Della Bosca’s political career might not be dead after all
I’M guessing former NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca is not a big fan of comedy at the moment.
But he could end up having the last laugh if he can keep his slate clean amidst the latest murky allegations behind the murder of a Sydney businessman, secret tapes and corruption that threaten to sink the State Government.
If Della Bosca thinks he has had a bad week - having been exposed as an adulterer with a woman half his age and consequently quitting the ministry - his political position may actually have been strengthened while Premier Nathan Rees and the rest of his government battle another imbroglio.
When it comes to political sex scandals, it seems Aussies are just as happy as their counterparts in the US or Britain to lap up the salacious details. But they are perhaps more willing to forgive and forget such personal flaws.
Reader comments to online news sites across the country ran hot after details of Della Bosca’s affair were published by The Daily Telegraph last week.
Opinion was initially split over whether a politician’s private indiscretions were a reflection of trustworthiness in public life.
But, interestingly, quite a number of male readers changed their tune after the 26-year-old mistress was revealed as an attractive blonde comedian named Kate Neill.
John of Perth commented on Perth Now: “So he pulls a hot, young blonde. Who could resist that? What has that got to do with anyone other than him and his family?”
Pink Panther even found inspiration from Della Bosca, commenting on The Daily Telegraph site: “Every dark cloud has a silver lining. He has given hope to all fat, old, ugly, married men that somewhere there is a beautiful, young woman (half their age) who would be too eager to please them.”
Kay Kay of Newbankstownville sounded almost jealous: “Finding out that John Della Bosca gets more than you do? Sickening.”
But Anabel was not satisfied that the former health minister was truly repentant, commenting on the Herald Sun site: “The only thing that a man of his moral fibre would be sorry for was that he was caught!”
Juliet of Sydney, posting on The Daily Telegraph, aimed her criticism at Della Bosca’s choice of women and could not help but notice the similarity in the surname of his mistress and that of his wife, federal MP Belinda Neal: “Interestingly he had an affair with a woman with the same surname as his wife. Gawd! Mr Della Bosca’s choice in women is appalling. Pick a lover who won’t snitch on you next time, maybe one with some age and experience behind her.”
James of Maleny, Queensland, thought many people were being hypocritical in their judgment of the affair, writing on abc.net.au: “What is it about our two-faced Anglo values that gives us the right to sit in judgment on the private lives of public people? Get honest about your own erotic temptations and you might find yourself in the same position - unless you prefer hypocrisy.”
While Della Bosca’s political future was looking grim, one commenter to Adelaide Now wondered if there would be a bigger backlash closer to home. So far Belinda Neal appears to be standing by her man through his betrayal of her - at least publicly. But Dumbfounded of Bumside speculated there may be more to the story behind the doors of the family home: “The question is not whether John’s political career will survive this scandal, but rather whether he will survive Belinda. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!”
But as Marie of Artarmon summed up best in a comment to The Daily Telegraph, Della Bosca’s now widely circulated aspirations to become premier may not be all lost: “Let they who have never done anything wrong in their life, cast the first stone. As it is, Mr Della Bosca has lost his dignity, respect and support from all those close to him. Let him retreat quietly to refocus and rebuild.”
In the political playhouse, we may yet see Della Bosca’s return in the next scene of this comedy of errors that is the NSW Government.
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