Kevin Rudd is no welsher. The man clearly pays his debts. His support for the extraordinary decision to have Labor’s Federal Executive choose the party’s candidates for New South Wales repays the men who made him party leader.

The right wing controllers of Sussex Street might be accomplished branch stackers but they are not the only ones playing the game. If the normal processes were followed the party bosses would lack the numbers in some electorates to reward their chosen candidates.

But how to explain the scrapping of rank-and-file ballots without causing an almighty fight within the ranks? Get our man, the new leader, to say it was his idea so he could get the quality candidates he wants to join him in government.

And so it came to pass without any explanation from Mr Rudd why it is only in NSW that normal processes have to be abandoned. The truth, you see, is a little too sordid for a man with a clean cut image.