Moreland councillor Tony Helou has seen off a huge challenge in recent municipal elections. After bravely walking away from the Socialist Left faction and applying for membership in Labor’s right grouping, Helou faced a searing campaign of hatred and vilification from his angry former comrades.
Despite receiving very little by way of preferences from ALP members because of an alleged cross-factional deal to freeze him out, Helou managed what many considered impossible and was able to rely on a strong base of community support to get re-elected.
LAMBROS IS IN THE HOUSE
In other news, the People’s Republic of Brunswick has fallen into democratic hands for the first time.
Leading the charge is patriot and cult-figure now councillor Lambros Tapinos. After touring the world, Tapinos returned to his roots in Brunswick and unleashed a tremendous campaign. He won in a triumph that has echoed through inner-surburbia.
“Lambros is a gift the Labor Unity group shares with the people, they are very lucky” young Michael de Bruyn explained to VEXNEWS. We concur.
In the southern parts of the now liberated soviet, the Carlo Carli Socialist Left machine represented by Chris Anderson sputtered on to an embarrassing defeat. Carlo’s electorate officer Anderson polled much lower than expected despite running a big campaign believed to be backed by Socialist Left trade union militants.
Incumbent councillor Josephine Connellan of the Greens party was returned. She is considered an unlikely Greenist as she is mostly pro-development and is an engineer. We wonder whether she is connected with the pro-development Liberal feeder candidates from the Greens party in Banyule.
The Socialist Leftist Alice Pryor – lefty Simon Pryor’s daughter – was also re-elected despite an embarrasing record of neglect and incompetence. Her failure to return constituent phone calls and emails is the stuff of local legend. Partly because of this Chris Anderson, backed by Carli, was hoping to knock her off. Both Anderson and Pryor are hopeful of replacing Carlo when the self-described ‘public transport scholar’ shuffles off into superannuated academia.
MODERATES TRIUMPH IN THE NORTH-WEST
In the Moreland North-west ward, we see John Kavanagh, the brother of DLP upper house member Peter, being re-elected comfortably as an independent conservative. The pro-lifer is oddly in something of a coalition with the Greens party, with them often voting together.
Patriot Kathleen Matthews-Ward was triumphantly re-elected. Closely aligned with state MP Christine Campbell, she enjoys strong community support although occasionally disappointed by not voting with her fellow moderates in the last council. Her decision not to vote with Mark O’Brien on the mayoralty gave the position to the Left, insiders say.
THE AMAZING STORY OF OSCAR
A new bloke on the bloke is Labor moderate and left-buster Oscar Yildiz who was ably assisted by local powerbroker Mehmet Tillem. Oscar is a colourful and confronting chap, who upset some of the local branch members by decreeing in full voice at their meetings that he intended to become the next local MP and that they should all get behind him while they can.
Sounds like a VEXNEWS patriot we can believe in.
He went from a position of relative obscurity to enjoying the strong backing of Tillem, who got him up first on the ALP preselection list. His campaign was the most comprehensive and best run show seen in local history, insiders say. He enjoyed strong support from local businesspeople who’d grown sick and tired of a lazy and left-wing council. He threw himself into a blitzkreig of door-knocking, visiting some 5000 homes personally over several months. He embraced and extended the concept of corflutes in yards to go with real estate agent sized boards. Oscar went from zero to campaign hero at light speed and has terrified the unwashed pants off the local Left’s high command.
His direct mail copy poignantly asked the question: “When did you last hear from your local councillor? Never?” At this stage, locals say, the lazy left knew they had a big problem.
AN IMPRESSIVE LEFTY?
Not so lazy is the young Socialist Left bright spark, Enver Erdogan, who stunned his local faction by getting more than double the vote of the snoozer incumbent Mark Higginbotham.
Enver enjoys nearly universal – if guarded – praise from previous factional opponents who say he hates inner-city latte sippers, has form at beating them in various lefty settings like LaTrobe University and rolls with the Carr Left’s hard-heads like Kosmos Samaras.
Observers say Enver is very similar to Kosmos, in the quiet but deadly mould of young Carr operatives, many of them having received military training, quite possibly in North Korea.
Further north, in the North-east ward, the youngish Greens party candidate Toby Archer was elected. A serial candidate and bicycle riding militant he is believed to dislike Greens party council colleague Josephine saying she is “too right wing”.
A RISING STAR CALLED TETI
One of the big success stories of the election was undoubtedly Michael Teti. One of the youngest candidates, he worked over the Fawkner area in particular with a strong message of change and by appealing to the large Italian community there. Teti works at ALP Head Office and is a very highly regarded young man. Known to have a tough personality, an aversion to latte sippers and a highly tuned bulldust detector, it is people like Teti who are clearly the future of the ALP in the area.
An accidental hero was the next elected in that ward. Stella Kariofyllidis – Socialist Left – who was traditionally part of the SL group that ran council for years with Joe Caputo, the previous mayor.
It is not being unkind to Cr Stella to say she is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Her main claim to fame was running up a $20,000 internet bill when previously on the council. Locals recall the story ran for months and months, mainly because she refused to reimburse ratepayers for what was clearly a private use of the service. Apparently her son had downloaded so much internet porn that he eventually lost use of his hands. So they say anyway.
The councillor, who was once a member of the notorious Socialist stacking outlet, the Anstey branch, was also nearly booted out of the ALP for ratting on an endorsed party ticket. At the last election, she was a fair way down the ticket and was caught encouraging people – in Greek language publications and elsewhere – to vote for her first. That breach of party rules got her suspended for a couple of years after she threw herself on the mercy of the ALP Disputes Tribunal, a sort of non-televised version of Judge Judy.
She managed to knock off the mayor Joe Caputo who unwisely directed the votes off one of his dummies through Stella first. Oops. Caputo is considered not such a bad chap for a lefty.
And of course, there’s Tony Helou. He got back in, despite being starved of preferences, relying on his strong name recognition. Many say that he played a vital role in assisting Lambros Tapinos’s election in the southern ward and that he should be rewarded with his a quick approval of his application to join Labor Unity, which has been held up for a number of months.
Overall results for those not keeping track, three Socialist Left, four Labor Unity (plus Tony Helou makes five), two Greenists and a DLP patriot for good measure.
The people’s republic has fallen.