Best speeches by female politicians in history

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A great collection of speeches from women in international politics.

Women in international politics

Hillary Clinton: “Women’s rights are human rights”

“At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running countries. Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated. They are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation. They are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers. They are being forced into prostitution, and they are being barred from the bank lending offices and banned from the ballot box.”

The most emblematic conference on women’s rights in history turned to be the UN 4th World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing, China in 1995. Many powerful speeches were given, but one of those that have remained engraved in mind was…

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More great communications advice from Dee Madigan

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I’ve already written a short post about Dee Madigan’s recently published book on politics and communications. Now I’ve also come across a great video of her at a recent United Voice Conference.

In this short video she shares some brilliant communications advice that is important in all progressive contests, not just the fight to protect unions and the workers they represent.

If you are sick of anti-Union media bias, Dee has a simple answer for you. Here’s how you can fight it: Tell everyone you are a union member and tell them why it’s important.

Watch the video. Understand that “Branding” is just a fancy marketing term for “how people perceive you” and Tories will do everything they can to frame progressive organisations negatively, which they do every day through the mainstream media, so called “think-tanks” and the propaganda that passes as government information when Tories are in charge.

Victorian Election starts to heat up – 100 days to go

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Each of the Victorian Campaign Directors and their Campaign Headquarters will now have a big sign (or whiteboard) somewhere in the office with number 100 in big, bold letters.

I read this run-down earlier today on the Guardian website by Gay Alcorn and it’s quite a good summary. No need for me to reinvent the wheel! I’ll do a bit more research over the weekend and add some more tid-bits. back soon! 🙂


Update: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/25/napthines-coalition-government-set-for-victorian-election-defeat-newspoll-shows?CMP=ema_632

Could this happen today? around 60,000 Australians obliterated in a distant war 100 years ago

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Harry Patch on war

You can’t study the history of politics and campaigning without being exposed to the historical facts around Australia’s past involvement in wars and how governments rose and fell during these conflicts in our recent history. Despite our relative isolation and peace, war has had a big impact on Australia’s past and its current psyche.

I respect current and past members of Australia’s armed forces and the sacrifices many have made in the past (and today) in the name of our nation. I think our many war memorials and ANZAC Day commemorations serve as an important reminder of the massive sacrifice that has been made by Australian service men and women in the past, sometimes in wars and conflicts they didn’t really understand  or believe in. I’m also a firm believer in the need for a strong professional defence force that is capable of defending Australian interests here and abroad as well as assisting in humanitarian missions in warzones.

But as we approach the centenary of Australia’s involvement in WW1 (‘the Great War’, ‘The War to end all wars’, etc.) and the federal government starts spending the millions of dollars it has allocated to this anniversary, it’s worth asking the question would sending a large army to a foreign war be possible today? Would modern Australian society accept a slaughter of the same magnitude today as we did in 1914-18 and what would the public’s reaction be to a call to arms on such a large scale for a foreign conflict on the other side of the world?

I think it’s hard to judge these past decisions because we are culturally and educationally a different society now. It’s easy saying “it would/wouldn’t happen again” without explaining why. I suspect it couldn’t happen again unless we believed there was an existential threat to Australia. Back then, when our armed forces fought under a Union Jack and our national anthem was “God save the King” there was an existential threat to the UK and its allies from Germany. This threat to the “mother country” was all that mattered to many that enlisted and fought and died under the Union Jack and in Australia’s name.

I also wonder if Australia would have been a different place now, had those men and women who died 100 years ago been left to live, marry and have children? For a start, our population would be larger now and perhaps some of them would have been great leaders or scientists and business minds, but are now lost for eternity.

From the Australian War Memorial website we can see:

Enlistment statistics, First World War

Enlistments by State

Australian population 1914—1918: approximately 4.9 million

416, 809 Australians enlisted for service in the First World War, representing 38.7% of the total male population aged between 18 to 44.

State Number enlisted
Queensland 57,705
New South Wales 164,030
Victoria 112,399
South Australia 34, 959
West Australia 32,231
Tasmania 15,485


A.G. Butler, Special problems and services, Official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914—1918, vol III (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1943), p 890.

Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Official yearbook of the Commonwealth of Australia, no 12, 1919 (Melbourne: Albert J Mullett, 1919).

At end of war

Outcome Number affected
died 58,961
wounded 166,811
missing or prisoners of war 4,098
suffered from sickness 87,865

At almost 65%, the Australian casualty rate (proportionate to total embarkations) was among the highest of the war.

Very interesting excerpt about the ALP’s first professional campaign director from Stephen Mill’s new book!

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Steven Mill’s new book The Professionals (what are you waiting for?) you can enjoy a short excerpt on the rise and fall of Labor’s first party professional Cyril Wyndham on the Inside.org.au website here: http://inside.org.au/the-rise-and-fall-of-labors-first-party-professional/#sthash.13QPtIMP.dpuf

Here’s a short ‘excerpt of the excerpt’:

Wyndham established Labor’s national headquarters in Ainslie Avenue in central Canberra; they were recalled by one journalist as “a small, ratty office suite at the top of the world’s most ancient lift.” The party’s “grand plans for an adequately staffed national secretariat” to support Wyndham were never delivered. In 1967 the full staff complement was “Cyril plus two” secretaries. But Wyndham lived up to the “mighty atom” billing. He was an impeccable shorthand typist and minute keeper, and immediately improved the party’s administrative efficiency. He analysed voting statistics to trace shifts in popular sentiment at national and state level. A fluent pamphleteer, he articulated the party’s case against communism and the National Civic Council, both at the direction of the federal executive, and promoted the party in lengthy articles in public journals. He wrote speakers’ notes, “to see that everyone was speaking the same language in Western Australia and New South Wales.” He also became an articulate internal critic of party attitudes and structures – showing the courage that he had advocated years earlier, no doubt, to advise his employer about right and wrong. In a speech to the Young Labor Association in 1965 he attacked those who “prevaricate our policy, indulge in the futile exercise of factional strife, and behave like a collection of political delinquents.” In 1968 he reportedly told the Labor Women’s Organisation that aspects of the party were “ridiculous, absurd and criminal.” Most ambitiously, he embarked on the difficult and dangerous task of reforming Labor’s antiquated national decision-making structures. The so-called “Wyndham Plan” was a wide-ranging proposal to enlarge and reconstruct the federal conference and the federal executive, provide rank-and-file members with direct input into the federal party, improve party finances, and broaden the party’s appeal to women and young voters. Under the existing rules, it was the executive, not the popularly elected parliamentary leaders, who essentially determined party policy – as had been dramatically highlighted in March 1963, when a special national conference was held to deal with the Liberal government’s proposal for a joint US–Australian military base at North West Cape in Western Australia. Arthur Calwell and his deputy, Gough Whitlam, had addressed the thirty-six delegates at Canberra’s Hotel Kingston, urging them to accept the base, but they had no say in the conference’s deliberations, and no vote. Instead, Calwell and Whitlam were photographed outside the hotel at midnight as they waited to hear the outcome. The Daily Telegraph’s front-page splash condemned the incident as “the all-time nadir of Labor parliamentary leadership.” Menzies coined the “faceless men” tag to deride the powerful and anonymous figures whom he accused of running the Labor Party. A key element of the Wyndham Plan was to include the parliamentary leaders on the federal executive.

And here’s where you can buy the book and enjoy it all at your leisure: http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/professionals