Saturday, September 06, 2008

NSW Labor Supernova

In February, (, I wrote that the NSW Labor Government, led my Morris Iemma, was set to supernova. (other media use the term 'implode') Then, the main issue was corruption; in, and outside, Wollongong City Council. I raised other issues, including incompetent project management, the proposed privatisation of electricity, and incompetent Health Minister (Reba Meagher).

In July, (, I wrote that NSW needed new ministers, and that at least the following should go: Morris Iemma, Michael Costa, Reba Meagher, Frank Sartor, David Campbell, Joe tripodi & Graeme West; and that NSW had become a dictatorship (under Morris Iemma and Michael Costa).

I August, (, I suggested that the embarrassment that ensued when Morris Iemma's early recall of Parliament backfired, and it became obvious that Parliament would not allow the privatisation of electricity, was "unsustainable".

Yesterday, 5-Sept, that supernova occurred. The Right faction would not allow Morris Iemma to dump Reba Meagher, & others, in a cabinet reshuffle. The opportunity occurred because of the sudden resignation of his Deputy Premier John Watkins on Tuesday. Certainly the NSW Labor Party executive had a hand in the behind-the-scenes politicking, given Morris Iemma's defiant stance against party policy over electricity. Morris Iemma's own Right faction withdrew support for him, because he wouldn't accept their (suggested) cabinet. Iemma resigned, rather than suffer a Party-room bloodbath. Like Costa, he has indicated he will resign from parliament, too.

Meanwhile Michael Costa held a 25-minute press conference, essentially to say that only he could have made the tough budget decisions; and unloading bucketsful about the state of NSW's finances / budget.

So NSW has a new Premier, Nathan Rees, and Deputy Premier, Carmel Tebbutt, both of whom are from Left-wing factions. The new Cabinet will likely be announced today, after a full caucus meeting. The supernova has, as with stars, been slow to build, but quick and brutal in its effects. The Right faction's grip on Parliamentary power, in Leadership and behind the scenes, seems to be broken. You could only shed crocodile tears for right-wing power-brokers Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid.