TURNING JAPANESE: Victorian "Taliban" Right lay on Kabuki theatrics to impress an audience of one

judgejudyVEXNEWS has assiduously avoided references to the Broadmeadows preselection, largely because we thought it would conclude without much of a stoush after the new Baillieu administration set such a tight timetable for the by-election, making the normal ALP theatrics impossible to cram into such a short season.

But they have done their best to spice things up at the last minute with writs flying around today.

The by-election will be held on February 19th, with nominations closing on Monday. Normally the ALP preselection process runs at least a month, making a local vote (after checking the bona fides of those on the roll) and a full meeting of the Public Office Selection Committee impossibly difficult to organise as party activists slept off their Christmas excess and slowly woke up to the spectre of a new school year for the rugrats and a new work year.

Anyways, the somnolent atmosphere that prevailed has been quickly confronted by the sunburst of some Kathy Jackson kick-ass. One of our favourite figures in Labor politics, the zany lady national secretary from the perpetually financially troubled Health Services Union, has fired up today with an apparently genuine threat of litigation. It isn’t clear what form that will take but all we know at this stage is that Jackson has instructed Big End of Town law firm Minter Ellison to sue the ALP in some way. That probably means an interim injunction or perhaps an application for an order to conduct a local vote (without checking the bona fides of those on the roll in the normal way) to maximise the chances of their candidate, popular former local mayor Burhan Yigit.

The “Taliban” Right is increasingly gaining a reputation for extremist and erratic behaviour without much of a strategy in sight…

What puzzles observers though is why this was left so late, in circumstances where they’ll be very little time for a legal argument about the powers of National Executive to select a candidate. The “plenary powers” of the National Executive are designed as the ultimate problem-solving mechanism for a party riddled by rules it doesn’t observe, local memberships with more irregularities than a judge would tolerate and many other real-world issues and problems that seem very foreign in the rarefied air of the Practice Court of the Supreme Court. Challenging that problem-solving plenary power is usually seen by prominent party figures across the nation and all factions as “the sole preserve of wreckers and terrorists,” according to one candid operative who was describing the latest moves.

Jackson apparently did not even attend the meeting of the Vic ALP Administrative Committee that referred the preselection to the National Executive for them to resolve, suggesting her care factor is rather low. Others say her political mentor David Feeney is not particularly keen on creating a big public brawl over the preselection, suggesting that a great deal of scrutiny of the local membership would probably not be a good thing.

Some have interpreted the last-minute aspect of the litigation as not much more that a Kabuki-style play, an expensive if stodgy entertainment, perhaps having the effect of being principally for the benefit of those on-stage rather than the audience.

The audience in this case is Burhan Yigit, a popular Hume city councillor and all-round good bloke who probably should have been in Parliament years ago. The Taliban Right as they are sometimes unkindly called are desperately keen to keep Councillor Yigit in their cart, despite years of not really delivering him much. And he’s worth hanging on to because his local numbers  (and therefore his State Conference numbers) are considerable, building on a strong local base of public support, mainly from the Turkish community. Walking around Broady with Burhan is an impressive sight, he is one of few local politicians who is recognised – and liked – on the street and presented with problems by constituents who know that he takes them seriously and will diligently follow up with the appropriate bureaucrat.

He’s a good man.

But sadly he’s on the wrong side of a factional feud – provoked by hyper-aggressive moves over preselections and unsuccessful attempts to axe the Labor Unity aligned party secretary at the time – that has seen his allies put in a distinct minority, so much so the desperates even forged an alliance with the renegade notionally Maoist but actually just gangsterish Construction division of the CFMEU, frequently itself the subject of criminal investigation. Its representative on Labor’s Admin Committee, Emma Walters, appears to have had more intra-office romances than Monica Lewinsky. But more deets on that at another time.

These are desperate times for their grouping. And in such times you can’t afford to lose anyone because they thought you didn’t stand up and fight for them. So that’s basically what today’s Kabuki play is about, one big con calculated at hanging on to a good bloke’s votes for as long as he is willing to keep supplying them. They are using him and it’s not very nice to watch for those of us who rate Burhan as old-school and someone who should be supported.

That said, after all is said and done, it remains highly likely that the Labor Unity Right’s choice of Frank McGuire will prevail. A candidate of rare quality, not really a celebrity candidate, more a quality one that has been hand-picked from outside the narrow confines of the party that produces some great people but is not the sole reservoir of political talent in society. An award-winning journalist (we won’t let that count against him), political spinner for the last Labor government and for Labor moderate friendly ex Democrats leader Natasha Stott-Despoja and businessman, he has a deep connection with Broadmeadows having grown up there and persistently giving back to the area ever since. He has a great story to tell.

The Broadmeadows “Global Learning Village” is probably the state’s best community library and it was all made possible by Frank’s leadership and the financial backing of government and generous business leaders like the late Richard Pratt.

He’s a candidate the Labor Left and Labor Unity have agreed is worth fighting for, even if they have to see off some pesky theatric litigation to make it happen.

It will be interesting to see which Labor notables beyond Kathy Jackson have the courage to put their name to the proceedings. The prevailing culture in the ALP is that it’s best to avoid the courts because of potential brand-damaging publicity and the grotesque expense involved. Minter Ellison charge out their partners at around $500 per hour, so it’s not a cheap hobby litigating political matters.

In this scenario, if it is the case that the financially challenged Health Services Union’s members’ money is being expended on such non-core activities, it might turn out that Jackson’s ticket for the theatre could be a very expensive one indeed. We hope she enjoys the show.

UPDATE: Kathy Jackson is in the Supreme Court today, VEXNEWS Investigators report, is in rude form. She said “Just because Admin members don’t like the result they shouldn’t be able to refer it off to their mates on the National Executive.” The ALP’s lawyer said “Or your mates as the case may be.” She responded: “They are not my mates.” All the fun of the Fair.

6.30 PM UPDATE: To add confusement to weirdness, at the ALP National Executive phone hook-up, the litigant Jackson’s political mentor Senator Feeney seconded the motion that gave Frank McGuire dispensation from the rule that endorsed candidates have 12 months continuous membership of the party. Sometimes infernal internal ALP business can be hard to follow…



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59 responses to “TURNING JAPANESE: Victorian "Taliban" Right lay on Kabuki theatrics to impress an audience of one

  1. Self selection

    To rebuild the party for the bracks victory some pain was needed. At that time it was some socialist left mps who were cut. Today the Taliban appear to be the faction resisting rebuilding….this should not be forgotten and the substantial deadwood should be cut when the time is right.

  2. Brimbank Party hack

    What crap this article.Why have Members and Branchstackers in a Party with no rules,but the whim of elected branchstackers and nohopers? This is what they did to us in the west and we lost more votes than anywhere else because of that.Why,we even got one specialy brought down from NSW to show us how they do it up there,then for the upper house all the way from Hastings and Black Rock.Wonder if Headoffice gives them a GPS to find there way.As for Branchstacking,the latest report stated there is no branchstacking,”what a joke” I am proud to say that at the last State and Federal election myself and other Party Members refused to hand out any how to vote Cards.Sadly,a lot of good Members did not renew there Memberships,stating what every Tom,Dick and Harry knows,the ALP is stuffed and with there zill to shut out the local Members is digging it’s own Grave.

  3. Darwin

    Re Self Selection at 14:02 – maybe Kay Darveniza should be the first to go?

  4. Anon

    Always good to see the “zany” Kathy Jackson up to her usual tricks! Always surprised the Health Services Union doesn’t involve itself in more Mental Health Services – although that would be like self-medicating for Kathy.

  5. wots goin on

    typical – lets get someone who is not a party member and give them a spot in parly. whats wrong with this mob- local party members have no say. the ALP is being run like the ETU- NO membership consultation.

  6. Wenchy

    Boofa are you ‘up’ for it later on my big new desk?

  7. [deleted - impersonation]

    Can you just stop this bickering and stick it up my bum?

  8. Adam Bandt

    Me too please!

  9. Fair work Aus

    I cant believe it, Kathy found time to get out of bed and do some work!

  10. Fraudu Lent

    You eulogise Yigit while covering up the fact he has stacked the seat with 98% of branch members who claim to be unemployed to get cheap membership.

    He’s a cancer.

  11. the hullster

    The ALP has in the past Prostituted itself with celebrity candidates such as Kirsty Marshall and Mary Delahunty not to mention Justin Madden to see how much of a success that was.
    Frank McGuire is as popular with the Hume Council as was President Eddie during the recent State election when he authorised a how to vote message to all those bogun Collingwood members to only vote for his ALP mate Brumby.
    The reason being he tried to financially shaft the Council with an over the top account for so called lobbying he was asked to do for them.
    Eddie might like to drop in a sizeable political donation if it can help, he also likes to assist the party by giving some of his mates such as Shorton and Brumby a free blowjob on TV in their quest for greatness.
    Obviously Frank’s selection is payment for past favours!

  12. Anonymous

    Rumble in the Jungle indeed.

  13. Anonymous

    Burhan Yigit is a good operator
    but is he Ministerial material?
    will he cut it at winning back the voter across Victoria?

    what will Frank McGuire actually do?
    will be become the new Evan Thornley experiment who will cut and run mid term?
    What does Kathy jackson actually do anymore?

    Why am i even bothering to write this?

  14. Wendy

    Yawn. Who cares about Victorian politics. Booorinnnngggg. The real game’s in the national capital, not some backwater by-election.

    We have to all get behind Abbott and stop the rebuilding of Queensland. Tough luck if you live where a once in a hundred year flood wipes out an area the size of France. We shouldn’t help them. No levy, no new tax. And yeah, I guess no fruit, vegetables and meat for a while – but that’s a fair deal. Go get em Tony …

  15. Adrian Jackson

    Hi Andrew – I know the Libs in Victoria have the Costello/Kroger and the Big Ted/Kennett factions which got PR this week over the issue of the F1-GP but how many factions are there in the ALP and Greens? Could they be named here for our education?

  16. Broady Boy

    The real cunts in all this debacle are John Brumby and his bumlicking coterie of boys in the old Premiers Department. And we have to include Eddie’s brother in their number. Locasl boy indeed! Not even a party member, never heard of him, except through his famous brother! I don’t love Berhan all that much – but he’s at least a genuine local, and the obvious candidate to choose.

  17. Anon

    Can’t organize a Xmas party, now can’t settle a simple dispute. If you cant cut deals to resolve problems, what hope does this faction have of proving it can deliver?

  18. Boofa Leigh

    Hey Wenchy get warmed up I’ll just pop a couple of little blueys and be there in 20 mins luv.

  19. anonymous

    So you think providing the membership with the opportunity to go to a local vote is,theatre? The real taliban ,the real wreckers are the ones that think they can carte blanche “install” a candidate, clearly this is an act of arrogance that must be condemned and challenged from all sectors of the party faithfull.The only circus in town is called the smug Labor Unity/SL grouping who back McGuire ahead of a party member.The unions that are backing Burhan are showing the real true grit in backing comrades and trusting the local members votes, those that continually insist on imposing the spectre of celebrity candidates are committed to the destruction of the party for pure populism. No one is bigger then the party,not even Frank McGuire.

  20. Miles

    But what about ME!

    Why won’t anyone preselect ME for anything?

  21. Medici

    Deano for Broadmeadows-what the hell he too is a Strathmore resident as was Brumby. He would be a damn sight better than any other non-ALP member and he can continue the Brumby/ALP tradition of living outside the electorate. Strathmore is a lot closer to Broady than Brighton.

  22. Brimbank Party hack

    I must agrea with anonymous.It has been tryed before many times bringing in nohopers and it never worked.the latest that I remember was Justin Madden and I wont make any comments,his record speaks for it’s self.People are crying out for a local that will work for his Area,not blowins that dont give a damn…..

  23. Pauline Fegan

    Katrina, you would have no power base without all my work

  24. RANGA

    Frank MaGuire for PM to get rid of dopey ranga Gillard
    But firstly Frank Maguire for Premier of Victoria to get rid of another ranga
    Red Ted Baillieu!

  25. Barry

    Poor Bearhan. He must have thought it was in the bag

  26. A Joke

    what sad state of affairs for the ALp. If you think Frank McGuire is going to be good for the alp – you are going to be seriously mistaken. He’s virtually been unemployed for about four years, is the biggest name dropper of all time, even when the names despise his arse licking – and he’s poison. Time to give up on ALP – he’s shocker. Don’t they do referee checks. Frank – when you can’t get real job – get a job in safe seat. Might be good for a bit of PR – but, nothing will result form this, other than pain down the track.

  27. Too much pus and no go

    Government just stopped working under Brumby, and the do-nothing disease spread to the Public Service. Broadmeadows and the ALP is just a boil on the bottom of Victorian politics.

  28. Anonymous

    ALP is a JOKE. You dont even have to be a member of the Party anymore to get preselection in safe seats, HA!

    You 40 year members who never get a look in are SUCKERS!

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  30. The Grim Reaper

    “Stacked to the Rafters” is a Burhan Yigit Production – proudly brought to you by makers George Sietz, Telmo Languiller and Theo Theophanous.

    This tragic comedy is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry, but comes with the usual twist in the final scene – a talentless nobody lands a safe seat in Parliament. Truly extraordinary stacking – opps – I mean acting!

    Bound to get rave reviews from ALP members and taxpayers alike. Concessional memberships are selling fast at a Broadmeadow’s ALP branch near you.. so don’t miss out…

  31. Not much of a choice

    So it seems that on the one hand we have Burhan Yigit – a branch stacking local who is backed by the bigots at the SDA and 3 other dysfunctional unions.

    On the other hand we have Frank McGuire – a non ALP member who may have done a few good things in consultancy land but is a total prick to deal with. He will be a Turnbull like figure and want the leadership the minute the polls are declared.

    Is this as good as the ALP gets?

  32. Bearhan

    Thank you David F. I appreciate your support.

  33. doomed

    Labor is doomed in Victoria.
    These two candidates are not the clean sweep labor needs.

  34. Please explain

    SDA and NUW need to explain how we renew party with middle aged overweight branch stackers.
    The Hsu are mad…so they have an excuse.
    the CFMEU always does better under a liberal Victorian government so it is in the cfmeu’s interests to make the Alp as unelectable as possible.
    That just leaves the sda and nuw to explain their love for losers.

  35. Thanks for mulla

    Greedy lawyers would like to thank dopey union officials for another day in court over broadmeadows preselection. Thanks for $40,000 of union cash.

  36. Anon

    SL’s rising influence on half of Victoria’s Labor unity will drag Labor to the depths of NSW….

    God help us.

  37. c u on the tram

    not even the combined super powers of shane warne and olivia newton-john could save the ALP from itself. what’s Frank going to do?

  38. Anonymous

    What a tragedy for thr ALP

  39. broady boys

    What tragedy it is while poor burhan was crunching the numbers with feenay sidekick samet islar they were all stabbing him right in the guts. What a well orchestrated move against burhan. many years of service and he is now left with nothing. Dont worry burhan young labor king samet will pick up all the crumbs.

  40. Anonymous

    Abbot supported:
    1. A levy to buy back guns
    2. A levy to pay out Ansett workers
    3. A levy to support the sugar industry
    4. A levy to send troops to East Timor
    And many more…

    Now he opposes a levy which compared to the ones he supported, is the most important because it rebuilds Australia after natural disaster.

    No-one wants to pay a bit more tax but if I have to pay $100 or $200 more for a year then this is what I would want it to be for.

  41. Cardinal Pell

    Leave Brother Abbott alone he is busy with the Altar Boy in my Pulpit.

  42. The rich get richer

    An anonymous idiot just above says “No-one wants to pay a bit more tax”. He or she may not mind all the hundreds of taxes and levies but I do. They keep most of us broke, most of the time.

    That’s why there is increasing poverty in Australia. Politicians thrive on new taxes and levies. Fuck them!

  43. Adrian Jackson

    So this is what a Frank McGuire republic would be like. Local Broadmeadows Rank & File members locked out of the vote with the candidate imposed on Broadmeadows by the Central Committee of a Corrupted Party (CCCP) from ALP HQ.

  44. feeney loyal to no one but himself

    feeney is sucking up bill’s arse again to survive next round of preselection. he can’t win from third senate spot. burhan’s years of hard work has come to nothing. all his numbers will now drop off.

  45. jiggy jeff

    fatty feensta. thought we were best mates. we used to crooz around in my red convertable picking up pretty little things. why you no call me anymore??? why you no return my calls???

  46. Ansteyopoulos

    Andy is Cleary running for Broadmeadows by-election?
    Nominations close Tuesday.

  47. I’ve long thought that the Jokes Machine has been past his prime.

    Today’s epistle from Joakes confirms that he is not only past his prime but in a state of rapid free-fall.

    Time to retire gracefully, Laurie – before it’s too late.

    Today’s article int he Tele and the Hun was some of the most partisan Labor-friendly tosh you’ve ever written.

  48. Rake Fan

    Its a curious past time, lining up ducks behind lemmings.

    For all the controversy, I concur with Rake – How much damage can a man inflict from the back benches of an opposition party of State Parliament?

    Especially one who has tasked themselves with ensuring the govt. of the day to implement all their policies ?!?

    Seems to me both candidates ought to be pitied if this is as much as they aspire to.

    As for KJ making it her life’s work to get her name in the paper, someone should tell her most people can read the other words as well.

  49. You Got $900 now Give $200 back!

    Kennett slapped a $100 “poll tax” on every home in Victoria in 1992.

    That today would be more like $200 a home.

    And the Liberals are crying because Gillard & Co are trying to rebuild Australia after a natural disaster by having people pay $90 or so if you earn over $50k a year.

    Come on. This hysteria over the levy is amazing.

    You bums received $900 18 months ago courtesy of the Government.

    Hows about giving $100 or $200 of it back so your fellow Australians can rebuild after disaster.

  50. You Got $900 now Give $200 back!

    Kennett slapped a $100 “poll tax” on every home in Victoria in 1992.

    That today would be more like $200 a home.

    And the Liberals are crying because Gillard & Co are trying to rebuild Australia after a natural disaster by having people pay $90 or so if you earn over $50k a year.

    Come on. This hysteria over the levy is amazing.

    You lot received $900 18 months ago courtesy of the Government.

    Hows about giving $100 or $200 of it back so your fellow Australians can rebuild after disaster.

  51. Anonymous

    Can Gurkan “Ken” Caper aka Brimbank Party hack go back into his nut-shall

  52. Adrian Jackson

    Is Frank McGuire pre selection in Broadmeadows an indication that there is little talent in the ALP given they had to get him to join the ALP before he was preselected.

    He must be talented according to the ALP HQ. He has been a sports journalist, connected with a Internet gambling operation, supported the failed republic cause, was a member of the Democrats just as they failed electorally.

    Yeah plenty of ALP talent there. A male Cheryl Kernot perhaps

  53. The good Thing

    Finally the ALP has acted in a professional manner. McGuire is at least a half decent candidate with an association with Broady. He is not some union hack or some ALP branch stacker…um sorry I mean ALP electoral staff member. Hopefully we see a lot more of this – surely Maria is the next to go. Getting superior candidates is imperative for the survival of the ALP. If it means a drop in membership (most of which are stacks these days anyway, and in the case of Broadmedows – Turkish and ethnic stacks) then so be it. The people of Broady at least will have a decent and competent member of Parliament. Bring on more preselections with interventions please.

  54. kangaroo court

    Now Burhams mate the great G marr will win the seat.What a joke Frank the wank. Rumour is the marsta has got the FOI on frank .mmm $200k MAHWAAAAAAAAA HA. Is the Libs new dirt unit helping on that FOI request.

  55. Dis Unity

    Love the dumb wogs in the ALP. They hand over their delegates to the white powerbrokers for free.

  56. the hunter

    Frank might regret putting his hand up as the chances of him falling under the hammer of the new Local Govt Minister are a lot greater than before. In fact you could say there are 200k reasons for him to be worried.

  57. zoomie

    There will be something coming out in the media shortly then watch the shit hit the fan,
    Labor will regret setting up a dirt unit as it might now come back to bite them.

  58. Frank Maguire seeks to represent an electorate with 15% unemployment as an ALP candidate for a prty that is the jhand maiden of Chinese Manufacturing and is hell bent on destroying every job in Australian manufacturing by removing protection.

    Maybe his goal is to increase 15% unemployment to 25% by next election.

    What is needed is a complete rethink and Vote for Australian jobs. A vote for Dr Mark Hobart is a vote for jobs. In three months Senator Elect John Madigan has spent more time defending Australian Industry from Coolie Attack than the ALP government has done in last ten years. THe Greens hate manufacturing and will wipe out more jobs unles they are inner city non productive yuppie jobs.

    Andrew Jackson
    Queensland President
    Democratic Labor Party

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