Hold the front page and get Diogenes on the line – we’ve found an honest man! And he’s NSW Labor to the core!!

On second thoughts, nobody would buy such an outrageous story. It’s much safer to run with the line that Peter Debnam is either Australia’s dumbest or most unlucky opposition leader. Or both.

With NSW Labor positively reeking on any number of fronts, Debnam managed to shoot himself in the foot while said foot was in his mouth by making allegations he couldn’t support against Attorney-General Debus. All the charisma-free Debnam should be doing is highlighting what the Carr Crash party has been proven guilty of, plus stopping his own ideologues from self-destructing. In a half-fair world, that would be enough.

For example, if Debnam wasn’t so busy getting his foot repaired, he would be dancing all over the Terror’s “Luxury Carr” scoop on the Macquarie Banker’s on-going fleecing of NSW taxpayers. Writes Kelvin Bissett:

BOB Carr has embarrassed his former State Government colleagues by racking up a new record of $438,683 for expenses billed by a retired premier.

The huge cost to NSW taxpayers of keeping Mr Carr in his first year of retirement includes a $4287 bill for unspecified “books and periodicals”.

The bills were incurred while Mr Carr took on a controversial new job as an adviser with Macquarie Bank, an appointment rumoured to be worth $500,000 a year.

The itemised costs do not include his indexed pension, rumoured to be about $130,000 a year.

Rich, very rich indeed. Carr is only the worst of a very well rewarded troika. Nick Griener and Nifty Wran – decades after they left Parliament and despite doing very nicely in the private sector since – still claimed $393,183 and $367,994 respectively from we mug taxpayers last year. We’re paying them much more now than they copped in salary when they were Premier.

Which leaves us with the honest man. Former Premier Barry Unsworth doesn’t claim a cent. He is chairman of State Transit, but reports the Terror:

A spokesman for Mr Iemma confirmed that Mr Unsworth did not lodge any claims, even refusing a vehicle.

“As far as I know, he lives on the Northern Beaches and catches Forest Coachlines to work with other commuters,” the spokesman said.

“I think he’s just an all-round good bloke and does not want to charge anything to taxpayers.”

Unlike some others.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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