The Brutality of Sussex Street

If Goff won’t go quietly some of these guys will take care of him no worries. They rolled leaders with a degree of low bastardry that was as beautiful as it is brutal.

Rees’s only qualification for the job, according to one of many detractors in his party, is that he was a “westie” and not a “wog”, apparently an asset when appealing to voter parochialism. The way he was plucked from obscurity to take the state’s top job is a glimpse into the empty heart of NSW Labor today.

The then ALP general secretary, Karl Bitar, and his predecessor, Mark Arbib, now a senator and parliamentary secretary, wanted to replace Iemma because of his electricity privatisation policy.

Ironically, their focus groups at the time were negative about the “wogs” in cabinet – Iemma, Michael Costa, Frank Sartor and Joe Tripodi, and a cynical idea emerged that a “skippy”and “westie” like Rees, who had done nothing objectionable in his limited time in the portfolios of utilities and emergency services, would win the electorate’s heart.

These blokes make Fat Tony look like Tweety Bird, and H2 look like Tinkerbell.

 


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