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NSW: A political state short of skilled Labor

The NSW Labor Party’s leaderless operating model is beginning to attract attention from political parties worldwide. I think the Brits are borrowing it for Brexit.



It is a remarkable fact that ever since the state election we’ve been spared the usual stream of gaffes from a leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party in NSW.

This is, of course, an enormous boost to the party’s image and is starting to promote a general opinion that the NSW Parliamentary Labor Party functions infinitely better when it isn’t burdened with the handicap of a leader.

It’s true that things ran pretty well under Bob Carr but ever since Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi got into the power-broking business, leadership standards seem to have slipped.

Morris Iemma was a good sort of a guy but was no match for Eddie and Joe’s renewable power-broking which achieved political climate change by recycling Nathan Rees from garbo to green premier.

Nathan’s subsequent performance as Premier soon prompted Eddie and Joe to bring on a Clean Up The NSW Premier Day when they re-recycled Nathan back to the bins and ushered in Kristina for a series of remarkable manoeuvres that propelled her to state premier and then to the federal shadow cabinet without having to suffer the tiresome business of winning an election.

Luke Foley and Michael Daley were state premiership contenders who suffered from not having the broking power of Eddie and Joe behind them. Michael lost the NSW election with such profound effect that Bill Shorten not only demanded his removal as leader prior to the federal campaign but also rated his impact on it as no less cataclysmic than Clive’s.



It’s an interesting fact that in recent years more Labor leaders both at state and federal level have been power-broked to power rather than elected.

There is a distinct lack of enthusiasm from either the NSW unions or the Party HQ in Sussex St for Chris Minns and Jodi McKay, the two candidates currently contesting the NSW Party leadership. This seems to indicate Labor have reached the point in NSW where they’re having trouble finding a leader that even the Party apparatchiks will vote for, let alone the public.

Yet all may not be lost, there are still other exciting contenders around for the NSW Labor Party leadership. It’s only a matter of time before Mark Latham and Pauline realise they are Two Nations rather than One. At that point, Mark is likely to switch allegiance back to Labor in the NSW Upper House because there’s no chance of him following the gospel according to Fred Nile.

John Setka is an interesting prospect for the NSW Labor leadership provided his possible expulsion from the Party doesn’t prove to be a handicap.

Unfortunately, Eddie and Joe no longer have any power left to broke.

Bill Shorten or Chris Bowen could be mid-term prospects for the job but only if the Coalition Government’s light rail service down George Street doesn’t open ’til 2030 and then goes completely off the rails.

The NSW Labor Party’s leaderless operating model is beginning to attract attention from political parties worldwide. In the UK, for example, it seems to have been adopted as a way to manage Brexit.


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