Look ma! I gotta face!
Paul Howes has been branded as one of Labor’s ‘ faceless’ men, the union boss accused of removing Kevin Rudd from the highest office in the land when the polls started to wobble, the kingmaker (or should that be queenmaker?) who installed Julia Gillard in the top job.
What drives Paul Howes and why was he so passionately committed to the return of the Labor government?
His diary of the 2010 election campaign is an insider’ s account of modern campaigning ALP-style. Strategy meets stuff-ups in this fascinating day by day chronicle of the five week campaign and the seventeen days of uncertainty that followed.
Week by week Howes chronicles the highs and lows of a campaign dogged by leaks, intemperate interventions from a host of former leaders, usually about each other; policy messages obscured by the soap opera within the Labor Party and the national fixation with Julia Gillard’ s ear lobes.
Despite the toxic atmosphere, the True Believers remained locked in the political equivalent of modern warfare’ sandbagging safe seats and obsessive management of the message and the media. Throughout the campaign Howes and his colleagues were steadfastly dedicated to returning Labor for a second term and the election of Julia Gillard as our first female Prime Minister.
Paul Howes was elected National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union in 2007 at the age of 26′ one of the youngest people in the history of the labour movement to hold a national leadership position. His diary is an unvarnished, brutally honest, at times laugh-out-loud, partisan account of how Labor won the 2010 election.
About the Author
Paul Howes is the National Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union. Born in Sydney, Paul became active in his union as a delegate after leaving school. At the age of 17 he became a Research Officer with the Labor Council of NSW (now Unions NSW).
Paul worked closely with the AWU in organising workers at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and later became an official with the New South Wales branch of the union. In 2005, he was elected as National Vice President’ the youngest person in the history of the union to hold a national leadership position. He was elected National Secretary following the election of former National Secretary Bill Shorten to Federal Parliament in the 2007 election and was re-elected unopposed in 2009.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.