True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

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But the trouble was that we knew by now just how wrong they were in every particular of those golden years, how big a sell-lout the whole show was, 'amateur hour' indeed; and how much worse Paul made it by selling off Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank and by the latter betrayal ensuring two whole generations of our people would never own a home, or a dog, or have three kids, or even two; and by the former betrayal ensuring our airline jobs would go overseas and no tourist, for fear of Alan Joyce and fatal mid-air turbulence, would want to come here very much anymore.

And his attitude that night was that of a winner of course, and a founding prophet and co-architect of a new Labor order, whose bonding mateship would survive the necessary changes to the way things newly dovetailed together in a changed new brave new adapting world, and be Old Labor still. And he spoke of 'Hoggy' and 'Richo' and 'Robbo' in the old, companionable, menacing, chiacking way, little knowing what prissiness and cattiness and pertness, what hatred of the shop floor and the heroes on it and the union movement at the heart of the Labor adventure, and the bureaucratic snideness and dithering, and the wacko, blundering hubris the Rudd years would bring, and have not yet, under Julia, entirely gone away.

We had 13 years, and the ball in our hands, and the chance to run for the goal and easily score the touchdown of the fair-go society that Labor, Whitlam Labor, Kinnock Labour, Chifley Labor, was all about. And we ran, smiling, the other way.

Faulkner, Senator John Philip: 11 Feb Senate debates (izytoripeb.tk)

This article was first published on Table Talk. View his full profile here. Topics: government-and-politics , federal-government , community-and-society , history. First posted January 20, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC.

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The party also held a region-focused fringe event yesterday. For example, privatisation legislation under the Hawke government occurred only after holding a special national conference to debate changing the platform. Buy Used paperback in good condition, small Beazley replaced Latham in But in Parliament he should represent the opinions of the majority which elected him This section does not cite any sources.

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True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

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I remember a session late one night when the whole committee devolved into a shambles.

True Believers

I think it was Senator Fifield who said, 'Brett, this committee of yours is a shambles; it's becoming more like a chat show than an estimates committee. John Faulkner relentlessly pursued transparency and accountability in government. These were always important issues for him but they were goals which he pursued with even greater vigour and zealotry after his retirement from the ministry. He always defended the Senate and politics and politicians; and, so often, I would hear John saying, 'I don't care whether you're a Labor, Liberal or Callithumpian.

Everyone deserves respect who steps into the Australian parliament, because life isn't easy.

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He was a senior, successful and much-lauded politician. Yet, while I respect him for these achievements, as we all do, that is not why I like him. I will never forget our first conversation.

True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

It was early in the year I was very new, and he caught me in a corridor just outside and was staring at me. I wanted to run away, thinking that this wicked old Leftie would catch me and nationalise me! His first words were: 'You seem to be enjoying yourself around here. I'm not sure I like that! I could not say anything and I scampered.

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As mentioned, I then had a lot to do with John in Senate estimates committees and, of course, the Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident, much more famously known as the 'children overboard' inquiry—very heady days. He would bark at me all day but, out of the public eye, he was always good fun, he was generous and he was witty. I remember going down to his office to ask him to sign for me a book that he had edited called True Believer s: the Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Let me read what he wrote:. But I liked John most of all because at a difficult time in politics he helped me.

I remember, at a memorial service for the victims of the Bali bombings, he sat next to me and said, 'I hear you're having a tough time.

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He said: 'Just remember, in this game you need some scar tissue—otherwise, the first punch will knock you out. It's painful, comrade, but it will do you good in the long run, trust me.

He would stop me now and then and ask how I was going. He provided the great solace—the great solace—of perspective. He was also a model of discretion.

I knew he would never betray a confidence. You could make an arrangement with him and he would never break the deal.

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He was not tricky or devious and, just like you want government to be, he was always open and transparent. John Faulkner was also great company. He was very well read but never showed off.