Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

BY GEORGE: PM chooses her Mr Wright

wrightcombetIn a courageous political move, Prime Minister Gillard has somewhat unilaterally exercised a prerogative to appoint a remarkably obscure outsider to the party to run its national organisation as National Secretary. The lucky one, George Wright, currently the chief spinner for the National Australia Bank, apparently took some persuading before agreeing to take on the role.

He was second choice after the first one, the somewhat less obscure former PM Chief of Staff Amanda Lampe, was ruled out after revered Labor Right chieftain Joe de Bruyn said what everyone else was thinking about her candidacy. A newly designated mum of two, she apparently didn’t want the job but was willing to obey the PM’s marching orders should they arrive. Commendable loyalty.

Wright’s pedigree is that he hails from the Finance Sector Union before going to the ACTU and being one of many who now claim credit for their Your Rights At Work campaign against WorkChoices. Wright is a graduate of the notoriously effective but occasionally counter-productive Rudd spin-machine. A good spinner never becomes the story.

He is considered to be especially close to self-anointed leadership aspirant Greg Combet, who is keenly aware that time is probably not on his side. Nothing wrong with a bit of ambition, we say. The PMO’s intervention on Wright’s behalf could well be seen as a pivotal moment in Combet’s progression. “They are political soul-mates,” one insider remarked. Fascinating.

Delighted with the appointment will be the ACTU’s favoured communications provider Essential Media who stand to make millions from having their chum George Wright large and in charge at the National Secretariat. He will be keen to bring them in to manage all aspects of the next election campaign and will be ditching long-time pollster John Utting and other non EMC types. EMC’s interesting polling on the public regard for Foreign Minister Rudd has recently raised eyebrows, with some wondering whether Rudd has dusted off his anti-Beazley playbook where Rudd had privately funded polling comparing his greatness with KB’s prolix ways. Greg Sheridan, wise in all things except his affection for the dreaded Rudd, was even quoting Essential’s silly Rudd-spruiking polling in a column today most assuredly inspired directly from the FORMIN from hell. Tsk. Tsk. How EMC deals with the straddling of such a barbed-wire fence is a question that could only be answered with many hours deep reflection after re-watching every episode of ‘Absolute Power‘ in a weekend marathon.

The Your Rights at Work campaigners think they ran an Obama-style campaign of absolute and unparalleled genius in 2007 and that they will be keen on lending some of that magic to the 2013 re-election bid. Some in the National Right are more than a little sceptical of this but many are keen to see it in action because it could be good for a laugh.

Further potential amusement – of the gallows’ humour variety – could arise when John Faulkner’s proposed NSW-Right-busting moves come to be considered later in the year. Rules changes, national intervention and other carnal delights dreamed up by Albo, Faulks and others over high tea at the SCG will all apparently be enthusiastically embraced by the new party secretary designate.

While Wright is regarded as a bold choice, some say his role as a spinner for NAB’s bank fees and interest fee policy equips him well in the art of defending the indefensible.

Some see the carbon tax as approaching that level of difficulty although we suspect rolling back the tax and its compensations is going to be just as fraught with danger for the Coalition, emboldened as they currently are and buoyed by Newspolls.

Nominations for the position are expected to open tomorrow with Mr Wright considered likely to be the only nominee, in the spirit of democratic openness encouraged by John Faulkner, presumably after a junket to Beijing.

The PM’s public declaration of support for him was clearly calculated to ensure that he was the only candidate and because “disunity is death” in politics as John Howard famously declared it seems likely the old trick will succeed.

The only reason the situation arose, of course, was that the dominant moderates made an absolute debacle of selecting and getting behind one candidate. The withdrawal of one, the failure to get behind another, a willingness to be seen to disagree, all contributed to what amounts to be a very, very sorry state of affairs for the folk who are meant to supply the pragmatic, “whatever it takes” smarts of Australia’s centre-left party. We honour many of them for being the best and brightest but this was not their finest hour. It’s fair to say also that the Prime Minister has also not been seen to honour the strong support given to her by Labor’s moderates. This seems most unwise to us.

Whether having a Prime Minister’s Office lackey in the Nat Sec job will help her party succeed in winning the next incredibly difficult federal election remains to be seen. Similar case studies in other jurisidictions are not encouraging. Many observers were left wondering this evening “Can a man with no base in the party be a successful party secretary?” They’re about to find out.



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OINK: Greens hate Israel so much they oppose young Israeli troops being protected from bullets

greensisraelTwo Greens Senators have been exposed today as supporting Greens Senator-Elect Lee Rhiannon’s anti-Israel boycott policy.

One of them, Senator Scott Ludlam, even went so far as to oppose Australian supply to Israel of body armour (like bullet-proof vests) that is used to protect the lives of young Israeli soldiers from bullets and bombs. We’re unaware of such protective gear ever taking a life, they are designed to protect the lives of the twenty-somethings and teenagers who are obliged by law to join the army for usually three years to take part in defending the Jewish state from its many sworn enemies.

Ludlam’s view is so obviously disgusting that it’s little wonder he wore sunglasses to shield his eyes from view during his remarks.

dollyputinAnother, former Goth, SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, known to harbour leadership aspirations in the radical left party, was also pictured addressing a similar rally where attendees urged Israel’s destruction through boycotts.

At both rallies, the standard chant from the ultra-left group organisers, echoed through the crowd “Israel out of Palestine.” They don’t mean Israel out of Gaza (which it already is) or the West Bank (where similarly the Palestinian Authority run the place, not especially well), they mean Israel should be wiped from the map.

It’s particularly interesting that these two Senators, one of them (Ludlam) thought to be quite close with Brown, frequent and support such extremist gatherings. We note WA Labor Senator Louise Pratt attended too. It’s just as inappropriate, even though she wasn’t demanding boycotts. No wonder Labor in WA barely has a pulse if she’s the best they can do.

Brown recently condemned the few anti-Liberal loons who attended the No Carbon Tax rally in Canberra because of their foolish, nasty and misogynist signs directed at the Prime Minister.

And yet that didn’t stop him from employing a comedian as an economic adviser (oddly appropriate for the Greens, we know).

“Dolly Putin” (aka Naomi  Edwards) has an act where at one stage she brought a pig on-stage in her live show ‘Dolly goes down on the farm’. She called the pig “Amanda Vanstone” much to the amusement of her politically correct inner-city crowd who’d be convulsed in horror if any of the three little anti-Israel pigs of the Greens party were so described.


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