Was pleasant
to hear from my little mate Stephen Luntz yesterday in Crikey after all
these years making reference to the Melbourne University Student Union,
the two Darren Rays and the Ben/Dan Casses. While I cannot remember a
Dan Cass, I certainly remember Stephen. In my day, the lovable Stephen
was affectionately known in Labor right circles as Hunchy. I had been
preparing a profile piece on Hunchy for my blog but in the
circumstances I’ll abbreviate it and share it with Crikey’s readers.

What
Stephen forgot to detail was his own involvement in the colourful
history of MUSU. As an ultra left partisan from Left Alliance/Education
Action Group he was involved with student politics for many years. He
added to the average intelligence of their group but certainly didn’t
add much charm. Generally the practice was that someone from a
Christian group was put in charge of the elections when I was around
MUSU (as they were the only ones we could all agree to trust back
then). Stephen managed to move on into the nice Christian operatives’
circle and install a company called First Preference Elections (later
in conjunction with KPMG). Despite being a highly partisan figure at
MUSU, evidently the Left wing powers that be had no problem with their
friend and mentor Stephen Luntz running their elections for four years
running.

No doubt he did a good job and all was accordance with
the rules. Although it does seem a bit rich now for Luntz’s ultra left
successors to attack the ALP member Ben Cass for operating an election
company GTS which seemed to do much the same thing. Hunchy’s ally, the
Green David Risstrom, endorsed the integrity of one election count when
presiding on the Electoral Tribunal as a left wing appointment.

Stephen
has, of course, gone on to a lovely career of activism for the Greens
party and is involved in Critical Mass, the militant bicycle group. He
had planned to take up a paid position with the Greens Senate candidate
David Risstrom if Risstrom got up. Due to the brilliant planning of
Labor’s Stephen Newnham and Alan Griffin, Risstrom got shafted by the
Family First preference deal and the nice Christian prevailed. It seems
unlikely that Hunchy will be able to rise twice and move in on the
Family First electorate office.