Category Archives: Labour & politics

The Catholic Right in SA Labor

Gary Lockwood

 

A speech delivered by Mr Gary Lockwood – (President of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History – Adelaide Branch) at a meeting of the Florey Sub Branch of the ALP on Monday 21st February 2011.

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The ideological war over our first MP

Stephen Holt

February 5, 2013

Labor’s first federal preselection contest in the ACT was conducted after the Chifley government awarded Canberrans parliamentary representation. The resulting preselection turned out to be a fraught affair indeed, replete with chicanery and religious sectarianism. Continue reading

Billy Hughes’ Canberra Son

Stephen Holt

William Morris Hughes remains the archetypal Judas-figure in the demonology of the Australian Labor Party.  He was a leading figure in the early party but split from it in 1916 over the issue of military conscription and threw in his lot with the anti-Labor forces in federal politics.  There was no reconciliation with his former comrades. 

What is still vaguely remembered, though, is that Billy Hughes had a son who in the grim years of the 1930s was involved in organised agitation in support of unemployed workers thereby creating a piquant contrast with his father’s act of desertionThis latter-day embrace of the labour cause within the Hughes family took place in Canberra and forms a significant episode in its local political history. Continue reading

Equality – 1972

 

Book Review

Towards a new Australia, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1972, John McLean (ed)
Reviewed in Arena, 30, 1972, pp. 8-12

Humphrey McQueen

In the decade following the defeat of the Labor governments in post-war Britain and Australia there developed the notion that political ideology was exhausted. In the context of the ALP, this assumption meant that nationalisation was no longer accepted as an intrinsic component of the party’s “democratic socialism”. Continue reading

Art, Transfield and Refugees

Art, Transfield and Refugees
A Russian doll of inhumanities

 Humphrey McQueen  – 18 March 2014

 Sometimes you may need to bribe, to be tough, even to be inhuman, to reach your target. Every contract is a battle. What counts in the final victory. Continue reading

Book review: ACT Labor 1929-2009 – A Short History

 

Stephen Holt

Review of ACT Labour 1929-2009 – A Short History
Chris Monnox, Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide 2013

The Australian Labor Party is not a terribly alluring outfit these days. Any core cohesive beliefs are difficult to identify while its membership base badly needs resuscitating and is still under the thumb of factional hacks. This unattractiveness makes it harder for the ALP to produce stable reforming governments anywhere in the continent. Continue reading

A Whitlam trifecta

Humphrey McQueen

Following are three pieces for the Bulletin in 1999-2000.

 Rumours no longer exaggerated: an obit for Gough

The Bulletin commissioned and paid for this obituary in 2,000 but it died first.

The passing of Edward Gough Whitlam signifies more than the death of one man. Whitlam is the only Labor prime minister whose name became an –ism, an endowment which continues to evoke veneration and loathing. He will wish to be remember for his policies, the theme of this reflection. Continue reading

Harry Holland

Frank Mines

There are a number of reasons why we should remember Harry Holland. For one reason, he is the only significant political figure to have come from the Canberra district. Continue reading

2011 ASSLH conference – A Leftist in Cold War Canberra: Bruce Yuill

 

A Leftist in Cold War Canberra: Bruce Yuill

 Stephen Holt

Abstract

On 29 July 1953, the Canberra Trades and Labor Council, the city’s peak employee body, re-elected a boisterous young Labor man named Bruce Yuill as its President.  The Council’s vote of endorsement meant that Yuill, a flamboyant socialist, headed the trade union movement in Australia’s federal capital at a crucial time politically, with the Cold War well underway and the Australian Labor Party teetering on the historic schism of 1955.

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2011 ASSLH conference – Reinstating ‘Casual Connelly’

 

Reinstating ‘Casual Connelly’: a Labour pioneer and the struggle for political rights for public servants in New Zealand

 Peter Franks

 

Abstract

When the New Zealand Labour Party celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1966, Michael Connelly was the only living member of those who were elected to national office in 1916 when the party was founded. Continue reading

2011 ASSLH conference – Biography and Ideology in the Industrial Workers of the World in Australia 1911-­1922

 

Biography and Ideology in the Industrial Workers of the World in Australia 1911-­1922: A Brief Review

Frank Cain

 Abstract

The ideas of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were introduced from Chicago to Australia via Sydney in 1907 by a group of immigrant, English-speaking, itinerant, Marxist, semi-skilled workers.  They dismissed the existing Labor governments as time servers and the Great War as against the interests of the working class. This paper will present short biographies of five of these foreign-born activists and how they adapted their radical IWW ideology that had evolved from the class war in the early 20th century United States.  Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – The paradox of Paddy Lynch

Danny Cusack
Centre for Irish Studies, Murdoch University

Abstract

Patrick Joseph Lynch (1867-1944) emigrated from Ireland to Australia as a nineteen-year-old. He subsequently served as a senator representing WA in the Federal Parliament (1906-38), the last six years as President. Unusually for an Irish Catholic in the Labor Party at this time, he adopted a pro-conscription stance in 1916-17. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – ‘A dangerous trend towards authoritarianism’: Dr James, the Menzies government and cold war Australia

Phillip Deery
Victoria University, Melbourne  

  

Abstract

In May 1950, during the debate on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill, a young doctor with a promising career was sacked. No reasons for his dismissal were given and no right of appeal was permitted. Outside his working hours Paul James was politically active in the emerging peace movement in Melbourne and the subject, therefore, of an adverse security file. Continue reading