A key witness who accused a Labor MP of illegal sexual conduct in Adelaide parklands has admitted that he got the wrong MP, that “he made a mistake”, that “It was a case of mistaken identity” All that for nothing?

Not necessarily. Why don’t South Australia’s politicians also make an admission? Don Dunstan was, in Gore Vidal’s felicitous phrase, pansexual. He was also one of the cleverest and most charismatic premiers this nation has seen. And he was pilloried mercilessly by the Liberals who couldn’t forgive that a man who should have been one of their own, a child of the Adelaide establishment, should become one of Labor’s greatest leaders.

Their deeds were repaid in spades by a Labor whispering campaign in the eighties. Slurs based on sex and sexuality have been a stock in trade for both sides of politics in South Australia for 40 years now. If people are fessing up, why don’t the pols say that?

Peter Fray

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