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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

South Australia: Labor's Right faction « Previous | |Next »
October 28, 2012

A central problem with the modern Labor Party is not the variety of views contained within the party and among their partners and allies, nor the transfer of Catholic allegiance from Labor to the Liberals at the parliamentary level over the past 50 years. It is the factions of the machine politics getting out of control. A classic example is the current actions of the South Australian Right. The out of control factions are concerned with furthering their own power even if it goes against the interests of the Labor Party.

Senator Don Farrell, the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, is a powerbroker of the South Australian Right faction. He has form in using his power to dump "left of centre" Senators (eg.,Linda Kirk) and help to overthrow Kevin Rudd. Out of control factions are a destablizing political force.

Farrell's roots are in the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees' Association (SDA), Catholicism, the DLP and Santamaria. The policies, ministerial appointments and pre-selections of a Labor government in South Australia are controlled by the executive of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, a socially conservative, Catholic dominated union.They have the numbers and use it to defend a moral conservatism premised on blocking gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, euthanasia etc.

Catholicism is the backbone of Australian conservatism. They accept the market and economic liberty but desire to use authority to regulate the public in their battle against the forces of modern nihilism, decadence and perversion exemplified by the liberal left and the greens. Order and stability (provided by religion) is the only viable antidote to modern nihilism. It is the Romantic notions of self expression which erode the order and stability of tradition.

This Catholic conservatism has a deep faith in the sanctity of family and traditional male and female roles; by an equally profound hostility to the new social movements – feminism, gay liberationism, environmentalism – and to the forces of  “nihilism” and “relativism” that had supposedly taken root among the intellectual class. They see a need to save civilisation by turning back the cultural tide of progressivism.

For Australia conservatism the source of disorder in the world are those individuals who work with ideas and abstract concepts, such as academics, teachers and journalists. The backbone of order and stability are the middle class and lower middle class as these are least affected by the changes of the contemporary world and so have best preserved traditional values.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:03 AM | | Comments (10)


Actually, Linda Kirk was in the South Australian Right, a point the article you link to about her makes clear.

This fact might have interrupted the hysterical narrative vilifying Farrell for his religion.

you are right re Linda Kirk. The Power Index says:

Linda Kirk, who made the mistake of backing Rudd for leader in December 2006 despite a call from Farrell telling her not to. She then voted in favour of stem-cell research and the RU486 abortion pill, which the Shoppies adamantly oppose.
''I have lived by the union and died by the union,'' Kirk admitted, conceding that Farrell had given her the senate seat in the first place: ''He hand picks everybody and I was a beneficiary, there's no doubt about that.''

She was a member of the SDA.

I accept formalized factions in politics, that the Right is informed by Catholicism, and that their policies are informed by their religion. Out of control factions damage the ALP is my point.

I wouldn't vilify Farrell and his mates for their religion.

I would criticise them for the narrow minded bigotry, their homophobia, their blatant sexism, their antiquated patriarchal attitudes to society in general and women in particular.

I would strongly criticise them for foisting, or at least attempting to, these fanatical religious views on the wider society particularly when there are a whole range of issues eg environmental, poverty, social inequality and so on, that should be demanding of more attention rather than issues emanating from narrow minded male ideology.
Farrel and his mates do a disservice to the ALP, to the Libs, to our community in general.

I agree with fred 100%.

the forces of the market and its economic liberalism have been the greatest enemy of conservatism in recent years because they dissolve the bonds that tie traditional units together.

What differentiates modern Liberal Party conservatism (eg. that of ,John Howard) from the conservatism of the Labor Party Right is:
(1) the former do not consider that state intervention was needed to preserve what was best about Australia.
(2) antagonism to unionism

It was the growing power of the labour movement over the last century that forced classical (market) liberals into a with conservatives so as to resist the socialist thrust of the Left. Consequently market liberalism has become identified as a reactionary movement as Australian conservatives have increasingly adopted anti-intellectualism on cultural and social issues.

Linda Kirk, an example of a person who followed her conscience, also some will remember, spoke out on asylum seekers.
It is a shame Dr. Gary Sauer Thompson had to waste time and effort correcting Andrew Landeryou's perversely wilful misreading of the thread starter.
As for Farrell, his history is well known.
His nickname is said to be, "the Pope" and it is likely the current Bernard Finnegan mess likely relates back to Farrell and the Catholic Right and their fondness for Opus Dei types.
In fact, fact checking, Wiki tends to confirm this.
The worst wingnuts in Labor politics, both in this and other states and federally, come from the Right factions.

Farrell should stand down from being no 1 on the SA senate ticket and make himself no 2. Wong should lead as she is the Senate minister.

SA Labor's right wing factional leader Don Farrell has got the message. He has stepped aside from the top spot on the party's South Australian Senate ticket in favour of Finance Minister Penny Wong.