As Bob
Carr rides off into the sunset, leaving Morris Iemma at the rather wobbly wheel, one can almost hear
the gnashing teeth among certain Labor-friendly consulting outfits, and the
sound of well-heeled soles scrambling to get an angle on the new boss.

The premier, deputy and treasurer are gone. With a
new broom sweeping down the musty
Sussex Street, the old guard
lobbyists are looking tired, disconnected and bewildered.

The Carr
Dynasty produced a number of high-profile political operators who made
the shadowy corridors of power their own, with
many spinning off to establish their own businesses in the field of influence-peddling and
shoulder-rubbing.

In
fact, some made no secret of their Carr connections, claiming to have
orchestrated election wins (success,
fathers and orphans spring to mind).

However, Carr’s mercurial exit appears to have
caught some of these spivs
flat-footed.

Gone is the warm, maternal sounds of gentle suckling on the teat of patronage.

In its
place are the raspy gasps of shock, a sheen of shareholder sweat, and the unfamiliar sight of
well-fed suits jostling for where the
crumbs might fall from the new
Emperor’s banquet table.

How
these outfits handle the transition to Iemma will make fascinating viewing.
Given Iemma’s self-confessed “low profile,” who will be best placed to glide in
on the new man’s coat-tails?

Political favour certainly comes in waves, and one only needs to look at
the changing of the PR, advertising and marketing guard in the revolution from
Kennett to Bracks to see how quickly a change in the political landscape can
also change the fortunes of a well-connected spin
outfit.

Peter Fray

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