Christian Kerr writes:

There’s branch stacking and there’s fraud. Skulduggery
occurs in every political party. Criminal offences don’t. Rising star Bill
Shorten was blase about The Age‘s allegations against Right powerbroker George
when interviewed by Laurie Oakes yesterday:
The Age is very fond of branch
stacking stories.” If substantiated, The Age‘s allegations go way beyond that –
while representing everything voters hate about politics. It’s hard to be a
messiah if you’re damned by the company you keep.

Independent thinking. The NSW Liberal
Party still sees Manly as one of its seats even though voters have chosen to
elect independents in the past four elections,” the Sydney Morning Herald
reports today in the wake of the preselection of Mike Baird to contest the
seat. It appears that the curious combination of intervention from the PM,
Peter Debnam, Alan Jones and Tony Abbott were able to propel the lad over the
line – but that Tony Abbott may now suffer from independently minded Liberals.
The hard right are unhappy at the defeat of Michael Darby. The campaign may be
curious, too. Some key local personnel were strong Darby supporters.

Julia Irwin plays State of Origin. Julia
Irwin, Federal Labor Member for the ultra safe Sydney seat of Fowler,
fails to feature in those lists of dead wood MPs. Preselected by the
Sussex Street
bruvvers in 1998, 2001 and 2004 without a single vote of the local ALP
Irwin must be worried by Kim Beazley’s declaration that local
will be held in NSW in accordance with the Party rules. Her major
bastion of
support is the Mount Pritchard/St John’s Park branch, where her
electorate officer
is the branch secretary. Now a state redistribution has pushed the
branch into
territory held by state left winger, Paul Lynch – who takes a keen
interest in
such matters. He has already attended meetings and is keeping an eye on
attendance book. Funnily enough, the May meeting has now been shifted
to this
Wednesday. State Parliament will be sitting that evening, keeping Lynch
on Macquarie Street. It’s also the night of the first State of Origin
league game. So who will attend? That could be interesting.

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