Using the State Budget as a media shield, the South Australian Branch of the Labor Party will today execute one of their own, Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
First-term Senator Linda Kirk is set to lose her endorsement in favour of factional and union boss Don Farrell at a preselection being cynically conducted on the day the Rann Labor Government delivers its sixth Budget.
Senator Birmingham said this tactic demonstrated not just that the Labor Party is dominated by union bosses who Kevin Rudd won’t stand up to, but also how the factional machines that run the Labor Party hold their membership in contempt.
“Under a cloak of darkness provided by the State Budget, the Labor Party’s factional bosses will today put the knife into Linda Kirk’s back and hope that nobody notices,” Senator Birmingham said.
“The dominant Right faction, with whom Senator Kirk has fallen out, will bring an early end to the political career of a law lecturer who entered the Senate in just 2002 so they can instead foist a union boss and a union puppet onto their ticket.
“Labor Party members will have next to no say in their Senate ticket. Don Farrell, as leader of the largest faction, will effectively select himself and choose the rest of the ticket for them.”
Senator Birmingham said this preselection was a further demonstration of how beholden to faction bosses and union leaders Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd is.
“Linda Kirk was one of only two South Australian Labor Members of Parliament to vote for Mr Rudd’s leadership. Yet Mr Rudd hasn’t the courage to stand up to Don Farrell and his union mates now that Senator Kirk needs his support.
“Mr Rudd is too gutless to stand up to the union bosses who are bankrolling his multimillion dollar scare campaign against the Government. Instead, he’s supporting the selection of more union heavyweights into Labor seats than any Labor leader in recent memory.
“Labor will go to the next election with Bill Shorten from the AWU, Mark Butler from the LHMU, Doug Cameron from the AMWU, Don Farrell from the SDA and, the daddy of them all, Greg Combet from the ACTU.
“No doubt they will all be seeking to join a Labor front bench that is already overwhelmingly dominated by union hacks.”