CONTROL FREAKS: MPs say Baillieu improperly meddled with parliamentary staff

michaelkapelprivilegeVictorian Liberal MPs are speaking out about what some see as widespread and systematic abuse of their traditional rights as parliamentarians by the head of their government, Ted Baillieu and his all-powerful Chief of Staff Michael Kapel.

Some of the newly elected have been utterly horrified and surprised to discover that Kapel, acting on the orders of Premier Baillieu, had extended the now publicly notorious “Star Chamber” to include vetting electorate officer staff appointments. MP’s are allowed to employ – via the Parliament – two staff in their electorate office to service constituent inquiries and so on.

Experts in the customs and practice of the Parliament tell VEXNEWS that Kapel’s purported interference in MP’s capacity to choose their own staff is a “breach of parliamentary privilege” and even a contempt of Parliament that could, at least in theory, have Kapel and Baillieu charged and brought before the bar of the Legislative Assembly or Council.

Insiders across both parties say the level of interference is “unprecedented” and “shocking” and forms the basis of an increasingly loud whispering campaign against Kapel coming from Liberal party quarters who seek nothing less than his removal from any position of authority. Stakeholders outside government say that Kapel is a “control freak” who has kept Baillieu as “inaccessible and aloof as (the later executed French King) Louis XVI.”

Some say that Kapel was a “student communist” at the elite private school St Leonard’s (also attended by self-styled revolutionary Jeff Sparrow, who pretends to be an anarchist and the editor of a taxpayer funded “literary journal”) and that his Stalinist approach has not altered, even if his politics has.

The National Party – ably led by pugnacious Peter Ryan – has so far successfully resisted all efforts by Kapel to veto their staff, either at a ministerial or electorate officer level.

The stated reason why Kapel has centralised all Liberal staff appointments is to ensure the government doesn’t attract bad publicity by appointing inappropriate people. The real reason – many suspect – is to ensure anyone seen as hostile to the Baillieu Liberal Left faction does not get to enjoy the fruits of their triumph last November. Kapel has angrily told one party member months ago who questioned the “Star Chamber” veto-process that “Baillieu’s enemies” did everything they could to undermine him ahead of the 2010 poll, had no faith in his capacity to win it and that it would be “over my (Kapel’s) dead body” that anti-Baillieu elements in the party would be allowed to “cash in on our hard work and self-discipline.”

As a result of the operation of this veto, several high-profile people, including even the deputy federal director of the Liberal party, Julian Sheezel, was denied appointment in the government despite appearing highly credentialed to take on the roles.



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13 responses to “CONTROL FREAKS: MPs say Baillieu improperly meddled with parliamentary staff

  1. @Rampant111

    Well, me thinks Kapel isn’t going to last much longer if that’s how he chooses to live in a politcal party…

  2. @Rampant111

    .. I mean, he seems to live by the motto “Shoot your enemies and then your friends”….

  3. M O'brien

    Big Ted had a web site attacking Him generated out of the liberal party office. No wonder He and his henchmen have flipped out. All the councilling in the world couldn’t fix the degree of paranoia they must be suffering after that. I must admit I miss the “he who stand for nothing”website.I was a regular contributor.

  4. Bill Hust

    Former Labor Party members and advisers get a gig in the Star Chamber before loyal hardline Tories. Strange place.

  5. syphologist

    A more reasonable assessment might be Ted’s intention to ensure that the cronyism and corruption that accompanied Labor staffing appointments doesn’t appear in his government.

  6. Joy Freeth

    Which labor party members & advisers have got a gig in Baillieu’s appointments?

  7. Spring-Clean Street

    Red Ted’s doing a Castro and ‘flushing the toilet”. No soup for the likes of the Sheezel, too bad he can’t do the same with Matthew Guy.

  8. Baillieuite Hack

    As a Baillieuite Hack I’m depressed that all my branch stacking hasn’t been rewarded by a job yet. Are there any spots in M.O’B’s office?

  9. Ben

    VexNews should hire a resident psychologist. There are certainly some deeper issues to examine, around control and power games here. Frankly, I’m concerned.

  10. hmmm

    maybe deeen mig hell and red ted are the same person. has anyone seen them in the same room?? has fil cleary been bludgin of red ted?

  11. Alison

    Is Simon Overland going to be forced, (?), to resign in due course like the DPP? No wonder Ted, the insipid, apears to do nothing; he doesn’t have to – just lets the tacky media do it for him.

  12. Anon

    Reports have it that a new Lib MP is doing the cafes , winebars and singles scenes of Brighton in very fashionable , high boots ,and provocative clothing

    Does anyone know who female MP is ?

    Certainly has tongues wagging ,
    ( no innuendo intended)!

  13. Boofa

    It’s Wenchy anon. She is always up for it.

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