Our journalism usually sits behind a paywall, but we believe this is the time to make more of our content freely available to as many readers as possible. For more free coverage, sign up to COVID-19 Watch.

In a surprise move, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has mended those broken Crikey fences and agreed to write a reflective column on his great victories. He should also reflect on the imminent demise of his mate Buffy Olsen in South Australia.

It was revealed just a fortnight ago that one of his personal staff had registered the domain name www.mikerann.com – Mike Rann being the leader of the opposition. Um!

But folks, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There’s been more in the way of on-line antics that will leave Adelaide agog!

Hillary hears that female Labor MPs in South Australia have been receiving lewd ‘n’ crude e-mails – e-mails that have now been traced back to Buffy’s very own office.

At the moment, Buffy is off in Hong Kong. Once this breaks, he might as well stay there – because it’s gonna be bye-bye Buffy, bye-bye!

Now let’s take a look at what Buffy’s great mate Jeff Kennett makes of all these Liberal Party shenanigans going on.

By Jeff Kennett

Fallen Emperor

It’s enough to make a great former Premier like me contemplate crawling into the foetal position and crying like a baby just as I did back in 1988 after John Cain beat me for the second time at a State Election.

I know some of you think I am a loser because I won only 2 general elections and lost 3 but that’s not true. I am really a winner – look at all my wins.

Kroger and Costello lost in Brighton and the Senate Preselection. When I win, I win big. Even if I have to send along a few supporters – OK – 8 in all for the Senate but that’s not really the point.

Even someone as wonderful as me couldn’t win everything. So Costello wins by one vote in Menzies – big deal. I control all the State Members bar one and even that unspeakable bore Victor Perton was against Andrews. What hope does that Pell clone have of holding his seat when Wendy Smith, Olexander, Furletti, Forwood and my very own favourite Kotsiras are lined up against him, knocking him down.

OK – so I couldn’t get Louise Staley up – but after all, she was unemployed, drunk and a factional rat. She couldn’t even get her former lover, Ian Carson, to vote for her. I was surprised Ian showed up. Maybe his passport had expired. I couldn’t understand how Peter Clarke didn’t vote for her. Perhaps, he felt his control over the genital areas of the new State Director might be weakened if he was seen to be bucking the Prime Minister.

What gets me is how hopeless Daryl Williams is at stacking preselections. Didn’t he learn anything from me. OK – he did knock one Branch off using questionable rulings as the independent and impartial chairman of the Constitutional Committee while acting as Campaign Manager for Louise but he should have been able to knock off a couple more. I’m surprised he didn’t disqualify Peter Costello and replace him with Petro Georgiou.

Talking of Petro, I really don’t know why he didn’t let David Davis take the seat of Kooyong. After all, Petro has better things to do – he could try to help Greece get back its balls – the Parthenon marballs – or perhaps assist Michael Knight on the diplomatic circuit.

I know there is no truth to the rumour that Richard Pratt has sworn off giving his regular $100K to the Victorian Division following the gentle persuasion tactics of Benjamin, Lipski and Storey. Haddon tells me there is no truth to the allegations being made that Dick was told the headline would have been: Rich adulterer seeks to control Liberals. That wouldn’t have been a nice thing for us to do.

I am really disgusted that Naphtheen hasn’t kept up the tradition of appointing the 8 State Reps to the Senate Preselection himself. I know it isn’t much of a tradition but I did start it for the 1998 Senate Preselection and I thought it was a good precedent especially if it stopped Kroger and Costello.

Also, the 8 reps elected by the party room aren’t my sort of people – why didn’t Asher, Baillieu, McIntosh and Kotsiros put up their hands for a guernsey? Robert Clark, Ron Bowden, Gerald Ashman, Victor Perton, Wayne Phillips, etc – a big bunch of no hopers.

I really hope my old friend Kay Paterson gets her number 2 spot back against Rod Kemp, the short dopey one of the two Kemp brothers. I’ve started gently nudging a few people – the Jewells will help Kay along.

I’m really pissed that the Prime Minister has said he’s going to promote Kevin Andrews to the front bench. That means Judy Troeth is going back down. Judy was really helpful with Joy Howley, Poggioli, Baillieu and Petro in getting rid of that pesky Synon woman. She should be made a Minister when Jocelyn Newman leaves next February. Straight into Cabinet I say and chuck David Kemp out.

The PM always asks my advice. I told him I’d promote Judy into Cabinet and give her Health and Family Services (so she could give her friend Louise Staley more jobs), knock David into something like Water Resources (too hard to knock him down to nothing – even I’m a realist), knock Rod to the back bench, push Petro into a Ministry like Multiculturalism and Treaty-making. That would keep everyone in Victoria really happy.

Judy was really helpful to Louise, with her speech and giving her all those nice summaries of Federal government achievements so Louise could swat up on questions. Judy is great how she kept her word to the PM that she would not publicly support Louise. After all you can’t be on the front bench and buck the PM. I’m in awe of her ability to utter such subtle nuances.

Richard Alston was even better. He told the PM he’d support Kevin and really regretted giving Louise all those jobs that she’d padded out her CV with. Then in his role as the Federal Parliamentary Rep to the Constitutional Committee he helps Daryl Williams knock off an Andrews branch. Wonderful !!! Poor old Robert Clark was the only one who said the Branch was Constitutional. Robert may have drafted the Constitution so he should know what it means but I prefer my legal advice to come from solid reliable people like Daryl Williams.

The only good thing about David Kemp is that he employs Daryl’s wife, Margaret Fitzherbert, close friend of Louise Staley, as his advisor. David was good enough to let Margaret help Louise Asher in Brighton, and stop that evil Costello clone, Mitch Fifield, getting the job.

I’ve got to go. Cheerio for now.

Peter Fray

This crisis will cut hard and deep but one day it will be over.

What will be left? What do you want to be left?

I know what I want to see: I want to see a thriving, independent and robust Australian-owned news media. I want to see governments, authorities and those with power held to account. I want to see the media held to account too.

Demand for what we do is running high. Thank you. You can help us even more by encouraging others to subscribe — or by subscribing yourself if you haven’t already done so.

If you like what we do, please subscribe.

Peter Fray
Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

Support us today