Changing the flag…

by ericknight

This week I have found myself driving around Burwood, Ashfield, Marickville, Strathfield, and Camperdown in Sydney’s western suburbs doing errands. These places are heartland Labor seats, held on margins upwards of 15% in most places. Seeing the campaign posters of incumbent members, though, you wouldn’t know it.

Take Strathfield for example. Virginia Judge has been a stable face amidst the NSW government’s storm. She has held Strathfield for Labor since 2003 and has a margin of 15.1%. But I didn’t know this about her until I looked it up. Her campaign posters suggest the opposite. They are swashed in green, don’t say the word ‘Labor’ or ‘ALP’ anywhere, the letters MP after her name are printed very small, and she even looks different!

Then there’s Five Dock. Angelo Tsirekas has been a great Mayor of Canada Bay and has excellent local clout. He has replaced Angela D’Amore after she was accused of inventing a fictitious staffer to charge expenses to. Angelo was pipped at pre-selection several years ago by the Labor heavies but now they can do with his local credentials. And Angelo knows it. His poster is yellow, the Labor logo is minuscule in the bottom left corner, and his tag line is ‘One of Us’.

When Simon McKeon’s was awarded Australian of the Year this year, one of his first announcements was that Australia should change its flag. I can’t see that ever happening. People fought under that flag and will defend it to the hilt. The Australian Labor Party flag, however, is another story. Is that what they mean when they say Labor needs to be re-branded?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim February 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

It’s quite interesting to see local politics come to the fore recently, if only for dubious reasons.

I find Angela D’Amore particularly interesting. She was seemingly plucked from obscurity when she was parachuted into the electorate of Drummoyne in 2002 by the Labor party. The consensus at the time was that Tsirekas, who had served the local community as Mayor of Canada Bay, was a more worthy candidate. D’Amore was later preselected and subsequently elected to parliament. Now the wheel has turned and D’Amore who was expelled from the party, has chosen to contest the election against Tsirekas as an independant. For the most part, I’ve found D’Amore to be a non-entity in the electorate. She campaigned against reducing the number of public transport services in the area and that failed and don’t get me started on the Inner West Busway.

She has just recently launched an appeal against her corruption charge that will be funded by taxpayer funds. Having said this, NSW Labor has been on the wain for sometime. A lot of what I hear often refers to Bob Carr jumping off the sinking ship seems plausible and it was really only the ineptitude of scandal-magnet John Brogden and later Peter Debnam that prevented the Liberals taking power.

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ericknight February 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

It’s the political limbo. It’s a matter of how low you go. No wonder it’s hard to attract talent into politics!

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