Last time he was Lord Mayor, Allan Watson was defiantly piped out of
Melbourne Town Hall by a clansman in a kilt. Can Watson make a welcome
When Allan Watson was sacked as Melbourne Lord Mayor by the Kennett government in 1993, he didn’t go quietly.
After the letter came from the Governor of Victoria saying the entire
recently-elected Melbourne City Council would be turfed out on their
ears as part of the then government’s enforced council amalgamations
plan, Watson made sure his political downfall was marked with some
sense of style and decorum.
Watson, son of Jimmy (of wine bar and trophy fame), made sure the
administrators didn’t get hold of the last three bottles of fine
champagne left in the councillors’ room, then arranged for a kilted
piper to escort him from the building.
Just why this gregarious gourmand wants to get back into the Lord
Mayor’s office in Swanston Street is anybody’s guess. “I made the
decision on the spur of the moment,” he told Crikey’s freeloading operatives in his Lygon Street boozer this afternoon.
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Watson is one of 21 hopefuls seeking to toss out the
communication-challenged incumbent John So from the big comfy chair in
Melbourne’s town hall.
So is odds-on favourite to keep the job the job he was first elected to
in 2001 because he has piles of cash and the full-on support of
the Bracks government. The fact that So has not achieved any of his
core promises from the last campaign does not seem to deter people from
picking him the likely winner from the huge field.
The Herald Sun today identified at least six of the mayoral and councillor candidates as preference-swapping stooges for James Long’s
political dreams. Allan Watson isn’t one of them. He’s running with his
wife, the former lady mayoress Judy, as his deputy but he is reluctant
to call her a stooge. He only recognises about half a dozen of the
names of the other 20 candidates standing for election as mayor to the
nation’s second largest city.
“It’s getting so you can’t tell the genuine stooge from the pretend stooge,” Watson says.