Many thanks to Chris for providing me with this link to Paul Keating's famous letter to John Robertson in 2008 when he replaced Michael Costa as an MLC.
As the party meanders to the conclusion that seemed to be ordained months ago, let's repeat some of his prophetic words;
When I came to see you about the Iemma Government's electricity privatisation proposals in April 2008, you will remember me telling you that reckless indifference by you and Bernie Riordan to the Government's fortunes, may see the Government destroyed and for which, you and Riordan would be held accountable. ...
And if the Government goes down, the lethal tally of men and women who will have lost their seats will be to your account and that of the Party officers who were complicit in the melee; namely Riordan, Bitar and Foley. ...
Let me tell you, if the Labor Party's stocks ever get so low as to require your services in its Parliamentary leadership, it will itself, have no future. Not a sherrick of principle or restraint have you shown. You have behaved with reckless indifference to the longevity of the current Government and to the reasonable prospects of its re-election.
It may be a novel concept to you, let me say that the conscientious business of governance can never be founded in a soul so blackened by opportunism.
(Commas are all PFKs own work!)
Robbo's supposed claim to fame is the orchestration of the campaign against Work Choices and the proposition that he, not the ACTU nor Federal Labor, brought John Howard down. He seems to be the only person in history with a claim to destroying both a Liberal and a Labor Government (though I think Billy Hughes came close).
Meanwhile Eddie Obeid has attempted his own spin that the factions had nothing to do with how the NSW Parliamentary Party behaved.
Interestingly he is, to a degree right. Because factions tend to imply groups of people bound together by a common goal, usually philosophically based. In the NSW ALP the split between the original Left (the Steering Committee) and the Right was about the centrality of the socialisation commitment in the platform. What Obeid was up to had nothing to do with this. It was all to do with his personal ability to weild power and influence.
Three paragraphs reflect it all;
At that point, there was a loss of confidence in the leader. The Centre Unity faction wanted Thistlethwaite and Rees out.
Even so, Rees wasn't tapped on the shoulder by caucus but by Thistlethwaite. Thistlethwaite told me, ALP president Bernie Riordan and Tripodi in Joe's office that he'd told Rees to step down, with a vote on the new premier to be held the next morning. That was the first we'd heard of it.
We advocated Kristina Keneally; head office supported Sartor. There were no recriminations. So it's nonsense to say factions run the show.
Why should the General Secretary be briefing the President together with Eddie and Joe in Joe's office? Why does he think that Rees was going to "step down" because Thistethwaite tapped him on the shoulder? (In the end he didn't - he had to be thrown out by the Right - including Eddie and Joe - voting against him and for a spill).
To show exactly how vacuous this man is, his last para reads;
The party will rebuild itself. There will be many new faces. We can rebuild but we need to listen to the community and advocate the policies they put forward.
How about having a philosophy of your own?
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est