A bottle of wine, a thank you note, a premier gone. Did Barry O’Farrell have to walk? Bernard Keane, and the words that trapped the premier. Fact-checking the latest coal spruik, plus Clive Hamilton’s fresh Dirty Dozen. The real Badgerys Creek dilemma — fuel. At the launch of ANZ’s new “newsroom”. And the Packer dynasty (and long-lost son).
The Independent Commission Against Corruption was supposed to expose corruption in the Labor Party. The biggest scalps have been two Liberals. Today came the biggest of all.
Three years ago, Premier Barry O’Farrell received a bottle of wine from party fundraiser (and ICAC star) Nick Di Girolamo. O’Farrell personally penned a thank you note. He didn’t remember that yesterday; he still doesn’t today. But now we have the letter. O’Farrell, foreseeing a scandal his government may never have freed itself from, fell on his sword.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this morning:
“We are seeing an act of integrity, an act of honour, the like of which we have rarely seen in Australian politics. I admire him tremendously for this …”
It’s hard not to agree. O’Farrell is at best forgetful, at worst inept. The sins of some who have taken the stand at ICAC are far worse.
But O’Farrell had no scapegoat and too much to lose. And so the fog descends on Macquarie Street once more.