Column from the June edition of ‘The Socialist’
10th worst: Bob Hawke
The ACTU leader who stopped spontaneous general strike in wake of dismissal of Whitlam. ALP Prime Minister 1983-91 that introduced the wage cutting Accord.
9th worst: Bill Shorten
AWU official who did nothing to organise workers in industrial action at Beaconsfield after last year’s accident, thereby laying the basis for a deadly repeat this year.
8th worst: Trisha Caswell
Former official at Victorian Trades Hall Council moved to be Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation and then to Chief Executive of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries.
7th worst: Gerry Hand
So-called ‘lef twing’ ex-minister in Hawke Labor government who first introduced mandatory detention for refugees. Was later an investor in a casino on Christmas Island.
6th worst: Bill Hayden
The ex-federal ALP leader and republican, later accepted post as Governor-General, the Queens representative in Australia.
5th worst: Michael Costa
The former ‘Healyite’ who became far-right Minister in NSW Labor government. Main driver in an already right wing government for attacks on workers jobs and conditions.
4th worst: Vince Gair
The ex-ALP Premier of Queensland, expelled from the party for his anti-union stance. Joined the right wing DLP and stopped Labor from getting a majority because he was drinking beer and eating prawns with Country Party Senators and failed to resign his Senate position in time.
3rd worst: Laurie Short
A key figure in the early Trotskyist movement in Australia, later betrayed his comrades and class and became stalwart of the union right wing and staunch anti-communist.
2nd worst: John Van Camp
One day Victorian Secretary of the militant FEDFA construction union, the next day became Industrial Relations boss for anti-union Grocon Construction Company.
Worst: Billy Hughes
Initially a socialist and union activist. Became ALP Prime Minister during WW1 and pushed hard for conscription losing two referendums. Expelled from party for his stance, he then established new government by forming new party (the Nationalists) with fellow expelled-Labor rats and the capitalist Liberal opposition.