The ACTU's idea of an independent former Judge untainted by perception of bias.
Bill Shorten's plea for a fair go on allegations of improper political influence - don't assume donations cause bias!

Josh Bornstein, Liberty Sanger, Bernard Murphy and the AWU - all working for the "broader interest of the labour movement"

This is one of the most revealing documents produced in evidence at the Trade Union Royal Commission.

The author is a senior Maurice Blackburn lawyer Liberty Sanger, the wife of federal Labor MP David Feeney.

Liberty's writing to her boss Josh Bornstein, you'll see Bernard Murphy copied in too.  The note is about a meeting with Bill Shorten's  (nice aside there Liberty) successor Cesar Melhem after he'd complained about a bill he didn't want to pay.

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"We" are all supposed to be working for the broader interest of the labour movement.

The left side of politics in Australia is tribal, it's collectivist - a highly networked and interdependent movement of fellow-travellers reliant on each other.   It believes in big government, big spending, big welfare and big, big jobs for the top tier people.   It operates on favours and patronage - loyal players who don't screw up are rewarded with lucrative positions and pensions.   Leftists in Australia seem to subconsciously act in the movement's interests and that includes most of Australia's journalists.

The conservative side of politics is hard-wired to encourage individual effort and reward for individual achievement.  Conservative people in positions of influence are scared witless of being accused of nepotism - in my experience there simply isn't a system of jobs for reliable mates on that side of politics.   Conservative leaders are more likely to put a Laborite in to a position of influence than expose  themselves to a favouritism charge.   For all those reasons, there is no "conservative movement" or network in Australia.  It's survival of the fittest and if you can name loyal close friends on the fingers of one hand you're doing well.

Tony Abbott's team in Canberra is clearly not unified and most of the time their troubles are of their own making - but they are up against a couple of natural disadvantages.   The first is the subconscious adoption by the bulk of Australia's journalists of  leftist, fellow-traveller norms.   Whether they admit it or not that means the Conservatives are the enemy - the result is a much lower threshold to meet the test of a newsworthy report of corruption, nepotism, bias or the like when the Conservatives are in the cross-hairs.   The second is that because of their fear of being accused of looking after mates, there is no network of reliable operatives who can make things happen on the strength of a phone call - as is the case for the broader labour movement.   Nature and politics abhor a vacuum - and Labor and Sussex Street in particular are very happy to fill that void.

The Dyson Heydon debacle is a classic case-study of how conservatives in Australia get played by the leftist labour movement.  The labour movement is not very good at it, their stuff often doesn't make sense and it's often manifestly untruthful - but it doesn't have to pass muster or be all that good to get the desired results Labor seeks in the press and the polls.   Run through the Dyson Heydon debacle in your mind and you'll see what I mean - no genuine conflict of interest, no agreement to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser and absolutely no way known that Dyson Heydon has demonstrated any sort of bias towards the Liberals at all.   But has that stopped the machine?

Here's a great example of a bloke who doesn't even know he's doing it - Barrie Cassidy writing in the ABC's The Drum on Friday just gone.

From the Dyson Heydon game changer, to same-sex marriage and economic and national security policy - the Coalition is losing the edge on a number of key issues that will decide the next election, writes Barrie Cassidy.

The Abbott Government should be less concerned about declining opinion polls and more concerned about losing the edge on the key issues that will decide the next election.

As each day goes by the Coalition is losing its political advantage across the board.

Now - and again out of a clear blue sky - the extraordinary revelations that the royal commissioner, Dyson Heydon, planned to address a Liberal Party fundraiser is another significant game changer. [that is total bullshit, the man at no time planned to address a fundraiser, but I'll bet Barrie believes he did and likewise most ABC readers]

Given that the Government has no real plans for workplace reform, and that strikes are barely an issue these days, then the Abbott Government is relying on the Royal Commission to deliver a stinging rebuke to militant unions - and perhaps serious collateral damage to Bill Shorten in the process.

Now the stumble by Mr Heydon threatens to derail even that political advantage. [I don't see how His Honour has in any way stumbled, he's been nothing but assiduous in avoiding conflicts of interest as he becomes aware of them]

That Mr Heydon could agree to a speech at a Liberal Party event while the commission is ongoing - and whether he knew it was a fundraiser or not - raises serious questions as to his ongoing role and casts a dark cloud over the commission's deliberations and findings.

There are double standards in Australia and that's just life.  We'll keep trying to maintain a different voice from the fellow travellers who, as Liberty Sanger so explicitly spells out, are working for the broader interest of the labour movement.

ENDS

UPDATE

Here's a really insightful comment from Anon below - I'd fully endorse everything Anon says    People like Shorten are to "the left" as the US's televangelists are to Christianity "I can send the Lord into your living room if you forward your credit card details now, our operators are waiting".   Hollow men and women prepared to exploit the vulnerabilities of others - they'll do anything and say anything to get what they want.

Anon said:

Please stop referring to the likes of Shorten, Feeney and anyone in a union as 'leftists' they are anything but. The ALP is a centre right party, they support the capitalist system and they have benefited greatly from the capitalist system. They do not aim to tear down that system, they have never been remotely critical of that system. Ditto you describe Madgwick as a leftist, not at all, he is the Mr. Fixit for the ALP Right. What they all are is parasites off the backs of workers, they have used unions to advance themselves, they have enriched themselves and advanced their own careers. If they had been manning the barricades and waving red flags I could understand your description but these people are so far from there it is not funny. They really are not so far from the Liberals with whom they have frequently allied to make sure that anyone genuinely of the left never sticks their head above the trench. Just read some of the WikiLeaks for Shorten's comments on unions. Within the ALP whether they call themselves left, right and unaligned they all find tremendous unity and sense of purpose if the ALP is attacked from outside.......just like the Liberals. It really does speak to the poor state of politics in Australia and the poor state of unions.
 
Here's another great comment
 

broadie said:
Liberty meant the broader interests of trough dwellers. Unfortunately, the labouring classes have been decimated in Australia by the antics of the Arts law drop-outs installed into the Union movement. The factories continue to move offshore, away from , expensive unreliable electricity, Fairwork, the PC brigade and the offense and accident chasing lawyers. The Union movement is now predominantly representing servants and includes an elitist Public service. The problem is as servants in a world economy we will receive servant wages. Just watch as our buying power plummets compared to countries who produce widgits. The labor lawyers and their fellow travellers are just the vultures feeding on the carcass, they will be unable to create or lead.

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