A CUNNING PLAN: Stephen Donnelly fights for his right to party

donnelly The burden of attending endless work-related Christmas and Chanukah parties this time of year can be a bit much for even the most social of butterflies.

And so it is that astute staffer for Victorian Labor Senator David Feeney, Stephen Donnelly, who was the long-time Andy Lee to politics’ Megan Gale in the fine form of federal minister Kate Ellis, devised a very cunning plan to escape one function.

Word has it that after exhaustive negotiations for a joint Christmas function between the two Victorian right that a cheery email was sent out to bring the Labor Unity faction together with the group sometimes called the “Rebel Right”.

Rebel Right de facto leader David Feeney does not exactly model himself on the life and times of Che Guevara so he has long disputed the appellation leading to the great factional naming dispute between Labor Unity and those not in Labor Unity.

It gets a bit confusing at this point for new readers so it might be best explained that there was one large ALP faction Labor Unity which then became a somewhat smaller group after a number of disagreements particularly focused on the desire of some to replace the then Victorian ALP State Secretary Stephen Newnham with one of their own or someone more agreeable to then Premier’s Chief of Staff Dan O’Brien.

So by a process some dispute, those craving the removal of Newnham left (or were excluded from depending on your point of view) the Labor Unity group and formed what we mostly call the Rebel Right or the NUW/SDA/HSU group. Some in Labor Unity say that because their group was instituted on the basis of beheading Brother Newnham that it is only right and proper to refer such an extremist clan as “the Taliban”. A little harsh but amusing all the same.

The Rebels though have never really accepted this naming situation. One wag, believed to be the wily union leader Dean Mighell, called those remaining in Labor Unity the “ShortCons” because the group centred around Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy. So that name stuck for a while amongst the Rebels although has since mostly fallen into disuse, particularly as their group has stayed relatively unified while the Rebels often seemed to descend into three warring tribes of NUW, SDA and Feeney aligned forces who run their own tickets in most internal ALP elections, including the recent state caucus ballot.

Many see the decisive move in resolving the naming dispute being the inspired decision to register an incorporated association “Labor Unity Inc.” perhaps the first time an ALP faction had been so immortalised. Feeney, one of very few people to care at all about the name of his group, was believed to be furious he hadn’t thought of this first and for a time briefly considered consulting a trademark attorney. (just kidding about the trademark attorney)

So to cut a long story only slightly shorter than unbearable, it came to pass that a joint Christmas function of these two groups who cannot agree on what to call each other was arranged for this Wednesday evening past.

An email was sent out to members of Labor Unity urging their attendance:

SUBJECT: Labor Unity

DATE: Dec 7

Dear Labor Unity Member,
You are cordially invited to the traditional Victorian Right Christmas
Drinks on Wednesday the 15th of December.
Drinks shall be at bar prices.
What: Victorian Right Christmas Drinks.
Where: Upstairs at the Imperial Hotel on the corner of Bourke and Spring Street.
When: The 15th of December (Wednesday evening) from 6:30pm.
Yours in Unity

Not exactly an embossed invitation to Government House but it did the job.

Shortly after this email was sent to the Rebel Right email list which includes a number of people who side with Labor Unity. It was quickly shared around dismayed comrades.

From:   Labor Unity
To:     undisclosed-recipients:;
Date:   07/12/2010 04:39 PM
Subject:        Joint Christmas Drinks Invitation
Seasons Greetings
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year for 2011!
Labor Unity is seeing out 2010 with Christmas Drinks at the Imperial Hotel
– in partnership with our subsidiary brothers and sisters in little Labor
Where – The Imperial Hotel, Corner Bourke & Spring Sts, Melbourne
When – From 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th December
We look forward to seeing you there!
In Unity,
Stephen Donnelly

Given the Rebel Right had enthusiastically sought the opportunity to sink pots and quaff cocktails with their Labor Unity frenemies, many in Labor Unity thought this email a little aggressive and insulting in the circumstances, pointing to the ongoing use of Labor Unity’s name and reference to “our subsidiary brothers and sisters in little Labor Unity.”

It was a term we’d not heard before and in politics – unlike some other pursuits – size really does count.

We heard there was quite a disturbance in the Force following the Donnelly email with a number of Labor Unity MPs and other notables saying they would not be attending after the slur.

Others yet said they were still annoyed about the Rebel Right’s behaviour in the state caucus and on the Administrative Committee where apparently the stylish HSU’s national secretary Kathy Jackson had a lot of fun last night decreeing in response to suggestions that ALP affiliated unions might kick in some more money to make up for CPI or something that she “wouldn’t be giving you f*ckers (ie the ALP) any more money.” With her famous industrial laser-strength death-stare turned to high-beam Jackson took particular glee apparently in revelling in the surprise state election result, so much so that it was presumed by some she’d been part of the eastern suburbs big swing to the conservatives. When reference was made to the “Leader’s office” each time she would pipe in with “you mean Opposition Leader’s office.” It was quite the display apparently.

Some assumed she’d had a few pre-Admin cocktails and was drunk but that’s just how the formidable Kathy rolls, you don’t really want to be on her bad side, many say. And it seems the previous state government was not in her good books despite regular invitations to the Grand Prix VIP room. The management of stakeholders on the conservative side of town was obviously quite good in the Brumby show but it seems the HSU felt more than a bit unloved. This always struck us as a pretty stupid situation for the previous government to have got itself in, especially given how they bent over backwards to keep the militant construction union the CFMEU happy.

Anyway, on the morning before the planned Chrissy drinks, which the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit had planned to closely monitor, this email was sent out by Labor Unity’s secretariat:

SUBJECT: Labor Unity
DATE: Dec 14

Dear Labor Unity Member,
Due to clashes with other events and the high number of apologies in the lead-up to Christmas, we have had to cancel the Labor Unity drinks scheduled for Wednesday 15th December.
Yours in Unity

Many frantic phone calls followed as attempts were made to remove the bitter taste from the Christmas Egg Nog but it was not to be.

Because Brother Donnelly so rarely puts a foo
t wrong, it was widely assumed he had a hot date or something on the Wednesday night and was displeased about interrupting his lovin’ with attendance at a boring drinks night with a bunch of suits, frenemies, unemployed ministerial staff and others looking for a shouted cider.

If that was Donnelly’s plan, it was executed absolutely magnificently. We are yet to hear how his Wednesday night went.



Filed under Uncategorized

32 responses to “A CUNNING PLAN: Stephen Donnelly fights for his right to party

  1. nothing about Gillards role in the refugee disaster?

    why is here nothing about the refugee disaster this week and Gillards appalling inaction?

  2. political wilderness

    @nothing about Gillards role in the refugee disaster?

    If you could even get through this long winded article about the powerhouse of the ALP – Labor Unity – and not realise that Labor has turned into a self indulgent bunch of …..well then you need to some comprehension training.

    Our democracy is sick…very sick.

    Abbott in charge of a hard right re-birth of the Liberals and an indulgent ALP that CAN lose state government but CANNOT organise a xmas drinks session.

  3. Sad

    First we had those Melbourne Grammar boys John and Ted fighting and now these nice Xavier kids cannot get along.

    What a feeney mess.

  4. Fee-knee right

    The Fee-Knee Right are like that.

    First they charge you then the kneecap you.

    Insulting people is not the best way to move forward.

  5. Feeney for Batman

    The imbalance in the right can only be solved by pre-selecting Feeney for Batman.

    The SL, the NUW, and SDA are on board as too are all northern suburbs safe seat state MPs – so let’s get on with it.

    Move over Mar’n.

    Bill and Joolia can’t save you this time.

  6. Fee knee for Batman

    The imbalance in the right can only be solved by pre-selecting Feeney for Batman.

    The SL, the NUW, and SDA are on board as too are all northern suburbs safe seat state MPs – so let’s get on with it.

    Move over Mar’n.

    Bill and Joolia can’t save you this time.

  7. Fee ney for Batman

    The terrible imbalance in the ALP right can only be solved by pre-selecting Fee ney for Batman.

    The SL, the NUW, and SDA are on board as too are all northern suburbs safe seat state MPs – so let’s get on with it.

    Move over Mar’n.

    Bill and Joolia can’t save you this time.

  8. Fee knee for wills

    The terrible imbalance in the ALP right can only be solved by pre-selecting Fee ney for Wills.

    The unions that matter are all on board as too are all northern suburbs safe seat state MPs – so let’s get on with it.

    Move over Kelvin.

    Bill and Joolia can’t save you this time.

  9. Captain Bligh

    ‘Refugee’ disaster survivors = give them a good flogging and feed them to the sharks!

  10. Fee ney for Wills

    Kelvin is past his use by date – time for the Fee ney to save the day.

  11. still gloating

    little labor unity….ouch!!!

    Some are still gloating over winning right to run Australia’s most dis-functional union but ignoring the fact they just lost Australia’s most functional state government.

  12. twin evils

    Who is the meanest political master?

    Ted with no drinks in Spring street or the twin Labor Unity factions across the road with their generous offer of ‘drinks at bar prices’.

    And we wonder why the youth lap up the free beer at greens functions…..

  13. anon

    Can’t even organise a Christmas piss up, oh how the mighty have fallen.

  14. dummy spit

    So I gather Labor Unity has not agreed to find Right winger Donolly’s master the amazing Senator Feeble a winnable seat yet.

    How sad.

    Keep bickering boys.


    While the xavier boys and other out of touch elites argue about naming rights – for the rest of us who are outside these fractions of Labor it just looks and sounds like one big faction called:


  16. Change of location

    Never mind the xmas drinks fight. Stephen Donnelly will be in a new office by July. In high street Preston. With no change in salary.

  17. Change of date

    Please be advised while the unity of labour is the hope of the world the unity of labor will be postponed until the new year.

  18. Refugees

    Labor unity is not interested in Kurdish refugees.

  19. Refugees

    The socialist left may be interested in Kurdish refugees – once they gain citizenship and move to Calwell or Scullin.

    Please contact Carr’s office.

  20. Refugees

    The rebel right may be interested in Turkish refugees if they promise to NOT join the Labor party.

  21. Refugees

    The SDA may be interested in both Kurdish and turkish refugees as long as they settle down and join a good catholic parish.

  22. Refugees

    The NSW ALP right are supportive of any recent arrivals with large families who do not read newspapers and that can vote labor some time in the next decade.

  23. Refugees

    Victorian Labor is interested in recent arrivals who do not read the Herald Sun.

    Prefer them to settle in the sand and clay belts in the east before the next state election.

  24. Refugees

    The Liberal Party are NOT interested in refugees from Iran and Afghanistan – this is solely for their own good.

    This has nothing to do with the fact that the plight of these people remind us of two failed wars we committed to with the US.

    We just want them to come safely by plane with correct papers.

    Honest – we are human – no really we care.

  25. Anon

    Someone call ITSA. The ALP right is insolvent. Intellectual and ideologically bankrupt. Morions are living large and in charge.

    Not content with destroying the party of workers this mob now gives being moderate a terrible fucking name. Where’s the vision boys? Articles like this make solid performers in the right want to fuck off.

  26. whispering jack

    why do you waste your time blogging about people with little influence like donnelly?
    is it because all the people that actually kick goals in government dont screw around with type of bulldust and actually do real work – and therefore boring to write about

  27. feather dusters

    This from the once powerful right faction?
    Could not organise the proverbial piss up in Spring Street.

  28. Lawyers in unity

    Can’t wait for the law suit over the name labor unity. Small hint ….senator freebees…..if you are fighting like this over a faction name then you are in disunity.

  29. Zoran Kidney

    Is Kate Ellis still rooting Mark Arbib?

  30. patriots for refugees

    Before Federal Government sends any refugees back….please check if any can play cricket.

  31. democratic society for perpetual career renewal

    Dear H

    please send any forms for Cambodian residents in Wills, Batman and Koroit as a matter of urgency to R’s office.

    As L has pointed out many times the half price period should not be wasted.


  32. Hello ! I’m new on this forum, hope to talk to you soon 🙂
    I love carsn seotons and tuning, and you ?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s