Modia Minotaur

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Barry Jones' `Sudden' Spray

The suggestion that ALP President Barry Jones suddenly exploded and had a big spray about the culture within the ALP today strikes me as absolutely ludicrous. The fact that it has taken so long for his forthright and very important article (which I received and read in the Australian Fabian Society newsletter several weeks ago - if not an entire month ago) to cause a stir is a complete mystery to me.

I can't locate a copy of the Jones article online - it's not on the Fabian website - and come to think of it, when I first read it, I remember wishing I could find an online version, because I wanted to post a link to it on my blog. To give you an idea of exactly how old a piece of news the article is, it came out right around the same time as the Latham Diaries - I remember, because I was surprised, having heard Jones speak out quite harshly against Latham, to read this article which, in essence, said exactly what Latham had - particularly about the factions and so forth; albeit in a bit of a more calm and considered manner than Latham.

As I said, the fact that it's suddenly blown up today is an absolute puzzler - but what is more so is the fact that every time someone actually tries to fix the deep seated problems in the ALP - to make it a better, more constructive, more collaborative and more consultative party - he or she is howled down and everyone gets back to their horrible old ways. Why? There could be few people in the party with more legitimate influence than Jones - who is after all, the party president, elected by the party rank and file. Until someone addresses these problems, it's going to be like sitting outside a hornet's nest with a can of bug spray, patiently spraying every stinging insect that flies out of the hive rather than throwing the blessed thing on the ground, cutting it open, and getting rid of the nasties for once and for all.

Commentary at The World Today and also PM. If I didn't have an essay due I would transcribe the Jones article somewhere on line (no doubt someone will do this eventually).

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