Last week we wondered out aloud
what a saviour of the federal ALP, AWU boss Bill Shorten, was doing
knocking around with low-rent local government faction hacks in the
Melbourne burbs. Well…

“Don’t underestimate the significance of
Bill Shorten appearing at a Coolaroo fundraiser on Wednesday,” a
subscriber writes. “The timing is interesting to say the least. It all
deals with Burhan Yigit’s cohort, Mohammed Abbouche.”

Abbouche
has been to-ing and fro-ing about a possible defection back to the
Left, where he was expected to be greeted with open arms. Last
Thursday, we understand, he turned up for work at what would be his new
place of employment – the office of Left Senator Gavin Marshall. After
further to-ing and fro-ing, Abbouche began to receive phone calls from
none other than Right powerbroker Stephen Conroy and Shorten.

After yet more to-ing and fro-ing, Abbouche finally announced a decision. He was staying with the right.

There’s
a lot of fuzz and static that makes news from the Victorian ALP
sometimes indistinct, but Crikey is told the clincher was the fact that
Shorten and Conroy were both calling Abbouche directly – while their
Left counterpart, Kim Carr, would not oblige accordingly.

But it’s a good thing the Victorian ALP has stamped out the practice of rewarding branch-stacking, hey?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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