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Power Crisis
The Self-Destruction of a State Labor Party


  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521138321

£ 26.00

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About the Authors
  • Written by former minister and Labor historian Rodney Cavalier, Power Crisis is an explosive account of the self-destruction of the New South Wales Labor government, which has seen a turnover of four premiers in five years, and is heading for rejection and even humiliation by voters at the next state election. While the catalyst was the thwarted attempt to privatise electricity, Cavalier reveals that the real issue is the takeover of Labor by a professional political class without connection to the broader community or the party's traditions. Featuring interviews with ex-premiers Iemma and Rees, Power Crisis contrasts the current turmoil and self-indulgence with the stability within New South Wales Labor over generations before, and asks, 'What went wrong?'

    • Drills into the politics behind the politics in the most tumultuous period in NSW Labor history
    • Based on exclusive interviews with ex-Premiers Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees
    • Deals with the parallel collapse in the quality of reportage of State politics - the parliamentary media gallery missed the story of Iemma's downfall as it was happening
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a forensic and penetrating analysis of the crisis facing modern Labor. Cavalier is unrivalled in his ability to identify the dilemmas of the present but locate them in historical context.' Paul Kelly, The Australian

    'You don't have to agree with Rodney Cavalier to understand that his perspective on the modern Labor Party is important. For those who care about the ALP and its future this book is essential.' Senator John Faulkner

    '… a very insightful book that provides a valuable description and analysis of the byzantine ways of the most powerful faction in the nation's most important Labor branch. Moreover, the book has a continuing relevance. What Cavalier does is outline the behavioural pattern of a group of people who, having arguably run the NSW Labor government down over a dispute between the machine and the parliamentary leadership ostensibly over policy, are now pivotal to national Labor politics.' Nick Economou, Australian Journal of Political Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521138321
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. NSW Labor and its leaders
    2. Death below
    3. The rise of Morris Iemma
    4. Annual Conference, May 2008
    5. Iemma falls
    6. The protracted fall of Nathan Rees
    Epilogue: does party membership matter?
    Appendix A: NSW ALP branches closed 1999–2009
    Appendix B: NSW ALP financial membership 2002–2009
    Appendix C: delegates to NSW ALP Annual Conference, May 2008

  • Author

    Rodney Cavalier, University of Technology, Sydney
    Rodney Cavalier is a Labor and political historian and Chair of the NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government.

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