Watching them do it online, as Labor did it to the nation
Let’s face it: What Paul McLeay’s done isn’t the worst thing in the world. It isn’t even the worst thing in the NSW Government.
The now former minister was summarily shafted—an activity with which he is apparently familiar—by Premier Kristina Keneally after being busted looking at porn and gambling on his parliamentary computer.
There is no question that his behaviour was stratospherically stupid, but again, these days that is more a pre-requisite for getting into Cabinet than being booted out of it.
McLeay said at the time of his resignation: ``As a minister I accept that I am held to a higher standard.’’ In fact nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, statistically speaking, you are far more likely to find a pervert, crook or deviant in the NSW Cabinet than you are in the general population.
I am told lists are very popular these days so let us refresh our memories. Over the last 10 years or so we have had:
1 One minister jailed for paedophilia
2 Two ministers accused of bashing their wives or girlfriends
3 One minister dumped for dancing in his parliamentary underpants while reportedly declaring to an MP’s daughter that he was ``titty-f***ing’’ her mum
4 One minister accused of sexually assaulting a Democrat staffer while an MP
5 One minister dumped for verballing a restaurant owner to get his wife off the hook from bullying waiters
6 The same minister dumped again for shagging a chick half his age
7 One minister dumped for visiting a gay sex club
8 One minister dumped for travel rorts
9 One former minister exposed for having a secret love child
10 A parliamentary secretary dumped for cooking her books
Quite frankly, compared to this any NSW minister who whiles away their time looking at porn and playing online poker deserves to be Australian of the Year.
And this is the truly, brutally crushing thing for any Labor supporter left in NSW. They have a State Government which knows only how to cannibalise itself while sinking lower and lower into a filthy pit of sleaze and corruption. If someone wrote a screenplay about the last five years of the ALP it would be rejected by every studio in Hollywood because nobody would believe a Government could be that filthy.
And yet far from being amputated like a gangrenous limb, somehow the NSW model of governance has been allowed to infect federal Labor and bring it crashing to its knees.
Only a year ago the Rudd Government was almost unbelievably popular and literally bursting with talent—men and women whose names were bywords for integrity, a cluster of future prime ministers.
Then Kevin Rudd was dragged into the morass of NSW politics and used as a weapon in a war between Mark Arbib and Joe Tripodi. But the attempt to roll Tripodi backfired, and a furious Rudd—left looking both tarnished and impotent—backed away from Arbib. Whether he knew it or not, this was the moment from which he was going to get rolled as soon as his popularity dipped—the only trick NSW Labor now knows.
Now Julia Gillard, once an inspirational figure defined by her loyalty, appears weak, desperate and duplicitous and the nation’s first female prime minister instead of being a source of celebration is, for many, a source of shame.
Undoubtedly Bill Shorten, who convinced her to knife Rudd, will soon enough step over her carcass to seize the Labor leadership. He will be fought tooth and nail by Greg Combet and there will be another certain bloodbath.
The highly intelligent and talented Tony Burke should be PM one day but ironically he will be weakened by his NSW Right power base, which is now so on the nose within caucus it may never fully recover.
The nation was stabbed in the heart with the knifing of Kevin Rudd, it now has no Government at all, and the ALP has burned five leaders to a crisp. All because of a criminally naive act of dick-swinging straight out of the NSW Right playbook.
And they sacked Paul McLeay for looking at a few pictures.
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