Memoirs of a Cold War Warrior
May 2021 Release
Keith Harvey has always fought for the workers – and against the communists and pro-communists. Memoirs of a Cold Warrior is an informative and insightful first-hand account of the courageous role played by anti-communists in the Australian trade union movement during the Cold War.
- Gerard Henderson, Executive Director, The Sydney Institute
Keith Harvey has written a memoir of astonishing honesty... A union official at only 23 when the Cold War was very very real with an office in the Victorian Trades Hall, conflicts could have engulfed and embittered. Remarkable self-awareness preserved him that fate, hence the strength of his prose... With such a past, it is not surprising that his mission to ALP membership required a vote of the National Executive. Labour history is enriched by the attention to detail of this memoir. We have honest memory anchored by documents.
- Rodney Cavalier, former NSW ALP politician and Minister in the Wran and Unsworth Labor Governments
Every communist and every communist sympathiser in Australia hopes that this book will be unread, have no impact, and inspire new readings of Clive James’ poem “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered”.
- Michael Easson, former Secretary of Unions NSW
From the start of the book:
I have been a member of the Australian Labor Party [ALP] since the 13th February 1984. I had first joined the Party nearly a decade earlier in late 1974 but as a result of events in 1978, I allowed my membership to lapse in the late 1970s. I applied to re-join the Party in February 1984. I was then employed as a Research Officer in the National Office of the Federated Clerks Union of Australia [FCUA]. In 1984, the Victorian Branch of the FCUA, of which I was a member, along with the Victorian branches of three other Unions, applied to affiliate with the ALP. At the same time, several of their officials and other individuals, including me, applied for party membership.
This event was immensely significant in the history of the Australian labour movement. The four Victorian Unions – the FCUA, the Shop Assistants Union [known as the SDA], the Federated Ironworkers Association [FIA] and the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners [the ASC&J] had left the ALP in the bitter split in the ALP in the mid-1950s. Some of these unions became associated with the Democratic Labour Party [DLP] and some of their officials became DLP members and officeholders. The split in the Labor Party was well before my time and the full history and complexity of these times are beyond the scope of these memoirs. Some context is necessary, however [and some more detail is in the Appendix]....