When the entertaining antics of New South Wales Labor PM Peter Black
were reported in Crikey’s sealed sections, Crikey was inundated with stories
of Blackie. Here’s some our recent
coverage:

Black’s blackout

Sealed section – 12 March

Will the tired and emotional New South Wales Labor PM Peter Black get the same sort of coverage poor old Andrew Bartlett copped?

Crikey understands his performance in the Legislative Assembly on
Wednesday night was even better than Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.

Everything, we hear, is captured in its entirety on video – including a
moment’s interesting intercourse with the gorgeous, pouting, blonde
Member for Strathfield, Virginia Judge.

New South Wales Labor’s black night

Sealed section – 14 March

The story of New South Wales Labor MP Peter Black’s torrid time on the
turps – and Barry O’Farrell’s expulsion from Parliament by the Tammany
boys for stating the truth – has made international papers.

All the explicit details of Black’s, er, intercourse, with the Member
for Strathfield, gorgeous, blonde, pouting Virginia Judge, have been
recorded.

However, another detail seems to have been omitted entirely. It’s time for Crikey to correct this.

Members and staff started drifting into the bar at Macquarie Street on
Wednesday evening to find that Black had long since made himself
comfortable at his usual table by the door.

After a while either nature called or Black decided a bit of fresh air
would do him good or something, so he got up to leave – only to have a
bit of trouble with a piece of high-tech equipment. The door. Black
couldn’t get out.

After a few attempts at opening the recalcitrant portal, Black realised
it was a security door. A quick pat of the pockets and a bit of
fumbling produced the card. He waved it in the right direction, the
door made encouraging beeps – but Black remained unable to push or pull
it open.

By now it was clear to everyone that Black was having problems – but a
Good Samaritan came to his aid, yelling out that it was a sliding door.

Black attempted to slide it left and right – even though the door very obviously opened on a pivot.

Finally, he got lucky. The thing opened and Black got out – and retreated to the gents amidst roars of amusement.

That was a laughing matter. Another matter that has not been adequately
canvassed either – the conduct of Labor Party Members in the vote to
expel Barry O’Farrell from the House for stating the truth – is not.

Bob Carr is big on personal responsibility.

His colleagues made a morally wrong decision when they voted along party lines to expel O’Farrell on Wednesday night.

We trust O’Farrell’s suspension will be lifted – and that he will
receive a suitable apology for this shabby episode from the Premier and
the dupe who was in the chair, Acting Speaker John Mills, soon. Very
soon.

Indeed, if the Parliamentary Labor Party wants to really make amends,
it should consider replacing its stooge with someone who possesses the
intelligence and integrity that is required to maintain the decorum of
the House.

It’s a virtual dead cert that they’d get the support of the Coalition and the Independents on that vote.

The black and black mishap shows

Sealed section – 16 March

Reggie Regional-Hack writes:

“Enjoying the Peter Black saga. When he was ALP candidate for
Riverina-Darling against the incumbent Nat Noel Hicks in the early
1990s, he made a stunning impression on the people of Griffith NSW by
arriving pissed on the campaign trail, walking down the main street
chewing on an egg salad roll and spraying the populous with chewed egg
before departing back to his stronghold of Broken Hill where I am told
he did a Clark Kent impression leaving the aircraft without the aid of
steps.”

There are a million stories in the naked city – so we’re only just scratching the surface with Blackie. Keep ’em coming in.

And by the way, Mr Carr and Mr Factional Hack Over promoted to the Job
of Deputy Speaker John Mills, where are your apologies to Barry
O’Farrell?

Mills is a factional grotesque in the Leo McLeay mode, but we have a
right to expect something better from Carr. The New South Wales Premier
has been talking tough on issues ranging from terrorism to grant
allocations to the states for a couple of days now. Are you big enough
to apologise for his party’s errors?

And what about making MPs pay full freight in the NSW Parliament’s bar
rather than enjoying subsidised grog. Could someone flick us a price
list to prove how cheap it would have been for Blackie to get blottoed?


More drunken Blackie stories


Sealed section – 16 March

A political player in regional NSW writes:

There are many stories about Peter Black’s reputation for liking a
drink – but having worked on campaigns against him in Murray Darling I
have heard about as many as I need.

Unlike many of the large regional electorates held by the Coalition –
Blackie has access to a personal driver – which may be understandable
when you consider the size of his electorate (half of NSW) – but it is
not understandable when you consider that other members do similar
sorts of distances without the benefit of a taxpayer funded ‘driver” –
speculation of course is that the driver is to keep Blackie out of as
much trouble as possible.

The stories about Blackie abound, ranging from the ridiculous to the
disgusting. They are often around the same time as Shire Council
gatherings and most councillors in the Western Division have a Blackie
story or two. Publicans don’t really like him as he is a messy,
horrible drunk (on one occasion defecating himself) and is hard to get
rid of.

The real problem is that his indiscretions are more often than not
considered to be amusing stories around the electorate. I can spend
hours working myself up into a frenzy about the disgrace he is – but
the moral outrage of those in the media and the Nationals doesn’t seem
to resonate out there.

When it comes down to it all Broken Hill, his hometown, and the town
which is by definition, Labor heartland, accounts for well over a third
of the electorate in population terms – and so half of NSW
(geographically) is now represented by a man you can’t have a sober
meeting with after lunch.


In defence of cheap grog at State Parly


Sealed section – 17 March

A former staffer in the NSW Parliament writes:
Lay off the cheap grog at NSW State Parly! It’s the only thing that
keeps the remaining demoralised staff there happy. Think about it. The
Legislature owns the building. They don’t pay rent. Probably haven’t
since 1846 when the Legislative Council moved in.

Clerks of the Parliament, John Evans and Russell Grove are smart
managers. The Parliament’s plant and equipment supplies
air-conditioning to the State Library next door and Sydney Hospital,
along with hot water, for which those institutions pay.

It also generates electricity for the State Library and Sydney Hospital
via a natural gas generating set that kicks in when the price of
electricity goes beyond a certain price, so they never pay full whack
for their sparks and sell the surplus to boot, thus saving the
Parliament, the hospital and the library- big money that they can use
to do more important work.

The bottle shop and strangers bar do offer a very competitive range of
drinks, but so do some pubs and clubs who subsidise the costs of their
food and beverages with the proceeds from poker machines. If you ran a
business that didn’t pay rent and could run the lights and air-con on
the cheap, you’d pass on the savings to your clients as well.

It should be further pointed out that the House Committee also choose a
white and a red each year from a range of NSW growers who vie for the
prestige of having their product stocked in the bar and dining room.
Price is just as much a factor in their decision as the quality for the
House wines.

The staff there do a tremendous job and don’t get paid tremendous
wages. All this constant criticism doesn’t do their morale any good.

How ’bout a big hand for the things that they do right for a change.
And for David Draper, Manager of Catering and the boys that keep the
plant running.
Ex-staffer

CRIKEY: And full marks for continuing to serve a thoroughly drunk
Blackie. Don’t licences require managers to responsibly serve alcohol?

Drunk Blackie story number 3693

Sealed section – 19 March

Crikey’s spy on the Broken Hill writes:

A decade or so ago, a high level group from a regional NSW university,
led by the then Chancellor, travelled to Broken Hill for a Chancellor’s
Forum with the Silver City’s community, educational and business
leaders.

Unfortunately, the visit coincided with the later stages of a sister
city sporting visit from Bankstown. Peter “Blackie” Black, the lad who
has just covered himself with drunken glory in the NSW Upper House, had
obviously played the role of convivial host to the Bankstown group with
enthusiasm, and burst into the Forum luncheon very late and very
definitely “pissed”. The assembled civic worthies and their university
visitors were confronted by the apparition of the mayor, clad in what
appeared to be a rumpled pyjama shirt under his coat.

Blackie spent the rest of the event advancing forceful arguments for
the superiority of his bachelor’s degree in science over the multiple
doctorates in various lesser disciplines held by the astounded visiting
academics. He supported his thesis with demonstrations of his ability
to sing several verses of “Gaudeamus Igitur” in Latin. As he must have
felt that an optimum result would be achieved by addressing his dulcet
warblings to each table of guests in turn, the event degenerated into
farce with tables being evacuated by fleeing diners as the mayoral
troubadour could be spied advancing towards them in a counter-clockwise
progression around the hall.

Possibly the most memorable Chancellor’s Forum addressed by the
university group, if not the most successful. As an afterthought, it
must be said that Blackie and Noel Hicks were far and away the best
Broken Hill mayors in living memory, in terms of the effectiveness of
their efforts on behalf of the city. It’s just a shame that Blackie’s
enthusiastic approach to the social requirements of his job take the
gloss off his performance.