Premier Bob Carr’s former spinmeister Walt Secord returned to state politics today as chief of staff to the NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal.
Secord’s first job for Roozendaal will be to organise the presentation of the State Budget to be delivered on June 2 and give it, as the Canberra Press Gallery would say, a narrative.
For the past 12 months Secord has worked in Canberra as chief of staff to the Federal Minister for Ageing Justine Elliott, a junior member of Kevin Rudd’s outer ministry.
Before that he worked for Team Rudd organising the Prime Minister’s sweeping election victory in November 2007.
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Secord, aka the Man Mountain, is a Canadian-Indian who won dubious fame for keeping the long-running Bob Carr media show on the road.
After Carr resigned in mid-2005, Secord briefly worked for his successor Morris Iemma before moving to Labor’s preferred private consultancy, Hawker Britton, and began representing bigtime developers who were also donors to the NSW ALP.
Secord’s return to the Government’s general staff in Governor Macquarie Tower follows the return of Graham Wedderburn, Premier Nathan Rees’s chief of staff, in February.
Indeed, Wedderburn is believed to have recruited Secord after concluding that the Government’s current image-makers aren’t up to the job.
Instead of selling Rees and the Government, many of today’s ministerial PRs spend their time working purely for the advancement of their own ministers and their petty factional interests. It results in a discordant culture of a-se-covering, backstabbing and political intrigue.
With Wedderburn in charge of Rees’s office and Secord running Roozendaal’s office, the wistful hope is that the embattled Labor Government can regain its direction and make a contest of the next state election in March 2011.
Can these two Carr-Rudd loyalists turn around the State of Disrepair? Not if they don’t take out Finance Minister Joe Tripodi, terminate the political career of Eddie Obeid and gag ex-Planning Minister Frank Sartor who is mischievously leading The Sydney Morning Herald on a merry chase.