Lindsay Tanner. has been in the news over recent weeks peddling his book Sideshow, but today I want to talk about an earlier book.
Tanner made his name by leading a campaign to wrest the Victorian Federated Clerks Union from the Right, and successfully becoming a left-wing State Secretary. He wrote the story under the title The Last Battle.
Reviewing the news from the weekend one sees reportsthat the NSW Labor Conference moved away from a vote in favour of gay-marriage and "It is understood the decision followed indications from delegates with the socially conservative Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association, that they would vote against it."
I don't find this surprising - the Shoppies are renowned for their socially conservative stance - though it should be called what it is a very deeply held Catholic religious position.
What I do find surprising is that this stance endures within the Shoppies. I'm not exactly sure that shop assistants are by nature a very conservative lot. Indeed, a targeted campaign to recruit gay members to the union for the express purpose of breaking its "socially conservative stance" would probably have a high chance of success.
What's more it may be the essential pre-condition for getting the ALP to change its policy stance.
Maybe the campaigners for gay marriage should go get strategy advice from Lindsay Tanner.
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est