OUTSKI: Both Brumby's COS and Ted Baillieu could be soon "spending more time with their family"

lieutenantdan The Victorian Premier’s Chief of Staff Dan O’Brien is understood to have made advanced plans to depart government whatever the result of the state election.

The Premier’s Private Office is believed to have prepared a succession plan the contents of which involve many organisational charts and white-boarding. No firm decision has been made on O’Brien’s successor although many elbows are out, ready for the ultimate challenge in colleague-on-colleague violence. Some speak of a prodigal son returning, others have their money on an iron lady. No-one really knows except the Premier and flies on the wall at Cumulus, the favoured ministerial staff eatery. Of course, all this idle talk pre-supposes a Labor win at the state election, which is far from certain.

The Victorian Liberals are doing their bit to ensure a Brumby re-election. Most of their announcements have been comical, although we liked their GPS monitoring of rogues on bail and suspect they’ll focus more on law and order as the election gets closer. Their failure to go in for the kill on Labor’s scandal-plagued Director of Pubic Prosecutions – accused sex-hobbit Jeremy Rapke – is a mystery only Scooby-Doo could solve.

On some issues, we think – like Bam-Bam (OK, that’s the last old cartoon analogy we’ll ever make) – they don’t know their own strength. With a new and inexperienced Police Minister and a lefty Attorney-General, they could and should go in very hard on those issues but they repeatedly fail to do so.

Their current plan – all but certain – to preference to the extreme-left Greens party ahead of Labor in return for not much will cause the government considerable heart-burn but won’t cost Brumby office because the Greens will support him over Baillieu.

If the Greens sided with the Liberals, the electoral consequences for the Greens party could be devastating with their inner-city left-wing base.

That also explains why the Greens are so reluctant to be seen to give anything much of value back to the Liberals in their preference deals: their very narky, fickle and fad-driven left-wing base of hipsters won’t wear it.

So the Greens party – like many of their Centrelink subsidised activists – just wait for a How-To-Vote card hand-out from the Liberals and won’t give much back.

It’s enough to make some Liberals and many Nationals very unhappy. The most recent of the horrified, ex-Liberal MP and senior Kennett Cabinet minister Robin Cooper has told the Herald Sun he’s outraged about the Liberals preferencing the extreme-left:

"The Opposition team needs to pull its finger out and stop waiting for government to fall into their lap. It needs to get out and grab it," Mr Cooper said. "Even the most optimistic of senior Liberal supporters say the absolute maximum they can win is 10 seats, which is not enough to regain government," he said.

"Talk of the Greens providing preferences in the outer suburbs in return for the inner-city deal is pie in the sky. The Greens are a huge enemy of the Liberals."

All that’s true but sources close to the Opposition Leader’s office tell VEXNEWS that they will not be buckling to Labor’s pressure and the Nationals whining on the issue. One Liberal told VEXNEWS last week when discussing the issue:

“We want to win the election for Ted Baillieu not make life easier for two underwhelming Labor ministers. If Labor can’t win those seats on their own, I’m buggered if I know why it’s Liberal party’s job to bail them out. It’s just not our problem.”

The Teddite did agree that if Baillieu didn’t win this time that he’d be immediately replaced as Victorian Liberal leader, by either Mary Wooldridge or the less-lovable but more-diligent Michael O’Brien. The obvious choice, Matthew Guy, is stuck in the wrong house and is unlikely to be given a safe lower house seat any time soon. Many think he’s the next Liberal premier, including possibly Ted Baillieu who has done everything in his power to block him from moving in to the Assembly. The Kroger Brethren have not been pushing that hard for Guy either, favouring their own man MOB, who while a smart chap is thought to lack charm. When or if things get really desperate, they’ll inevitably turn to Guy, in our view.

Labor’s strategy to deal with its inner-city “situation” is to “amp up” the pressure on the Liberals about the inconsistency between their policies and their political activity in supporting the Greens with preferences.

Another group lurks on the horizon too, keen to build on the anti-Greens party sentiment in regional Victoria by attacking the Coalition for handing seats in Parliament – and incredible leverage – to the anti-farming, anti-farming urban militants. It’s the Country Alliance party which VEXNEWS understands will be running candidates in many lower and upper house seats across Victoria in competition with the Liberals and Nationals in those areas.

With the major parties having trouble in their own patch and many own-goals, state politics is looking a lot like a game of Russian Roulette at the moment. No wonder Lieutenant Dan has had enough.



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24 responses to “OUTSKI: Both Brumby's COS and Ted Baillieu could be soon "spending more time with their family"

  1. Anonymous

    Dan O’Brien leaving how pathetic and weak

  2. Red Ted gone by December would be a lovely chrissy present.

  3. congrats

    well done, vexnews – the country alliance is another exclusive for you – please follow up as i don’t much about them. Ted – please go …..

  4. Oh Pee Pee

    I think this is the first time in recorded history that a director of public prosecutions has been referred to as a ‘sex-hobbit’

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  5. 1 Treachery

    Classic pic, was Dan offering Ted the head job or vice versa?

  6. Alcaston faction

    The Cumulus crew are posers and pretenders. Only Faction Alcaston has JB’s ear.

  7. Pissy Chryne

    If Dan’s offering I happy to oblige.

  8. Not Red

    As a long time Liberal man and party member, I’ll not vote Liberal if they strike a deal with the Greens. I understand there are quite a few others who feel the same way.

    I’m very sad to be at this point but my principals are not negotiable. The only reason I wont leave the party is that Red Ted is gone when Brumby gets elected and probably most of his lefty cohorts.

  9. Glass houses

    This is all true but the LNP should not be too complacent as they are also open to challenge in their homeland. Many seats along the Yarra-bayside corridor that are considered to be safe Liberal territory aresubject to attack by the Greens/Independent candidates. In Malvern in 2006 the Greens received 14% of the vote and the Liberal Party 54%, Similar situation in Hawthorn, Kew, Sandringham and even Brighton. It would only take a well healed well presented independent to stand and peg the Liberal Party back to below 50%. If that happens then candidates like O’Brien are history.


    The only reason the Greens are in for a show is because the Liberal Party is not attractive to voters in the inner city regions. The Greens or any well presented independent can only win if they out poll one of the major players ALP or Liberal. The Liberals can not laugh. The ALP managed to win Burwood (and hold on to it) after Kennett resigned.

  11. RDR

    Maybe preferencing The Greens would not be all that bad, there are a lot of teenage ladies who support The Greens who might let me ‘drive’ them home.

  12. Adam Bandt get nicked

    Last time I voted Greens to make history and it’s fair to say that no history has been made whatsoever. Adam Bandt and Brian Walters what jokes you are. At least Labor makes real and lasting progress, even if it takes time to achieve.

  13. Anonymous

    Yorik “what about Jacinta”the viking is measuring up the new chair

  14. If U Would Hy Wood

    Dan O’Brien for head of Tourism Victoria to replace the departed Gregory “back-to-Fairfax-for-another-attempt-to-finally-sink-the-ship” Hywood?

  15. Green underling

    WE could agree to support the party that has the largest number of seats – whether Liberal or Labor – this would be fair.

  16. Anon

    Very optimistic Andrew! It will take months for the liberals to organise a meeting to work out who the new leader will be

  17. anon

    Yorik is watching her put a leg over each arm of the chair.

  18. Shambles

    I wish to offer my services as a campaign strategist for the Victorian division in the forthcoming election campaign.

    I am a respected party strategist from New South Wales. The success of my strategies in the 2007 state election are clear for all to see. It is strategies such as these that have made me so respected.

  19. Anonymous

    Nutt by name.

    Nutt by nature.

    So be the Liberal Party.

    Who is gone by December?

  20. Victorian Labor - Going, Going....

    So the contributors here on Vexnews obviously think that Big Ted’s strategy is dangerous to Labor?
    Why else would there be such a viscious attack on the possiblity that Libs may give Greens peferences in inner Melbourne in return for a quid pro quo?

    Polling shows, Labor is on ropes. Tim Holding will be Leader of the Opposition in Assembly and Martin Pakula will lead the ALP in the Legislative Council.

    Big Ted will serve a term and a half as Premier and then could be replaced by several contenders, some of whom could descend to the Assembly from the red morgue.

    Internal polling shows at this stage that Labor is in trouble from Liberal candidates in 6 country seats and 6 metro seats.

    Then there are the 4 inner city Labor seats under attack from Greens.

    The question is can the Lubs pick up and extra seat or two to win a slender,outright majority?

  21. Rhett Logan

    Michael Obrien has a lot of backroom experience with the greens satisfying their “preferences”.

  22. god help us Rob Hulls is deputy premier

    Who ever has the name Yorik Piper should do jail time. We couldn’t have a COS with that name shocking.

  23. The answer is simple

    Bring back Sharon

  24. politicalrealist

    Dirty, vile, unwashed, welfare sucking Greens.

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