Serious tensions are arising in the ALPâ€™s â€œTalibanâ€ faction in Victoria, according to high-ranking insiders within that group, following todayâ€™s extraordinary effort in The Age where key figures of that group appeared to be undermining an endorsed party candidate days prior to the Broadmeadows by-election.
A letter apparently signed by four union secretaries, including the notorious CFMEU Construction division, asserted that the ALP candidate Frank McGuire isnâ€™t a member of the ALP. He of course has already been endorsed as the ALP candidate and received dispensation from a range of old-fashioned party rules drafted up years ago by leftist thugs like Bill Hartley to exclude outsiders from party preselection.
DON’T BLAME US, IT’S KATHY’S FAULT
Sources close to the leadership of the NUW are distancing themselves from the maneuvres, arguing the effort is being initiated by HSU â€œexecutive presidentâ€ and trade union millionaire Kathy Jackson, with the backing of her political mentor Senator David Feeney.
However, those friendly with Feeney, strongly deny this, saying he knew nothing at all of Jacksonâ€™s latest salvo, timed to generate the ALP the maximum amount damage prior to Saturdayâ€™s poll, and making it clear that she acted alone.
WHAT DID FEENEY KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT
Those suspicious of Feeney, who would strongly support the highly able SDA Senator, Prime Ministerial confidante and Parliamentary Secretary Jacinta Collins in any Senate preselection spat, say this is disingenous crap and that of course he knew.
While all of these nuanced positions are designed to perhaps avoid association with a bad act, they are also a little cute by half. Jackson, however mad she appears at times, at least has the courage of her convictions and doesnâ€™t seek to duck and cover when the bombs are dropping.
In this case though, the argument put forward by her favoured and long-time lawyer David Langmead who has defended the Jacksons in many legal scrapes and entanglements is almost apologetic in its tone. We include a copy for the public amusement.
In the accompanying cover letter, it is clear that the union secretaries, increasingly referred to as the â€œfour Mullahs of the Taliban factionâ€, have had their signatures â€œcut and pastedâ€ on the document. We can only hope all were consulted before the letter was sent, our inquiries on that subject didnâ€™t go anywhere this morning.
BACK AT THE FRONT
Party insiders in Broadmeadows who havenâ€™t been thrilled about McGuireâ€™s candidacy say that heâ€™s done a good job of getting around the electorate and has kept things quiet. An absence of a high-profile rebel candidate, like Phil Cleary, means that McGuire should comfortably prevail on Saturday. No thanks to the four mullahs, whose politics is ostensibly moderate (except for the Maoist at the CFMEU) but whose tactics appear increasingly extremist and self-defeating. With their parliamentary representatives urging a â€œreconciliationâ€ between the two moderate factions, and the four mullahs acting in this way, it seems there is a surprising absence of co-ordination and even communication among them. And while a Taliban bullet can sting, itâ€™s disunity thatâ€™s death in politics.
MANY COULD LEARN FROM THE CLASS ACT
Pointing to a better way was the person who lost the most from the recent Broadmeadows preselection, popular Hume councillor and former mayor Burhan Yigit who told The Aged today:
Asked about the fracas, Yigit says he is concerned about the process, not the byelection or the candidate. ”I know Frank and he’s a fine man,” says Yigit. ”It’s the process that I’m angry about, not Frank.”
We told you Burhan was a good bloke. And, indeed, a class act exhibiting a great deal of grace at a time when most would be lashing out. Itâ€™s enough to make you wonder whether those still undermining McGuireâ€™s candidacy ever had Burhanâ€™s best intentions at heart or were perhaps pushing another agenda rooted in self-aggrandisement, vengeance and wrecking.