Mood: accident prone
Topic: nsw govt
Imre Salusinszky of The Australian is chatting to Trioli on abc 702 radio this morning. It's all about 'Phil' Koperberg Minister for Minister for Climate Change Environment and Water. He's been stood aside over 20 year old allegations of violence. Looks grim for big K:
TWO more people have come forward to accuse tainted Labor star Phil Koperberg of wife-bashing - not his ex-wife and stepdaughter - as Morris Iemma's credibility lies in tatters over the scandal.
(It was curious to hear Imre refer to "trainwrecks" and "house of cards" which sound familiar terms to us from recent articles on other diverse political stories here on SAM. Methinks the old Imre has been slumming it at the down market blog (?). After all who do wonks have to talk to?)
Of interest is Adam Spencer on 702 deferring to Trioli coverage of the issue. He's perceived as too friendly to the ALP by some. Revealing too that Trioli pitches to Imre not Simon Benson (with an arguably friendly story to the big K in the News Ltd Daily Telegraph sister paper to Imre's The Australian yesterday).
Last Sunday we theorised about some of the angles,
- from Coaliition revenge on the Left Sisters over their Ernie awards post federal election loss, Prue Goward MP Opposition spokes on status of women would be up for it, no doubt.
- Or simply to damage K's 'go to' status with the bushfire season approaching being a legendary Bushfire commissioner previously. This has real potential to damage good governance in NSW.
The claims in the press today are that it's in house ALP power games, which is highly consistent also with post federal election quarrantining of brand ALP from scandal, which would backfire on any ALP aligned source pre election. Who really knows?
We still tend to think Koperberg is essentially a good man, while noting good people may conceivably do bad things in their past. Other than that we can't say what is fact in this specific case or in NSW politics very much generally, it's that kind of 'Hunter S Thomson' kind of milieu, surreal and dangerous all at once with the capacity to corrupt .... even the well intentioned observer if not very cautious. This was our take out last Sunday:
- Koperberg gets a big media kicking today in the press as a proxy for Iemma from News Ltd, not least as we head in to the fire season, always the big story from December onwards. K is the ALP's bushfire go to man. Could be an ugly strategy of the state Coalition to pick off K's credibility wings re climate change in causing mega fires as here on Robin Williams Science Show yesterday, so the loggers/National Party can avoid accountability for destroying humid canopies which are fire suppressant across huge areas of old growth this last 40 years of woodchipping in NSW. And coal miners won't mind an emasculated Koperberg either after his 'clean coal' honesty/backflip. This so called "shock" story in fact is a reheating of an alleged domestic violence story from ......1987? Are they going to go back to his high school days too? We are literally talking 20 years ago. For all we know the man might be a closet Budhist by now?As serious as domestic violence is there just isn't enough weight or nexus to his current public service to kick this along. Maybe if he was minister for DOCS or Status of Women (never likely), or even Health. [We notice Iemma is sticking by him on abc tv prime time news tonight and he runs some of these lines and that he has declared much of this previously at his pre selection.]
On further reading and reflection there is another real politik angle to this: Selective (?) outrage of the ALP Left sisterhood a la the Ernies, admittedly based on a dinosaur unionist but more recently a misconceived (?) attack on Joe Hockey ex federal Howard Govt minister which greatly annoyed the Shrek (for claimed disrespect to his hard working wife but actually a failure he says to note the irony in his tone.) Is this attack on the Big K a revenge on the Left Sisters for saying nothing about an AVO in their own NSW Cabinet? In any case it is trench warfare emotional violence (or as Christian Kerr would call it "wet work") and a very corrosive acid on the social fabric, not just the Big Parties, especially in the fraught territory of personal morality amongst career politicians. They are hardly known for consistency one week to the next let alone decade to decade.