Our subscribers ask the trickiest questions. A Sydney Crikey-ite writes:

Who exactly are the people variously described as “the NSW
Labor machine” and “the faceless men” who foisted Mr Iemma on us as
premier? Who told Trapodi and Obeid to dump Scully and get Iemma
elected as leader? Was it just Arbib or are there others?

Surely I can’t be the only person who wants to know. Why not name them?

Why not indeed. Our subscriber is correct in surmising that NSW
ALP general secretary Mark Arbib was not the lone mastermind in
shoehorning an obscure back room operator into the premier’s office.

This coup bears the fingerprints of five state general secretaries of
the party – Graham Richardson, Stephen Loosley, John Della Bosca,
Roozendaal and Arbib. Richo, Morris’s mentor, was particularly
keen to get his former staffer up.

Mark Arbib did the hands-on work on behalf of Sussex Street, rustling
up the polling that sank Carl Scully. But there were some elected
representatives in the thick of the action. You have to trawl
right to the bottom of Paola Totaro’s SMH piece on Saturday to get this ripper quote:

Says a former MP: “I don’t think you will find anyone who
has a harsh word about Morris Iemma. But he has some horrible-looking
assistants – Eric Roozendaal, Joe Tripodi, Eddie (Obeid)… let’s hope
that old shop’s not open for business again.”

Roozendaal, Tripodi and Obeid are leaders of the Terrigals subfaction
of the Right. Scully was gutted when his mentor, Obeid, switched sides
and backed Iemma last week. As the Daily Tele put it poignantly: “Dumped by his mates.”

Another former general secretary, Michael Costa, wasn’t an upfront
member of the Iemma plot. He rather fancied himself in the top
job, but reluctantly acknowledged his abrasive style had long ruled him
out of the running.

The Left, meanwhile, provided their own machinations. Andrew Refshauge
received the kiss of death last Monday when federal factional heavy
Anthony Albanese publicly “supported” him continuing as deputy leader.

Refshauge saw the writing on the wall and quit the next day, leaving
the job to be fought out between John Watkins and Carmel Tebutt
– otherwise known in the deep genetic pool of NSW Labor as Mrs
Anthony Albanese.