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.