Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


Apathy And Anger: John Faulkner On Our Modern Democracy

The ALP’s former leader in the Senate, John Faulkner, says Australian democracy is “drowning in distrust”.

Arguing that politics requires commitment, patience, and a sense of proportion, Faulkner criticised Mark Latham’s for young people to reject organised politics.

Faulkner said: “Unless we have mature and realistic expectations of the possibilities of politics and the capacity of politicians, we cannot as a society understand or resolve the real problems within the political system. If our analysis is as shallow as Mark Latham’s complaints that people were mean to him, our solutions will be as self-defeating as his decision to take his bat and ball and go home.” [Read more…]


John Faulkner Launches “Loner”, New Book On Mark Latham

This is the text of a speech by Senator John Faulkner at the launch of Bernard Lagan’s book, “Loner”.

LonerThe book deals with Mark Latham’s leadership of the ALP, the 2004 federal election campaign and Latham’s departure from the leadership in January this year.

Faulkner has been a senator since 1989. He was a minister in the Keating government and a shadow minister until he stood down after last year’s election.

Faulkner argues that the ALP must learn the lessons of the 2004 election defeat but “it would be a very great shame if the only lesson Labor learned was to always play it safe”.

Faulkner says Lagan’s book “shows that Mark’s fatal flaw was not recklessness, not the risks that he took – in a way, it was the risks he refused to take.”

Of Latham, Faulkner says: “He was a loner, as the title of the book suggests. He would not take the chance of trusting those around him, and that hurt him, and Labor, badly. Mark played his cards close to his chest. He wouldn’t take even those staff and colleagues who should have been close to him into his confidence. To do so was a risk worth taking, and it should have been taken.” [Read more…]


John Faulkner: Balancing Government Effectiveness With Oversight And Scrutiny

Senator John Faulkner has delivered a wide-ranging speech on Senate reform to The Sydney Institute.

Faulkner, the ALP Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, said the Senate had evolved into an effective house of review but the task now was to ensure that governments can carry out their electoral promises whilst maintaining oversight and scrutiny.

Transcript of Senator John Faulkner’s Address to the Sydney Institute on Senate Reform.

FaulknerLadies and Gentlemen, in June this year the Prime Minister announced his Government’s intention to reform the “deadlock provisions of the Constitution in section 57.”[1]

For Mr Howard constitutional reform is a newfound interest. For Labor, constitutional reform is a long held conviction, reforms not solely about the moment, reforms not solely about advantaging the Government in power. Unlike John Howard and the Liberal Party, Labor has been committed to restricting the powers of the Senate since Federation. [Read more…]


Bill Heffernan’s Disgraceful Speech Under Parliamentary Privilege

Mar 12 – John Howard’s confidante and Liberal Party eyes and ears, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet, Senator Bill Heffernan, made a disgraceful speech to the Senate last night, alleging that High Court Justice Michael Kirby is “not fit and proper to sit in judgment of people charged with sex offences against children”.

Heffernan only named Michael Kirby as the final two words in a speech which alleged that a judge has “indiscreetly, improperly and illegally used Comcar” and “trawled for rough trade at the Darlinghurst Wall”. [Read more…]


True Believers: The Story of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

This is the text of the speech delivered by Kim Beazley, Leader of the Federal Opposition, at the launch of “True Believers”.

The book, edited by John Faulkner and Stuart Macintyre, records the history of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

It was launched at State Parliament House, Melbourne, as part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations.

Text of Opposition Leader Kim Beazley’s speech launching “True Believers”.

True Believers CoverFormer Prime Ministers, parliamentary colleagues, book-writers, book-editors, and book-readers, ladies and gentlemen:

I am delighted to launch this book, an excellent production that has been a long time in the making.

And I’d like to welcome back – from the literary world – our much-loved and much-respected John Faulkner who laboured so greatly, with co-author Stuart Macintyre, and so many others to produce this truly impressive book. John and Stuart assembled some of the most highly skilled, gnarled and feisty commentators and analysis of Australian political life for this book. [Read more…]


Kernot Quits Democrats To Join Labor

Senator Cheryl Kernot defected from the Australian Democrats to join the ALP on October 15, 1997.

Kernot resigned as leader of the Democrats, as a member of the party, and from the Senate.

She said she stood ready to contest a Liberal-held marginal seat for the ALP. At the 1998 federal election, Kernot narrowly won election to the Queensland electorate of Dickson. She was defeated at the 2001 election.

  • Listen to an extract of Kernot’s press conference (3m – transcript below)

Kernot

Transcript of Cheryl Kernot’s resignation press conference.

Cheryl KernotI have called this press conference today to inform you of my decision to resign as Leader of the Australian Democrats, and as a member of both the party and the Senate.

I fully appreciate this decision will come as a shock to members of a party I have served for 17 years. But it is a decision which, in the past 18 months, has grown unavoidable for two reasons. One, my personal and growing sense of outrage at the damage being done to Australia by the Howard Government. And two, my concern that from my position in the Senate I had a limited capacity to minimise that damage. [Read more…]


Senator John Faulkner (ALP-NSW) – Maiden Speech

This is the first speech by Senator John Faulkner, an ALP representative from New South Wales.

Faulkner filled a casual vacancy to replace Arthur Gietzelt, a former minister in the Hawke government.

Faulkner previously worked in disability education and as Assistant General Secretary of the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party. [Read more…]