Former Victorian Labor MP Craig Langdon has run into reality nearly a year after publicly pouring scorn on his party and quitting to cause an inconvenient by-election as bitchy payback for being relieved of his preselection. He has been expelled for life from the Australian Labor Party as of today.
THREE MILLION DOLLARS OF COMFORT
Despite that disappointment, it has been reported that Langdon has received a parliamentary pension worth at least $3 million.
He was charged by the ALP State Secretary Noah Carroll, acting on behalf of Laborâ€™s Administrative Committee, in what is an unusual process, and was judged guilty on two of three charges by the ALP Disputes Tribunal.
Langdon, who switched factional allegiances from the moderate faction Labor Unity to the now increasingly extremist Rebel Right group (that is principally led by the Shop Assistants Union) after he lost preselection was bitterly disappointed after being dumped. He enjoyed being an MP and, for the most part, he had quite a good local following among those who didn’t know the full extent of what he got up to behind closed doors.
His messy deselection led to an unfortunate early resignation which failed to achieve what it was intended to achieve, a by-election in an ugly act of revenge against the ALP. He was just two weeks shy of causing one but was apparently trying to squeeze out every last dime from the parliamentary gig. Langdon was today condemned for this by the Tribunal which held:
Craig Langdon is found guilty of gross and contemptible disloyalty to the Australian Labor Party
The former MP has continued to run the Heidelberg branch of the ALP as its President in association with close personal friend Rick Garotti, a twenty-something accountant from KPMG, who is believed to enthusiastically maintain the remnants of Langdonâ€™s machine, as the Secretary of Langdonâ€™s Heidelberg branch. Garotti has recently followed Langdon from their former group to the â€œRebel Rightâ€ or “Taliban” where they identify as part of the operation of Nazih Elasmar MLC, a prolific multiple recruiter.
OTHERS CAUGHT IN LANGDON’S WEB
Elasmar is a leading figure in Melbourneâ€™s Lebanese community, focuses his political activity on what opponents call branch-stacking which is an expensive exercise, in his case reputedly funded by the cashed-up Shop Assistants Union. Its secretary, Michael Donovan is a good friend of Marlene Kairouz, a relative of Elasmar, who was shoe-horned into the state western suburbs seat of Kororoit despite living far from the area. Kairouz went onto to win the seat after a spirited campaign directed by Labor uber-campaign-strategist Stephen Newnham against property millionaire Les Twentyman.
Langdon has placed his former staff in Elasmarâ€™s office which has also printed most of Langdonâ€™s material in the Banyule council by-election he recently won and arranged some finance for Langdonâ€™s successful council bid. Some thought Elasmar unwise to be engaging with such an embittered and angry chap.
YOUNG MAN IN A BIND
Others worry that the close personal bond between Garotti and Langdon might have led the young lad to be too closely associated with Langdonâ€™s wrongdoing for his own good. They tell VEXNEWS that it is likely to be so messy that it could have an adverse effect on his reputation at the accounting firm KPMG which carefully monitors the external activities of its staff. Not a good situation for Garotti to be in, his Young Labor friends fear. And one that brings great sadness to those who thought he had good political prospects.
MONEY FOR NOTHING
Langdon, for example, prior to Garottiâ€™s time it should be emphasised, financed his ALP memberships, it is believed, in part, from the stolen proceeds from the Banyule-council funded â€œBell Street Mall Tradersâ€ association which paid rent for the use of his electorate office, it was claimed years back in the Herald Sun, to what was described as an ALP campaign account.
It is a minor miracle Langdon was not charged with criminal offences for these activities, Labor insiders tell VEXNEWS. He was investigated by VicPol but was, inexplicably, not charged for what was undoubtedly a brazen criminal dunder-headed enterprise. While a big call, we are very conscious of how gravely serious an allegation it is and have made the decision to tell the whole story, here and now.
UNDER THE CARPET
Part of the reason why it was not seriously pursued was that his friend, the then Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Judy Maddigan, declined to make a complaint to authorities about the ugly situation. Parliamentary Services ought to be ensuring its offices in the burbs are not leased out for the private benefit of serving MPâ€™s. Something went badly wrong.
Scandalously enough, Langdonâ€™s theft and misconduct was generally tolerated by his group and party. It was when personal scandals threatened to catch up with him that his nervous colleagues decided enough was enough and he was dumped.
We cannot completely elaborate on the personal scandals, for legal reasons.
HIDEOUSLY SLEAZY EVENTS
In unrelated matters, though, we can reveal for the first time that one of Langdonâ€™s former electorate office staff has told VEXNEWS that the member of Parliament was known to repeatedly â€œhook upâ€ with sometimes scantily-clad gay-for-pay teen male prostitutes that he solicited online from his Bell Street office. Former parliamentary colleagues of his have also told VEXNEWS that when on a parliamentary delegation overseas they saw Langdon meet â€“ in a hotel foyer in Belgium â€“ some similarly curious looking youthful local lads before they went off for a stroll. It seems unlikely the once-popular northern-suburbs MP had teen-fans in Europe. We do not suggest they were below the age of consent.
If we could elaborate beyond this, we doubt anyone would find his de-selection as a candidate for public office in any respect surprising or untoward. It was inevitable.
That he was tolerated for so long, is probably the greater issue.
It doesnâ€™t reflect well on anyone associated with him, then or now.
It certainly doesnâ€™t reflect well on anyone politically hooking up with the disgraced figure as he enters this bitter stage of his venal activities.
Ironically the end result of what evolved into being an incredibly salacious and sleazy political career was that he has ended up in bed with what is perceived to the socially conservative Shop Assistantsâ€™ Union who are usually known to expect high ethical standards from their own officials and MPs. Indeed, a current ally of the Shoppies, Senator David Feeney, is known to be privately scathing of Langdon and has warned his own people of the dangers of associating with him, in any way. Heâ€™s pragmatic enough to accept votes from wherever they come though.
Langdon is now a local councillor, elected mainly with the help of upper house MP Nazih Elasmarâ€™s office and Labor moderates in the local area who are mostly unaware of Langdonâ€™s racy history, who now fills the vacancy created by his parliamentary successor Anthony Carbines. Carbines would have done well, insiders say, to ensure a strong alternative was found to Langdon.
While he may be expelled from the ALP, he continues to be a political, legal and ethical time-bomb waiting to explode in his former partyâ€™s face. Langdon is seen by leading Labor moderates across the party to be a menace enabled by extremist elements in the Shop Assistants Union who should use their normally sound judgment to avoid him the plague.