In Federal politics, ALP elder statesman Bill Kelty has told unions ‘don’t give up on Labor’.

But the man, former Prime Minister Paul Keating called the nation’s greatest post-war union leader, was blunt in his assessment of why the current government’s in trouble.

Bonny O’Shea reports.


Bill Kelty, Former ACTU Secretary: “Why is the Australian Labor Party so unpopular?”

There were no mincing words from Bill Kelty last night, who said the blame for the government’s situation lay squarely on its own shoulders.

Bill Kelty, Former ACTU Secretary: “It’s too easy to blame the media, too easier to blame the playthings of politics and there’s no purpose blaming the opposition.”

He said people had lost faith in the goverment and urged it to get back to basics.

Bill Kelty, Former ACTU Secretary: “I think we make politics just simply too hard. The truth will normally do.”

And Labor agreed.

Daniel Bradbury, Parliamentary Secretary: “These are good words of advice and certainly matters that we will take on hand.”

Voicing his support for the National Insurance Disability Scheme and the NBN, Mr Kelty discouraged any more embarrassing backflips, telling Gillard to push on with the carbon tax.

His resigned air was in stark contrast to ALP legend Bob Hawke’s uplifting rendition of union theme song, “Solidarity Forever”.

Strength, Mr Kelty says, Labor will need at the next election.

Bill Kelty, Former ACTU Secretary: “Not without a fight. Never without a fight.”

Bonny O’Shea, QUT News.