Some years back, I did a seven month contract stint as a legal officer for a government agency whose offices were in the Piccadilly Tower in Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

Each day, I’d pass a cigar shop whose display window featured a life-size cardboard photo of Bill Clinton thanking the store for its donation of a trial cigar.

I’m not sure if motels in Canberra will be making similar offers to former upper house member and Hanson staffer David Oldfield. He’s been denying for the past week or so in the Clintonesque vein that he did not have s-x with that woman. Oldfield even offered to take a lie detector test.

News Limited papers report today the outcome of one such test, conducted on Seven’s tabloid Today Tonight last night.

Hanson now has even less reason to retract her claims that Oldfield slept with her to get a seat in Parliament. Presumably Oldfield could not have relied on his previous boss, Tony Abbott, to accept such an offer.

Speaking of Abbott and Oldfield, this week I reminisced about my sinful days as a conservative head-kicker in the NSW Liberals. Some readers will be surprised to learn that the Right of the Liberal Party always regarded Oldfield as firmly in the small “l” camp known as the Group.

I recall one right wing power broker fond of organising human rights conferences frequently saying: “That Oldfield isn’t to be trusted.”

In fact, members of the Right were most upset when Abbott hired Oldfield, regarded as the Group’s preferred candidate for the seat of Manly in the 1995 State Election.

Even some of Abbott’s existing staffers were not amused, seeing it as an attempt by Abbott to appease the Group and discourage them from mounting a pre-selection challenge against Abbott himself.

Oldfield was narrowly defeated in the 1995 Election by the independent. The Right’s preferred candidate was former solicitor and Abbott loyalist Ian Macdonald. Oldfield had narrowly defeated Macdonald in the pre-selection for Manly.

So did Oldfield share more than just policy with his old boss Pauline? Or was the lie detector itself telling fibs? David, please explain.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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