Bruce Hawker is a leading campaign manager with 30 years experience advising leaders in business and politics. As MD of Campaigns & Communications, Bruce manages crises and plans and executes communications campaigns.

Its Time For Labor To Revisit Its Relationship With Unions

Bill Shorten has made a commendable start in opening up the debate on the relationship between the Labor Party and unions. However, the proposed changes don't come anywhere near to breaking the grip that certain secretaries of affiliated unions have on the decision making processes in the ALP.

The case for historic and fundamental changes to the structure of the Labor Party is overwhelming - in part because the declining influence of unions in the workplace is in inverse [...]

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Abbott Government Slides Between Libertarian And Plain Old Conservative.

This piece was also posted in The Drum

Last week was a damaging one for Tony Abbott. Two events - his bungled attempt to retreat from our legal commitment to preventing certain racist utterances and his surprise announcement that imperial honours will be returned - could both damage him in the eyes of middle Australia over the longer term. They also demonstrate [...]

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Labor Can Avoid Abbott's Carbon Tax Trap by Supporting an Emissions Trading Scheme

The debate over whether Labor should stand in the way of the Abbott Government and block any moves to abolish the Carbon Tax is based on the false premise that it is Labor policy to support a Carbon Tax. In fact, Labor's policy is to support an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Both the Carbon Tax and the ETS are based on the principle that there should be a price on carbon to slow down the reliance on climate change inducing fossil fuels. However, the ETS is an international scheme which [...]

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Gillard has a good-news story but is failing to communicate it

This op-ed originally appeared in today's Australian.

One of my favourite films is Cool Hand Luke. In it Paul Newman plays a prisoner who refuses to submit to the brutal regime imposed by the prison's governor.

In one scene Luke is in a chain gang. His guard tells him that [...]

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Poor planning has doomed Labor's media reform

This article was originally posted on The Drum.

Time and again Federal Labor loses the day because it fails to make a case for its reforms. When this happens it is left looking disorganised and weak.

The latest example of this failure to formulate a plan and execute a strategy is the furore over Stephen Conroy's proposal for media regulation.

The Public Interest [...]

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PMs should be allowed a dip into talent pool

This op-ed originally appeared in today's Australian

The Australian Institute of Company Directors ("Bring business into cabinet", The Australian, December 27) has made a welcome entry into the debate about how cabinets should be formed in Australia. Their call for constitutional changes to allow a broader representation in [...]

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We Went All The Way With LBJ. Do We Have To Do The Same With Obama?

American news bulletins invariably carry a story about US troops being deployed to some trouble spot.

On a stopover in Hawaii yesterday I was watching the local TV news. It included a story about an Hawaii based US brigade about to be deployed overseas. What caught my attention was the fact that this 200 strong contingent of marines - an advance guard for a force of 2,500 soldiers - was heading to...Darwin.

The story candidly described how this military [...]

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1999 Victorian State Election

Jeff Kennett's seven year old Liberal Government looked to be in no trouble going into the 1999 Victorian State election.

At the beginning of the campaign opinion polls had the Liberals ahead by 51 to 35%. It also held 58 of the 88 seats in the Victorian Parliament.

Labor had been decimated at the elections in 1992 and despite some massive Budget cuts over several years, Kennett looked set for a comfortable third term as Premier.

Labor's defeat [...]

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