Don’t
listen to the dancing bears. Petro Georgiou is no bleeding heart. He was right
in the middle of the roughest, toughest, biggest, hardest, nastiest,
highest-stake political fight ever in our nation’s political history as a key
adviser to Malcolm Fraser when the Liberal leader blocked supply and forced Sir
John Kerr’s hand.

He was
there with Jeff in 1992 as Victorian Liberal state director running a ruthless
campaign that grabbed the negligent, incompetent Cain and Kirner governments
and rubbed their faces in the sh*t they’d left.

He told John
Hewson in the lead up to the unlosable election that he wasn’t going to win.

No, Petro’s
tough. He’s also smart enough to know that compassionate policies temper tough
politics. That confuses some critics.

It’s
impossible to believe that a veteran like Georgiou wouldn’t work his branches.
That’s one reason why we’ve always said he was going to win. But Georgiou has also
been the beneficiary of two levels of Liberal parochialism in this
preselection.

The first
has been absolute Kooyong parochialism – the local little old lady land of the
Kooyong Liberal Party, the inhabitants of which wouldn’t’ve liked being told to
vote for an outsider by other outsiders, no matter how important their titles
and impressive their resumes.

The second
has been Victorian parochialism. There have only ever been two Liberal Prime
Ministers from outside Victoria. Kennett backed him. Costello
backed him. Nuff said?

You’ve also
got to acknowledge the work MLC David Davis does. Kooyong is part of his turf.

So who’s
win is it? Well, the powers that be in the Victorian Liberal Party have joined
together to see off an interloper very, very successfully. They couldn’t have
done such a good job if Georgiou was the lazy limp latte leftie some silly
solipsists claim he is.

Peter Fray

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