Bob Hawke still tells it like it is; watch his devastating rebuttal of the Liberals’ attempts to demonise unions here.
He points out how the union movement was crucial to Australia’s successful economic transformation in the 1980’s.
Labour in Australia in 1983 and New Zealand in 1984 both faced the need to modernise their economies after Howard in Australia and Muldoon in New Zealand had run them into the wall.
The difference in relative living standards between Australia and New Zealand that right-wing commentators harp on about dates from that time, and is due in large part to the vastly different strategies used then.
In New Zealand, Rogernomics and Ruthanasia rammed in crash-through deregulation with effects that we still suffer from. In Australia Hawke and Keating had an Accord with the ACTU that resulted in a much more orderly sequence, and has led to much better outcomes over time for Australian workers.