We’ve received plenty of extra names for our burgeoning political
nepotism list
but the best anonymous email yesterday was definitely
this one:

The tangled webs in NSW include – Paul Whelan’s nephew John on your list
has now left Transport and went to Beazley but has just left
there. Paul Whelan’s son (the other) John was with Michael Egan and his
daughter Bridgette is still with John Della Bosca where Julie Sibraa also
works and Aaron Gadiel, the brother of the Member for Parramatta, is
with Joe Tripodi as Chief of Staff. Davina Langton, daughter of ex
minister Brian Langton, is with Premier Iemma. Jane Fitzgerald, former
Watkins Chief of Staff (now on over 200K a year in a Police Ministry job), is cousin to Paul McLeay (Leo’s son and the
member for Heathcote) whose partner Cassandra Wilkinson works for Costa
and Jane’s mother is Paul’s electorate officer. Watkins’s daughter’s
boyfriend Polo is working for Sandra Nori and Watkins’s Chief of Staff, Emma
Murphy, is the niece of a former Wran Minister. The list goes on and
on. As you know, very few people get political jobs out of the

Meanwhile, we’ve heard from Victorian Liberal-turned-Independent Andrew Olexander who is vowing to sue the Sunday Herald Sun for this week’s splash about hiring his gay lover Jim Forbes as a part-time electorate officer. You can read his strongly worded statement in full here but the key point was as follows:

The article, and its contents, by their very nature represent the latest
instalment of the ongoing campaign of vilification, smear and dirt against me
which has been orchestrated by the Victorian Liberal Party and happily carried
out by the Herald Sun for at least the past three years. Today’s article,
and the way in which it was constructed, have however, sunk to a new low, even
for the Herald Sun.

Olexander could point to the contrasting way that the Herald Sun reported his drunken car crash troubles with the drink-driving conviction
of editor in chief Peter Blunden, although Blunden didn’t crash a
taxpayer-funded car or seemingly lose interest in performing his

There hasn’t been much tutting about Blunden’s behaviour in recent
years. Indeed, John Howard, Steve Bracks and Peter Costello all spoke
at the dinner celebrating his ten years at the top a couple of months
back and the Treasurer entertained guests with a tale about what
happened when new Daily Telegraph editor David Penberthy came to Melbourne to spend a Saturday with Blunden last year:

We went to an AFL game, then we went to the pub, then we
went to a Storm game, then we went to another pub and by the end of the
day we were both blind.

What a fine example to set for the rest of the community.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey