Monday, 17 September 2018

Ground Hog Day?

Pic courtesy Fraser Coast Chronicle

I’ve blogged before about history rhyming, rather than repeating itself.

Having said that, for those of us more senior than most, the current divisions within the Liberal Party look to me like something we’ve seen before.

That something was the Labor split of 1955. I remember listening to my father discussing the issue with an old mate of his in preparation for the ANZAC Day dawn service in Koumala, so it must have come to a head in April, but can’t be sure of the year.

 Dad was pretty worked up – that I remember vividly.

 Perhaps it was around the time of Vince Gair’s expulsion, as I was 10 years old, and had some idea of what was going on. In 1955 at age 8, I don’t think I would have had much of a clue. He was kicked out of the party on ANZAC eve 1957, so that’s probably what I remember.

To be honest, I’m not sure whether the situation referred to the Victorian or Queensland split.

Back then, there was a militant anti-communist faction operating predominantly in the party’s Victorian branch.

These people had a very clear idea of what they were against. They were also heavily influenced by B A Santamaria. By the time the split had worked its destructive course through the various state branches of the party, and led to the creation of the DLP, so much damage had been done to the Labor movement that it took until 1972 for it to recover.

These days, there’s a faction within the Liberal Party which is noteworthy for what its members oppose. They were identified starkly by their holdout in the same sex marriage debate. Prominent amongst this group is an ex-prime minister who was heavily influenced by B A Santamaria.

They are notable for their apparent incapacity to negotiate or compromise.

 The depth of loathing that the protagonists within the Liberal party are showing right now, is eerily reminiscent of the Labor split. There doesn’t seem to be any room for negotiation or compromise.

 I reckon there’s a pretty good chance of a split. Watch this space….

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy. In 1995, he was appo...