It happened quickly but it wasn’t really a shock when the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, resigned after it was revealed that the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption was commenced proceedings to investigate whether she acted corruptly in the award of community grants between 2012 and 2018.
There were many tears and Berejiklian resigned reluctantly, giving the impressive that the ICAC was just a minor irritant that shouldn’t be standing in her way. Her greatest supporters – the mainstream media – have been reporting her departure as though she is resigning because of family circumstances, or some other misfortune, and completely neglecting the fact that there are serious allegations of her behaviour as Treasurer and Premier.
Perhaps it’s a sign of how low the threshold has become within Australian politics: a Premier resigning under the shadow of corruption is lauded as “one of the greatest Premiers ever”. It’s almost as absurd as suggesting the disgraced Labor MP, Eddie Obeid, is one of the greatest Minister for Resources ever (if only we can ignore the $100 million worth of corruption).
There is no fury greater than a Prime Minister ousted in a leadership challenge, and Malcolm Turnbull has arrived on the public stage with a vast array of verbal artillery to fire off at the incumbent: Scott Morrison. The botched French submarines deal; the poor vaccination rollout; inaction on climate change: everything is a target. On the day before Morrison ousted Turnbull, he said that he was “ambitious for my leader”. It seems Turnbull won’t be reciprocating, is totally unambitious for his leader and doing his best to repay the humiliation Morrison afforded to him on that fateful day in August 2018. This will be a story that has some way to play.
Several weeks ago, Kristina Keneally was inserted as a preselection candidate in the South-West Sydney seat of Fowler. It’s better for candidates to be preselected by the local membership but, sometimes, it‘s better to choose the best person, even if they are from outside of the area. This is an issue within politics, but all political parties do it: nevertheless, we assumed the issue would blow over, but the mainstream media has decided to revisit the seat of Fowler, no doubt to create problems for the Labor Party in the lead up to the next federal election.
Adrian Boothman was a long-time resident in the seat of Fowler and a former Labor Party staffer and advisor – we spoke to Adrian to see if there’s a different perspective to the one presented in the mainstream media. And – can you believe it – yes, there is perspective that is closer to the facts on the ground.