TWO FACED: Will two right state caucuses be better than one?

Split2-(1) The sad dispute between the Victorian Labor Unity faction and the NUW/SDA “ambition faction” shows no sign yet of being resolved, with state MP’s associated with the competing groups meeting separately today prior to the Labor caucus.

Importantly, no one group used the traditional Labor Unity meeting room and there were a number of informal gatherings, leaving the door open to future peace without formalised divisions. That’s an important distinction to make for the sensible folks who wish to give peace a chance.

Some have not taken this development well, with sources close to federal caucus secretary Senator David Feeney telling VEXNEWS he was preparing for a protracted conflict that will test the master strategist’s wily ways. Feeney has been previously playing a constructive role, leading a negotiation for peace between the feuding Right clans, representing his sub-factional brothers in the NUW/SDA while they have been busy attempting to win the love of the criminal construction division of the CFMEU, snatching their four POSC votes from the Socialist Left to their more conservative coalition.

It’s a shame both sides couldn’t concentrate on mending fences rather than raiding the other side’s hen-houses to steal chooks belonging to rivals, one Feeney lieutenant argued this morning.

Sources close to Labor Unity say that it was disingenuous for the NUW/SDA to be attempting to destabilise the stability deal with one side of its face while the other side was pledging hippy love and power-sharing. Not an unreasonable point perhaps but one that to quote a great former US President misunderestimates the NUW’s pride and sense of place. If they’re not running the party, they’re not happy is a fair characterisation of their view. It is their duty to undermine a deal which had as its central feature shutting them out and diminishing their recently gained power.

Interestingly the war is restricted so far to Victorian skirmishes, with no such formal division yet occurring within the federal MP’s, with Victorian Right convenor Richard Marles doing a good job to keep everyone together by whispering sweet nothings in all available ears. Senator David Feeney, Jacinta Collins and Anthony Byrne would normally be identified with the union alliance. Feeney and Collins – once good pals who ambitions collided – have become rivals in recent times after Collins defeated Feeney for the #1 Senate spot. They are very unlikely caucus chums, political insiders say. Byrne is believed to have little time for sub-factional intrigues, preferring to focus on his day-job of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

ATROCITIES ON BOTH SIDES
The main reason the NUW don’t have any MP’s in Club Fed – as one NUW operative was reminding us the other day – is that two of their preselection candidates were victims of much unpleasantness in the 2006 bloodbath that saw Simon Crean defeat Martin Pakula by foul means and Alan Griffin – reputedly master stacker and manipulator – rely on right-wing votes (one actually) to survive denying one of the NUW’s most talented operatives, Matt Carrick, of Bruce.

As things turned out, with Pakula’s elevation, he’s probably quite happy with his lot in life and the young Carrick lives to fight another day. And it doesn’t hurt anyone that the NUW are shut out of Club Fed, at least for now. It quarantines the conflict to some extent in Melbourne, proving that it’s now not just Sydney that is a Labor leper colony in terms of fractional warfare.

In the state caucus though, it’s not like Club Fed at all. There is a roughly 50-50 split between the Labor Unity faction MPs and the NUW/SDA union alliance. There are sub-groups like the LRA, who could end up in either group, with members like George Seitz who is on the NUW side and Telmo Languiller believed to be likely to be with Labor Unity.

Some believe the separation is likely to be a temporary one with peace talks of a consensus driven federation model proceeding.

JUST TO ENSURE EVERYONE LOVES VEXNEWS, WE NAME NAMES
For the time being, it appears the state MP’s have divided up as follows, no doubt we’ve missed a few but here’s a rough guide:

NUW alliance
Ann Barker – believed to be unhappy with NUW over possible threat to preselection
Christine Campbell – is worried the stability deal formula means she could lose her seat
Judith Graley – triumphed over the twin evils of Dale Wilson and cancer
Minister Tim Holding – leadership aspirant given the toughest assignment in the government, Water
Marlene Kairouz – Michael Donovan’s bestie from the west, her preselection was the start of the internal spite fight
Hong Lim – in close alliance with Robin Scott
Minister James Merlino – SDA’s minister who was instrumental in deep-sixing the deal that would have put Jacinta Collins into state ministry and Feeney as #1 on Senate ticket
Minister Tim Pallas – former NUW official and Bracks COS, not really a factional player, friendly to all but still likely to roll with NUW
Robin Scott – likely to chair meetings of the NUW alliance, key strategist and Feeney ally
George Seitz – veteran MP chose to roll with Robin Scott last year, worried that the deal means he could be shafted. But is anyone game to test whether the local legend can be beaten in a local plebiscite? If it was possible to do so, he would surely adopt GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY as his personalised number plate.
Bob Stensholt – NUW ally

Kaye Darveniza – former Health Services Union official, many rumours that she was planning to retire anyway but is strongly denying that. Expected to be given unwinnable #3 position in her country upper house province.
Nazih Elasmar – understood to have done a deal last year with NUW alliance to support them in return for taking Theo’s #1 northern metro spot in the event he retired. A long-time member of the LRA, he now appears to have gone his own way. Is guaranteed of winning preselection for the #3 spot anyway, which he will probably hold in 2010.
Minister Martin Pakula – thought to want lower house but might be better off staying as there’s less competition for the Ministry. Great things expected of him as Minister.
Jaala Pulford – former NUW official, very worried she’ll lose preselection but affirmative action requirement should help
Adem Somyurek – ally of Robin Scott with a wide network of friends in both NUW and Labor Unity.

Labor Unity
Colin Brooks – loyal supporter of Fiona Richardson
Premier John Brumby – has rogue chief of staff who lists factional pyromania as his hobby
Michael Crutchfield – part of Geelong crew
Luke Donnellan – loyal AWU lad
John Eren – the general of Richard Marles’s Geelong Liberation Army
Ben Hardman – solid country MP but faces tsunami in seat over pipeline (apologies for incorrect allocation initially)
Minister Joe Helper – long-time Labor Unity member
A-G Rob Hulls – the faction’s very own Lionel Murphy
Craig Langdon – long-time Labor Unity member, does not likely the Michael Leighton/Robin Scott machine
Speaker Jenny Lindell – strong opponent of NUW tactics
Tony Lupton – the smooth operator of the caucus, should have Sade as his music on hold
Judy Maddigan – Essendon MP some expect to retire, with lobbyist Danny Pearson positioning himself
Janice Munt – highly effective marginal seat holder
Minister Lisa Neville – senior member of the Geelong crew, one of few in caucus wise enough to see through Evan Thornley’s bulldust
Wade Noonan – TWU backed, big future
Fiona Richardson – former Labor Unity faction secretary
Minister Tony Robinson – Potential leader who solved the pokies problem with one swift knee to the groin of the industry
Marsha Thomson – big player in recent factional negotiations, mentor to Fiona Richardson

Jennifer Huppert – recently appointed MP
Minister John Lenders – Treasurer and power behind Brumby’s throne
Minister Justin Madden – Popular minister
President Bob Smith – Told Evan Thornley where to get off in his last caucus meeting, arguably the greatest upper house president ever.

UNKNOWN
Danielle Green – likely to side with Labor Unity, part of the LRA group
Alistair Harkness – likely to side with NUW but some think he might be unhappy with them
Telmo Languiller – likely to side with Labor Unity, part of the LRA group
Tammy Lobato – likely to side with NUW, friends with Adem Somyurek
Kirstie Marshall – unknown
Theo Theophanous – likely to side with Labor Unity, part of the LRA group
Matt Viney – definitely not with NUW after resigning in spectacular form from their group recently, expected to join Labor Unity

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “TWO FACED: Will two right state caucuses be better than one?

  1. Arthur Cartwright

    You have good sources Andy.

  2. Anonymous

    Ok. But this is the last time ok, and then it stops. The money, that is!

  3. [deleted]

    Dad, seriously. Promise. Do you promise it will stop?

  4. Alex

    Stolen HSU money. Just keep wiring it into my account

    BSB: 063-000 ACC: 5000-5000-5000

  5. Anonymous

    The main reason the NUW don’t have any MP’s in Club Fed – as one NUW operative was reminding us the other day – is that two of their preselection candidates were victims of much unpleasantness in the 2006 bloodbath that saw Simon Crean defeat Martin Pakula by foul means – see Bill Shorten backdoored Pakula

    Danielle Green – likely to side with Labor Unity- confirmed
    Alistair Harkness – likely to side with NUW – still unsure
    Telmo Languiller – likely to side with Labor Unity-correct despite saying otherwise
    Tammy Lobato – likely to side with NUW-close to Christine Campbell
    Kirstie Marshall – unknown-freak
    Theo Theophanous – likely to side with Labor Unity-no one wants him

  6. Anonymous

    telmo and the underworld

  7. VFL

    The factional driver in Brumby’s office is not the COS, it is the director of social policy.

  8. Anon

    Marshall is with the NUW group as is Lobato.

  9. Anonymous

    i thought Lobato was SDA

  10. Anonymous

    I wouldn’t want Marshall in my group, she should I have satyed on the C Grade celebrity list. She certainly hasn’t made any contribtuion to policy development

    What does she even do? I heard she use to nap in the Electorate Office, well when she decided to show up that is.

  11. parliamentary spy

    i seen her today believe me mate nothing special

  12. Anonymous

    god bless theo

  13. Anonymous

    too much sun on the ski slopes she looks like a piece of leather luggage

  14. anon

    Yeah, but who else would you want to bonk in the Assembly?

  15. Anonymous

    Re Maddigan’s replacement.
    She is definitely in her last term. Former Vic. Trades Hall ass. Secretary and Shorten acolyte (one of his numbers when he ran the Ascot Vale Branch for Unity) Natalie Sykes is returning to Victoria.
    She is also known to be looking for child care in the area.
    Victoria’s first woman Speaker is know to be passionate about being replaced by a woman.
    Time will reveal all.

  16. Miga

    Big girl you are beautiful
    Walks into the room
    Fills like a big balloon
    I say hey girls you are beautiful

    Diet coke and vego pizza please
    Diet coke, I’m on my knees
    Screamin’ big girl you are beautiful
    You take your skinny girl, I feel like I’m gonna die

    Cos a real woman needs a real man here’s why
    You take your girl, and multiply her by four
    Now a whole lot of woman needs a whole lot more..

  17. Fat Chance

    Natalie Sykes is a David Feeney loyalist.

  18. The Truth

    Is Dean starting the TNF’s faction (Trannies not Fannies)??

  19. Anonymous

    Moonee Valley Councillors have lots of time on their hands to muse over the future of the state seat of Essendon.
    After a single item Councillor Briefing last week – any briefer and you’d have missed it – the Councillors retired to local eatery Jacks Satay Bar to replenish their strength.
    Over dinner neophyte Cr and Sercombite ‘Dr’ Ange Kenos opined that, with Maddigan retiring, the Libs might be a chance to take the seat. Second term Mayor and Lib fellow-traveller Paul Giuliano was seen to smirk at the thought.
    It was an alliance of Sercombite and right aligned Councillors that gave Giuliano his second term as Mayor.
    Would be a real irony if this resulted in him being courted by the Libs as their candidate.
    Something for the good Councillors to think about tonight, having cancelled the Planning Committee meeting due to alleged lack of business.

  20. Anonymous

    Wonder what Natalie will say to Bill if Giuliano gets up in Essendon?
    It was Shorten associate – QUANTAS ‘engineer’, AWU steward steward and Superannuation fund representative – Cr John Sipek who tipped the balance for Giuliano in the Mayoral election.

  21. Anonymous

    In the VEC representation review for Moonee Valley council submissions from Sercombite Ange Kenos and krypto-Lib Paul Giuliano favoured single councillor wards. The PR Society and the Greens and the local community activists out Kensington way wanted proportional representation, and that is what the VEC recommended to the Minister, who rubber stamped the VEC recommendation as he always does.

    The irony is that Kenos and Giuliano would probably both have been defeated under single councillor wards, they system they both favoured.

    Nevertheless while there are a few hiccups the first time proportional representation is best for Moonee Valley.

  22. Anonymous

    Must be something in the water of Moonee Ponds Creek… Moonee Valley Council sounds just like Hume – ALP Crs electing Liberal Mayors. Whatever happened to the party rules?!*

  23. Anonymous

    I keep trying to pick the Giuliano character in ‘Bastard Boys’…
    But they only show the ‘no neck’ scab labour on the other side of the fence, not the shadowy types who organised those goons.
    A disgrace that Bill and Judy have been prepared to support an anti-union Lib for Mayor.

  24. Anonymous

    Maddigan, Kenos, Shorten and Giuliano.
    The M.U.A. will outlast them all!

  25. Anonymous

    If ALP want to have a chance in Essendon they need a genuine local. Danny Pearson is the best option. Locally active, attends branch meetings and does his bit during campaigns.

  26. AA Sux

    Pearson is a talent but having two breasts and half a brain is the only way to get preselected these days.

  27. Anonymous

    Be fair to Maddigan, she stood up to the Libs on Essendon Council – which is more than can be said for the some ALP Crs – such as Monica Hayes (wife of current ‘right’ ACTU Assistant Secretary) who was happy to do a deal with Libs to steal the Mayoralty from the future Speaker as soon as she was elected to the Council.
    A real pity to see the local member now descended to supporting this sort of shady dealing.

  28. Anonymous

    The other great thing about Pearson is that he isn’t a former Councillor.
    Look at the great MPs, apart from Maddigan that have come out of the local Council…
    Barry Rowe and ‘Uncle Doug’ Elliott.
    Giuliano would be in great company, as would another former Mayor – Mark Kennedy, another Right former Councillor and Mayor with aspirations.

  29. squeaky

    Be fair to Maddigan, she bravely gave the court a character reference under oath for Looney James (aka Tony) Long when he faced court over an alleged indiscretion of the underage variety back in the day…although Tony himself wasn’t willing to testify under oath for some reason.

  30. Marshall for Premier

    who did marshall side with, she has the most amazing political instincts…

  31. Giuli-who?

    Giuliano has come a long way since he was plumbers labourer for one time Moonee Valley Mayor, Don Cornish, former husband of west ward Councillor Shirley Cornish. Patriots will remember their unedifying spectacle on commercial TV during the 2005 council election.
    The current Mayor is supposedly close to both.

  32. Let the sunshine in

    Let Giuliano run. The sunlight of scrutiny is a great disinfectant! He will be shown to have less substance than Ange Kenos’s ‘Doctorate’.

  33. save our streets

    If Giuliano wants to be the member for Essendon he needs to change his attitude to ‘let it rip’ tower residential development south of Maribyrnong Road.
    Much of Maddigan’s unpopularity results from her couldn’t give a damn attitude about the development of the Lombards site.

  34. (smoke) alarmed

    If Giuliano got up would he get away with smoking in the Parliament House dunnies, like he does at Schity Hall?

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