Oh, Senator Cavanagh, well, he just ... he, you know, wasn't particularly bright, as most politicians aren't, you know, especially when they've been union people ... union, you know, officials or secretaries in the Labor parties and they promote them into Parliament of all places, you know. To get them out of the road perhaps. And that ... with say Cavanagh, he came through the union ranks, he was a plasterer, he used to plaster the walls of buildings and all sorts. Well you know you don't get much sensitivity about personal and international and national relationships plastering walls. And so we ... we came into conflict because I don't have a great appreciation of the unions. I don't think much of the union movement. I think they are very reactionary and conservative, protecting only their own and even then they don't do a good job of that and he was in that ... in that area and then he didn't have a great imagination. He didn't have a great intellect and he didn't know what it was all about, you know. And when I spoke out he was only wanting to protect the Government, which was his responsibility and he wrote to Bernice to ring up Barry Dexter constantly, 'Why don't you shut Perkins up? You know and why don't you write him a letter? Why don't you dismiss him? Why don't you send him somewhere else?' And poor Barry Dexter had all this pressure on him from Cavanagh, as he did with other Ministers and other bureaucrats, to sort of get rid of me or shut me up or discipline me. And Barry did that now and then, you know, as much as he could but he was always apologising for it you know, 'Sorry mate, I got to do this, you know. This is my job and, you know, you've really gone overboard this time'. And I said, 'Well that's that stupid Minister, or that stupid political party, but with Cavanagh we never got ... we never hit it off because we were just living in different worlds. I don't know what world he was living in but I was in Australia and, you know, I had my responsibility to my people and to my country and he had his to his union ... to his political party, I suppose.

Charlie Perkins

Latest Papers

The working papers collection comprises historical papers as well as current ideas and works in progress on some of the major issues and topics of our times.

The Real Third Way: Associative Democracy & the Challenge to Economic and Political Rationalism (released 26 July 2006)
This 2041 word article was originally published in Social Alternatives 25 February 2004 and was first presented as a guest lecture within the School of Politics at the University of Newcastle, October 20, 2003.
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The Americans Baby (released 25 July 2006)
Iraq seemed to be a plus for Simon Crean. At least in the beginning of his period as leader of the ALP.
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Who do you think you are fooling Mr. Bin Laden? (released 25 July 2006)
Unpublished opinion column on Labor's coast guard policy
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Job Zones and the New Poverty of Australia (released 25 July 2006)
A 14,000 word policy report to combat Australia's divide of jobs and opportunities
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Who is Mr. Flip Flop? (released 21 July 2006)
Howard, Latham, Costello: a comparative study. A version of this article was published in The Australian, 14/02/2004, "Latham's bright idea but Howard's still the boss"
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Howard (released 21 July 2006)
An opinion column on John Howard published in the Australian Financial Review, 5 October, 2005.
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Come Closer Comrade (released 21 July 2006)
An imaginary conversation about a phantom pre-selection. Unpublished opinion column, 2005
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Pathological Organisation (released 21 July 2006)
The dysfunctional organisation and its pathological effects. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time
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Passivity (released 19 July 2006)
The passive social state and passive capital are the curses of our age. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time
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Our Age (released 19 July 2006)
Abstraction is the characteristic of our age. Extract from a larger work in progress: Age of Abstraction: Perils and Possibilities of our Time.
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