Freedom Of Choice – Shorten vs Albanese for leader

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Politics

The Labor Party faces an important election at the moment, one that will surely set the direction that the Party will take over the next decade.

Labor members have been inundated with emails, texts, and Facebook requests and it seems everybody has an opinion to share, so with that in mind I thought I’d share mine.

I will be supporting and voting for Anthony Albanese for leader. 120%

Although I have nothing but respect for Bill Shorten, I do not believe he is the person to lead the Party through the reform process.

As most of us know deep down the Right faction of the Labor Party have done us few favours of late. Think Eddie Obeid, think Joe Tripodi, think the whole sordid saga of the knifing of Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard, think ICAC in NSW, and think the culture of the “Faceless Men”.

Maybe it’s time we passed to douche on the left hand side…

Some of you may have read a post I put up recently about the upcoming war that the Coalition will no doubt declare on the union movement, and the possibility of a Royal Commission on union corruption. This action is likely to be brought on by the upcoming court cases related to the HSU and the Labor Right powerbroker Michael Williamson, but will also delve back into the AWU Julia Gillard affair.

Bill Shorten is vulnerable for attack in both of these cases whether rightly or wrongly, as he has been heavily involved in both of these unions. We have seen Kathy Jackson attempt to drag Shorten into the HSU saga time and time again already.

When the war on unions that Coalition members are already talking about occurs, it will not be a good look to have our leader being constantly dragged before corruption enquiries and senate hearings as a witness, as they would no doubt ensure Bill Shorten would be.

In politics perception is everything, it is what wins and loses you elections.

One can only imagine the meal News Ltd and Abbott would make out of Shortens union connections under those circumstances.

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From a Party front, unless you live in a bubble you would be only too aware of how much the Labor Party needs to reform.

A bloody big broom needs to be put through Sussex St, and the recent reforms put together by whatever spin doctor of the week had Kevin Rudds ear need turfing out and a total revamping.

We desperately need to cut down the powers the unions have in regards to proxy voting and on the Administration Committee so that the true rank and file can take the Party back.

Unions should and always will play an important role in the party, but at the moment the tail seems to be wagging the dog.

These are very people that Shorten relies on for support, which means under Shorten true reform is most likely a pipe-dream.

Then there is the whole betrayal of Julia Gillard earlier this year which resulted in Kevin Rudd version 2.0 in the PM’s chair. Call it whatever and however you like, but there is no doubt at all how the public perceived Shortens last-minute change of sides in the leadership battle.

As I said, I have nothing but respect for Bill Shorten, he has been a fantastic Minister and as far as career politicians go he is one of the best.

However a career politician is not what the Party needs now, particularly one that has publicly stated what seems like a gazillion times they do not want to lead the Party, ever.

If Bill wins we can expect to see those clips on high rotation.

If you think I’m being harsh by bringing up these issues, it ain’t nothing on what the Coalition and News Ltd will do with them should Bill become leader, in fact if Bill Shorten wins this election I don’t think even he will be as happy as Tony Abbott.

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However choosing a leader should not be all about the negatives of one candidate, it should be about the outstanding qualities of the winning candidate.

If there ever was a candidate with outstanding qualities it is Anthony Albanese.

As a Minister For Infrastructure Albo’s list of achievements is as long as your arm, however he planned for, organised, delivered, and oversaw over $36 Billion of investment into Australia’s infrastructure needs.

He doubled the Federal Roads Budget, and rebuilt one-third of Australia’s vitally important rail freight network. Both of these make up the life-lines of Australia’s freight industry and are vitally important to business big and small across the country.

While the Liberals talk about cutting costs and ending waste, Albo just does it. By cutting down on the regulatory bodies bogging down our transport network, a hangover from the Howard era, Albo has saved the country and estimated $30 Billion over the next 20 years.

To save these sort of dollars Albo didn’t have to keep the children of struggling families out of university as the Liberals plan to do, he just trimmed the Liberal fat down from 23 regulators to three, a cut of around 87%.

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As Leader Of The House Albo was a fearless fighter for the Labor Party both under the leadership of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

While Leader Of The House it was Albo’s job to ensure legislation was delivered through both houses of parliament. This is a high pressure and at times excruciatingly painful job without the added burden of having to negotiate through a hung parliament and at times hostile senate. Albo managed to do that 543 times under Julia Gillard, with the number of pieces of legislation being passed making Gillard the highest achieving Prime Minister ever in terms of the average number of pieces of legislation passed per day as a PM. The last government Tony Abbott was a part of, the Howard government, by contrast don’t even make the top five.

The work Albo has done as Leader Of The House has earned him the respect of all of those around him and has shown us that leadership is in his blood, as is a fighting spirit, or as Albo himself puts it;

“Fighting Tories, it’s what I do…”

If this election can be summed up in two words, they would be admiration and inspiration.

Bill Shorten is a politician whom we can all admire, whereas Anthony Albanese is someone who truly inspires.

As a Party, I don’t think we’ve ever been at a point where inspiration was so desperately needed.

If there is one thing that I didn’t agree with Albo on it was his choice of whom to back when Kevin Rudd first challenged Julia Gillard for the leadership, I have always been a Gillard supporter.

However the way that Albo announced his support of Kevin Rudd for the leadership was such an emotional and passionate speech that it was impossible not to respect his guts in coming out that way, and the way he handled the matter in private with Gillard before the presser.

It was also hard to fault his reasoning for backing Rudd, despite being a Gillard supporter. What happened to Kevin 07 in 2010 was inexcusable and was the start of the parties fall from grace to where we are now.

The decision to overthrow a sitting Prime Minister by a few factional kingpins was a disaster of epic proportions.

As a Party we expected the media and the opposition to show Julia Gillard respect because she was Prime Minister.

We were dreaming…

Why would they show respect? As a Party we showed how much respect we had for the Office of Prime Minister by knifing a sitting PM, and a popular PM at that. To show we’d learnt from our mistakes, we did it again this year in a desperate bid to save a few seats.

As Albo pointed out in his speech at the press conference this was his chance to show that he had strongly opposed the behaviour of a few who thought they knew better and had taken the decision of leadership out of the hands of the caucus. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough they then had union leader Paul Howes announce the change of Prime Minister on Lateline, and why it had to be done. A union leader of all people?

This was a change of regime as far as the public were concerned and they despised us for it.

Now we have the opportunity to vote for Bill Shorten a leading member of that regime to be our leader. If you think the knifing of Kevin Rudd was handled well and made us look good as a Party, I’d suggest that you do vote for Bill.

Alternatively you can show you don’t approve of this type of behaviour and do what I’m doing, voting for true reform.

Voting for Anthony Albanese.

Prime Minister 2016.

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Comments
  1. Jeff says:

    Indulgence, Wixxy. Does anyone seriously believe Albo – the leader of the Hard Left – can win an election against Abbott who is already ditching controversial Coalition policies like VSU?

  2. David says:

    Jeff whats your point and evidence Albo is a liar? You are short on facts, short on anything apart from abuse

  3. PB says:

    Don’t think ‘hard left’ means much these days. Nor ‘hard right’ for that matter. I assume Albo is not in favour of public ownership of the means of production, nor the dictatorship of the proletariat, along with the overthrow of bourgeois institutions like the courts and universities…. That’s what ‘hard left’ used to mean. Don’t think that’s Albo. It’s worth noting that we now have a ‘hard right’ PM. These things are relative. Both parties are very centrist these days.

  4. Heather says:

    Thanks Wixxy for that fine analysis. It’s helped me through the dilemma of the decision making process.

  5. George says:

    All the way with elbows, I agree Bill Shorten will be attacked for his involvement in the HSU.
    Bill needs to run a mile from the announcement that Fair Work Australia will investigate Victoria
    Number one Branch after Diana Asmar has only been in office for 8 months.

  6. Marian Rumens says:

    Absolutely agree. As I’ve posted on Twitter, Albo just doesn’t believe any Labor PM should be ousted. He knew it would devastate Labor and it did. He doesn’t believe in “knifing” a sitting Prime Minister, any sitting Prime Minister whether if be Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd. Secondly, although the coalition was giving Labor heaps in HoR, he didn’t invoke the Member be no Longer Heard. The reason, he said, was because he believes in democracy That, to my mind, is integrity. Thirdly, when confronted by a screaming rabble of No Carbon Tax people, he tried to reason with them. It was obvious that it was a dangerous situation but he stayed calm and tried to answer their questions. That took guts. His work in the parliament has been fantastic.He has worked hard and brought in great policy. Added to that, he has a sense of humour which is an asset.

  7. joy cooper says:

    Fantastic analysis, Wixxy. Many thanks. This is a must-read for those who like to dismiss Anthony Albanese as “lightweight” & “visionless” which he is far from being. He has the type of vision that we can admire with an ethic of working hard for the benefit of others & the country as a whole.

    @Marian Rumens, I love to see Albo in action in the HoR especially when he is skewering the LNP twerps with his wickedly incisive bon mots. A joy to behold. .

    • Totally agree with you Wixxy, you too Joy, Marian, George etc. I personally like Bill Shorten, he is strong & his ideals are admirable. The big but that I have is that he has been directly involved in the removal of 2 leaders of the ALP. He now carries too much baggage with just those 2 incidents let alone any more that we aren’t aware of.
      If he were to become leader, he would be crucified the same way as both Rudd & Gillard were. The Murdoch press, Fairfax press & our ABC would have a field day everyday. There would be no room for the good works that he does or has done in the past.
      So that really leaves us with Anthony Albanese, someone who also has the welfare of the party at heart. He has the capability to take it right up to the new government & he also has the ability to be able to negate any MSM journalists who will be directed to try & find ‘the dirt’ on him let alone what the LNP will try on.
      I’m not a member of the ALP but I am a strong supported of what they actually stand for. This democratic method of chosing someone to lead the party is a good one because it now involves party members as well as caucus. I just hope that there are people working behind the scenes making sure that when the leader is chosen, they can have enough ammunition to start to really hold this new BAD GOVERNMENT to account.

  8. Good write Peter,
    I have similar thoughts going to screen as I type this.
    Cheers.

  9. My instinct was to go for Albanese, so thanks for this article which gives some concrete support to that instinct. Not a member of the party, but know plenty I can pass this on to.

  10. Fed up says:

    Yes, agree, Shorten should not have put his had up at this time. Especially when one looks at what Abetz has to say, today.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-17/union-corruption-first-target-for-abetz/4961672

    I would rather see Albanese in the roll, he has fulfilled very able up to now.

    What many are overlooking, with their heads in the sand, ids the performance of this ten day old government.

    One cannot deny, it was more a matter of giving Labor a good kick up the arse, than supporting Abbott.

    One picks a leader. I believe, for what’s needs to doing today. One lets the election in three years, take care of itself.

    Albanese has the skills for this.

    Looks like our migration are now in role of lying to those who seek refugee status.

    Telling people they are going to Australia, then fly them to PNG instead.

    PNG authorities, do not seem to know what it is about.

  11. tullibardine says:

    Excellent summary of all the issues. I had already decided on Albo, and feel even more strongly now that he is the best choice given the tough road ahead, and the need for a totally new path. Thank you very much, your passion is real and based in truth. Robina.

  12. Christine says:

    Albanese is a Ruddite. He voted for Rudd in the first challenge because he said he didn’t like the way Rudd was sacked. This is crap. He knew exactly how and why Rudd was sacked. We need to try and prevent a return of Rudd. I will be voting for Bill Shorten if my ballot papers ever get here!

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