Just days after being returned to power, it’s business as usual for the Western Australian ALP – a weak leader, a dodgy cabinet and strong factions.
Gallop has made room for five new cabinet members, but could only determine one of the new positions himself. He managed to install Mark McGowan, but needed all of his newfound authority to do so. Gallop named a number of other people, including two women, as preferred candidates for cabinet – but with no success.
Kate Doust, right power broker and fellow Victoria Park resident, was at the top of his list – but she got crossed out early. Instead the lucky winner is John Bowler, the number one acolyte to veteran heavy Julian Grill. The former Labor MP, former leadership aspirant, trenchant critic of Gallop and one of only two lobbyists banned from any meeting with any minister, Grill is now basically back in Cabinet.
It gets better. The left were going to save Geoff by putting up a woman for one of their two new spots. Without any need for effort on his behalf it was all going to be okay – except the sisterhood went short on solidarity.
In a faction meeting of 10, four of the sisterhood’s strongest women supported a very weak man. Four women put into Parliament with the help of Emily’s List – Sally Talbot MLC, Louise Pratt MLC, Carol Martin MLA and Dianne Guise MLA. Four women, two gay, one black, all militant, managed to install a man – and, defacto, install a relic.
Geoff Gallop is not a Premier, just a scared academic who can’t control the party he leads. And Emily’s List is… is….
Ah well. At least everyone can agree WA Labor is a mess.