Even though Anthony Albanese was the clear choice of ALP members, the Labor caucus have decided to ignore their wishes and elected a tainted factional boss. Labor member Peter Wicks expressed the widespread disappointment.
Meanwhile, the one part of the reform that has been put in place – the rank and file having a say in who their leader is to be – has ended up a farce, with the rank and file once again put in their place. We won’t be useful again until there is a campaign to run when doorknockers and people to hand out flyers are needed.
It took the media less than three minutes to start asking the questions about the knifing of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and Shorten's involvement in both of those knifings, we can expect this line of questioning to continue for a long time to come.
In fact if Tim "the Demtel man" Shaw was selling politicians, Bill Shorten would come with two sets of free steak knives.
Scandals? But wait, there's more....
As members we pay for the right to have a say. We have seen our say ignored in the past on issues such as our lurching to the right on the asylum seeker debate, something as a Party we can all be well and truly ashamed of, and also the failure of the Party to adopt same-sex marriage as a Party position rather than some lame conscience vote crap that ensures it will never be passed.
The caucus were elected to represent us, not to suddenly find a conscience.
If our say is totally ignored then what is it exactly that we pay for? Little wonder then there are calls for mass resignations from the party all over social media.
There are those who are talking about a now unified Party taking the fight to Abbott. This is wishful thinking on what is seemingly the grandest of scales.
What this election process has highlighted is that the Party is far from unified — it actually has a split of epic proportions. In the past, the split has been seen as between right and left; from what we know now, it is even worse than that, as the split can now be seen as between the Labor caucus and the general rank and file membership. This is not something that will be fixed in a hurry, if at all.
Instead, we can expect the Coalition and Murdoch to make an upsized super value meal out of this. Out of the leader the rank and file rejected.
Tonight, I have a branch meeting I won’t be attending. Instead I will be staying home and contemplating my support of the Labor Party — something I don’t do lightheartedly.
I won't be giving my apologies for not attending tonight, as I think it is the Party apparatus that owes members like me an apology for ignoring us once again — particularly after being told for so long that our say would make a difference.
The way I see it, we had a chance to push through the reforms the Party needed so desperately and come out fighting, but our elected representatives screwed it up for us — yet again.
It feels like a dog that has been a loyal and trusted companion has suddenly become ill and is suffering.
Despite loving it dearly, sometimes it’s best to just have it put down and buy a new pup.
I hope the caucus have a decent explanation for their decision to reject reform and maintain the status quo that is doing us so much damage when they report back to their branches.
Remember the Queensland wipeout of 2012?
The way we are headed as a Party, that may end up looking like a good day.
I hope I'm wrong, but it smells pretty bad from here.
Peter Wicks is a former NSW State Labor candidate. You can follow Peter on Twitter @madwixxy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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