Sunday, January 16, 2005

"lead to direct foreign intervention"

In response to Comrade Hogan's fantasy A-Team, a friend of mine emailed me his thoughts on an all-star ALP Front Bench.

The email is as follows:
Hi Alex,

This is a thoroughly disturbing cabinet....

Now for the real super cabinet [Note election of such cabinet WILL lead to direct foreign intervention by multinational interests and intelligence services]

Leader: I think that the leader could only be John Curtin. Susan Ryan, whilst coming from a principled position as Education Minister (1983-87) is not what I'd want as a leader. Curtin led Australia through WW2 and set the stage for successful reconstruction in the post-war years. Furthermore, his ability to speak to people, transcend the factional morass and lead a united
caucus has not been equaled in ALP history.

Treasurer: Ben Chifley. A remarkable person, self taught economist and policy maker. Teamed with a capable Secretary of Treasurery like "Nugget" H.C. Coombs, such a team would be able impliment a thorough going economic policy for the future. Watch out private banking!!

Enviroment: Moss Cass (Whitlam's Enviro Minister). Victorian SL with a really big beard, a person who did not come from the green movement, but gave the Ministry an intensely radical character. Better than Garrett in this regard, as he can not be regarded as a sell out or political

Immigration/Multicultural Affairs: Al Grassby

Foreign Affairs: H.V. Evatt. Evatt, whilst being a brilliant lawyer, his role in establishing the UN and conducting the Foreign Office during WW2 in a particularily independant manner seals his position as Foreign Minister

Trade Minister: E. G. Whitlam. This is great...with Evatt as foreign minister, Whitlam would have to answer to diety bowing to another! Whitlam loved trips OS, so this would suit him fine.

Defence: Joan Kirner - she would act as a positive influence in breaking down stereotypes around military policy and have a humanitarian approach in utilizing the armed services for socially beneficial ends.

Urban and Regional Development: Tom Uren. NSW Left. Uren's record in this ministry speaks for itself.

Industrial Relations: Clyde Cameron. A shearer by trade and factional warlord by nature, he was the IR minister under Whitlam. Able to transcend the union-party divide and reach concensus in a genuine manner.

Education: George Georges. Qld Left Senator. A top unionist, eventually forced to resign because he wouldn't tow the line over Hawke's far right policies, he would make a great Education minister to put through expansive public education programs.

Health: Maurice Blackburn or Frank Anstey two old lefties who knew the social cost of the Depression and would work from that mindset as effective Health ministers. Or if we want to get adventurist, we can get the senior party negotiators to go to the CPA and arrange for Dr Gerald O'Day to resign and stand as an ALP candidate in the election, sort of like a "unity ticket". He was a great champion of the people, his medical background and belief in socialized medical care would be an asset to the party.

Minnerals and Energy: R.F.X. Connor. Now this is a bloke with vision!!! "The Strangler" would, under such a goverment, be able to implement the greatest threat to capitalism Australia has ever seen - the PMA in its full form. Through this we could "buy back the farm"-all those mineral resources sold at a pitance during the 1960s. Coal, oil, gas, uranium, bauxite, petro-chemicals, iron, copper, nickel- they were all on his hit list.

Justice: This is a hard one...anyone from this short list: Ted Laurie QC, Rob Stary, Hugh Gordon, Bill Slater, Clyde Holding, Gareth Evans, Clive Evatt etc.

Attorney-General/Leader in Senate: Lionel Murphy. Brilliant QC and later a High Court judge, he was a sophisticated yet down to earth AG under Whitlam. Family Court, French Nuclear Testing Case, Legal Aid and creative advice on Government power (Loan structures for the Fed Govt, s 96 grant power etc) are testament to this.

Veterans Affairs: Arthur Geitzelt. NSW Left.

Women's: Joan Coxsedge. Vic SL, an outspoken socialist, and a great champion of women's rights.

Deputy Leader, Senate: Doris Blackburn

Finance Minister/Deputy Leader Lower House: Dr Jim Cairns. Cairns understood the power of finance and felt the brunt of a hostile civil service. The finance ministry could be developed as a counter balance to the inherently conservative Treasury, and stacked full of ALP appointees.

Fed Sec ALP: Bill Hartley. Vic Sec (1963-70), SL hardliner, expelled from ALP 1986 for supporting Idi Amin, claiming ALP Exec was "controlled by foreign powers", using Vic ALP radio to attack Bob Hawke. Okay, so he's pretty hardcore but if we ever need $500,0000 from undisclosed (read Iraqi Ba'ath Party) sources, he'll be the guy to talk to.

Fed Pres ALP: Ray Geitzelt, NSW Steering Committee and MWU power broker.

So that's my cabinet. Unrealistic? Yes. Unstoppable? For sure.
Solid gold.


  • At January 16, 2005 8:24 pm, Blogger Liam said…

    I challenge you to name your source! :)
    And I'm still saying that it's time for Labor to have a female Leader, and I couldn't think of a better one than Ryan.
    Connor: are you serious? How about putting Tom Domican and the Balmain Welding crew back in the NSW branch speed dial, if we're going to go down that route?

  • At January 16, 2005 8:35 pm, Blogger Alex said…

    I'll email you the source.

  • At January 17, 2005 1:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i'm disgusted that in both these lists (this and the one on cut price commentariat), only three women on each crack a mention out of a list of nearly 20 positions. Surely a bunch of lefties could do better than resurrect people, who while great in their time, held views that would (should?) see them run out of any contemporary left party room. just because someone's left wing doesn't excuse them from being sexist, racist and homophobic. Come on guys, you can do better than this.

  • At January 18, 2005 12:00 am, Blogger Alex said…

    It's true that the ALP doesn't put up enough women (it should be 50% of winnable positions IMO).

    Any suggestions on how to change this above the plattitude of merely putting more women on the above list?

  • At January 18, 2005 3:27 am, Blogger Robert said…

    Hey anonymous --- who's on your list?

  • At January 18, 2005 3:38 am, Blogger Robert said…

    By the way:

    "Health: Maurice Blackburn or Frank Anstey"

    My vote's for Anstey. He played a key role in moving Jack Curtin to Perth, where he edited the Westralian Worker, helped run the conscriptionists out of the party, but most importantly recovered from some bad experiences in Victoria. The rest, as they say, is history. Anstey was obviously a good friend and a long-term planner. He recognised Curtin's potential and knew he needed to get him out of Victoria to avoid a complete mental breakdown.


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