it on file for future reference.

    When, of course, it is plain to see that it is the Coalition that can barely keep it together until the real election is due.

    Still, Benson won’t convince me. I’ll just go directly to the source for my information tomorrow about the purported despondency in Labor’s ranks and I will convey it back here for all who want the truth to see it.

  22. BB
    If you are around for the Friday Night Drinks at the PUB could you please submit these numbers for me – 23, 37, 59 (supps 73, 83, 97).
    Mrs BK and I are heading into Adelaide for a big black tie event – the Defence Teaming Centre dinner at which our company is a finalist. Angus Houston will be guest speaker.

  23. Speaking of bad punditry, the claim from Laura Tingle about the general expectation among Labor MPs about the party only getting 30-35 seats is just some bullshit faux psephology from none other than Graham Richardson.

  24. From today’s Crikey:

    Unions decline and corporate profits rise. Perhaps workers should think again about not joining a trade union. A paper published this week in the American Sociological Review suggests that the decline of labour unions, partly as a result of computerisation, is the main reason why US corporate profits have surged as a share of national income while workers’ wages and other compensation have declined.

  25. I can’t imagine that any Labor MP would speak to Richo, unless it was to hurl the odd insult. Why are we supposed to believe he has inside information? The only inside info he’d be gettting is what he finds scrawled on the back of the doors in public toilets.

    What do you do if you don’t have the skills to be a fiction writer but still want to inflict your fantasies on the general public? You become a political pundit, just like Richo. Then you can make stuff up and get paid for doing it.

  26. C@tmomma,

    The Boss doesn’t seem to have started a Friday post yet – I will try to have one up in about 20 minutes.

  27. leonetwo

    Richo said today that PMJG and Labor are running towards the cliff

  28. Indonesia’s Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema says there will be no collaboration with a Coalition Government to turn back boats to Indonesia

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke 2m
    Further, the Indonesian Ambassador says the coalition has never raised turning back boats and doesn’t expect it to if it wins Govt.

  29. victoria
    i heard about these Richo remarks but I couldn’t be bothered looking at them Why would I want to read anything that grub says? If i want to indulge in fiction I’ve got this huge reading pile to be getting on with, I don’t need the deluded ravings of Richo.

  30. leonetwo

    Richo is pushing the narrative of a Labor wipeout. The grub calls himself a Labor identity. He is worse than anyone in the CPG. In fact, worse than any Liberal identities. He is a traitor of the highest order. I seriously dont understand this grub at all

  31. leonetwo,
    doubtful, senate polling has a fairly bad track record.

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