A life member of the Labor Party is likely to spoil plans for a clean and swift transition to Anthony Albanese as the Labor Party’s new federal leader to succeed Bill Shorten after Saturday’s election debacle.
Ted Grumble, 87 of Deagon in Brisbane (main picture), said he had checked the party rules and believed he was eligible to run for the leadership from outside the Federal Parliament.
“By my reckoning, confirmed by some of the boys at the RSL, I can stand for the leadership as long as I get elected to a federal seat soon after,” Mr Grumble said.
“I’ve been a member of the Labor Party since 1937 when my father was stacking the local branches and signed me up years before I was born.
“From that length of service I believe I have enough experience to be leader and to deliver the policies that voters will support, ensuring the party wins in 2022.
“For instance, if successful I will ensure a future Labor Government re-nationalises all the things we’ve flogged off in the past like the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, and Qantas.
“We also need to bring back centralised wage fixing because we’ve had enough of this enterprise bargaining crap.
“I’ve got a simple plan to protect the ABC too — just reintroduce license fees for radio and TV sets. I’m sure all Australians wouldn’t mind paying a yearly fee again to make sure we keep Aunty on the air.”
Asked where he stood on contentious issues like the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland Mr Grumble was blunt.
“I fully back the coal mining industry as a way to create jobs which also solves some other problems we face,” he said.
“For instance, if we get kiddies back down the mines that’ll make it much easier for them to buy a house.
“They could start work at nine — and I mean nine years, not nine in the morning — so that they get a pay packet each week and start putting money in their tin Commonwealth Bank piggy-bank.
“By the time they marry and have kids, around 15 or 16, they’ll have the deposit for a house no worries.”
To support families with the cost of child care, Mr Grumble said he would “continue Mr Chifley’s plan under which the Labor Government doubled child endowment payments from five shillings a week to ten shillings for each child under 16”.
Mr Grumble agreed on the need to recruit more women into politics.
“Certainly my own local branch has done a lot for women,” he said.
“We stopped holding our meetings at the Masonic Hall because the ladies weren’t allowed in to use the kitchen and each of the blokes had to bring a plate their missus had prepared.
“We solved that my shifting our meetings to the Scouts’ Hall which admittedly doesn’t have a kitchen but the ladies can at least lay the table before they withdraw to wait in their cars.”
Mr Grumble said to pick up key seats in western Sydney in 2022 he would revive the White Australia Policy which he described as “the backbone of Labor governments for decades” when he was a boy.
To win back regional seats in Victoria he said he would implement a policy to “kick the Chinese off the goldfields”.
Mr Albanese was not available for comment but a spokesperson said the ALP’s national secretary was to meet lawyers urgently to examine the party’s rules as some MPs had been reporting signs of a groundswell in branches across the nation for Mr Grumble.