The Best WTF Moment of the 47th ALP National Conference

Read the below report by Alex Brooks, which was written about National Secretary Paddy Crumlin at the time of the union securing the National Shipping Policy on the second day of the Labor Party's National Conference

Originally published here on the Labor Herald website.

Meet the Maritime Union of Australia’s Paddy Crumlin, a former surfboard maker who went to sea in 1978. He wrote his own speech this morning, but had to improvise when his iPad locked up. Beware – this comes with a language warning.

“W-T-F – what is going on here?”

Crumlin was delivering a speech about Australia’s shipping industry when his iPad went blank, his speech notes disappeared and he “went spontaneous”.

“We need an Australian shipping industry!” he said, as he moved an amendment to the ALP national platform to build national shipping regulations.

With 30 per cent of ships carrying cargo between Australian ports registered in Liberia, Crumlin – who is also the International Transport Workers’ Federation president – had Africa on on his mind and reckons the mainstream media has missed the point.

“All the op eds that are masquerading as journalists in The Australian, what the f*#k? Who’s getting it right? Labor is getting it right!”

“We don’t import s@#t from Liberia. Would anyone at The Australian go to Liberia for their honeymoon? Would you ever go there for your birthday?

“The only thing I know about Liberia – other than they’ll be sailing and moving our cargo around the coast – is Ebola. That’s the only other thing that comes out of the joint.”

It was the kidney stones talking … truly
Crumlin insists his spontaneity was driven more by his kidney stones than trying to have a go at Liberians.

“You see, I’ve had kidney stones before and as I got excited I dropped the F-word – it’s a medical condition that forced me to say it,” he explained to the Labor Herald after the speech.

“I wasn’t having a go at Liberians – I’m having a go at the shipowners and the Abbott government. I mean, Ebola is no laughing matter. Is there anything lower than exploiting a country going through stuff like that?”

As Crumlin “hobbled off the stage with my throbbing kidneys”, Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese gave Rail, Tram & Bus Union Australia National Secretary Bob Nanva some sage advice …

“If I can give you a bit of advice in life: never second a motion moved by Paddy Crumlin,” Albo said.

“I am going to learn that the hard way,” Nanva said.

“Wtf – Lol.”