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EYE-BALL Opinion – ALP Senator John Faulkner – Perhaps a dark horse for the PM job –


Latest ‘EYE-BALL Opinion’ Posts:

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– 3rd Dec – Some ‘Carbon-Tax’ reality
– The World is not listening to the real facts –

– 29th Nov – A Slithering, Slimy, Spitting Lizard – Part II – Gillard’s been hiding in the Tall Grass – A follow-up Story –

– 28th Nov – A slithering, slimy, spitting Lizard – Gillard’s been hiding in the Tall Grass – now exposed –

– 26th Nov – The Collective v the Abstract – Gillard is aware of her wrong doings –

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– 24th Nov – Hedley Thomas plunges the knife – Gillard mortally wounded –

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– 20th Nov – Schoolies Week Starts – The Booze for Kids debate again heats up –

– 16th Nov – How Deep does the AWU corruption cover-up go? – An exposé on innuendo, evidence, hearsay and conjecture –

– 15th nov – Hedley Thomas exploding on Gillard – Gillard has a case to answer … –

– 14th Nov – Gillard behaves like a Guilty Person – Asks for allegations to be made –

– 14th Nov – The Australian Media – Lapdog’s at best – absolutely lost the plot on integrity, and their charter of responsibility –

– 9th Nov – Open Letter to “The Independents” Re: –
– Julia Gillard, Peter Slipper, and Craig Thompson, three MP’s who bring continued shame to our Parliament –

– 9th Nov – “Courage is an Angle” – the difference between a good day and a great day –

– 8th Nov – RUDD fires a broadside aimed at GILLARD – done under a burka to hide its true intent –

– 6th Nov – Gillard’s caucus and union support in revolt – her position becoming more untenable by the day –

– 5th Nov – Referendum Discussion Part 1 – Compulsory Voting – Eye-Ball’s – “None of the Above Campaign” –

– 4th Nov – Gillard Sunburnt – the flames of discontent begin to impact –

– 2nd Nov – A Montage of AWU Scandal Reports – Gillard to become “Open-Season” –

– 1st Nov – Education … A white Elephant – Politicising the future of young Australians –

– To see more EYE-BALL ‘Opinion’ posts:

click here …

– ALP Senator John Faulkner  –
– Perhaps a dark horse for the PM job  –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 5th Dec 2012 |
The ALP’s most respected serving politician – Senator John Faulkner said yesterday what all ALP supporters wanted to hear.   Coalition voters will hold their breath given the depth and breath of Faulkner’s speech dealing with the corruption with Labour ranks and how he sees the way forward.

The speech is a game-changer and from someone never seen by most as PM material.  Given the shortcomings of all the popular contenders, i.e. Swan, Carr, Shorten, and to this blogger at least, Senator Faulkner suddenly seems to be a most viable option.   I can accept John Faulkner as PM in place of Gillard.

There are precedents – John Gordon was a Senator when he became Leader of the Liberals before he went on to become PM after Harold Holt’s disappearance.   In that transition period after Harold Holt was declared ‘lost at sea’, Holt’s seat of Higgins became vacant and Gordon made his transition to the House.

To read John Gorton’s full Wikipedia bio – click here – it is an interesting read including how he obtained his war injuries.

The emergence and elevation of Senator Faulkner to PM contender comes from a speech he gave to the University of Melbourne Law School yesterday.  The speech titled – “Integrity In Government Conference” – link to full speech – was on political corruption within the ALP and where it emanates from.

If it were an option and for Faulkner to make the transition in the time before the next election – i.e. finding a NSW HOR by-election option might prove difficult – but if they were to shove Rudd off to a plumb off-shore posting – his seat of Norman would be safe in the hands of Faulkner if he chose to more to QLD.

The media were in attendance at his speech and The Australian filed this report –

Abolish Labor factions, says party elder John Faulkner

| Author(s): Chip Le Grand and Milanda Rout | Date: ec 5th, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

ONE of Labor’s most respected figures has dared the ALP to abolish its factional system, declaring that it concentrates power within “the stunted perspectives of just a few”, isolates the party from the broader community and allows corruption to flourish.

ALP elder John Faulkner drew a direct link between the allegations against senior party figures emerging daily from anti-corruption hearings in Sydney and the party’s adherence to “inherently undemocratic” voting rules that enabled a “tiny minority” of MPs to hold sway over all major decisions.

Warning support for reform usually “melts away” once vested interests are confronted with a loss of power, Senator Faulkner said his proposed changes were crucial for good government and the integrity of a political system being corroded by voter cynicism.

“In the case of the ALP, and particularly the NSW branch of the ALP, the increasing limitation of those involved in decisions about rules, disputes and preselections, as well as policy, has meant that our party’s actions reflect the stunted perspectives of just a few, and bear little or no relationship to the expectations of the party members, the broader labour movement or the community,” Senator Faulkner said in a speech delivered at an integrity in government conference in Melbourne.

“There is nothing wrong with people who share convictions on policy issues working together to progress those issues. There is, however, a great deal wrong with a situation where a Russian doll of nested caucuses sees a tiny minority of MPs exercising a controlling interest over the majority.”

Senator Faulkner urged the party to have zero tolerance towards corruption in its ranks and called for the scandal-plagued NSW branch to enforce a “one strike and you’re out” policy for party members found guilty of corruption in their public or private lives.

The senator’s reform blueprint was immediately backed by NSW state secretary Sam Dastyari, who described it as a “considered, sensible reform idea” that Labor would “ignore at its peril”.

Mr Dastyari, who has previously advocated defanging the factions within the parliamentary party, said: “This is a debate we have to have in the party and we have to have in NSW. The challenge facing us is, really, reform or die. The Labor Party has to change, it has to reform, it has to be prepared to embrace big ideas.”

Wayne Swan said he did not necessarily disagree with Senator Faulkner’s comments, adding that “individuals should be dealt with if the findings (of corruption) are there”.

“I’ve always been of the view that the party has to be continuously reformed to reflect modern standards,” the Treasurer told ABC’s 7.30.

Chief government whip Joel Fitzgibbon, who last week refused to marshal the numbers of his Right faction behind Julia Gillard’s opposition to Palestine being given additional status within the UN, backed the “main thrust” of Senator Faulkner’s plan and urged the party to go further.

Mr Fitzgibbon said he believed Mr Dastyari was “currently progressing” on some of Senator Faulkner’s suggested reforms and serious consideration should also be given to ending a central tenet of ALP discipline: the prohibition on Labor MPs crossing the floor.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes agreed that Senator Faulkner’s plan for internal party reform was “worthy of debate”. Mr Howes said he had long advocated giving parliamentarians the right to vote free of factional constraint.

Foreign Minister and former NSW premier Bob Carr, speaking in Papua New Guinea, backed Senator Faulkner’s “one-strike” policy and reducing factional influence within the party room, but expressed caution at another of the senator’s proposed reforms: exposing party rules to legal challenges within the courts.

Senator Faulkner, a federal MP since 1989 and minister in the Hawke, Keating and Rudd governments, has staunchly championed measures to improve integrity and transparency within the Labor Party and the political system, including greater accountability of donations and stronger protection for public-service whistleblowers. He supported Kevin Rudd in the 2010 leadership challenge and flagged his intention before that year’s federal election to retreat to the backbench if Ms Gillard formed government. Taking aim at the odious state of the ALP in his home state, Senator Faulkner said a culture had developed within Labor’s NSW branch where “being caught out at sharp practices is worn almost as a badge of honour”.

Referring to the ongoing ICAC hearings, where explosive allegations have been levelled against former Labor MP Eddie Obeid and former NSW resources minister Ian Macdonald involving the trading of inside information and granting of exploration licences, Senator Faulkner said: “It is time to publicly acknowledge that there have been some in our party’s ranks with neither political principles nor moral convictions to uphold. They are a small minority in a very big majority of decent, ethical people. But the fact that they are few in number does not diminish the gravity of the accusations against them or the seriousness of their acts.”

Senator Faulkner called for authority to arbitrate disputes over party rules, and practices should be stripped from factional leaders and invested in an independent appeals tribunal of “eminent, ethical people”.

He warned that Tony Abbott’s plan to convene a “trumped-up, judicial inquiry” into Ms Gillard’s role in the AWU affair would be an unprecedented misuse of executive power. “It is unprecedented,” he said. “It does strike me that this is a country where we settle our political differences at the ballot box. I take things head on. I stand up, I say it. I have never resorted to the need for some sort of trumped-up, judicial inquiry to do it.”

Now one might think that with the ICAC enquiry into the Eddie OBEID corruption, and the revelations of how deep the scandal bleeds into NSW Labour heartland, that Faulkner could say nothing else other than what he presented in his speech.

Faulkner has for years impressed as someone that holds his Senate position to high account.  He is a ‘good guy’ and over the many years he has served he has shown and demonstrated that he brings integrity to the Senate.

Within his speech he stated:

…Ladies and Gentlemen, Federal Parliamentarians need to get serious about a code of conduct to apply to them, not because I think Parliamentarians are ignorant or uncaring about ethics and integrity matters – generally they are not – but because the public at large is entitled to know that objective standards exist, and that these standards are open to public discussion, and public assessment…

As the alternative – Gillard is leading this Government down a path that debases all the demands on integrity and moral behaviour that is needed for people to have the full trust in their elected Leaders.

In the alternative – and when one watches and reads about the many examples arising from Gillard’s responses to the AWU scandal, the allegations they offer and the integrity and morals on display for all to see in responses to those allegations, one can only see defiance and obstruction as a defense.

This is continued with the Craig Thompson responses in his own defence statement, and the Eddie Obeid example being played out at the ICAC enquiry.

Their collective standards of defiance type behaviour in the face of convincing evidence, and the conclusions that become evidentiary, all Australian’s are red-faced with a genuine mis-trust in their Leaders.

Gillard’s conscience does not register as moral, or one where anyone can see she understands the difference between ‘right or wrong’.  She, Thompson, and by the evidence being put forward at the Obeid enquiry – the measure of a conscience of ALP MP’s is non-existent.

Gillard, Thompson, and Obeid’s benchmark integrity measure rests not with what they know they have done,  but in what those who claim wrong doing can prove.  The standard offered up from Gillard and the like is – ‘if you can’t prove it – shut-up and fu_k off’.

Faulkner has returned fire and whilst most of his speech was in reference to NSW Labour and the current Obeid ICAC enquiry – all within the ALP will know of their own culpability.

The people deserve better – Faulkner points this out … and his honest appraisal is that the Government should be held to higher standards than anything else out there.

Whether this be just rhetoric and posturing will be played out in coming months – meanwhile ponder Faulkner as the alternative PM and see how it rests!!!

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Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion …

  1. Budda Balls
    December 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

    The best Leaders are often those thrust into the job, not those posturing and positioning for the opportunity to seize the moment.

    Faulkner falls into that catagory. I like your idea Eyeball.

  2. Barry M
    December 6, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Didn’t the Minister for Big Rivers (Burke) call Faulkner some type of moron for saying something similar to this speech during their last Party Conference.

  3. December 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I recall something about that – would be a story to find out and compare the response then to what happens in response now given the AWU esculation and the HSU exposure in the time since …

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