Some of you may recall the 2019 federal election. You may recall that the Australian Labor Party lost “the unlosable election”. You may also remember the very same party dumping leader Bill Shorten for fresh blood ‘Albo’. It was a Labor Party that had apparently learned its lesson. Identity politics, environmental fear-mongering and pandering to the popular left, pushed heavily by the media, were found wanting. The silent majority decided they had had enough and voted accordingly.
Of course, these were not the only reasons they lost the last election; a good piece on further reasons can be found here.
The promotion of Anthony Albanese appeared to be a step in the right direction, it appeared to be a move away from populous policies and a return to the Labor party that stood up for the working man. A party that is determined to make sound decisions and listen to the silent majority.
Enter John Setka.
Setka, the boss of the all-powerful CFMMEU in Victoria, has a long history of, shall we say, trouble. He spent time in prison in the nineties, he has a string of arrests, has been fined for threatening behaviour and violence, has used foul language aimed at former Labor leader Kevin Rudd and has received a good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to harassing his wife.
Setka was a member of the Australian Labor Party through the Shorten year and never asked to leave, nor were there been movements to expel him from the party. That is, until he made comments the feminists didn’t like. He decided to go against the grain of what we’ve been forced to believe by the media, by politicians, domestic violence campaigners and the outrage mob. Until Setka went against the narrative that is all too common around the world he was welcome as a Labor Party member.
I won’t pretend to defend Setka, in my mind he’s a thug. To me, he’s the boss of the most militant, lawless union in the country and deserves everything he gets, but I don’t think he deserves expulsion, not for this. Setka has allegedly made comments that the work those like Rosie Batty do has led to men having fewer rights. Whether you believe his comments or not is irrelevant. What is relevant, and the point of this article, is to show just how little the Australian Labor Party has learned from their election defeat.
T he ALP was happy to have a member that had spent time in prison, they were happy for a thug who intimidates and harasses women to remain a member, they were happy for the boss of a lawless union to remain affiliated. Until the vocal minority spoke up.
The outrage mob was in full force about Setka’s comments and thus, the Labor Party and Anthony Albanese had to respond. Their response was swift and measured, a full expulsion from the party for his comments, that has just been put on hold until they have the go-ahead from the Supreme Court of Victoria in August.
Despite the plethora of real issues the ALP could be focusing on, they’ve decided to follow the outrage mob. The Australian Labor Party has learned nothing from their election defeat.
John Gray is executive director of the H R Nicholls Society.
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