Exactly how many more times do Victorians and other Australians have to learn that a seemingly corrosive culture has infested the Labor Party? How many more times are they expected to accept that a solution to the erosion of one of our most important democratic processes, the running of political parties, can be found by appointing former members of the same party to conduct an internal review?
The current culture-driven scandal besetting the Victorian Labor Party, and now spilling into federal Labor, is to be investigated by two highly respected former MPs. Former premier Steve Bracks and former federal minister Jenny Macklin have been appointed as administrators and will conduct a review.
I am not suggesting that these senior members of the party do not have the skills needed to undertake a review. Nor am I questioning that Bracks or Macklin exhibit anything but the highest ethical standards. I acknowledge the positive contribution both have made to Australian politics over many years. But I am suggesting, and strongly, that an internal review, conducted by people who have been members of the same party they are reviewing, creates a strong sense of Caesar judging Caesar.
Where are the sorely needed independent eyes? Where are the independent voices that could be trusted to join Bracks and Macklin in casting a highly critical eye over what is a mess? The mess has been created by party members more interested in accumulating power and exercising control than ensuring the important role parties play in Australia’s democratic processes are not grossly abused.