Paul Keating’s delightful description of Brian Burke as the Arthur Daly of WA Labor is about right – the CCC evidence has exposed the former Premier as a manipulative and deceitful string puller.

So why wasn’t Burke buried by WA Inc and who helped him recuperate and then create a small fortune from the influence-pedaling business?

Keating says Premiers Gallop and Carpenter should have allowed Burke to return as a legitimate lobbyist, but that wouldn’t have stopped his outrageous and profitable power broking business.

This sounds like a clear case of institutional and moral failure in WA. Despite the colourful characters involved, no-one ever produced a definitive and widely-read book chronicling the appalling wheeling and dealing of WA Inc.

The CFMEU provides Burke with a car and then every mining company in WA hires the disgraced former premier to get cooperation from his best mate, who doubles as arguably the most militant unionist in the country.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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