Home on the grange

This business with Barry O’Farrell is one more example that the only way to keep government corruption down is by electing governments that journalists, and the media generally, don’t like.

I would venture to say that virtually none of the scandals related to the R-G-R governments has entered common consciousness across the country, not in any deep and enduring way. They are reported to the most minimal extent and explained away at every turn. Labor Members of Parliament and party executives have gone to jail for heaven’s sake, and a former leader is heading for a potential rendezvous with the court system for involvement in a SLUSH FUND, but who has been forced to notice?

Both the MYKI card and the Desal plant down here in Victoria ought to have been worth an ocean of printer’s ink and hours of media time but only we old hands even bother to notice and who within the community even remembers or understands how their living standards are being reduced because of such decisions. The NBN is potentially the most expensive but also potentially provides the lowest return on the dollar of any major infrastructure project in the history of this country. Literally billions have been wasted on projects that were never going to return a positive financial outcome but you won’t read about it in The Age or see it on the ABC, and certainly they won’t tell you the effect on our living standards, assuming they even understand this themselves.

Meanwhile a $3000 bottle of grange will undoubtedly remain headline material until the next election, and not just the election in NSW but federally as well.

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83 Responses to Home on the grange

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    I think we should elect journalists.

    Currently the journoclass is wall to wall progressive lefties and Greens, at least in the ABC, Fairfax and the new ferals (Guardian Australia and The Saturday Paper).

    If we could elect them maybe we would get some balance in reporting and the pollies of both sides being brought to an accounting, instead of just pollies on the right.

  2. johanna

    Steve, I think it also reflects, to some extent Parkinson’s Law of triviality.

    “The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved.” A reactor is used because it is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it, so one assumes that those that work on it understand it. On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution.”

    Now, this is a reasonable excuse for John and Sue Public. Everyone can get their head around a $3,000 bottle of plonk given to a politician. But the job of professional journalists is precisely to get their heads around more complex issues and explain them to the public – which they have signally failed to do.

    With a few honourable exceptions like Grace Collier, Judith Sloan, Kate McClymont and Hedley Thomas, MSM journalists have been unable or unwilling to do their homework and present the narrative in a way that ordinary readers can understand.

    But even the dopiest Daily Life contributor can jump on the wine bandwagon with zero effort.

  3. the sting

    The desal plant and the North/South pipeline have a few surnames and companies in common.Definitely worth a look by the Royal Commission into union corruption.

  4. CatAttack

    Yes agree with all of the above but the absolutely emphatic nature of O’Farrells response left him nowhere to go. Mind you once the Royal Commission starts up we shall see who does the honorable thing.

    It does however raise a side issue of how much largeese do officials actually recieve if you cannot remember a $3000 bottle of wine. Are they inundated with so many gifts that they really honestly can’t remember? What’s the distinction then between an official gift and a birthday present from a friend or collegue?

  5. CatAttack

    I note that Kristine Keneally offered up the fact that she also recieved a bottle of Grange duly noted in the register. To my mind it still begs the question. Why would someone give you a $3000 bottle of wine on your official capacity as Premier? Wouldn’t a Thankyou note suffice?

  6. Baldrick

    Perhaps journalists, particularly those who work in public broadcasting, ie: ABC/SBS, should be held to account by the same measure as politicians.

    Any remuneration or gift should be disclosed and entered onto a gift register, just as any affiliation with a NGO should also be disclosed in the interest of public accountability. Perhaps then we may see more balanced reporting, particularly by those who live off the public purse.

    Oh … and then I woke up.

  7. cohenite

    Yep, who can remember shagger Thomson, Wilson and professor Gillard?

    The problem isn’t political corruption but media bias.

    The abc is a blight on this country.

  8. Rabz

    I note that Kristina Keneally offered up the fact that she

    Is one of the biggest losers in Australian political history, only bested by that vile cow Blight.

    Kristina Keneally 2014: Premier had to go

    NSW Voters 2011: Keneally had to go

    Enough, FFS.

    P.S. CA, I’m not having a go at you, I just think Keneally ought to keep her big stupid gob shut.

  9. Bear Necessities

    Up here is Queensland, Bill Ludwig through his AWU faction controlled both Beattie and Bligh to a large extent in the 90′s and 00′s. He left Racing Queensland in particular with a bad reputation. I find it amazing how his role in running the ALP up here in Queensland is not more thoroughly investigated by the press.
    You just have to look at the political media in Queensland to understand why. Syrvet, Atkins, Sweetnam, Jolly all looked the other way as the ALP plundered Queensland.

  10. tgs

    I think we should elect journalists.

    Ordinarily I would respond that we already do, via the marketplace, however given that such a significant proportion of the media is state-funded and run there could be something to this. At least at the ABC and SBS.

    Then again, if the ABC Board and Managing Director would do their jobs and ensure that the charter was being adhered to then this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

  11. entropy

    It does however raise a side issue of how much largeese do officials actually recieve if you cannot remember a $3000 bottle of wine. Are they inundated with so many gifts that they really honestly can’t remember?

    I wonder how likely the possibility is that he didn’t have a clue how much it was force and sunk it that night in the kitchen with some crackers and dip? Maybe now he realised how much it was worth he was to embarrassed to admit it.

  12. entropy

    Bloody iPad
    I wonder how likely the possibility is that he didn’t have a clue how much it was worth and sunk it that night in the kitchen with some crackers and dip? Maybe now he realised how much it was worth he was too embarrassed to admit it.

  13. Adam D

    The one positive of course is that such scrutiny really does improve the conservatives performance and minimises excesses of stupidity (I said minimises not eliminates).

    Just imagine if that could be the case for the progressives and much of the excesses curtailed in the last couple of terms.

    Oh well in a twist of irony the medias protection racket for the progressive side of politics is the exact same reason why they will never be in power long-term, sheer incompetence that comes from a social class where everyone is a winner (except conservatives).

  14. incoherent rambler

    You get the politicians that journalists allow.
    You get the journalists that you are lumbered with.

    No free market place would support:

    Mark Scott, Tony Jones, Juanita Phillips, Quentin Dempster, Jon Faine, Richard Glovers, Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann, Fran Kelly, Barrie Cassidy, Virginia Trioli, Annabel Crabb, Paul Barry, Waleed Aly, Emma Alberici, Mark Colvin, Michael Rowland, Russell Skelton, Mike Steketee, Chris Berg, Stephen Koukoulas, Jonathan Green, Kerry O’Brien, Alan Sunderland, Kate Torney, Phillip Adams, Robyn Williams, George Roberts, Madonna King, ‘Dr’ Karl, Wil Anderson, Adam Spencer, Latika Bourke

    Corruption in politics is aided and abetted by corruption of journalists. A statement of pecuniary interests for the ABC/SBS crew would be a start.

  15. James In Footscray

    This story gives blog writers a wide grange of headlines.

  16. David

    once the Royal Commission starts up we shall see who does the honorable thing.

    In anticipation of there being a whole lot of people doing the honourable thing I have cornered the market on those sharp thingies used for seppuku. Then it was pointed out to me that the miscreants will mostly be “of the left” and I may be left wondering where all the “honourable” people are to sell my sharp thingies to.

    Private enterprise is a risky business.

    :-)

  17. Leo G

    It seems the Australian media are of one mind about Barry O’Farrells false evidence to ICAC, namely that it implies his commission of an indictable criminal offence.
    Problem is, it is not necessarily an offence to give false or misleading evidence at a compulsory examination or public inquiry conducted by the Commission. The indictable offence is to give false or misleading evidence knowing it to be false or misleading or not believing the false or misleading evidence to be true.
    There is clear evidence, extant before Barry O’Farrell gave evidence that indicates he believed the evidence to be true.
    O’Farrell committed no offence. The Commission knew the evidence he would give would be false and knew that he believed it to be true.
    The true offence is the way ICAC ambushed the premier.
    We know the premier is a boofhead, he should not have to confirm that by resigning when his resignation is not warranted- unless there is something he knows about his behaviour that he is not telling us and which would justify his resignation.

  18. john malpas

    Don’t politicians have secretaries and the like . Staff who should keep records of gifts and of everything that commonsense says you should.

  19. Leo G

    Don’t politicians have secretaries and the like . Staff who should keep records of gifts and of everything that commonsense says you should.

    As far as we know someone may have checked the value of the gift by checking the current price of Penfolds Hermitage, without reference to the particular vintage. But that is not the issue. The significant issue is whether there is any evidence that shows Mr O’Farrell was aware of the evidence of the note and aware of the failure to record the gift in a register of pecuniary interest at the time he gave evidence to ICAC.
    The evidence presented supports his assertion that he believed his evidence to be true.

  20. I wonder if Mr di Girolamo’s career as a lobbyist is over?

  21. johanna

    john malpas
    #1268641, posted on April 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Don’t politicians have secretaries and the like . Staff who should keep records of gifts and of everything that commonsense says you should.

    It was sent to his home, by courier. Not by accident, I suggest.

    So his staff probably knew nothing about it. It would have been up to him to make a note of the details and tell them. It is quite possible that in the rush of just coming into government that he simply forgot to do that, or even that he didn’t realise that he should.

  22. Eyrie

    Obviously it was beyond Fatty’s wit to simply return to sender with note: “Thanks for the sentiment but in my position I really cannot accept this as it may look like I am compromised”

  23. Leo G

    Obviously it was beyond Fatty’s wit to simply return to sender with note: “Thanks for the sentiment but in my position I really cannot accept this as it may look like I am compromised”

    Should all politicians return all gifts- unless they’re aware they’re already compromised? Have you ever met a politician who didn’t appear compromised?

  24. .

    Funny how Nick the Wine Baron is a “Liberal party donor/fundraiser”

    If you look at the AEC disclosures, plenty of high flyers donate generously to both major parties in an attempt to peddle influence.

    This is fine. A bottle of wine is not!

  25. Notafan

    Maybe they opened a few that night, that one was corked so they tipped it down the sink which is why he had no recollection.

  26. Andrew

    No free market place would support:

    Mark Scott, Tony Jones, Juanita Phillips, Quentin Dempster, Jon Faine, Richard Glovers, Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann, Fran Kelly, Barrie Cassidy, Virginia Trioli, Annabel Crabb, Paul Barry, Waleed Aly, Emma Alberici, Mark Colvin, Michael Rowland, Russell Skelton, Mike Steketee, Chris Berg, Stephen Koukoulas, Jonathan Green, Kerry O’Brien, Alan Sunderland, Kate Torney, Phillip Adams, Robyn Williams, George Roberts, Madonna King, ‘Dr’ Karl, Wil Anderson, Adam Spencer, Latika Bourke

    Unfortunately the highlighted imbeciledividual did managed to secure at least 2 private sector jobs (3, if you include Fewfacts as private sector, which the AFR occasionally shows glimmers of). The rest, no – I would sack an exec recruiter if they lobbed any of those resumes on my desk.

  27. stackja

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #1268454, posted on April 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm
    I think we should elect journalists.

    We vote for Sinc and his mates each day.
    MSM is Fish wrap:

    Slang for any printed journalistic medium (newspaper, magazine, etc.) with such low credibility and standards in acceptable journalism, that its only useful function is to wrap fresh fish in.

  28. stackja

    Leo G
    #1268637, posted on April 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Barry had to resign. MSM would have hounded him for the rest of his term. Meanwhile ALP smell is ignored.

  29. Gab

    Meanwhile ALP smell is ignored.

    The ALP smell is always ignored by the ABC, Fairfax and that other one that starts with a G. They
    re there to protect the ALP only. And the Greens too.

  30. Fibro

    If you were in Barry’s shoes, the simple answer would have been that I will check the pecuniary interests register and come back to you, He didn’t.

    According to Alan Jones this morning, he was sent a text message from a News Ltd Journo last week warning about questions about a bottle of Grange. This was a week before he appeared at ICAC to answer the same question. It was out there allready and he did nothing.

    If true, no sympathy from me on this and I wonder if the Liberal Party room didn’t have a lot to do with it come the finish to get Barry out the way, as he is on the nose in Sydney in particular.

    Understand that this event will mar the politics for time to come with Libs in NSW, and the leftist media will milk it. I do trust that the Gillard/Blewitt Slush fund will be in the courts soon enough to silnce them.

  31. Leo G

    “Funny how Nick the Wine Baron is a “Liberal party donor/fundraiser””

    What evidence do we have that Nick actually paid for the wine gifted to Barry O’Farrell. It was sourced from a Coles outlet. Coles also have lobbied the premier, as I recall.

  32. Bill Thompson

    I posted something similar on the Wednesday thread but it really belongs here…

    You’ve gotta hand it to the NSW Liberals – they regularly seem to be able to shoot themselves in the foot. I remember when Nick Greiner was hoist on his own ICAC & when John Brogden was felled when a colleague outed him for an offhand remark about a douchebag’s spouse. Now we have Barry ‘gone’ because of the dopey Grange thing. On the other hand, Labor seems almost Teflon-coated by comparison. Former Liberal MP, Phillip Smiles, was hauled before the courts for evading tax totalling $15,735 when he falsely claimed deductions for secretarial work, when the payments actually related to nanny services but when former Labor Tourism Minister, John Brown, was identified by the ATO as having failed to declare about $1m in income, relating to his receipt of a ‘gift’ of a beachfront apartment – thus avoiding $475,111 in tax – it was just treated ‘administratively’. There would have been no publicity at all if the subsequent internal ‘objection’ decision hadn’t been appealed to the courts, years later. It seems it took nearly 20 years for part of the resultant debt to be paid. Details per the links:

    Re Phillip Murray Smiles v Commissioner of Taxation; Ian Howard Tripet and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions [1992] FCA 441; (1992) 23 Atr 605 (1992) 37 FCR 538 (1992) 63 A Crim R 180 (9 September 1992)

    And:

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2002/75.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=“john joseph brown ”

    And:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/brown-settles-after-10year-tax-fight-20101214-18wwl.html

  33. Roger

    By all accounts the ’59 Grange is pretty undrinkable.
    Perhaps that’s why Barry forgot about it?

  34. Roger

    What evidence do we have that Nick actually paid for the wine gifted to Barry O’Farrell.
    The purchase is listed in the accounts of Australian Water Holdings, Di Girolamo’s company, and it was apparently paid for with an AWH corporate credit card, Leo.

  35. Ant

    I think I’ve said more than once here that those in the Labor Party responsible for the Victorian desal plant should be financially ruined and/or in jail.

    The union inspired rorting of Victorian taxpayers behind its construction and the ongoing – FOR 3 DECADES – rorting through a punishing leasing scheme that will fill the coffers of big union super funds all based on massive criminal fraud and lies about the need to build this grotesque white elephant because of a temporary drought which they painted as a never ending feature of “Man-Made Global Warming” should be enough to keep Labor out of office for generations.

    Yet, there they are knocking on the door of government again come the election in November.

    Why is it so? I blame the media. It’s not shooting the messenger. The messenger facilitated the fraud by pretending that what we were being told was true and, hence, the almost total public silence about what has happened.

  36. Grigory M

    By all accounts the ’59 Grange is pretty undrinkable.

    Tasting notes. Seems like it’s eminently drinkable.

  37. stackja

    Mick Young
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Young
    Following the landslide ALP victory at the 1983 federal election, Young was initially appointed Special Minister of State (and Vice-President of the Executive Council until July 1983), but was forced to stand down in 1983 when he breached Cabinet security, as part of the Combe-Ivanov affair. This did not do him lasting political damage, though, and five months later he became Special Minister of State again. He was forced to step down again in 1984 when he forgot to declare to Customs a large stuffed Paddington Bear toy. He resumed his place in Cabinet when he was cleared of wrongdoing by a judicial inquiry.

    Michael MacKellar
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_MacKellar
    MacKellar attracted some controversy over his handling of an incident involving the improper importation of a colour television set. In 1982, a ministerial staffer submitted an incorrect customs declaration form when arranging for the set to be imported. When this was discovered, a fellow Minister, John Moore, attempted a cover-up. Moore and MacKellar both accepted responsibility and resigned as Ministers
    MacKellar resigned from Parliament on 18 February 1994, causing a by-election that was subsequently won by Tony Abbott.

  38. stackja

    Ant
    #1268777, posted on April 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm
    Why is it so? I blame the media. It’s not shooting the messenger. The messenger facilitated the fraud by pretending that what we were being told was true and, hence, the almost total public silence about what has happened.

    MSM are not to be believed. I blame the voters who waste their votes at election day on the ALP/Greens.

  39. Roger

    Seems like it’s eminently drinkable.

    Had a quick look – most recent of those comments is 14 years ago Grigory.
    Know someone who tried it recently and he said it was all tannins – well and truly past its prime.

  40. Leo G

    “The purchase is listed in the accounts of Australian Water Holdings, Di Girolamo’s company, and it was apparently paid for with an AWH corporate credit card, Leo.”

    Yes, I have seen the AWH expenses record published in the media. But that was neither a bank statement nor receipt. Should we accept an internal AWH expenses claim as sufficient evidence? Can we be assured that AWS evidence was not false?

  41. Roger

    Can we be assured that AWS evidence was not false?
    Not without a forensic investigation of them.
    Did ICAC carry that out, I wonder?

  42. Sir Fred Lenin

    Regarding the Victorian alp scum.as well as the desal rort,where commo crooked unioists got more money than the shifty premier! They also built ,at great expense of course.a huge pipeline to bring AIR from the Goulburn Valley,it was supposed the take water which didnt exist to Melbourne. A lot of very shifty alp maaaates made a fortune out of those lurks,makes a bottle of Grange look REALLY SMALL!

  43. alf

    You obviously never read the paper or heard the news during the ALP’s time in Govt. Professor. Or perhaps you suffer from the same forgetfulness that seems to afflict LNP members when they are called to account.

  44. Brian Fingerton

    I think we should elect journalists.

    Maxine McKew got elected. What a great job she did!

  45. wreckage

    He was TOTALLY going to perjure himself over a bottle of booze.

  46. johanna

    ICAC are seriously in the poo over this, and I suspect that the wiser heads among them realise it.

    While NSW was raped and pillaged during the last Labor government, where were they? Now they have toppled a Premier with a huge majority and not a mark against him (whatever his other failings) over a bottle of wine.

    The Obeids, Macdonalds and the rest are still frolicking around free, but ICAC has just managed to get rid of another honest conservative Premier (after Greiner).

    First order of business for the government should be to rein in this bunch of egotistical barristers – but I repeat myself – trying to make a name for themselves by claiming scalps, irrespective of the merits and any sense of proportion. And if they don’t think they were manipulated in this case, by the crooks, they are even stupider than O’Farrell.

  47. Roger

    trying to make a name for themselves by claiming scalps, irrespective of the merits and any sense of proportion

    I think that’s the nub of it, j.
    In a sense that means ICAC itself has become corrupted, allowing itself to be used by ambitious lawyers.

  48. JohnA

    CatAttack #1268490, posted on April 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Yes agree with all of the above but the absolutely emphatic nature of O’Farrells response left him nowhere to go. Mind you once the Royal Commission starts up we shall see who does the honorable thing.

    It does however raise a side issue of how much largeese do officials actually recieve if you cannot remember a $3000 bottle of wine. Are they inundated with so many gifts that they really honestly can’t remember? What’s the distinction then between an official gift and a birthday present from a friend or collegue?

    I see johanna @ 6:01pm has hit the nail on the head. But this whole stupid thing shows that it’s little things that bring people down.

  49. 2dogs

    How should the head of ICAC be appointed?

    Or the head of the CMC in QLD?

  50. AP

    See, the thing is that what you say is completely true about Labor. It’s rotten to the core, and this gets very little reporting coverage, but on the other hand, no one resigns over JUST a bottle of Grange they forgot to declare. Another ICAC inquiry kicks off on 28th April. I suspect there is far more to come. Barry was such a let down. Gutless. I hope Baird is a man of integrity.

    Anyway, Barry’s “water not coal” t-shirt has a completely new meaning.

  51. dan

    Roger the 1959 is indeed not an ideal drink and massively overpriced if you look at it as something to be consumed. However it was barely released commercially with most bottles originally gifted (ironically enough) and is accordingly rare. Like many such wines it is valuable as a collectable artefact, not for its potential enjoyment on consumption.

  52. AP

    The way to fix this is to give the ICAC prosecutorial powers, so that the standard of evidence they have to collect is far higher. By all accounts MacDonald and perhaps even Obied will get off scott-free because much of ICAC evidence is inadmissible. Since inception, how many actual prosecutions have resulted from ICAC investigations?

  53. Maybe if O’Farrell had taken the advice of an old Murri mate of mine –
    Tellim f**kim
    when he was offered a bottle of expensive plonk, none of this would have been an issue…………

  54. Lem

    BOF is a bloody idiot, he shouldn’t have been so definite about the Grange, and why in hell’s name did he resign? Even now he is regretting it, after some sobre(!) reflection. Sounds like the guy doesn’t think things through before acting.

    And this is not ICACs fault. They didn’t sack him, he sacked himself! The Liberals are bloody hopeless, I am never donating to them again. And can I have another vodka…

  55. Big Jim

    Johanna’s Parkinson quote is apt.

    In industry, I have recently been moved to comment on a ‘solution’ project to the effect that delivering nothing while wasting tens of millions is bound to cost some hapless middle manager his job. However, actually ‘delivering’, and causing industrial strife and operational chaos with tabloid headlines, will see senior executives sacked.

    Sometimes lengthly deferrals and further reviews of world-best-practice are the way forward.

  56. Big Jim

    … Is the way forward?

    …or, are the ways forward?

    Whatever. Point is, management is sometimes the art of pissing money against the wall ‘strategically’, ie, where the payback period exceeds said exec’s contract term.

  57. candy

    Well I believe Barry O’Farrell is a good man and got into a pickle trying to do the right thing by ICAC.

    Apparently his father or father-in-law died a few days before the election so I imagine there was a lot of stress in the household at the time the bottle was delivered in those few days.
    I see nothing dishonest or corrupt about him at all. He’s a good person who got into a tangle and did the honorable thing – resign. But it’s sad state of affairs to lose a good premier, when you look at the likes of michael Williamson and craig Thomson.

  58. Tel

    Labor seems almost Teflon-coated by comparison.

    Liberal voters care, and Labor voters don’t.

    Labor voters are motivated by envy and loyalty to the tribe.

  59. Tel

    But it’s sad state of affairs to lose a good premier, when you look at the likes of michael Williamson and craig Thomson.

    BOF was a quiet unachiever. Nothing much to dislike about him, but that’s as good as it gets.

  60. Tel

    See, the thing is that what you say is completely true about Labor. It’s rotten to the core, and this gets very little reporting coverage…

    Dog bites man; that’s no news.

  61. Roger

    Indeed, Dan. According to my friend it is a trophy wine rather than a drinking wine. You could certainly get better for > $20 at the local bottle-o. As a matter of fact, I noticed tonight that my local drive-in has Taylor’s 2012 Shiraz, a multi-award winner, for $13. Only in Australia, thank God!

  62. Up The Workers!

    You often hear these days about protests against Mc Donald’s’ Franchise operators by the usual left-wing dole-bludging dingbats of “Occupy” and “Get-Up” attention seekers, but you rarely see protests against that other bunch of filthy rich franchisees – the A.L.P. franchisees.

    It seems that “Honest Eddie” Obeid has owned the A.L.P.’s New South Wales franchise for a decade or more. “Big Bill” Ludwig seems to have not only the A.L.P.’s Queensland franchise, but he also has naming-rights over the identity of Labor Prime Ministers, too. In Victoria, “Jug Ears” Andrews is answerable to the C.F.M.E.U. – worthy successors to old Normie Gallagher’s criminal B.L.F., as that dodgy bunch seem to have the franchise rights here.

    It is obviously a lucrative business, being a franchise holder. I would have liked to find out the A.L.P.’s view on how successful the franchising of the Party to a bunch of crooks has been, but their former Party National President, Mike Williamson wasn’t allowed out of his prison cell by the Chief Warden.

    Labor (sic) – Any dumber and they’d be Green!

  63. Why would someone give you a $3000 bottle of wine on your official capacity as Premier? Wouldn’t a Thankyou note suffice?

    You don’t get it, do you. For you and I, a gift is a gift, but for some people, a gift is ownership, like loaning money. Some people think giving something to someone makes them indebted to you. Some particularly dodgy people give gifts like putting money in the bank – to be cashed in at a later date. Considering who the giver was, this seems like it was done to compromise him (and any and all other recipients).

    When someone loans you money, they own you. Psychologically, some people give gifts for the same purpose.

    Clearly, O’Farrell doesn’t think like a criminal, and it was his downfall. The Labor types would have covered their tracks and had an answer prepared years in advance.

  64. johanna

    Beer Whisperer, I think you have hit on a profound truth here.

    Fatty didn’t play by the rules. AWB didn’t get what they wanted, even though they thought they owned him. So, the time bomb was detonated.

    I truly believe that he was stupid and naive not to have seen it coming, and is therefore unworthy and incapable of being the NSW Premier. And there is nothing in Baird’s history to suggest that his political smarts are any better.

    Someone like Wran would have recognised immediately what this “gift” meant, and accepted or rejected it accordingly. The NSW Libs are babes in the wood when it comes to these matters.

  65. cohenite

    Poor Bazza; he hardly deserves it but:

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  66. .

    I know Mot. It is so stupid.

    Buy me a bottle of grange and I’ll drink it and I will owe you nothing.

    O Farrell, the press and leftists have all confirmed a culture where gifts are always corrupting.

    (Yet none of them question the role of welfare in being self perpetuating).

  67. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From johanna at 7:17 am:

    “Beer Whisperer, I think you have hit on a profound truth here.

    Fatty didn’t play by the rules. AWB didn’t get what they wanted, even though they thought they owned him. So, the time bomb was detonated.

    I truly believe that he was stupid and naive not to have seen it coming, and is therefore unworthy and incapable of being the NSW Premier. …”

    I’ve been busy making a quid so I’ve only just caught up on this resignation and why.

    Fatty O’Barrell has just removed any lingering doubt – he is stupid, stupid, stupid. Decades in Parliament achieving precisely nothing and learning even less, as is demonstrated by him accepting a valuable gift from a full time spiv – you just don’t do that. Send it back, say thanks but no thanks, leave your own paper trail attesting to your unquestionable integrity.

    I see at Tim Blair’s the gift time bomb was ticking away loudly and in full view for weeks before he fronted ICAC and still Fatty couldn’t get it right – stupid squared!

    I really don’t get it with NSW – how is it that a private consortium populated by latter day Laurie Connells is doing stuff the Water Board ought to be doing, granting mining leases got outsourced to the chairman of the ALP and developing State owned waterfront sites became the exclusive province of whichever Nick the Greek or Wally the Wog heads up the Maritime Services Board?

    In less than ten years after I moved north and became uninvolved in those areas, previously carefully guarded and properly managed by public service professionals with integrity, they went all Botany / Liverpool Council as the personal domain of a phalanx of swarthy new Labor personal wealth creators – Tripodi, Obeid, Costa. I attended a function in Sydney in about 2000 at which a lot of ministerial staff / advisors were present and it fair dinkum appeared as a gathering of stolen car re-birthers, Harris Park apartment developers and nightclub security contractors – all black suits, gelled black hair, bling and big mouthed.

  68. johanna

    Mick, one advantage of the ALP system of preferment is that people come up through a system where political rat cunning is rewarded. It doesn’t make for good government, but at least they know how to play the angles.

    Most of the NSW Libs don’t even know what the angles are. Talk about innocents abroad.

    Mind you, they have their own coterie of crooks, of which Di Girolamo is one. They have just found out what happens when you cross him.

  69. stackja

    Meanwhile another quiet mover.

    Michael Easson
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Easson
    Along with Sydney businessmen Shane and Adam Geha, Easson formed EG Property, of which he is Executive Chairman. EG has two divisions; property advisory and funds management. The advisory division, EG Property Group, formed in 1999, advises large property owners about land use change. The funds division, EG Funds Management, formed in 2002, directly invests in real estate with a focus on land use change associated with nearby infrastructure change – such as rail. The funds management division has approximately $750 million under management with offices in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

    He was Secretary (i.e., head) of the Labor Council of New South Wales (now called Unions NSW) from 1989 to 1994. At the age of 34, he was elected as the youngest ever Secretary. He elected Vice President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, 1993 to 1994, and Senior Vice President of the Australian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch), 1993 to 1995. Whilst at the Labor Council he was Managing Director of Radio Station 2KY (1989 to 1994), and in 1989 co-founded both Asset Super (since 2012 part of CARE Super) & Chifley Financial Services.
    After resigning from the Labor Council in 1994, Michael Easson pursued business, academic and other interests.
    He is married to former federal politician Mary Easson (Member for Lowe, from 1993 to 1996). They have two adult daughters.

    http://egfunds.com/
    WE SUCCESSFULLY REZONE, REFURBISH, REPOSITION AND REDEVELOP

  70. johanna

    The irony is that they position themselves as for the wukkas and against the spivs.

  71. Grigory M

    I really don’t get it with NSW – how is it that a private consortium populated by latter day Laurie Connells is doing stuff the Water Board ought to be doing

    Mick – for your info, from my earlier post #1232504 Wednesday Forum 20 Mar 2014 @ 12.35pm:

    In about 1990, Sydney Water and the Rouse Hill Infrastructure Consortium entered into a range of initial Deeds for a major long-term project to provide water, sewer and drainage infrastructure to the undeveloped landholdings of Consortium Members in Sydney’s North-West Sector, with the purpose of ensuring the availability of serviced land for future housing and other developments in that sector of Sydney. Essentially a mixed BOOT scheme, the Deeds specified the works to be done and the responsibilities of the parties (briefly – Water Board: water, sewer, drainage mains integrated into the Sydney system – Consortium: water, sewer, drainage reticulation to development sites and individual allotments). The Deeds also stipulated the financial responsibilities of the Parties at specified stages of the works.

    More recently, in 2008, the Consortium changed its name to Australian Water Holdings. Whatever other changes have occurred since the project commenced, and what other Deeds or MOUs may have commenced operation for work responsibilities and cost sharing (including emoluments and any other entitlements of AWH Board Members), should also be revealed at the ICAC hearings.

  72. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From johanna at 10:35 am:

    “…
    Most of the NSW Libs don’t even know what the angles are. Talk about innocents abroad.

    Mind you, they have their own coterie of crooks, of which Di Girolamo is one. They have just found out what happens when you cross him.”

    You are right, johanna, on that first bit. Even an energetic and focused Nick Greiner dropped molotov cocktails down his own shirtfront and, to Labor’s relief, ensured his reign was short (surrendered over that fop Metherell for Pete’s sake, an eminently forgettable lecturer I encountered at Sydney).

    Looking back over the NSW Liberal leaders there was Greiner, daylight second, Fahey and every one of the rest of them couldn’t hope for a place at a mid week provincial race meeting! Peter Collins … aaarghhh! It’s little wonder they could not lay a glove on as open a target as Carr.

    I’ve googled this Nick Di Girolamo character to find he is ex St Patricks College, as are several of the Labor latter day power brokers. Unlike several contemporaries from hard working families (and a son in law) these blokes cruised through life there on daddy’s fortune as the nouveau riche, sans class and integrity.

    I see he had his snout in the North West Sector servicing trough, through Australian Water Holdings, the finest opportunity for carpetbaggers to make their fortune at taxpayers’ expense since la grande bouffe that was the preparation for the Sydney Olympics.

    What he has just done to set up O’Farrell is a dog act. Taking this with the reported entertainment largesse and ostentatious political donations I’d say he watched The Godfather but didn’t read the book. Genuinely powerful political puppeteers move unnoticed in the background, with a much clearer vision of their own longevity and legacy.

    They won’t be lining up to do business with him now and, in any event, it will now be well known this bloke doesn’t have the self discipline to be as powerful as he thinks he is.

    “Mr Di Girolamo was incurring hefty gambling debts, with at least $120,000 going from his bank to pay internet betting site TopSport between 2008 and 2009″

    The “coterie of crooks” infecting the Liberals co-exists easily with that behind the ALP, treating dollars as applause and affirmation. NSW is in a hell of a mess.

  73. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Grigory M at 1:31 pm:

    “Mick – for your info, from my earlier post #1232504 Wednesday Forum 20 Mar 2014 @ 12.35pm:

    In about 1990, Sydney Water and the Rouse Hill Infrastructure Consortium entered into a range of initial Deeds for a major long-term project to provide water, sewer and drainage infrastructure to the undeveloped landholdings of Consortium Members in Sydney’s North-West Sector, with the purpose of ensuring the availability of serviced land for future housing and other developments in that sector of Sydney. Essentially a mixed BOOT scheme …”

    Thank you Grigory M for the detailed update – as I said above I used be involved in NSW major works but fell out of touch when I moved north.

    After witnessing what has happened with empty CBD road tunnels; dormant and rusting desalination plants; and airport gold – nay – diamond mines I’d say BOOT schemes for public infrastructure sound sophisticated and hip but are far from it. Their benefit is singularly focused on the crafty shareholders given the inside running to wear the boot, and the silent super superannuation payment to the politician who made it so after he retires from public life.

  74. stackja

    Mick Gold Coast QLD
    #1269880, posted on April 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm


    From johanna at 10:35 am:
    “…Most of the NSW Libs don’t even know what the angles are. Talk about innocents abroad.

    Looking back over the NSW Liberal leaders there was Greiner, daylight second, Fahey and every one of the rest of them couldn’t hope for a place at a mid week provincial race meeting! Peter Collins … aaarghhh! It’s little wonder they could not lay a glove on as open a target as Carr.

    Walter Secord controlled the negative Sydney media coverage of the Liberals and so protected Carr. No positive stories were printed about the Liberals. Secord I believe organised the story that Liberals were going to make Sydney drink sewerage water so Sydney needed a desal plant because Sydney was short of water. Carr of course did not want any more water storage built. Again Carr was always portrayed in a positive way. Anyone who equates ALP and Liberals is falling for the MSM/ALP spin. One day after various ALP funerals someone may tell all the stories about the ALP. But I doubt much coverage will be given. Australian history so far is one big cover-up of the ALP.

  75. Andrew

    MacKellar resigned from Parliament on 18 February 1994, causing a by-election that was subsequently won by Tony Abbott.

    Shouldn’t that have raised questions about the role that Abbott666 was playing in this?

  76. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From stackja at 4:04 pm:

    “…
    Anyone who equates ALP and Liberals is falling for the MSM/ALP spin. One day after various ALP funerals someone may tell all the stories about the ALP. But I doubt much coverage will be given. Australian history so far is one big cover-up of the ALP.”

    My comments are not comprehensive stackja, but I’m not forgetting that. That corrupt self congratulatory thief Carr was protected weekly by the Fourth Estate, even when he took profitable office with Macquarie Bank who themselves profited handsomely from his decisions for a decade before.

    The NSW Liberals nonetheless need to discover how to get the bastards down on the ground and to then viciously, unscrupulously kick the living suitcase out of them. Robertson is as feeble a performer as you’ll see and he’s surrounded by nags with the bloodlines of Uncle Joe’s horse Radish. They ought to be short jabbing these walkovers every morning of their miserable lives, but they are not.

    They’ve had their opportunity, since March 2011, to ruthlessly clear the public service senior ranks of the camp followers and they have failed to do that. Instead they invited the thieving Blie$ and Mr Withers to seek asylum in those very ranks. I say they stand condemned on that alone.

  77. Grigory M

    They’ve had their opportunity, since March 2011, to ruthlessly clear the public service senior ranks of the camp followers and they have failed to do that. Instead they invited the thieving Blie$ and Mr Withers to seek asylum in those very ranks. I say they stand condemned on that alone.

    Absolutely correct.

  78. Aliice

    Ok I know I come late to this post because I have been busy fighting buttcoin BUT peoples
    I really object to this and tio Bazza OFarrell being set up. Yeah sure he should have declared a 3000 bottle of grange (and why did he need it anyway – what a wanker) BUT can I say this. The whole story stinks to high heaven. Back in that sleazy company Ausytralian Water Holdings, hired under a pps to deliver water infrastructure to the North Weast Sydney regions when ahem the bloody companmy had no monaaayyy on their books but still somehow got the contract and DESPITE having no monaaaayyyy we find OUT Obeid has an interest in this company and SINODINOUS haqs been appointed some sort of exec and is paying himself 1 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR and a friend of his gets ANOTHER MILLION DOLLARS PLUS A YEAR

    All of which is being billed back to SYDNEY WATER RATEPAYERS…ie you and me.

    Hang on, something is SO WRONG. Obeid is not in jail yet Barry is forced to resign over a 3000 bottle of wine.

    Come on the whole story is crap and full of wholes and next election for me? Goodbye Labor. Goodbye Liberal. You both suck.

    Who here amongst us is ever going to have the balls to be honest and jail half the Obeid famioly instead of sucking up their you know whats for donations.
    Signed “had a gutful Aliice. What do you think we are. Fools?

  79. Aliice

    Mick of the Gold coast


    What he has just done to set up O’Farrell is a dog act.

    Yep. NSW is in a hell of a mess and getting rid of State Labor didnt clean the F****** mess up. Carr should STFU. He was a moron who let half of this crowd in. Barry was set up. Obeid family still in power and pulling strings. The bloody place (NSW) still as corrupt as all get out. Every politician crawling up Obeids bum for donations. Now Costa is back in the job at Australian Water Holdings. Christ next thing we will see is Tripodi or Costa trying for a comeback at State Labor.

    Now Mr Baird – how will the State of Obeid roast your arse?

    I really want to puke big time at this point.

  80. Grigory M

    Evening Aliice – good to see you.

  81. Aliice

    Thanks Grigory M.
    Yeah boy am I ticked off over this grange business..when Obeid STILL ISNT IN JAIL WTF?
    (and I find out every pollie of any colour for the past ten years has been sucking up to this piece of poo?)

  82. Tel

    Mind you, they have their own coterie of crooks, of which Di Girolamo is one. They have just found out what happens when you cross him.

    The correct classical liberal response would be to ensure that the party never deals with him again, either in or out of government.

  83. Andrew

    Come on the whole story is crap and full of wholes and next election for me? Goodbye Labor. Goodbye Liberal. You both suck.

    So you have to preference someone. It’s pretty much GRN or PUP. PUP is openly kleptocratic, there’s not even a pretence. And GRN leads to smoking ruin. Baird666 appears to be clean, and rich enough to stay that way.

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