NSW Premier Nathan Rees allegedly faces a now not-so-secret rebellion of his caucus supporters after four months in the job. The story is emphatically denied by NSW Labor senior sources as “complete and utter bullsh*t.”
“Rees will be the leader til the next election, there is no March deadline, changing leaders in almost any circumstances would leave us looking like a banana republic anyway. Rees has overwhelming numerical strength in the caucus, a fact well known to most observers,” one well informed source told VEXNEWS this morning.
Exploding on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, the story claimed private meetings before Christmas which – if true – suggest that there is ongoing disharmony within the dominant NSW Right faction.
Rees is strongly backed by “Terrigals” sub-faction leaders Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi.
That’s enough to drive their sub-factional foes in the delightfully named “Trogs” sub-group crazy.
And that’s why some in NSW say the Tele’s story this morning is a bit of a beat-up: there’s nothing new about Trog v Terrigal feuding, it’s just part of life.
It comes at a time where there is ongoing talk of disharmony in the Victorian Right as well following last year’s attempted ousting of highly regarded ALP State Secretary Stephen Newnham.
VEXNEWS investigators explained this morning that the Rees story could well have been planted to undo or prevent the plot or perhaps even more likely to shaft the Trogs in an intra-factional square-up. A clue is in the description of the supposed beneficiary of the plotting, Frank Sartor:
Frank Sartor as a replacement, claiming that while unpopular he would be a better manager.
It’s not normal to praise one’s candidate as “unpopular.”
While many were struggling to make sense of the story this morning, our sources say there is little enthusiasm to shaft Rees and that if he were to fall under a bus he would not be likely to be replaced by Sartor. While former unionist John Robertson would need to move from the upper house, many see him as a long-term prospect for leader.