It is truly fascinating to watch the machinations of The Australian's Glenn Milne. When he is not attacking people on stage at the Walkleys he is renowned first as the ultimate media backer of the Costello (non)challenge for the last five years of Coalition government.
His second claim to fame is as the ultimate peddler of rumour and dis-information in Canberra. If you want to start a story, give it to Milne.
Today's contribution does not start auspiciously. I quote;
The Liberal script was compelling. Curtain Up: Helpless blonde heroine tied to Ghan railway track by erstwhile friends and supporters. Climax: Train approaches relentlessly en route to Perth.
It is a small point, but the Ghan track runs from Darwin to Adelaide, so a train travelling to Perth on that track would be far more compelling than anything Milne has written.
The rest of the article is supposedly about some deep machinations inside the ALP driven by the NSW Right, all to "deal with" the threat of the Victorian Left. The mystery writer to Milne develops a fantasy conspiracy driven by the concern of the NSW Right of the influence of Gillard and her supporters.
I can believe much of this, because the NSW Right has shown itself to be notably devoid of judgement for a number of years. But let me remind Milne, his source and Mark Arbib, Karl Bitar and the rest of the Sussex St mafia that the ALP in Canberra and in NSW is always STRONGEST when the Left is in a leadership role.
Can anyone imagine Gough without Lance Barnard? Can anyone imagine Hawke without Brian Howe? What was Neville Wran without Sid Einfeld, or indeed Bob Carr without Refschauge? Has anyone noticed that the real immolation of NSW Labor began with the resignation of John Watkins, has anyone thought to ask themselves how different life would be if Sussex St had been prepared for Watkins to succed Carr rather than Iemma?
The alliance between Rudd and Gillard was not an "unholy alliance", it was the essential alliance. In pursuing this alliance Rudd had learnt from Simon Crean who had attained the leadership by partnering with the inept Jenny Macklin. The ministry tht Rudd claimed the right to select probably varies little from the Ministry that a proper factional deal would have served up - except for the fact that all the factions, incl;uding the NSW Right, really exist as myriad sub-factions.
As for Rudd, I think his moves to accomodate the NSW Right are far more about ensuring they don't become a threat to him, rather than some kind of buttress against an assault from Gillard. One has to remember that the NSW Right was firmly behind Beazley at all times, and was avowedly opposed to the ascension of both Latham and Rudd. His error will be in over-estimating the threat they pose, and of listening too much to their entreaties and claims to be the brilliantly successful machine they claim to be.
My understanding from my own sources is that the NSW Right is trying to flex its muscles in Canberra. Those who feel seduced by them need to analyse how unsuccessful the NSW Right has been in its direction setting for Canberra, how it has managed to monumentally kill its own State Government and how it continues to project an image more akin to the politicians of the era of The Wild Men of Sydney.