Andrew Landeryou might have ruined his
political and commercial career with his runaway effort and failed
business dealings with the Melbourne University Student Union and dot
bomb company IQ Corp, but the lad is certainly landing plenty of
punches on his entertaining tell-all blog. In terms of independent
online revelations about Victorian politics, this is the biggest thing
since the original www.jeffed.com site from 1999 and all those Delia
Delegate and Hack Hack bunfights on Crikey in 2002.

Solomon Lew
might be worth close to $1 billion, but the guy doesn’t seem to have a
clue when it comes to running a PR campaign, as was demonstrated by his
firing of Philip Bowman as Coles Myer finance director in 1995. Like
Bowman did with the notorious Yannon transaction, Landeryou is
promising to tell all about Solly and yesterday when we checked the
blog he had a revealing interview with a chap who claimed to be private
eye who had done some interesting sleuth work for the former Coles Myer
chairman.

Landeryou
has certainly gone full circle as the formerly obsessively secretive
businessman and political backroom player now has his new mobile phone
number on the home page. We tried calling (0415) 993 326 this morning
to check and the bloke at the other end certainly claimed to be
Landeryou. We don’t know what Crikey has done to upset him, but
Landeryou now has a link to our site which reads “Crikey – on the
Slide?”

Beating up on the media seems to be a central theme. Yesterday he tore through Fin Review reporter Nicole Lindsay, and he has also been spraying The Age’s
Leonie Wood and David Elias, who have certainly been well briefed by
the Lew camp in their interesting coverage of the “missing millions,”
which has portrayed Landeryou as a crook who ran off with Solly’s money.

The
truth would appear to be a little more complex. Solly invested $4
million in Landeryou’s dotcom in February 2000 – the same month Crikey
was launched – at a valuation of $32 million. The norm for these sorts
of dotcom companies is that they went broke or lost the vast proportion
of their boom-time valuations.

February 2000 was the apex of the
dotcom boom because the Dow Jones index peaked a month earlier and the
NASDAQ peaked a month later. There’s hardly anyone anywhere who
invested right at the top of the boom who didn’t take a haircut.
Somehow Solly then managed to “persuade” Landeryou in September last
year to refund his equity losses and take on $3 million in shares that
were worthless because IQ Corp was in liquidation. Solly is a hard man
who hates to lose money, but he really must have had something over the
Labor mover and shaker to persuade him to drag his wife and father into
the equation.

But is it worth the headaches that will flow from
a tell-all blog by someone who clearly has a lot of material to run
with. Today’s posting from Landeryou has an entertaining tale of
Solly’s failed pie company venture, which was allegedly done over by Choice
magazine for not having the mandatory 25% per cent meat content. “Lew’s
good friend Bill Kelty was on the AFL Commission at the time when Sol
Lew’s meat pies with no meat were granted an official AFL endorsement,”
wrote Landeryou.

Hmmm, it would be interesting to know if
another then AFL Commissioner and Solly mate, ACCC chairman Graeme
Samuel, was also helpful in winning Solly’s Great Southern Pie Company
the AFL endorsement. Stay tuned for more revelations, this could be
quite an entertaining ride.

Peter Fray

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