HOW SWEET IT IS: Thornley quits in an episode so bizarre Jerry Springer wouldn't buy it

vexnewsplaceholder4 In an astounding development that has left the holidaying world of state politics gob-smacked, multi-millionaire pinko MLC Evan Thornley has retired.

Insiders tell VEXNEWS that he has been offered a job in Europe of some exotic kind. We’d rule out belly dancing but few are aware what could have tempted him. The story of a job makes very little sense to us given that on a conservative estimate the bloke is down to his last $50 million. Unless Mr Sarkozy has appointed him head of the Foreign Legion, one cannot imagine any offer of employment outweighing a Cabinet ministry. Perhaps we should get out more and expose ourselves to the kinds of offers one can receive on mega-yachts off the French coast but even still if you’ve got the politics bug, it’s very hard to shake in an irritating flu-like way, and we cannot comprehend why Thornley withdrew just at the point that he was going to get what he wanted.

A Cabinet position. A lock on a safer seat most probably. Positioning his derriere for Hotham when the Crean finally shuffles off. It all seemed very well set for the gent, much to our displeasure.

Other recent Thornley gossip (only some of which is initiated here in the Spiv Busting Unit of our VEXNEWS Centre) includes trouble at home of a Peachy kind, potential exposure to the sub-prime crisis in his secretive investment portfolio, medical troubles associated with gluttony and a general sense of malaise about the political caper.

Problem with all that gossip/theory is that as late as Saturday, Thornley was ringing the chaps and comradettes in the caucus and politely soliciting support. Backed with the Premier’s blessing, he was an absolute lock for the position despite opposition from Martin Pakula, a vastly superior candidate who even appeared to have the numbers but out of a sense of loyalty to the Premier was reluctant to contest without his support.

Something got in the way. Perhaps a better offer. Perhaps a skeleton from the back of his closet. Perhaps a distaste for the vulgarities of public life, being criticised by the likes of Brendan Donohue for driving the Beemer to work.

Martin Pakula has been lucky. But credit where it’s due, Pakula will be rewarded for his righteous and disciplined behaviour since the sudden Christmas Eve Cabinet vacancy occurred after Theo Theophanous announced his retirement. He couldn’t have played it better, in retrospect.

While it’s not certain, at this stage he’ll be up against a sub-factional ally Matt Viney, who enjoys a close relationship with upper house leader John Lenders. Less well known about Viney was that he is blamed by some Brumby backers for leaking damaging polling about Brumby way back in 1999 when there was plotting against Brumby’s first Labor leadership. Whether that counts against him still is hard to know. If we were occupying the $4200 seats in 1 Treasury Place, we’d probably not care who dudded us ten years ago. Or would we?

Anyway, patriots of all sub-factions and factions have expressed delight at this news. Thornley certainly cut an odd and somewhat isolated figure in caucus. Very interested in politics –  to be sure – but not really one of the brothers. He did everything right at one level, joined the right faction, cultivated the right patrons (John Lenders is a great person to have in your corner) but for all that seemed to appear displeased most of the time by many of his colleagues.

He saw himself as a giant among pygmies, something he made increasingly the case by expanding his girth considerably during his two year Parliamentary stint.

It would be wrong to say he wasn’t ambitious or thrusting in the place either. He spoke a lot in the chamber. Many say he spoke well. He employed extra researchers to ensure he appeared well-read and serious. He was full of ideas, some random and stupid, but full of it all the same.

So in a world of cock-ups and conspiracies, we are left searching for an explanation. Maybe we’ll never get it because Thornley was so isolated from his party, so disconnected from his colleagues. They sensed his ambition, some found him impressive on first meeting but lacking thereafter. They had little in common. While he was friendly enough to many of them, we haven’t found a caucus colleague with whom he was close. And maybe that is part of the explanation, the Rosebud in this other drama about the megalomaniac millionaire, he just didn’t like or ever gel with his colleagues. And Spring Street – just like Parliament House – can be like a boarding school.

We’ll perhaps never know, our planned story on the complex personal life of the new minister is now on hold, our planned axe attack after his elevation indefinitely postponed. The man whose political demise we sought so much has now done that to himself. There are so many implications. The perils of “star candidates” highlighted once more. An increase in the pro Tim Holding NUW group’s representation. A chance for a big reshuffle because Pakula could take on more of former Minister Theophanous’s duties more credibly than Thornley could have.

But one thing cuts through it all in the discussions about this latest summer-time bombshell in state political-land, why? Why has he really gone? What scandal lurks? Opportunity beckons? It makes no sense, yet is delicious in its confusion.

There is little left to do but to turn do the triumphal music, find a local pub and celebrate this small victory over spivdom, pinko-ness and latte sipping. It’s all over bar the shouting.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “HOW SWEET IT IS: Thornley quits in an episode so bizarre Jerry Springer wouldn't buy it

  1. Anonymous

    The departure of Thornley has all the earmarks of a scandal. You don’t resign from parliament mid term in your first term. You don’t fail to take up a cabinet appointment after lobbying everyone and telling them you want it.

    When MPs resign for family reasons there is usually some other reason that has nothing to do with their family.

    Whatever the reason we may not know. Now that Thornley is out of the public eye the media will be about as interested in him as they are about the sex lives of most ex MPs. If he were a champion footballer he’d still be of media interest, but he isn’t. He is now yesterday’s man. No one cares.

  2. Anonymous

    One aspect of Thornley’s departure concerns filling his vacancy. It’s filled by the party and not by a countback as in Tasmania. It’s the Senate procedure.

    The Left were promised Thornley’s spot but they agreed not to insist as Thornley was then non aligned. Thornley then joined Labor Unity. They left will claim they are entitled to fill Thornley’s vacancy. Labor Unity will most likely want it and there will be an internal facional brawl like Kororoit. Then Mr Dearricott’s non-aligned group will claim their right to the vacancy.

    A strong tip tonight is that Natalie Suleyman is a favourite for the position.

  3. E.T. phone home

    The unhappy Tracey monster might have something to do with this. After all, E.T. likes the ladies. Who’s getting the warmed-by-Evan leather chair?

  4. Anonymous

    Didn’t I read on the net that Evan had a liking for Diane Anderson?

    Where is Diane? Hasn’t been to an ALP Conference for ages. She lost her place in Higgins earlier this year, and Higgins News doesn’t appear any longer.

    Perhaps Evan misses her.

  5. Anonymous

    Evan Thornley did nothing for his community and as we all know was only interested in waiting for his a cabinet spot. Do you think they would really give Natalie Suleyman the vacant spot even though she doesnt live anywhere in the region??

  6. anon

    Selfish fat little ponce.
    Evan contributed a big fat nothing!

  7. die yuppie die

    there’s no mystery, no conspiracy. real politics turned out to be different to what he expected and he just couldn’t hack it.

  8. The Wanderer

    most business people have an over exploded view of their greatness. In reality they are in most cases over rated Milk Bar owners playing with larger bundles of cash. Yes Evan politics takes balls to play and you like most in the business dont have the stomach to handle the heat. Go back to your sanctuary of bull shit where you all back slap each other whilst exploiting workers.

  9. Anonymous

    The fact that Natalie Suleyman lives nowhere near the Southern Metropolitan Region should not be a reason for her disqualification as a candidate to fill the vacancy to be caused by the pending resignation of Mr Thornley.

    After all Marlene Kairouz who won the Kororoit by-election lives nowhere near Kororoit. I am not knocking Marlene. She is a good member, but to criticise one and not the other is illogical.

    In the upper house perhaps a majority of the ALP winners last time did not live in their electorates at the time of their preselection. Jaala Pulford, Candy Broad, Kaye Darveniza, Johan Scheffer, Brian Tee, Shaun Leane and come to think of it Even Thornley were all in this category. This is not knocking them. It is stating a fact.

    I am making that point that Natalie Suleyman should not be disqualified for Thornley’s vacancy merely because she lives in Brimbank rather than Boroondara. She is an eminently suitable candidate.

  10. Anonymous

    Wonder if Evan Thornley will continue with his Labor First review of the morning papers now that he is seeking greener pastures? Christine Wallace and her Breakfast Politics will not have any competition.

  11. Angry of Malvern

    Don’t all members of his cheer squad like John Lenders look like a bunch of dumb fucks now. At least we won’t have to endure those condescending existentialist DL cards next election.

    As for the vacant spot, hasn’t everyone forgotten that Henry is owed big time.

  12. Good One Lenders

    This is a severe blow for John lenders – the mother of all soft cocks. Brumby took Lenders advise on this appointment and now he has egg all over his face.
    Lenders must be held accountable for being complicit in the publicly humiliation of the Premier.

  13. Anonymous

    A rebuke for John Brumby. Government in crisis.

  14. Battery operated remote controlled

    Brumby’s Star chamber candidates have proven to be a dud.

    There was the ABC Giorno in Preston Who turned out to be not that talented in the house.

    The Reilly boy who stood for Prahran and failed to cut the mastered.

    The member for Melbourne who came close to piking the electorate and losing her seat back in 2006.

    And now the big fat rich kid who like you said could not stand the boarding school(A very good analogy).

    Maybe it was a collapse in his fortune. If you have the money why spend the time in State Parliament. He never really shone having came close to losing the seat in the first place. Like a boy at summer school he has become home sick and wants to return to the comfort of unaccountability and anonymity. Maybe he was scared at the prospect of being under the financial microscope.Maybe there was some undisclosed matter that was surely bound to surface at the wrong time.

    From the slime pit he came and back to the slime pit he will return.

  15. hack

    Don’t forget onestoppolitics, not so bad, not as good as vex tho

  16. Juffrey Gubb Kunnutt

    I look forward to welcoming my old friend Evan to the Liberal Party. His nice house in East Melbourne, sadly standing empty during his sojourn in Kew so he could live in his electorate, will be a real boon for 500 Club functions.

  17. Not a safe pair of hands

    Lenders needs to stand up and tell the world how he relentelessly promoted this pompus twit to the caucus and to a sceptical Premier.
    Now we have the specticle of the Premeir taking a hit for a gutless wonder in John Lenders. Lenders has a lot of explaining to do.
    Do the right thing Lenders and resign.

  18. Brendan

    All over bar the shouting? How about shouting the bar!

  19. fearther duster club

    Don’t know why anyone is dragging up rubbish about Matt Viney. He was the one who saw the inevitable disaster of a Thornley ministry and offered an alternative. He withdrew when Thornley pulled his exploding cigar in Labor’s face act.

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