Monday, July 11, 2011

Can anyone explain The Shoppies?

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

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