Paul Howes bows out, or does he?

imgres

From locked-BS:

Australian Workers’ Union boss Paul Howes has confirmed he will step down as national secretary from July.

“For some time now I have been contemplating the next steps in my life. And as such I recognise the right thing to do is to step down,” Mr Howes said in a statement.

“Of course this has not been an easy decision to arrive at. But my primary consideration must be what is best for the organisation that has provided me with so much.”

Mr Howes said the decision was the right move for him and for the union.

“I know my decision may come as a surprise. But I was elected to this role seven years ago, at 26 years of age. I left school at 14, and commenced full-time work in the union movement at 17.

“I will cherish my membership ticket to my last day.”

And the SMH:

Australia’s highest profile unionist, Paul Howes, has broken ranks with his own union and will press for Labor and the unions to sever their historic link.

Fairfax Media understands Mr Howes has recently shifted position and now supports the severing of the 123-year old formal tie between unions and Labor. The Australian Workers Union confirmed Mr Howes’ resignation as national secretary on Monday. He will step down in July.

Recent scandals around the ALP-affiliated Health Services Union and ongoing controversies around his own union have focused attention on the Labor-union relationship.

So too has Labor’s record low primary vote and the unions movement’s declining membership and relevance.

In behind-the-scenes discussions the young leader has recently revealed his personal conclusion that affiliation was damaging both the party and affiliated unions. However he has been hamstrung in his public comments by the fact that AWU’s official position was at odds with his personal view.

With respect, that’s a pipe dream. Where will Labor get its funding?

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)

Comments

    • casewithscience

      I have also never been a fan of Howes. He is just another coward that shuddered when looking at the hard decisions needed to be taken on the mining tax.

      Ruddy never deserved what he got for actually trying to do something.

  1. Caught a few by surprise I reckon.

    Either lured by corporate dreams (I assure you get these dudes to mix with money and they develop a taste) or sees himself as a Messiah of Modern Labor.

    Wonder if changes in Howes’ personal life propel new direction – both professionally and monetarily.

    Shorten is a shambles, watch with interest.

  2. Just another unaware ‘end of history’ political illiterate lining up to sell us all a shiny bowl of dog vomit come election time.

    I’ll vote for you!

  3. Who seriously gives a s**t about this self-aggrandising nobody ? He should parlay his extended work experience with the union movement into whatever corporate consultancy trough can accommodate his ample snout, and f**k off quietly into history.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Bootlicking you say? Of the variety only a feckless and irredeemably irredeemable sandgropping excuse for an shoulder tatto (see your pic) can muster or something rather more pedestrian?

      • Spleen is irredeemably a rusted on, albeit a most eloquent one. He probably agrees. Anyway he would have shook his hand at least.

      • Just focus on where your own tongue is buried, Mr 3 dogs. Your judgement seems to go astray when you’re not linking to someone else’s analysis.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Martin Fergurson probably, there’s only so many seats and a lot of ex union tools running around.

  4. bolstroodMEMBER

    The up coming Royal Commission into Union corruption may have flushed brother Howes from cover.

    Hard to tell who to trust these days,corruption knows no bounds. Politics, religion , unions, sport, business.

    And we used to believe it only happened in other countries. Poor fella my country.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Bingo! Its an inverse Dante scenario where the absolute worst scum are in the upper circle

  5. General Disarray

    I expect we will see a lot of powerful union types jump into some private sector lobbyist roles. After all, seeing the type of cash that was on offer to Sinodinos is hard to ignore.

    Private sector rent-seeking is where the money is these days.

  6. Howes personal achievement of leaving school at 14 (so relatively little formal education), and became national secretary of AWU at 26.

    Whatever your opinon on his politics, the guy has something! That is an amazing achievement.

    • flyingfoxMEMBER

      Yeap, a whole lot of BS … He just happened to hit the lime light at some point and didn’t sound like a he knew nothing…

  7. Where will Labor get its funding?

    That’s easy, big corporate interests and their plutocrats, just like the LNP. Rent seeking is where the big money is anyway.

    The harder part will be filling boots on the ground. If the union movement distances itself from Labor, who’s going to hand out how-to-vote cards?

    I am sure Howes will be back in the media in six months time trying to sell a book or memoir.

  8. There is already a credible left of centre political party not beholden to the union movement. It’s called the Australian Greens.