JO TAKES THE DOUGH: Baillieu's weird choice of chief spin-doctor puzzles Liberals, amuses Labor, stuns journos

joho The appointment of whiny lefty ABC journo Josephine Cafagna to supervise long-serving Liberal spinners Paul Price and Simon Troeth stunned Victorian political observers today.

One wan Liberal remarked the position was offered to Cafagna only because Petro Georgiou’s preferred choice – John Pilger – was busy in London helping spring master-hacker and America-hater Julian Assange from prison.

The appointment itself drew probably unwanted attention to the fact the new government would be employing spin-doctors at all having pledged to end the era of spin they say prevailed in the previous government.

The presenter of the Friday night programme Stateline has bagged Labor repeatedly from a left or ultra-left-wing perspective in the years she fronted and scripted the little-watched programme whose stories would often get picked up by her husband Paul Austin, the Age’s chief state politics reporter Paul Austin the following Monday morning.

The themes – or obsessions – of the dynamic duo were things like government spin, accountability, planning processes, political fundraising, usually imagined “corruption” in Labor local councils and other matters that are frequently the subject of intense inner-city dinner-party conversation around town.

All of it the stuff of niggling nightmares for any government spinner.

Nothing wrong with serving up to your tiny audience exactly what they want but Stateline really was a remarkably indulgent programme, rarely exploring real issues that actually shifted votes or genuinely impacted on life in Victoria.

The decision by Premier Ted Baillieu to appoint her as the Premier’s private office head of strategic communications is extraordinary in that context, given the stridently left-wing or puritan views as expressed on the programme every Friday night for several years. While it presented as news, a lot of opinion was emitted too. A lot of narky, whiny, bleating lefty opinion slagging high-density development, hating the Grand Prix, finding corruption in every ho-hum local council, it really was a dreadful show, so dreadful we rarely watched it but would frequently hear summaries of the latest unpleasantness.

Suggestions that Ms Cafagna is deep-down a conservative Catholic woman from those who know her don’t really sit very well with the show she fronted for years. Even in this house of occasional over-statement, it is hard to over-state how preachy lefty Stateline has been.

It will be interesting to see just how sustainable the appointment turns out to be, she’s certainly vulnerable to criticism.

The first wave of it, the question of how she’d deal with her hubby Paul Austin, has been dealt with following an edict from his boss Paul Ramadge that Austin would be immediately removed from his post as chief state political reporter at The Age and moved into an unspecified “senior role”. Many at The Age think that means he’s leaving, taking what is reputed to be a very big redundancy and shuffling off into the lefty sunset. He won’t be forced out, while he doesn’t spend much time in the Aged newsroom, he seems to enjoy a good reputation around there. Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Given Austin’s close – albeit weird – late-night phone call relationship with the unexpected Premier Ted Baillieu, his move away from state political reporting is a blow for The Age and sets the stage for a little battle royal between David “Rodney” Rood and Royce Millar who would both fancy themselves as Austin successors. Some think feisty little comrade Farrah Tomazin might muscle back into the state gallery giving The Age’s coverage an even leftier edge.

Most Liberals we spoke with on the issue today were aghast. Some believe the hand of Petro Georgiou was involved in the decision, an ominous prospect for those who fear Baillieu faction foes are being centrally vetoed from consideration in the hiring of ministerial staff. No Liberal was claiming the idea though today as their own.

While it’s not unusual for PM’s or Premiers to meddle a little in ministerial staff choices, it’s considered to be unprecedented to have all staff centrally chosen by the Premier’s office and then allocated out to ministers. It’s caused great delay in the process, with many empty ministerial offices apparently, compelling proof perhaps that the ministerial staff were not quite half as vital to the running of the state as they once thought. In any event, the Libs say they intend to hire many fewer staff than Brumby’s large crew.

But this appointment is strange. Josephine Cafagna is no doubt a role model to some young female journalists whom she mentored and offered polite encouragement. That might help her manage relationships with them but many of the more red-meat feasting men at tabloid oriented outlets, the Herald Sun, the television news and others are expected to regard Cafagna as a weird choice, according to industry insiders. Can she win them over?

Does it speak to the strategic direction of the government, some Liberals wondered today. Other questions lurked. Were Josephine Cafagna and her hubby Paul Austin the only senior journos in Baillieu’s circle of trust?  Was it a payoff for a disgracefully biased effort in the John Lenders-Kim Wells “debate”? Will Cafagna have the requisite combination of charm, menace, news-sense and common-touch required to position the government in the best possible light for the next four years?

She’s certainly not the obvious choice. Labor people – mistakenly assuming all ABC people to be sistas in leftism – felt initially betrayed today but then were puzzled at the Liberals direction, with winning over inner-city ABC Stateline viewers not really being seen as much of a priority for the new government. Assuming the ex 3AW reporter has no popular news-sense though is probably not quite right, although she has been out of that zone for a long time and might be seen as a little pious and preachy for many now in the craft.

Her new job pays well, around the $200,000 per annum mark, it is believed, representing a vast pay-rise for the ABC reporter. Because it’s Christmas, we’ll wish her luck. She’ll need it.



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210 responses to “JO TAKES THE DOUGH: Baillieu's weird choice of chief spin-doctor puzzles Liberals, amuses Labor, stuns journos

  1. If Labor can have Maxine then Libs can also have Joe

  2. Vexnews is becoming a paid channel for Anti-Australian Labor Party. First you defend that double Agent Mark Arbib and next you go after Julian Assange who has shown us the the real, dirty, ugly face of Labor Party and now this. Shame Andrew Shame!

    VEXNEWS – News for patriots or Traitors?

  3. Tedanista

    Ted wants to mix things up a bit.

    So the odd ABC and AGE latte set member will help him keep rabid right libs at bay.

    If Ted sticks to the centre he will be re-elected twice.

    I would not be surprised if he puts Eddie and Mary Delahunty in some boards.

  4. Same old problem

    Ted faces the same problem that Brumby faced.

    How to tame a quite ugly party machine.

    Many in the Liberals just want a Kennett re-run.

    Can Ted keep the self servers at bay?

    Bring in new blood is the only way…but it is hard when the hounds are baying for a feed….

  5. fragile

    strikes me as fragile operator…may lecture jounrnos…but the media honeymoon will make it a breeze of a job for first year…

  6. know your animal

    hounds howl for a feed

    donkeys bay….

    labor has cornered the donkey market

  7. NQR

    Is this in Ted’s office or DPC? If DPC, what happened to Mary-Anne Thomas, Director of Strategic Comms under Brumby govt? Did she jump or was she kicked off the island?

  8. Anonymous

    Goes to show how biased “journalists” really are.

    Journo’s set themselves up as holier-than-thou but are just self centred scumbags.

  9. Adrian Jackson

    I do not mind Josephine on the ABC’s Stateline and I note she rejected an ALP offer a few years ago to stand for the ALP in a western suburbs state electorate.

    What is that saying “keep your enemies close to you” so you can keep an eye on them

  10. Wize guy

    Ted is smart enough to keep ugly greedy grasping libs out of important jobs like this. But can this sheep watch the wolves?

  11. Anonymous

    Ted really is lurching to the Left.

  12. Lib jackals

    The liberals are back in charge of the gravy train. They only real enemy is their own greed. Will they gorge themselves on growth corridors?

  13. Boofa

    I must introduce her to ‘Percy’ he’d love those big red lips.

  14. It’s a good start so far. No christmas drinks, reduce the Opposition’s budget allowance and select a personal spin doctor. That is actually the order of their major priorities so far. Speaks volumes of what’s to come.

  15. The 4th estate

    So we had both her and her husband as two of three panel members during the leaders debate and both have now revealed that they were in the end overt Liberal stooges. Wow!

    The media are really becoming a joke and its increasingly difficult at even attempting to absorb anything they say, write or BS about as independent.

  16. Anonymous


  17. George S

    This is my fault I could never win over her and her husband

  18. Anon


  19. Anon E. Mous

    Geez Anon (3:09am) you need to work on that Blackberry or refrain from emailing while affected by alcohol.

    Caps lock aside, “A very decent Ted”? MWhahahahahaha. Oh gives us a break.

  20. Wenchy

    How could you after last night? An after all I did for you in that 1 minute and 23 seconds interlude….

  21. You really are being too hard on Josepine. You seem to infer that she’s ditching her purported lefty principles for filthy lucre. But sassy sisters never do THAT.

    Have you considered that she’s making a political statement, and is subverting the dominant paradigm? I mean, that would explain everything.

    Just a suggestion …

  22. Futureproof

    Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.

  23. Boofa

    Hey Wenchy I hope you liked me ‘christening’ of ya in ya new office, I hope no one saw your big white butt bouncing on ya front window. Shit I hope Munty left no web cam.

  24. Boris

    That explains why she totally let Kim Wells off the hook when he admitted that he didn’t know how much taxpayers’ money he’d spent in the election campaign. Makes me want to vomit.

  25. Krogerite

    The word is George Svigos or Sharon McCrohan could eat Cafagna for breakfast. She’s in for a tough time.

  26. RDR

    Does she have a teenage daughter?

  27. Mitchell Observer

    Baillieu is similar to former Federal Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, in that he does not represent the conservative base, including the blue-collar social conservatives, that underpin the Liberal party.
    Liberal Victoria did not win because of Baillieu and if they aren’t very careful he will fracture that base just as Turnbull did during his period os Opposition leader.
    Similarly in NSW, Abbott is having a difficult time ridding the NSW executive of the Campbell/Hawke/Photios influence, believing, quite correctly, that the NSW State’s executive lack of professionalism cost him the Prime Ministership.
    NSW needs a professional and dispassionate president, like Arthur Sinodinos, to ensure the NSW Liberal’s are really ready to govern in the State, and to ensure Abbott is our next conservative Liberal PM.

  28. andy bult

    Dont think Sharon will cause too much damage now as she is too busy socialising with Bernice & Christine.What a cosy trio and they have a new motto
    “Lets fiddle while Marysville burns”

  29. Wenchy

    Boofa, my butt isn’t the part that I like to flaunt, as you know. At 50, my butt isn’t quite as rounded as it used to be . Now that I am in a taxpayer funded salary , I will be be able to pay for a butt lift.

    Wonder how much a viginaplasty is , mine has had a bit of wear and tear?

  30. Anonymous


    Sharon and George had a very long time to eat her and the Age for breakfest. We all seen how that turned out.

  31. Anonymous

    did she land face first into gravel?

  32. Krogerites lose out again

    Baillieu’s people made mince meat of George s bend on three continents and 13 seats. It is sheer delusion that any of brumby’s media people can do anything. Rude in government deluded in opposition.

    George s bend could not save brumby and will not save krogerites.

    Salvation lies elsewhere unhappy campers.

  33. Boofa

    Wear and tear is an understatement Wenchy, ‘bloody nora’ as Austen Tayshus once said ‘you’ve seen a cockatoo’.

  34. Lady Pisstopher

    I have switched teams a couple of times.

  35. Boofa Leigh

    While you are at it it is time for another boob job and tummy tuck. And don’t make them too big this time..

  36. Manice Junt

    Boofa gives c*nt’s a bad name…

  37. Wenchy

    Without Boofa rigging my pre-selection I would not have this ‘head’ spinning experiece. Oh dear there are just not enough mirrrors to check out my fabulous body in these days.

  38. up vex creek without a paddle

    It seems that vexnews is just a hang out fro greens and libs these days.

    Having been a strange cheer squad for conservative labor we are fast reaching a point where conservative labor is redundant and people just go direct…

    Vex is left frothing at the mouth about Greens…but collapse in state labor vote went straight to Teddy boy and post boat disaster and post wikileaks federal labor is is drooping…..Attacked from the right Labor has no answer for boat people and attacked from the left about the public’s right to know federal Labor drifts into christmas up vex creek without a paddle…..

  39. RDR

    If you were 20 years younger Jo I’d offer you a ride home.

    You can still txt me though, be hot.

  40. Boofa

    Jeez I hope ‘er indoors’ or the rug rats never surf this site! Andee doesn’t have much of a sense of fun when it comes to me sharing old Percy around the Ladies and the moo will make a Bobbit of me.

  41. Walter Plinge

    John Pilger was considered for this position? Pull the other one.

  42. @Walter Plinge: It’s hard to believe even Petro would nominate Pilger. In his wildest fantasies, yes, perhaps. But to say so out loud and in front of witnesses?

  43. Boofa Leigh

    RDR,if Wenchy were 20 years younger, she’s be 30. Isn’t that too old for you?

  44. RDR

    If any teenage young Liberal ladies need a ‘lift’ home tonight after any Christmas Functions I’m only too happy to ‘satisfy your needs’ and now I’m the Minister for Employment if your ‘obliging’ I might swing you a paid ‘position’.

  45. Dirty Donna

    Why aren’t I’m discussed?

  46. Harry the B

    I thought the ABC were all reds under the beds. How will the whinging Conservatives spin this one?

  47. Harry the B

    Re Dirty Donna,

    Because you’re dumb and fat. Or if I was charitable, fat and dumb.

    Lots of women on the frontbench but not you. I wonder why?

  48. Dirty Donna

    Maybe I should be like Wenchy?

  49. The Fish

    Laughing at people saying that Sharon and George can’t run a media unit properly. They only got 11 years to show for it! Cafagna would be lucky to get half that.

  50. Jackson

    Jo obviously isn’t a rampant zionist, and this is your only objection to her.

  51. Anonymous

    Coalition eyes crown land for new housing sites see:-

    Whatever you do be careful of a Boofa Leigh involvement in any of this. You could get your fingers burnt dealing with tuis scumbag

  52. Anonymous

    How did Josie get this job, on her knees ?

  53. Ted's strength

    Extremist dominate this site. Ted’s strength is he is not hard right liberal. In Victoria we saw hard right Abbott flop.
    Attacking Ted for being to left seems a poor strategy.
    Maybe the next brain dead Alp admin will adopt this strategy.
    Ted needs to be attacked for swinging between extremes.
    Is Ted really in charge of much more than his spin doctor and ordering or not ordering Christmas drinks.

    Can Ted really keep at bay the savages that live in the liberal party who desperately want gold and blood?

  54. Liberal savages

    The liberal party is made up of pin striped savages who crave gold and do not mind trampling over people to get it.

    Can anyone name a single time when liberal party made a decision that hurt one of their political donors?

    Not even millionaire Ted can snub his nose at the money that oils the liberal party machine.

  55. Out of water

    The fish is proud of losing office 4 years early.
    Getting kicked to death on a daily basis in herald sun and then treating journos like dirt is not smart.
    You are one sorry stinking fish. Your stench of death is smelt by everyone but you.
    You are out of water … And outa office mate.

  56. let's go fishing

    Brumby has beens can’t count and can’t spin.

    Yes the lefty abc lady may only last 4 years – but that was Labor’s four years…dumb, dumb and dumber have nothing on the george fan club.

    Let’s all go fishing and hope the general IQ gets lifted in the ALP in February.

    You Brumby has-beens are living in a dangerous place called – the state of denial.

  57. worst spin award

    We really should have a prize for the worst spin by George and his team.

    I am sure Labor voters could nominate a few.

    What about the media responses after the Altona by-election.

    Myki was a master stoke from start to finish.

    The north south pipe line or the ‘please vote labor out of seymour’ project was full of figures and claims that just seemed to evaporate like dirty puddle water in the harsh summer sun.

    The RACV driven Clearyways project was a beauty – once again Labor makes a decision that cannot be justified to small business and then cannot even venture into papers on the issue.

    So the liberal dominated RACV directs Labor make harsh decision for small gains – then Liberal controlled council joins with Jane Garrett’s Yarra Council and kicks Labor out of Prahran.

    Local members dodge issue – media unit has no presence – Libs get seat.

    No this is just two seats that cost government.

    So often the Media Unit was Missing in Action.

    We really need to award a MIA award to the lot of them.
    (of course privately they just blame an out of touch leader and an insane cabinet but that ain’t spin that is just excuses)

  58. Throw Foolish Fish Back club

    @The Fish

    This big loser comment sums up vindictive stupidity of ‘B team’ years 2007 to 2010.

    Saying HA HA you will only last 4 years – it is a fixed term for 4 years idiot. Baillieu has a cast of thousands to put in after she heads off for easier or greener pastures.

    There is no up side for the ‘B’ team spin masters – you lost the public debate on safety, public transport and water. You lost it day in and day out for 3 years.

    People did not make up minds two days out from election – they were waiting for a sign and reason an offer anything to look at Labor. But nothing but small beer was on offer – the year 9 camps got a lift in polls – even a token measure could have brought people back to Labor. But the policies were mean the spin was meaner. And after not hearing anything of substance another 2% walked away from Labor and joined the 4% who had rejected Brumby a year and half before.

    What is a surprise for the media unit was like watching a slow motion car crash for 2 and half years.

    Fish guy…you are beyond help – enjoy your self deluded laughter.

  59. The Cockroach

    We may have lost state government but at least we sacked and publicly shamed Brimbank Council.

  60. Happy in Harcourt

    Listen Children,

    Brumby looked pained for many years…he is in a happier place now.

  61. Harcourt

    What about harcourts pool?
    Who will save it now?

  62. Wrong enemy

    @the cockroach

    as usual under brumby the enemy within too up too much time and irrationally too much attention.

  63. media unit shock

    Brumby media unit was deeply shocked to see sun come up on 28 November without them first crowing about it.

  64. CV revison unit

    Look I worked for the Bracks’ state government. Brumby who?

  65. Music to young journo ears

    ‘The Premier is here on time and is not going to give you a lecture.’

  66. Ted's holiday

    It is Ted’s big dream to be some kind of left bleeding heart do-gooder Premier.

    It is his fantasy – the real suburbs do not matter until the next election.

  67. Anon

    Dirty Donna cleaned up in Carrum. Winners are grinners.

  68. Boofa Leigh

    Andrew I have told you to get this stuff about me off your Patriot web site. Even though its mostly true I protest at it being made public. One more mention of my ill-doings and I will huff and puff and blow your house down. Hows that Wench? Threatening enough? Now where were we dear?

  69. Boofa

    Andrew I have told you to get this stuff about me off your Patriot web site. Even though its mostly true I protest at it being made public. One more mention of my ill-doings and I will huff and puff and blow your house down. Hows that Wench? Threatening enough? Now where were we dear?

  70. Dirty Donna

    I just wish I knew what an MP does and I hope my indiscretions do not become know.

  71. Anonymous

    Josie would give a nice sloppy blow I’m sure.

  72. Anon

    Indiscretions? You may have your blondes mixed up…

  73. DUMB and dumber

    Josephine is far better looking than any hard faced alp windbag
    eg maxine moronand joan kirner candy broaodbrainless jill boosy hennessy jacint overindulged allen the list never ends
    see these women all helped to bring brumby down
    hey perhaps they aint that dumb at all no brumby was even dumber in that listened to them and where is he now
    off to the land of oblivion oh its great to have red ted as premier!

  74. Pingback: Cafagna appointment fails the smell test #springst | Irredeemable

  75. Dirty Donna

    No I have more than a few that I would hate to be known.

  76. Reasons Cafanga wil be crap

    1. She has no news sense
    She hasn’t done daily journalism in years and the one story a week she did do focused on obscure topics that had no follow up except from hubby as Vex has pointed out.

    2. She has no party connections.
    Sharon McCrohan worked for the big boys in Canberra before coming to run Bracks media unit. Cafagna has no ties to the Lib machine and this will mean she is out of the loop.

    3. She’s, um, how to say this nicely, quite unpleasant.
    You don’t need to be all miles to do that gig (McCrohan wasn’t averse to giving the odd blast) but Cafagna is from the school of journalism where you treat an interviewee like a terrorism suspect.

    4. She has no team of ex journos willing to work for her.
    Bracks and Brumby after 11 years had 9 ex age reporters, 3 ex hun, 2 ex ten all with decent connections to the newsrooms of Melbourne.

    5. The pace will kill her.
    The job is 24/7. You may say you are cutting spin but try telling the producers for 3AW and 774 at 6am that. The media is insatiable and good luck not feeding the beast. From the banana lounge of stateline to the hot seat – can’t see her having the ticker.

  77. Anonymous

    geez, ‘Reasons Cafanga wil be crap’ with that wrap, clearly hard to believe that brumby lost, given how magnificent his media team (and their amazing connections…) were!

  78. ethnic branchstacker

    Having worked with JoJo, the pace will kill her. Like Louise Asher, she hasen’t risen before 8am in years.

  79. Missed the point

    @Anonymous: I didn’t say Brumby should have won I said why Cafanga will find the job a stretch for her skills and her lack of connections.

  80. Anonymous

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  81. Manice Junt

    Hey Boofa. I have the pictures! Now its duck hunting time Mr scumbag!

  82. comforting lie unit

    The comforting lie that continues on this site and in Victorian Labor is the denial about the wasted Brumby years and the cold shower just given by voters.

    We went from ‘Bracks listens and acts’ to ‘Brumby won’t listen but will tax’.

    Bracks was elected to rebuild services and curb Kennett’s bad planning laws and replace an arrogant leadership style.

    He was returned with increased power because he delivered in these three areas. Bracks gave Victoria better services, fairer planning laws and a far more consultative leadership style.

    Brumby and his clones became deaf to community concerns and failed to lift services as the population surged. The ‘Brumby Zombies’ were also addicted to high taxes and bad planning outcomes.

    This was topped off by the most amateur election campaign since 1996.

    Exactly who decided to shove Brumby down our throats when many had already had a gutful of Brumby.

    The current opposition continues to suffer from Brumbyitis and still acts like ‘Brumby’s Zombies’.

    A community focus needs to be brought back to the centre of everything Labor says and does between now and the next election.

    But the whole lot need to go on a reality boot camp – that is not likely. More likely is that they continue to hide with factional hacks and the incompetent young yes people they prefer as advisers. They like Brumby will continue to seek some solace and emotional security from the false thought that it was just ‘wear and tear’ that saw a 55 seat majority reduced to 43 in one election.

    The ‘big lie’ is when people do not face the facts that Brumby and Labor had control and could have mades 5 or 6 adjustments to policy and run real direct mail campaigns and kept government.

    In the end Labor lost the majority because of a failure to be professional and make adjustments for those who vote in the suburbs.

    This failure to act not only cost government but has left many seats marginal.

    If the labor MPs do not change their thinking and actions and reconnect with a Bracks-like focus on services and the community then Labor will lose more seats in 2014.

    And here is a ‘cast iron’ news tip for you Andy: the next Labor Premier is not even in the Parliament yet.

  83. australia's worst media unit fan club

    So Brumby media unity had..’9 ex age reporters, 3 ex hun, 2 ex ten all with decent connections to the newsrooms of Melbourne’.

    Jeez…funny how Labor got flogged day in day out in these same organs….

    maybe Media unit gurus your old mates just did not like you guys..


    The Brumby media unit was also outsmarted by Gautam Gupta and a handful Indian students.

    While this guy was collecting victims and parading them on Indian cable TV at 1 am at night – the media unit was sleeping.

    The Aussie media then picked up the victims story from Gupta and Indian media.

    The Media unit used police to do balckout on such events but that gave Gupta more power to send victims stories overseas.

    How can such a huge media team get beaten for a year by Gupta?

    The prevailing racism in the ALP was that public hates Indians and Gupta…this made them miss the point every time Gupta went in media with another bashed victim he highlighted three things the public we pissed with:
    • unsafe public transport and street
    • assualts rising and government slow to act on law and order
    • city growing too fast with so many international students.

    Guess what media gurus….Labor was blamed for all three issues.

    It was a front line assault on Labor that the lazy Liberals opposition could never achieve.

    Gupta did for Baillieu what the Gurkhas did for Thatcher in the Falklands.

    The highly paid media unit of course did not remember that Labor worked with community groups to oust Kennett.

    The media unit did not know how to get the trust of the fairly wild and independent student movement nor did they ever gain the trust of generally young overseas Asian journos.

    So if the media unit was a cricket team we could say that they were thrashed at home in the dailies, murdered in the suburbs in the local papers and complete destroyed overseas.

    In fact the media unit’s inability to shut up just one lone student activist Gupta meant Victoria’s and Australia’s brand was badly damaged – and a whole industry is still losing jobs.

    But at the heart of it was the curious notion that an Indian kid getting bashed in Glenroy could be ignored.

    Activists were were told that Chinese students were murdered and the Chinese Government did not get upset the Indians need to sit down and shut up.

    These off the record comments showed that these media gurus did not understand the free press in Melbourne let alone the free press in Asian democracies and had scant understanding of social conditions in safe Labor suburbs.

    And Brumby listened to these media unit idiots…..well people were bashed in Glenroy and killed in the inner west but they would not be forgotten by Indian media and a global and well-connected Indian community.


    law and order debate?

    BRUMBY MEDIA UNIT: What’s that?

    public transport debate?

    BRUMBY MEDIA UNIT: Minister to catch train and suggest more buses.

    planning debate?

    Violence in streets:

    Threat of Bailleu win?


  86. the papers got it wrong too

    both the age and the hun editorialised in favour of a labor victory.

  87. Joss

    It’s appropriate JC was annointed a week before Xmas, but she has burned so many people in newsrooms (her own and others)with her rudeness and the public service with her vendettas – don’t worry about the response if it doesn’t fit the story – she will have to spend a LOT of time building bridges. A very curious decisoon.

  88. inga binga

    why did I get overlooked for the ministry? i have so many members but King Ted has overlooked me. I bet you I

  89. Paul Price will struggle to deal with this. The personalities will clash big time.
    Stand by for some chops and changes in the first 12 months.

  90. Adrian Jackson

    BRUMBY MEDIA UNIT (20 Dec 10) ha, ha, ha. I like it; good one.

  91. Medici

    @comforting lie unit: Could not agree more with this, they are still deluded as to why they lost, either that or they are still just spinning for the public.

  92. Tolpuddle

    Longtime, ongoing cheap potshots at Josephine Cafagna on Vexnews have me scratching my head. Stop mincing words, Andrew. What is it about her you don’t like?

  93. Chopper

    Josephine would make mincemeat out of you Andrew!

  94. OHHHH ST.KILDA !!!!

    Stephen Milne + Leigh Montagna rapists (alleged)

    Gilbert & Co. sexually involved with a teenage girl (given the all clear by club and police)

    Reiwoldt + Dal Santo got their junk out for the camera

    What a club of perverts !

  95. Fatinga

    Busy day today my dears. First off I must eat my 12 course breakfast, then give Paulie his morning suckle and then to sit in the comfy read leather chair.

  96. Wenchy

    The age says New MPs, but they’ve been around the block!

    I’ve been around the block a few times, especailly aorund Fitzroy street.

  97. Peacemaker

    The brumby b team media unit wreck labor and could not campaign. Let them rest in peace. Bring back feeney and shannons way.

  98. The editors got it wrong

    Day in and day out journs in age and herald undermined a government most thought would hang on in election.
    The editors in both papers backed pro business brumby. But the damage had been done. The ETU also backed labor. The editors got it wrong.

  99. Just gets better

    Advisor leaves black book from dirt unit in drawer. The media unit that just keeps giving liberals free kicks.

  100. Boofa Leigh

    Sorry Wenchy I can’t be at Parliament House today for your first ‘sitting’. Her in doors has me on a short chain at the moment. Perhaps we could meet up tonight for some R&R? I am sure I can invent some sort of important meeting…

  101. Curious

    Any news Andrew on who the ALP might be pre-selecting to replace JB in Broadmeadows?

  102. glad to see the back of premiers

    Posted by The Fish | December 18, 2010, 22:44

    Oh yes and they lost the unlosable election, just like their former boss outside one treasury today to announce his resignation, still in denial you losers. Now its finally time the ALP is returned to its rightful owners and that’s the party rank and file.

  103. Wenchy

    If my speech Geoffrey do I thank ‘Percy’ for standing up for me?

  104. media unit duds

    Svigos where are you? You left your black book behind.

  105. Labors rightful owners

    In defeat the Alp is always returned to the rank and file… Soiled and broken…. Meanwhile latte trendies jump on the baillieu gravy train….at inner city dinner parties the. Can already be heard singing praises of red Ted….

    But in broady, Melton and dandy things will just get worse as Ted spoils marginals with billions of stupid promises.

  106. Lame and blind attack dogs home

    Svigos was that the best you guys could do on Baillieu?

    Decade old real estate deals and ‘Kennett’s cheerleader’?

    If you do have to keep a black book…please keep something nasty in it…

  107. Lost and beaten attack dogs home

    Yeah…did any of these black book notes get focus group tested?

    But seriously the MPS can retire on six figure pensions but what about the spin doctors…it is off to the knackery without even a ‘how’s your father?’.

    That is why we have built a special place for lost and beaten attack dogs….ironically it is next door to a regional prison….we are just waiting for the local labor council to give us a retrospective permit…

    Can anyone from Monash Council help with that?

  108. go west

    @ Can anyone from Monash Council help with that?

    Try Melton Council…they have a uni site they cannot give away…

  109. more land

    Try moreland council…they can get you a 12 storey building full of dog boxes without a problem.

  110. planning for the future

    Not even the people who write Mad den’s press releases deserve the dog boxes built in Wills.

  111. laugh while you can

    You can laugh now but this new spin doctor should book a kennel at the lost and beaten attack dogs home in 6 months time…

  112. cutbacks to advisers

    Ballieu has cut back Ministerial advises by 50…who needs advice when you have the national party brains trust…

    So Josephine will have her work cut out for her…

  113. WAKE UP

    Less advisers means less meaningless meetings and less jumped up gatekeepers….

  114. give us a break

    the petty put downs of Josephine on this site are a bit rich from a labor mob that they voters just put down…

  115. The Passion

    Will the next member for Broadmeadows have the same passion for the area as Brumby did?

  116. natives know the score

    Safe seats are traded like Batman traded beads and blankets with the first people. Dodgy promises are made in English…never to be kept for the non English speaking inhabitants.

    Today many of the ‘natives’ in these safe seats (as they are called by the elite political class), know that one smiling face is traded for another and that their schools and stations just keep crumbling.

    That’s why this election the two party preferred vote dropped by a massive 20% in Broadmeadows.
    What will the ‘natives’ do to labor in a by-election?

  117. justice crew

    If there was any justice then retiring MPs would have to use Glenroy station at night.

  118. Justice

    If there was any justice then retiring MPs would have to park their cars in the Glenroy staion car park during the day!!!

  119. Stay safe.

    Do not use the Glenroy underpass at night.

  120. Staying safer

    One thing for sure …Josephine will not need to worry about Glenroy station…her GPS will only work 5 mk from the city and south of Yarra…

  121. Glenroyboy

    What if you need to get home idiot!

  122. Think of the Premier

    When the thugs jump you in the Glenroyr station underpass just lie back and think of Baillieu…

  123. Justice

    Retiring lower house MPs must live in their electorate to get pension…

  124. Brumby farewell

    C’mon andy…give us one last blast on the brumby years…the crown of thorns placed on the Bracks years…

  125. Brumby replacement search squad

    Cannot believe Vexnews ihas no opinion on the replacement of John Brumby.

    Candidates so far are Brumby adviser and Labor state secretary Nick Reece, former adviser to Steve Bracks and lobbyist Danny Pearson, Hume councillor Burhan Yigit, ex-Labor party officer and right-wing figure Mehmet Tillem, recently defeated Labor upper house MP Nathan Murphy and former Hobsons Bay Council mayor Bill Baarini.

    Word is Shortcon candidates will bite the dust early and the SL will install a tame and weak Reece to ensure Hume Inc and Calwell are kept safely in their hands.

  126. hughie

    All this internal Victorian ALP angst and gnashing of teeth is well and good, but where is the scoop on the new Coalition staff?

    PS: Moronic postings by “RDR” don’t count. Yes we know you don’t like the guy. I have no idea who he is, and don’t care either.

  127. god help us Justin Madden is in the Shadow Ministry

    I needed to raise a key issue of my train service this morning and I stupidly decided to ring my local member, the member for Broadmeadows. After less then 24 hours of announcing his resignation, telephones calls in Mr Brumby’s office rang out to a message bank from brother-in-law James. Less then 24 hours of his resignation and yet the community continues to suffer. I was also utterly disgusted when Mr Brumby decided to announce his resignation in one treasury yesterday. Why couldn’t he come back to the area he was apparently representing? After all he is not the premier, what was he doing out there perhaps still in denial? I have concluded that it was the same arrogance of Election Day when he decided to cast his vote in Prahran rather then Broadmeadows in which he initially cost the ALP a 10 per cent swing and the third spot in the North.

  128. Anonymous

    Hows Bob Smith going? LC President.

  129. Adrian Jackson

    Justice (21 Dec 10) good one I totally agree at least for the first 10 years.

    Cain Government MP Eddy Micallef and former Member for Springvale packed his bags and moved to Beacon Cove built by that nasty Mr Kennett.

    But the big question is why should ex MP’s get a pension at all unless they are have done 20 years of useful service in parliament or have turned 65 years older.

  130. Anonymous

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | December 22, 2010, 12:10

    You wouldnt by any chance be the former member for Keilor?

  131. RDR

    Hughie, don’t txt me.

  132. Adrian Jackson

    Anon (22 Dec 10, 13.29) Never an MP anywhere but I lived in East Keilor from 1958-64 as a child. Dusty dirt road, no footpaths, a pan service for sewerage, trenches for gutters with 1000’s of slimy red worms in the muddy filthy grey water and aeroplanes from Essendon Aerodrome (before Melbourne Airport)flying low over our house at 25 Woorite Pl every 15 minutes. No wonder we moved to picturesque but boring North Balwyn in 1964.

  133. Left in good state

    Nick Reece leaves state Alp office with his head held as high as brumby’s. Shortcon failures like smurphy should not be considered. Nick can lead labor to victory in 2014… Slogan for broadmeadows….Reece won’t fleece you.

  134. Stevie wondrous new mAn

    A better by election slogan for broadmeadows by election.. Don’t kick me I am not John brumby.

  135. New name

    Reece almost wrecked labor brand with whacky branding. So dark and off putting with brown and black.
    Will he rebrand labor as free beer party to win broady byelection?

  136. Mehmet

    It is time to get mehmet on the job.

  137. death in spring street

    Labors branding and colors were Like a death march.

  138. Not another theo

    Just got rid of theo and seitz …. Don’t do rerun with mehmet.

  139. Fleece em

    Don’t fleece em with Reece.

    Show voters labor heard the message. No more brumby nongs.

  140. give him a fair go!

    Mehmet is entitled a seat he has worked very hard as factional secretary. If Mehmet was state secretary we wouldn’t be in this position.

  141. The truth

    Mehmet fan club have a point. He would have won election. Not many could have lost 12 seats.

  142. Think harder

    Mehmet has one strength that was lacking in Reece. The ability to stand up to candidates, even premiers, and tell them how it is.
    It was group think and a ‘yes sir’ culture that ruined the campaign.

  143. The choice

    Putting a smart operator like mehmet in broady would upset Greeks in calwell. Left will want a weak labor unity candidate with no ability to organise.

  144. [deleted - impersonation]

    what about me!!ive got the support of SDA!

  145. Theo Mousseagas

    Surely Broadmeadows needs a leader of ability like Lambros Tapinos?

  146. Another fine mess

    Reece & mehmet…. give us a break. Hasn’t ALP head office hurt enough people?
    The future eaters should not be give keys to broadmeadows.
    How many decades do you want to be in opposition?

  147. Won't happen

    Reece has got it in bag despite lousy campaign that he can always blame lousy leader – his ‘bad boss brumby’.

    Jumped up councillors are there to do dirty work for factional masters – youthful hope is great but a factional slave is still a slave. Broadmeadows is not there for former or current councillors.

  148. Pay attention

    Mr Jackson you are not paying attention.
    Mr eddy retired in beacon cove for very good reason.
    How many more labor fatcats retired into beacon cove?
    Super CEOs, council CEOs, Public servants, relatives of unionists….ha ha ha….you libs know nothing.

  149. Dreaming

    Not one candidate mentioned for broadmeadows inspires.
    How will labor use this seat to rebuild?

  150. Not in running

    Sorry rebel right sistas…she has eye on higher things ….eg wills and batman coming up….state parliament is not for talented ones for next 12 years……

  151. Adrian Jackson

    Yes another labor lawyer. The ALP cannot change it’s ways. But do not fear Ted is happy to do up to 3 terms.

  152. Donations

    Which council? More land,,, moone e valley… Mel ton or dare bin?

  153. New faction?

    Sounds like there is a new faction in the north.

    The ben son faction. Didn’t ben sons build in every city controlled by rebel right? Just good luck.

    Did brim bank get a tower?

  154. Brumby replacement search squad

    Why not roll Pakula into the seat…need more talent in lower house….then AWU could slot Nathan Murphy into the west and spare us all the ongoing angst of NUW/AWU power struggles….

  155. Adrian Jackson

    Adrian Jackson (23 Dec 10,07.49) Agree with the Ted 3 terms or more but you are not me. I am the Middle Park patriot; so where are you from?

  156. Inspired by burhan

    Another brillant northern suburbs identity.
    But sadly cannot compare to the other glittering stars thaf orbit around senator feeble.

  157. Burhan

    rewarding branch stackers Inc is no way rebuild labor. Libs must be laughing heads off.

  158. proud ethnic

    Despite what the average white ango in the ALP think, the last time I checked the ALP rules it does not say ethnics cannot join the party. It also doesn’t stat that these ethnics have to be active members of the party. So other then turning up to their odd branch meeting or handing out on election day there isn’t much more to do or say. So if your not happy go join One Nation they are looking to recruit (not sure if they are still around).

  159. Proud ethnics ain't puppets

    White Anglos sit on top of most ‘ethnic stacks’. Let’s not forget the Catholics were first to stack the party many decades ago.

    Mediocre scum use union, ratepayers and taxpayers money to fund the game. The odd grateful developer also comes into play in places like Hume.

    So is this participation for the good of non-English speaking migrants or for the anglo overlords?

    The current system in the Alp in most of Melbourne is worse than one nation it is like some vile colonial manipulation.

    A series of ethnic cantons being manipulated with no real interaction between migrant groups. Infact open hostility between groups is the secret to weapon of control by a tiny ethnic elite of Anglos who make up less than 10% of these suburbs… wonder white Africans love labor…..

  160. Proud ethnics ain't puppets

    @proud ethnic

    most ethnic stackers serve a white Anglo federal member. In Melbourne the ruling ethnic elite will never have direct primary preselections as a raft of Anglo candidates would not be elected by their 85% non English speaking voters.
    So do not be so proud. The ethnic branches are designed to keep migrants apart.

    The Ethnic branches are a form of control to get Christian fighting Muslim and Turk fighting Greek etc

    real inclusion is not manipulation like this.

  161. Libs are worse

    People attacking labor manipulation of ethnic branches ignore the fact that the liberal party membership is almost exclusively one narrow ethnic group. This locks out many more migrants in their preselectiona than labor processes do.

  162. Balanced barry

    Ofcourse the refugee baiting libs are the pits but we should not stop labor from decided if they are inclusive.

    The stacking is now so out of control that federal mps and upper house mps were protected from the local ballot process in the last preselection.

    This bypassing of internal processes shows what the party leaders think of the ethnic membership.

    The victorian liberals by contrast have entrenched power of local vote – this let’s them lock out migrants, especially Asian groups who now dominate the vote base in marginal state seats.

    Labor has a problem as it is run on no more than 20% rule. This is an informal agreement by union leaders and born to rule mps to limit migrant representation to 20%.

    Current ALP branch membership and numbers makes the dream of a ‘80% whites only’ labor party impossible. Hence the need to bypass branch members.

  163. Vex on the money

    Vex is on the money.
    Why promote Labor MPs who use councillor-puppets to attack expectant mothers in the local press…is this what labor and unions stand for!!

  164. Not puppets

    Not puppets just naughty overgrown boys who have drunk to much red wine.

  165. not useful

    Some puppets are useful. Rubber stamp planning permits…sell land to right aged care companies…keep passing the community grants to all the groups in all the right branches….but some puppets leave too many clues, make too many mistakes…and some just have spouses and relatives with discounts investments that are far too easy to trace…

  166. weird choice 2

    Failed State secretary for Broadmeadows.

    Go figure.

  167. another weird choice

    Jeff Kennett to be Director of Taxi Industry and defacto Minister of this troubled and rort filled industry.

  168. Adrian Jackson

    David “the skull” White is the obvious choice for Broadmeadows. Lets have some more of that Cain/Kirner magic for the Broady masses


    More and more believe in UFOs so do not discount mass appeal of ET look-a-likes.

  170. Kennett re run

    Let’s see how long this soft Liberal image lasts with Baillieu appointing Kennett as a back door unelected minister….

  171. Liberal re run

    So many Kennett faces returning to Spring street is like a repeat of a bad movie. Nightmare on Spring street.

  172. Liberal re run

    So many old lib faces returning to Spring street is like a repeat of a bad movie. Nightmare on Spring street.

  173. Dopey Madden

    Maybe I should go to Broadmeadows since I stuffed up Essendon?

  174. Craig Langdon

    Craig Langdon for Broadmeadows!

  175. Penny drops

    Maybe Madden will wake up that Essendon is no happy hunting ground.

  176. Country Hicks' and Toorak Toffs' liberation front

    With the Nationals and Baillieu taking over in Spring street we can see what happens when the Toorak toffs and hayseed farmers run the joint.

    Expect free kicks for those who own farms or were born with a trust account.

  177. Adrian Jackson

    Liberal re run (25 Dec 10) perhaps you would like Cain, Kirner, Spiker, White, Micallef, Keenan (will not him) and the rest back at Spring St instead?

  178. leftier than thou

    This ‘journalist’ had all the lefty-than-thou attitude to Labor state government by is paid mouth peice fro a government made up of Kennett re-treads and a bunch of national party bumpkins.

    Give us a break.

  179. Adrian's teacher

    I would like a re-run of the Bracks government that restored decency and services to this state.

  180. inner Tory

    Good to see another left-leaning trendy once confronted with the prospect of a large salary can dig deep and find her ‘inner Tory’.

  181. Liberal lame idea department

    Let’s put partially trained security officers on high crime stations and give the thugs some soft targets at night.

  182. Liberal lame idea department

    Let’s promise Victorian teachers the highest pay in Australia and then start knocking off their holidays and curriculum days.

  183. Liberal lame idea department

    Small correction to last email…let’s offer them a 3.25% pay rise and then try to wind back conditions and hours from there.


    The teachers may want to bring on a real union like to the TWU if Ted starts to get rough.

    My bet is that the truckies will get far bigger payrises than teachers under the Coalition in next few years.

  185. Bailleu-leaks - the first cable

    Note to Ted

    About that $1 million you promised to the Indian religious temples. We may need to cut back on more than the xmas drinks to fund this.

    Why not cut back schools funding in the outer suburbs where these folk like to live – after all their kids should be praying for another Coalition government not wasting time on education.

    Victoria Treasurer

  186. Bailleu-leaks - the second cable

    Dear brother

    Please ensure I know nothing about the blind trust investing in Melton and other regions.

    Now exactly how much bigger do you think the urban growth boundary needs to be in Melton region?


  187. Bailleu-leaks - the third cable

    Dear Josephine

    Please draft a media release regarding urgent need for extending growth boundary.

    The core issue that Mathew Guy needs to stress is the affordability issue.

    E.G. My family’s business associates will not be able to afford their next mansion unless they have more land opened up in the delightful Melton and Craigieburn.

  188. Bailleu-leaks - the fourth cable

    Dear Josephine

    Please check on progress of visa factories, err I mean private VET colleges owned by respected Liberals.

    Get Kimmy Wells onto this at once.

    Please draft up something to stress the need for state of Victoria to shift its reliance on the building industry and restart Indian International VET colleges at once.

    The state’s future is in cookery courses and Indian cab drivers.

    Get positive media comment from Indian education agent Vasan. Poor guy had his income smashed under Labor’s racist cutbacks to this vital sector.

    Welcome aboard.


  189. Dumb Pollies


    Melton is third world. It is already chockers, with another 20,000 houses on the way. Unless you want bad publicity with people travelling on top of trains (like they do in India), you will need to find a way of losing the latest newcomers in the Simpson Desert!

    Big Mike Kroger

  190. Give Ted A Break

    Ted Baillieu has only been in 4 weeks, i m sure he’ s got some very good plans 4 Melbourne and Victoria. He will for sure win the 2014 state election by a big landslide victory.

  191. ians

    Kennett!!!! He wanted to preference the Greens!!!!! Thank god for Helen Kroger.She won the election for Captain Ted who was within a metre or 2 of giving the Greens 4 seats by preferencing them.Holy moly.

  192. Kennett re run

    Victoria police break peaceful picket at visy in south dandenong. 29 Victorians arrested for defending working conditions. The liberal police state is already emerging. Next move expand prisons.

  193. Money talks

    The liberals voted to expand western and northern suburbs.
    Their mates in the development industry are well placed to enjoy this massive expansion. The real mike kroger knows money talks and bullshit walks. The federal liberal party may like refugee bashing but in Victoria the liberals like to sell new arrives homes on he fringe with little or no services and corrupt and inept local authorities who are so slack they will ok housing on dangerous landfill sites without losing any sleep while count to the generous donations of grateful developers.

  194. Labor councillors the pits

    @money talks

    trying to sledge the liberals for poor service provision in Melton and Hume council areas is a bit rich.
    These areas are controlled by the opposition leaders own faction the socialist left.
    These inept councils spend their energies on branch stacking and faction fighting. Melton council being famous for cutting the brake lines in cars of councillors. Melton residents infact welcomed a liberal government appointed administrator. The residents wanted to be free of the political dictatorship of socialist left branch stackers.
    According to vexnews The current mayor of Melton is rewarded by socialist left support for helping branch stack scullin for Harry jenkins and lily d’ambrosia.
    Such is the political sewer that outer urban residents face.
    Ted should abolish these growth area councils and replace them with a non political growth area authority that will drop the Alp politics and build the infrastructure that is needed.

  195. Liberal scum

    Just watch kennett will soon be on baillieu gravy train.

  196. Adrian Jackson

    ians (28 Dec 10) so I assume you would like to get rid of preferential voting in the lower houses of our parliaments like I would?

    In Albert Park District the ALP dud got 30% and the Liberal got 38% of the primary vote but the dud won on preferences; just. No one wants their 2nd or 3rd choice; we only pick them because we have to for our vote to count.

    First past the post work fine in the mother country (UK) and the minor parties and independents can still get representation in the upper houses with proportional representation.

  197. Anonymous

    George Seitz for Derrimut

  198. Giuseppe De Simone

    In the 1960’s, the Victorian ALP had policies wanting first past the post voting and the abolition of the Legislative Council. This is because the DLP kept the Bolte Liberals in power with preferences, the same situation as the Greens did for Gillard and nearly did for Brumby. The ALP could never control the Council so it wanted a unicameral system.

    First past the post voting systems work well with run off elections but could you imagine the electorate being forced to vote twice in a month?

    Also, electoral uncertainty in the election result might be unsettling as would the extended caretaker period of inaction. Then again, the lack of government decisions for 10 weeks might show just how good it is for the government to do nothing for a while!

    How about a parliament of 77 Assembly seats and 35 Council seats? Never going to happen as the bench warmers are too comfortable on their cushions.

    However, after four years of government, many Baillieu ministers and backbenchers from the Kennett era might like to retire and this would give them a good excuse as the whole state would need to be re-districted.

    Electoral reform is way down the list of priorities for the Baillieu government as it strives to meet the electorate’s high expectations.

  199. Boofa Leigh

    Hey Wenchy. Its Wednesday night! Lets party like its 1999! I am so happy about the Munt removal! But why am I hearing the gossip that I am still a c*nt? People are so cruel…

  200. Boofa Leigh

    Come on Wench are ya up for Percy tonight? I’m hornier than Napthine gets at the stockyard. See ya at 7.30pm outside Pompeis.

  201. Wenchy

    Dear Geoffrey. Your performance last night was terrible. Now I have got what I want you are no longer required. No more ‘Bob The Builder’ for me sunshine…

  202. Boofa Leigh

    Hey Dirty Donna it’s your lucky day luv! I now have a vacancy in my ‘Mentoring Services’ and I reckon we are going to go off like a ‘bang’ together.

  203. RDR

    Do any young ladies require my ‘services’ tonight?

  204. politicalrealist

    I am 100% certain Josephine wears a wig after her hair fell out in the early 90’s. (True story!) She was left with just tiny tufts of hair, but still thought she was better than everyone else, despite being a lazy, in your face bitch. Poor Apolecia…

  205. Ms baldy

    was her hair loss stress-related?

  206. Brumby spin doctors

    We don’t spin

  207. The inner pedant

    @Brumby spin doctors

    Sorry small correction:

    You CAN’T spin.

  208. Burham the branch stacker

    roll em out burham!!great pic in the Age made Royce proud.

  209. Burhane the rat

    will be rolled again..

  210. belly politic

    burham!!will rebuild labor…he has his finger on the pulse of public opinion…the belly politic in action.

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