There is much about the Liberal Party’s campaign at the recent state election to pick over; however, for the moment it is the prospect of the few transitory and illusory rewards to be found in the wreckage of the outcome that are consuming many.

Perhaps the most audacious to cock her hat at a leadership position following Colin Barnett’s decision to stand down is the state member for Nedlands, Ms Walker, a former Mrs Ross Lightfoot.

As is often the wont of those who have succeeded through factional alliances, when ambition calls, the instinct is to disown your own and condemn others. Walker has been until very recently a fully paid up subsidiary of the Colin Barnett grouping, which has found her Shadow Attorney General.

By any measure, Colin Barnett has been extraordinarily generous to Walker in his allocation to her of Shadow Ministry portfolios. His reward for what might in retrospect be seen as political folly, is to have Walker now dumping on him for his conduct and execution of the campaign. Loyalty is a curious commodity.

Having attacked Barnett, Walker now further claims as part of her campaign propaganda that the Liberal Party in Western Australia is so factionalised that people such as she are without a voice or influence in their own destiny.

Insofar as Ms Walker has singled me out as allegedly having mystical powers of control and dominance over a party of which I have not been a member or participant for well over a decade, I am invited to look at Ms Walker’s claim of factional innocence.

To that we shall return, however for the moment let us look at Ms Walker’s life and times in the Liberal Party.

Walker is the daughter of an English working class family who immigrated on an assisted passage from Honicknowle in the district of Eggbuckland near Plymouth. Walker’s father continued his bricklaying trade in Western Australia and Ms Walker subsequently married one of his bricklayer employees, becoming Mrs Sue Holman.

Some little time later Mrs Holman nee Walker left her husband for Ross Lightfoot. At the time Lightfoot owned sheep pastoral properties in Western Australia. Ms Walker’s CV in part reads that “In the 1970s she was a pastoralist and grazier on sheep stations around Gascoyne Junction and Shark Bay”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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