Crikey often receives interesting snippets of information from
subscribers, but there’re not always as they seem, as one interested
reader from Norway points out:

Sealed section – 28 May

A Newcastle resident writes:

Nepotism is an art form in Newcastle ALP circles, just look at any
electorate in the region and you’ll find seats passed down through
three generations of the same family (the Morrises, Jones, Fitzgibbons,
Hunters, Browns). If Milton Orkopolous’ parents and grandparents had
been born in Newcastle instead of Greece he’d be a 3rd generation heir
too.

But if you truly want to learn something about the incestuous side of
ALP politics, come to Newcastle. The major players all live within 5
minutes walk from my home, most of them clustered around the lovely
little inner-city oasis of Centennial Park (no slumming for the
Comrades).

At last count 75% of the Newcastle branch ALP electoral council (all 23
of them) lived within the immediate surrounds of Centennial Park. They
include former MHR Alan Morris, current MHR Sharon Grierson, the
daughters of former Newcastle Lord Mayor (and Morris puppet) Joy
Cummings, sundry children of Comrades who’ve married one another and
set up housekeeping around the park, expelled ALP parliamentary hopeful
Keith Parsons (who’s now turned Green), and until recently the less
than delightful Bryce and Barbara Gaudry (“Who?” I hear you asking, but
yes, Bryce is indeed the invisible State Labor member for Newcastle).

By the way, Bryce is a former teacher who has a generous superannuation
entitlement under the old NSW State super scheme, and now has topped it
up with a parliamentary pension, all the while sitting on his arse.

Oh, I forgot, Joy Cummings’ grand daughter, the actress Sarah Wynter,
also owns a house there. She’s not around very often, but she votes
Labor in the Newcastle electorate when it matters.

Truly, Crikey, it’s worth a look at, if only to see how creepy it is in the close confines of the ALP here in the heartland.

Cheers
Neville Newcastle


Brendan Wynter responds to “Neville Newcastle”

Just got this story that appeared in Crikey last week about the Labor party in Newcastle.

Just a few things about my grandmother and her family (though I’m sure the story is already way too obscure for your readers.)

Joy Cummings spent all but four of her political years residing in
Mayfield before suffering a disabling stroke. She died in 2003.

She was elected Lord Mayor of Newcastle the night Alan Morris attended
his first council meting as an alderman – hardly a puppet. Only one of
her daughters lives in Cooks Hill and her grand daughter Sarah has
never been on any electoral roll in Australia, nor does she own a house
in Newcastle.

None of her daughters or grand daughters, sons or grandsons, are or
have ever been members of the Newcastle ALP electoral council. None
have ever depended for their livelihood on political favours. All have
great admiration and respect for the long time residents of Cooks Hill
and Centennial Park area who built and nurtured a neglected slum from
scratch and who share values, ideals, and lasting friendships.

Still, I suppose the pissant that wrote the thing is obviously stewing
it, so I should be glad that Gran’s still getting up people’s noses,
even from the grave.

Love your paper.

Brendan Wynter
Skien Norway

Peter Fray

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