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EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 20 – The ALP Brand – a Catharsis of toxicity –

February 22, 2013
Latest ‘Harry’s Growl’ Posts:

18th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 19
– The Sham Marriage between the ALP and Greens –

– 18th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 18 – Paul Howes – AWU National Secretary – standing under the crap flow leaking from above –

– 18th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 17 – Wayne Swan’s ‘Sarah Palin’ Moment –

– 17th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 16 – Gillard Blunder’s Again – Draws a line under Age Pensions –

– 16th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 15 – The Devils Brew: who’s left, Gillard, Swan, Shorten, and who else

– 15th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 14 – The ALP tinkering and staring at the abyss …

– 10th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 13 – The Obeid Dynasty Profile –

– 9th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 12 – Dunce Hat’s sit firmly on Gillard and Swan’s noggin’s –

– 8th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 11 – Parliamentary remuneration – Peter Slipper in Profile –

– 8th Feb – Growl No: 10 – Parliamentary remuneration – Peter Slipper in Profile –

– 7th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 9 – Gillard in Focus –

– 6th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 8 – Obeid has decided to take a few with him –

– 4th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 7 – ABC’s “Q&A” proves none of them have a goddamn clue

– 4th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 6 – Gillard in Cartoon Form –

– 4th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 5 – Poll Results,  Senate Leadership, & Pyne’s Hitler Gibe –

– 2nd Feb –  Election 2013 – Growl No: 4 – Craig Thompson’s Bankruptcy revisited –

– 1st Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 3 – Roxon’s Rocky Status as the AG  –

– 31st Jan – Election 2013 – Growl No: 2 – Gillard lifts her skirts to thrill the Media  –

– 28th Jan – Election 2013 – Growl No: 1 – Senator Penny Wong … policy exposed –

– 18th Jan – Hedley Thomas and Larry Pickering – – Resume their AWU crusade against Gillard  –

– 1st Jan 2013 – Jenny Macklin – Joins Swan as another ALP Fu_kwit – Claims she can live on the Newstart allowance –

– 20th Dec – Wayne Swan – His backflip on the 2012-13 Surplus – Makes him the Fu_kwit of all Fu_kwits –

– 16th Dec – Lenore Taylor – Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH  – Part II – – A correspondent pushing her own political agenda  –

– 15th Dec – Lenore Taylor – Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH  – A correspondent with her own political agenda  –

– 14th Dec – Gillard’s Gutter Mouth – The dishonour she does to the office of the Prime Minister –

– 3rd Dec – The GREENS – Leader Milne has her head in the sand –

To see more EYE-BALL Harry’s Growl posts: click here …

– Election 2013  – Growl No: 20 –
– The ALP Brand – A Catharsis of Toxicity –
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl | 22nd Feb 2013|

Latest Pickering images added – 21st Feb 2013 – see end of text linked here

As the crescendo builds around the oncoming ALP political bloodbath, deserting ALP supporters are lamenting a way of life, a history of traditions, a belief system that gave purpose, an ability to think that equality of life was a worthwhile agenda to support. This migrating population – perhaps as many as 2 million, are trying hard to come to terms with what happened to their beloved ALP.

The AWU National Conference 2013:

The experiment of of a ‘dream scenario’ in ‘GILLARD for PM’ has fully blown back on the heartland of the ALP – the UNIONS.

The toxicity being revealed surrounding the HSU [Health Services Union], and the AWU [Australian Workers Union], has caused many Labor voters to question what their Union dues are being used for.  The media conjure up mental images of prostitutes for the boys, lavish ‘slush’ fund lifestyles, and a history of enrichment by those in positions of trust are giving ‘true-blue’ Labor supporters reason to be angry.

The media are not wrong!!!

Then there is the Obeid ICAC revelations and this election campaign is a minefield for ALP MP’s ad Senator’s seeking to be re-elected.  The question is how much worse can it get for Labor … their hope for a let-up and reprieve to justify sticking with Gillard was the theme all through the recent AWU 2013 National Conference.

That Conference completed Thursday last, and National Secretary Paul Howes re-elected unopposed as National Secretary – delivered  the opening and closing speeches.

Many of Gillard’s senior team gave key-note speeches and all to a cause to try and rally wavering Union loyalists. The message was that Gillard was the Leader for the ALP to take to the next election.

The closing speech given by Howes is worth reflecting upon … commentary and speech provided by ‘The Age’ …

Howes lashes anti-Gillard leakers

| Author: Daniel Hurst | Date: Feb 21st, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

AWU chief Paul Howes signs his name to a pledge to stop Tony Abbott in his tracks at the union’s conference in Queensland. Picture: AWU

Key Labor figure Paul Howes has lashed out crudely at Labor MPs he says are undermining Prime Minister Julia Gillard, telling those who anonymously attack their leader to ”grow a pair”.

The Australian Workers’ Union national secretary, who earlier in the week pledged his 110 per cent support for Ms Gillard, took aim at insiders who spoke anonymously to journalists and speculated about a return to Kevin Rudd or spread criticism.

”Nothing upsets me more lately than opening newspapers on a daily or weekly basis and reading anonymous quotes from ‘senior Labor sources’ undermining our Prime Minister, undermining the leadership of our movement and this country,” he said in his closing speech to the AWU national conference on the Gold Coast.

”What a bunch of gutless pricks they are that they can’t put their names to what they are saying.”

The tough talking drew applause from union delegates at the four-day national conference.

Mr Howes appeared on ABC’s Lateline the night before Ms Gillard was installed as Prime Minister in June 2010 to declare that the powerful AWU had withdrawn its support for Mr Rudd.

Mr Howes told the gathering: ”I might get the odd attack for appearing once or twice too many times on television or being a bit too blunt about [former Rio Tinto chief] Tom Albanese or former prime ministers or going on shows like Lateline on that particular night and maybe that’s right, but we say what we do, we have the guts to put our names to what we mean, we don’t background.

”We get out on the front foot and we say it loudly and clearly.”

Mr Howes said he had a message for Labor members who were trying to undermine the cause.

”Grow a pair and put your name to what you’re saying and have the fight out here publicly. Don’t go slinking around the back rooms of the press gallery on a daily basis. Come out and articulate your case. Make your message. Have the discussion with the Australian people. Get out there and argue your point.”

The warning came after Mr Howes warned that unionists faced ”the fight of their lives” to prevent the election of an ”extreme” Tony Abbott-led government.

Mr Howes launched a full-throttle attack on Mr Abbott as he reaffirmed plans to send advocates into key marginal electorates to promote the struggling Gillard government.

The move ties into a broader union movement strategy to use word of mouth in the workplace in an attempt to turn the electoral tide in the face of opinion polls pointing to a landslide Labor defeat.

As the four-day AWU conference wrapped up on Thursday, hundreds of delegates signed a pledge vowing to ”stop Tony Abbott in his tracks”.

Mr Howes took up the attack to the Opposition Leader and some of his frontbenchers.

”We know what type of man Tony Abbott is. We know what type of man Eric Abetz is. We know what kind of joker Joe Hockey is. Hell, we even know who Barnaby Joyce is even if he doesn’t know it himself.”

Mr Howes ridiculed the image of Senator Joyce as an average Australian, saying: ”He’s a guy who goes on cruise ship holidays with Gina Rinehart. He’s a guy who writes letters to Gina Rinehart’s children begging them to stop litigation against their mother.”

Mr Howes labelled Mr Abbott as ”the most inconsistent so-called conviction politician that this nation has ever seen”, pointing to contradictory statements over climate change and WorkChoices.

He said Mr Abbott was only consistent on ”extreme social conservative” positions on reproductive rights.

”It’s hard to actually call Tony Abbott a conservative because he’s so extreme; because he’s so brash; because he resorts to the politics of smear and innuendo so much. That’s not conservative; that’s extreme. And when nations have extremist politicians and when extremists gain power it’s a very, very scary thing.”

But after launching the attacks, Mr Howes bemoaned how politics had become ”so nasty, so personal”.

”I do despair sometimes at the level of political discourse in this country,” he said.

Mr Howes later denied he was being hypocritical, saying: ”I’m not in Parliament . . . I think it’s right to call a spade a spade.”

…Read more on-line …

Reading Howes’ comments delivered to a room full of delegates, and all seemingly to a hopeless cause to all those not in attendance – makes one wonder at the stupidity of it all.  Does Howes believe that he is anointed with some magical persona that can galvanise a deserting membership – to have them suddenly stop, turn around, listen to his ‘drum-beat’ rousing, and then have them all fall in love all over again?

Howes is a serious part of the problem … he is still in love with a movement that has been crashing for decades.  Unions and their secrets ‘slush-fund’ operations are all about to become Headline news for all the wrong reasons.  

Why didn’t Howes reflect on the current HSU and AWU issues before the Courts and under police investigatiosn at the moment?

One would have thought an intelligent Leader, a Leader in tune with their members concerns would have addressed the oncoming storm and prepared the membership in some way.  One would also have thought there would have been some expressing of regret for past deeds, a ‘clean-up’ message,  a statement of future transparency, and an acknowledgment that what has happened at the HSU will not be acceptable in any Union movement.   Did any of this happen?

This was a AWU National conference – yet it was used as a Gillard prop for an election message now under way for three weeks.   As a delegate what did you learn about the current AWU investigation into Gillard’s involvement in a fraud, what did they learn about the recovery of court order repayments from Wilson, Blewitt and others?   What did they learn about Bill Ludwig’s involvement, Bob Kernahan, Ian Cambridge,  and others who were involved.

Howes’ is currently being sued and before the courts on a personal defamation litigation – read that story here

Howes performance at the National Conference missed the point on so many levels. Gillard was his personal choice in 2010 under instruction from his boss – Bill Ludwig.   Ludwig was aware and had intimate knowledge of her involvement and complicity in the Wilson/Blewitt fraud and yet still – Howes stood steadfastly behind his choice and placed his 140,000 AWU members there as well.

Can any one really believe that Howes has any creditability outside the Gillard camp of insiders?

He called for ‘balls’ as a rallying thump – calling for MP caucus members to attach their name to ‘lose-lips’ comments.  It was such a ‘bad-taste’ analogy given the mood of the electorate and what is before the courts.   Howes has tried to anointed himself as a future leader of the ALP … and if his performance at this conference is an example of his life’s work – he is an unmitigated failure.

The mood of this conference as they left would be a mood of trying to limit the ‘how far do we lose by’ equation.

You tell me … how can people in leadership positions get it so horribly wrong … how do those around them not tap them and say – ‘it’s time’?

Rudd’s revival:

If they believed Rudd was going to lead them to electoral disaster in 2010 and used it as motivation to assassinate him – where is the same desperation with regard to this election … 

If they think he is always a backstop option and would be willing to make a grand gesture of self-sacrifice … they have severely mis-judged the man.   Under his conditions – he might reconsider and they might be:

  • To crush the Union factions once and for all in the way the ALP pre-selects and dictates policy,
  • To announce his intention to cross the floor and ask Abbott to join in a bi-partisan Royal Commission into the HSU, AWU, and all other Unions and the accountability of Members funds … and
  • Expel Obeid from the ALP, and any other member exposed as corrupt in the ICAC inquiry.

Steps like this would be unpalatable for the ALP caucus as every one of them bar Rudd has Union affiliation.

Labor supporters have never accepted Gillard as their Leader … and her mistakes since have compounded her ill-legitimacy even further.

Former ALP Senator Graham Richardson:

Graham Richardson – a ALP pariah, they hate him for selling out and taking the money, yet they trust him with the pulse of the party … if you can work that out then you are half way to understanding how the ALP works. Richardson penned a column in today’s – ‘The Australian’ – see below:

PM should go for party’s sake

| Author: Graham Richardson | Date: Feb 22nd, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke Source: The Australian

LOVE her or hate her, you would have to feel some sympathy for Julia Gillard. Virtually every policy she announces is bucketed and rejected by all and sundry.

Every press conference is dominated by questions about her leadership. Every poll result is another knife through her heart. The political judgments the Prime Minister makes are mostly rubbished by friend and foe alike. Good news is hard to find.

How she must dread the first few moments of the morning as she begins to focus. I can hear her barking at the first bloke the order not to turn on the radio or the television. No news is the best news she can get.

She knows Newspoll is coming early next week. It is a publication she dreads because she knows every member of her caucus is waiting for it. If the next Newspoll confirms the dreadful numbers produced by Nielsen, she knows her time in the top job may well be cruelly shortened – no pun intended! She has not lost the numbers to Kevin Rudd yet but the number of doubtfuls is growing by the minute.

The more her trusted cabinet ministers ring caucus members and senior party officials to assure them that there is no movement in caucus, and that all is well, the more the air of panic pervades the small world that is the caucus.

Politics is a brutal game and it is not for the faint-hearted. Gillard is as tough as they come, as tough as I have ever seen. That toughness is now being sorely tested and the turmoil in her head would be something to behold.

Looking to her cabinet for rock solid support would be a forlorn exercise. Ever since the debacle of the debate over whether or not to support Palestinians having observer status at UN, she has not been able to stop looking over her shoulder. Only two cabinet members were with her. One by one the rest told her of their dismay or even disgust at the stance she was taking.

Had she not backed off within seconds of the bells tolling for the midnight hour she would not have survived that December day.

Since then the announcement of the world’s longest election campaign didn’t help her cause. Then last week out of a clear blue sky she announces a billion dollar program to make Australian companies “consider” using Australian made goods. Yes, that’s right, consider. No compulsion, just lots of money to make business think about it. Since then a huge question mark has arisen over the method of funding for this cool billion.

The Greens have walked out on her as well. Christine Milne is showing all the signs of this becoming one of those infamously vicious divorces. Who knows what the Greens will choose to endorse when legislation is brought forward to the Senate. Already the aforementioned billion dollar program is under threat and a hostile Senate is the last thing a desperate PM trying to demonstrate stability really needs. It is hard to imagine the government was getting worse but that now appears to be a certainty.

None of the options available to the PM for her immediate future is particularly appealing to either her or for the party. Despite the stoic defiance that she exudes, somewhere in the darkest recess of her mind reality must have a place. There must be times when she considers just what will happen to the Labor Party if she clings to the leadership and the polls are proved to be right.

A loss of between of between 30 and 40 seats is on the cards, a slaughter of epic proportions. It would take Labor a decade to recover from that and given how much worse the situation is in NSW and Queensland, large chunks of the talent pool would go as well. The next generation of political Labor leaders, with the exception of Bill Shorten, would all be gone.

You would be entitled to wonder just how much the Labor Party can take. If a federal election produced a result anything like the NSW and Queensland state massacres morale would be at rock bottom, as would membership. Given that a budget must be prepared by May which must deliver $15 billion of cuts just to allow for the NDIS and the Gonski reforms, the political pain would be immense. There is a real chance that there won’t be much left of the modern Labor Party at the end of her reign.

She could of course run up a white flag, give Kevin a big hug and resign for the good of the party. Given her demeanour, character and reputation I just can’t see that happening. She could ditch the NDIS and Gonski legacy she has been determined to leave behind as a permanent reminder of her prime ministership. That would at least give Wayne Swan some chance of preparing a budget that won’t destroy a party he has served all his working life.

Most likely though, she will hang on and try to tough it out. With all those who hate Rudd clustered around her in praetorian guard formation, a confused, conflicted caucus might acquiesce to her survival. Numbers have been hard to come by for the Rudd team.

This would mean that the legacy Gillard leaves behind would be the near destruction of the modern Labor Party. That is how bad I believe Labor’s position has become. Some of the PM’s backers are among my closest friends and this column may well strain those relationships. It would be worth the price to see Labor back in the game, being taken seriously, and a force for good in Australian politics.

Graham Richardson hosts Richo on Sky News at 8pm on Wednesdays.

Richardson in on record as saying that his DNA is mostly ALP …

For someone who holds the ALP so close to his heart, Richardson writes the above story out of what – resentment, frustration, realism, or for the money he so eagerly takes for trashing something he so willingly announces as his other child?

Richardson is symbolic of all things ALP – if they can’t make a buck out of being in office then why be there.

Richardson’s links go back to Obeid, and in many circles Obeid is seen as having been mentored by Richardson – Obeid just was not subtle enough and was far too greedy in a transparent way – in essence Obeid was caught, as was Richardson in the end.   Then why does Richardson still hold his position in society, why is he allowed to tell ALP secrets for money … why is he so sought after by the media on Election nights … what does he bring to the table that affords him the lifestyle he enjoys given his ‘shady’ past.   Richardson enjoys a mammoth parliamentary indexed pension having served as a Senator, between 1983-1994, and as a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Government’s.

Who will ALP supporters vote for:

Back to the deserting ALP supporters … will they vote for Abbott, or will they go The Greens? The honest answers – maybe, and a resounding NO!!!

Milne is a roasted and dried out wannabee … her divorce speech and reasoning is too obvious this close to an election, and a realisation that the GREENS are themselves in trouble with the electorate.  Bob Brown was called back to put his face to Milne’s divorce choice and that too was obvious …

If Bob Katter could get his party to walk the same way … they have a shot at a few seats federally … but alas, abortion and same sex marriages have caused a ‘billy-boil’ moment.

Australian Politics only offers one party with any semblance of unity and with Howard’s track record on economic management … the Coalition loom as the only choice to drag this Nation back from a self-destructive brink.

I am not an Abbott fan, never have been as a result of his pursuit of Pauline Hanson under Howard’s instruction. However, I despise Gillard more …

I think Hockey is a rabbit, but Swan is a dunce and someone who has no idea how to manage a Nations finances, Deputy Opposition Leader Bishop shows promise as a bride to three former Coalition Leaders … her Foreign Minister counterpart in Bob Carr is a Burt Reynolds comeback, all sleaze … it just does not work and his $3 million first class taxpayer paid for travel expenses since he became Foreign Minister, is symbolic of how NSW got themselves into so much debt under his leadership.

What was Gillard thinking – Rudd eats anybody on the Government Front Bench yet remains content to stay on the backbench and watch his beloved party self-destruct before his eyes …

What does that say about who Rudd is … he is more dangerous to Gillard now then ever despite claiming he has no interest in a rescue mission. The ALP caucus want someone to rescue them … is that so typical of idiots in a panic … save us … help is … we are all to dumb to help ourselves!!!!

Casting a net over the rest of the Opposition, nobody excites, Pyne [Reggie]… still has no discipline, Hunt – promising but does not have that crunch factor, the other Bishop [The Beehive] … should leave and become a full-time grandmother for all the good she does … and so on … who is there?

Let’s be honest – neither side has any stars, none that want to lead anyway …

Australia is about to face some of its greatest challenge’s in coming months and years.   We have a RBA who have no idea where Australia fits anymore and have allowed off-shore funds flooding into the A$ to wreck our economy and drive labor costs through the roof.   As a consequence we now have one of the most expensive labour forces on the planet.

We have a bureaucratic process that has ten times more chiefs than indians … and they are all tapped into a Ponzi style super scheme that gives them lifetime pensions 3-4 times the average wage – and to be honest what did they do or have done to earn such a secure future?

Australian’s have to decide on the better of two evils … there is no star performed that any can gravitate toward … it will be a choice reluctantly given, and yet the victor will claim a mandate and use it to bash those opposite.

These are truly dangerous times … and ever looming is the GFC and it draws closer to our shores every quarter as the ‘money-men’ chase safe havens for their precious booty … As the ALP flower withers so it will dampen the will of off-shore investors … in fact the ALP demise might trigger some good in an A$ sell-off …

We all have a right to be fearful …

Larry Pickering’s Political Take:

To bring some much-needed levity – there is always the Larry Pickering Cartoons … below is a sample of his summer offerings – his images page can be access here[click on image below to enlarge] … enjoy and don’t hurt yourself with the belly laughs …

Larry Pickering also writes some very intelligent blogs including many on the AWU scandal.  Whilst not as regarded as Hedley Thomas in journalistic circles – his penmanship and his heady wit give him a take on things not easily publishable in mainstream media.  None the less … his take on events cuts to the chase and he does not mince words … his Facebook page can be accessed here

Added 18th Feb 2013:

To see all of Pickering’s Political cartoons – use this link

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  1. Barry M
    February 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    There are no “Leaders” in either party. Leaders will not soften their beliefs just to ‘fit in’ or to win support. Leaders are committed to their beliefs and values and “work” to convince others that their beliefs and values are best for the country (or organisation). A real leader will not wimp it when challenged by a journalist, he will correct them if he thinks they are wrong or being misleading.

  2. Gerry Hatrick
    February 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I expect the girls of Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point were also working the Cavill Avenue strip on the Gold Coast, for the AWU conference. A nice little earn, pickings have been slack from the average john as the economy crumbles and blue collar jobs get exported asap.

    Thank god for the unions.

  3. February 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I have an issue with the reward for failure by all these politicians is far too high … there is no alternate reward for success other than ego stroking …

    In summary – go into politics … lick enough assholes to get you 12 years in the job and you’re set for life. OH … and if you do a hopless job when your there just stay low and nobody will notice …

    Trouble is that the best people to do the job would not get by the vetting proceedure … so we are stuck with mediorcity

  4. Barry M
    February 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I agree. Also in this current era the “best ” people would not take the job because the low life useless ones would dig around until they found some minor misdemeanour to use against them.

  5. February 23, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Paul Kelly from ‘The Australian’ wrote an opinion piece today that mirrors the above …

    Labor locked in a crisis over identity

    | by: Paul Kelly, Editor At Large | February 23, 2013 |

    WITH polls showing a potential election wipe-out, the Labor Party remains in denial about the causes of its malaise. It suffers not just a crisis of leadership but a crisis of identity as a political institution.

    On the same day that the Nielsen poll showed a collapsed Labor primary vote at 30 per cent, following the previous Newspoll at 32 per cent, Julia Gillard was locked in a mutual embrace at the Australian Workers Union conference on the Gold Coast.

    This symbolism has real meaning. Gillard is more dependent on trade union power than any Labor prime minister since the 1940s. In her keynote speech to AWU delegates, Gillard boasted that she led a party not called a progressive party, not called a moderate party, not even a socialist democratic party – she led a Labor Party whose identity was defined by its trade union ties.

    It is a conception of Labor not shared by Kevin Rudd.

    With the caucus in abject confusion, the AWU offers conspicuous backing for Gillard. Its national secretary, Paul Howes, declared his determination to keep Gillard in office.

    Its former national secretary, Bill Shorten, a pivotal figure in this struggle, declared that Gillard was the “tough leader” for the times.

    The union and factional support for Gillard equates to support for the old Labor Party.

    Yet that Labor Party is doomed. While the caucus fixates on the Gillard-Rudd popularity contest, the public sees Labor as a party of sectional interests remote from the concerns of ordinary people.

    It is impossible to solve this problem in an election year but it is impossible folly to ignore it.

    In the current struggle the Labor Party needs Rudd more than Rudd needs the leadership. Rudd knows election victory is close to a forlorn cause.

    He can save some seats, perhaps many seats, but any Rudd return must stand for some thing else: the quest to refurbish Labor, reform its structure and change its identity. Rudd must return, if he returns at all, as a leader offering a different government and a different Labor Party.

    Much of the ALP will ferociously resist this idea.

    But Labor cannot stay blind to its malaise, most obvious in the NSW debacle where union and factional power have proved that bad structure leads to bad policy.

    At the federal level, Labor is isolated from business, small traders, regional and aspirational voters.

    Sooner or later Labor must confront two epic reforms.

    First, it needs to reduce union guaranteed voting power within the party from 50 per cent to no more than 20 per cent to match union coverage in the workforce.

    It also needs to empower democracy in the election of the leader whereby the caucus has half the votes and an electoral college of the rank and file has the other half, a proposal advocated by Rudd backer Chris Bowen last year.

    In short, the Gillard-Rudd agony is conspicuous for a debate that overlooks the underlying crisis facing the Labor Party.

    … Read On-Line …

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