It’s our ALP

For too long power in the ALP has increasingly been centralised in the hands of paid political operators and politicians.

The role of members has been continually undermined.  It’s time that rank and file members organised amongst ourselves to take our Party back and renew the Labor movement.

Watch this space.

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15 Responses to It’s our ALP

  1. Ross Smith says:

    I ask that the energy of this group not be used to conduct a witch hunt, but used to take the ALP forward by restoring it to its original purpose, that of a benevolent collective concerned with the wellbeing of its membership.
    Accordingly I propose a motion “That this group does act to restore the initial Aims and Objectives of the Australian Labor Party”

    Ross Smith

  2. Clare Felton says:

    The apparatchiks, from both left and right, have come from a very narrow base.The much needed skills and experience within the rank and file has been totally wasted, whether it comes from formal qualifications, hands-on experience or hobbies. A good case is marine issues which are so central to understanding climate change. The present generation of scientists is far better than previous ones at communicating with the world-at-large but by not listening, we have ceded the issue to the Greens.
    It would be useful if this dimension were to be covered as it considers the relationship with the outside world. The intra-labor issues are important but it is imperative that we step through the processes by which we reach out to the world outside.

  3. Clare Felton says:

    The whole issue offers a perfect “case study” on the pathways by which we communicate.

  4. Norman Hanscombe says:

    A good starting point for whoever is arranging this meeting, and have appointed themselves as the ‘saviours’ of Branch members, would be to 1] read the proposal more carefully, 2] look at how past interventions have been manipulated by ‘leaderships’ to their own ends, and 3] stop presenting additional structures as panaceas for problems created by the cosy deals made by whichever ‘leadership’ group is in the best position to use those deals to benefit itself and its loyal acolytes.

    The first, and essential, step must be a return to Local Branch structures which are based on strict geographical boundaries whereby they can have a genuine link with their communities. Currently, more often than not Branches can be little more than someone’s ‘private club’ where the only the only ones welcome are like-minded people and/or relatives and/or drinking mates and/or low cost individuals who can be financed economically by whoever controls the ghost branch.

    There was a time when you had genuine debate at State and National Conferences, not the choreographed farces which now fill most of their programmes. Now you have the sort of farce we saw with the left [?] and right ‘leaderships’ deciding they were going [without the warning we once assumed the ALP would adhere to] to spring a rule change on us for the apotheosis of Nathan Rees. Admittedly his newly acquired divine status was fleeting, but it’s how Conference bestowed it on him which is most disturbing. Without warning, delegates were summoned to one of the two conclaves, left [?] and right, so that their ‘leaders’ could tell them they must support the vote. So keen were the genuinely co-operating ‘rival’ factions working in tandem, that some delegates were invited to BOTH conclaves. It was successful, with only two delegates opposing Nathan’s deification; but there were far more than two who then quietly congratulated those two dissenters, because the ordinary rank and filers had been ambushed by their ‘leaders’ in a manner which shows the contempt with which those not members of the power elites are treated. A contempt which has little to do with any rules, a contempt which can only increase if we now follow the Judas Goat prepared for us by the suggested changes.

    Are these proposals serious? We encourage increased Local Branch membership by introducing vague primaries which give more influence to people NOT in the ALP? What could Peter Sellars have done with material like that? And now we’re encouraged to waste time coming up with suggestions for how we might choose these interloping NON-branch decision makers to tell us whom we should stand? If only Elvis hadn’t left the building, we could seek his advice too. Absurd? Of course, but compared with some of the proposals —- ?

  5. Matthew Cox says:

    “That this group acts to restore the initial Aims and Objectives of the Australian Labor Party”

    Here here.

  6. Norman Hanscombe says:

    Tell us, Matthew Cox, when you talk about the Party’s initial “Aims” and Objectives”, you do realise it included a range of policies such as the White Australia Policy? With the butchers shops once owned by a Labor Government, should we re-nationalise them? Then there’s the Australian Government owned whaling station we criticised the Liberals for selling off, should we pledge to re-establish the Australian Government’s presence in this industry?

    I wonder if the world is more complex than we’d sometimes like to think?

    P.S. When you say here here I must ask where where.

    • Ross Smith says:

      The Party’s initial “Aims” and Objectives” were those formulated when the ALP was formed arising from the Shearer’s Strike. They enshrined the concepts of mutuality and mateship. They espoused the ideal of looking out for each other, helping each other, and the idea of mutual benefit through collective action. They clearly identified the way forward was as a single body – United we conquer, divided we fall.
      The world is only as complex as we allow it to be.
      The Where is Here today – not on some far off philosophical body in space.

  7. Owen Hooper says:

    As a member of the Macquarie Fields/Ingleburn Branch ALP I have seen first hand how Rank and File get no say into preselections and numerous other matters and how unanimous protests from meetings about this go unacknowledged.
    Do you all realise that those who have control are more likely to destroy the party rather than loose their power.
    I hope the Tom Mann theatre is a big one as there is a lot of interest, see you all there. Owen

  8. Norman Hanscombe says:

    Ross Smith, the world IS complex, which is partially why operatives on both sides have been so successful in sharing the spoils while egaging in what all too often is irrelevant faux combat.

  9. oscar troche says:

    Dear comrades.
    Fairness, social justice and equity, …
    In solidarity

  10. Wayne Patterson says:

    The “renewal meeting” on 2 April was a useful first step in re-empowering the rank and file but for the movement to succeed a number of issues must be confronted.

    Both the left and right have been complicit in the backroom deals that have marginalised rank and file members and the local branches. Members from both the left and right must be involved in addressing the issue.

    A rank and file movement must involve the rank and file as more than spectators. Much of the debate at the meeting on Saturday was dominated by past and present MPs.

    The moves by the meeting’s organisers to broaden the geographical base of the movement are welcome and necessary. New South Wales is bigger than Marrickville and Balmain.

    Insistence on an unconditional endorsement of the findings of the 2010 National Review will undermine support for reform. Recommendation 26, which limits the voting power of branch members to 60% in preselections, does not have widespread support from rank and file activists. Many view it as a sleight of hand scheme to replace one anti-democratic tactic with another.

  11. Michael Johnsen says:

    As a Nationals member, I often take for granted our very democratic internal processes. It is looked upon as the best model and as party members, we intend to not only hold it high but always look to improve it. I applaud your group, even if I disagree with you. Australia needs good representation and the party machines need to market their worth, not dictate it.

    Well done. I look forward to much more spirited debate.

  12. kevin boyd says:

    News that Amanda Lampe is heir apparent to national secretary position does not fill me with any comfort at all. Which in my view will continue to keep the incompetent campaign and policy directions and the further alienation of the rank and file from the decision making processes.
    How much more concentrated can the the right make the clandestine echelon of of the executive.
    The line of succession is apparently unending and further entrenches the likes of Arbib and his band of thieves as the drivers of destruction for the ALP.
    If we are to stand for rank and file influence and standing what is the view and possible actions to have a say in this decision?
    State and Federal essentially the same issues for mine.
    Would be glad to hear others views and and take advice on how to proceed to ensure impartial independent selection and election of the new national secretary.
    Interesting article re gillard assange by turnbull in herald today as a startling example of the misadventure and poor advice the existing hawker briton lampe arbib think tank has conflated and confused the Labor message and ideal. We cannot allow more of the same with this appointment an appointment without rank and file support.
    Kevin Boyd
    Secretary Bellinger River.

  13. kevin boyd says:

    In addition as a addit to Rudds admission on the dumping of the ETS last night it is clear that the party has been infected by elements of the pernicious neo liberalism of greed fear and power at the cost of policy and ethics. Personal gain and and authority as to what you can get out of the party then what you can contribute to society.
    It appears to me that there should be a few positions up for preselection next time round.
    On a tangent the role albanese had in the airport security fiasco that led to corby being banged up in an indonesian gaol is another case in point where the party has rejected the citenzry of this country which is a disgrace.
    So we must insist on a different model and criteria for our state and national secretaries independent of the machine inclusive of the broader diverse views.
    kevin boyd
    secretary bellinger river

  14. Jil Chapman says:

    Any movement must be inclusive as different electorates will have different issues and not every member will agree.
    Passions can run strongly but we must make every effort to have basic Labor principles at the fore and stop the party being used as a stepping stone for individual’s political careers.

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