“If you knew who I was, you would be surprised.” When Ian Macdonald allegedly said this to an Asian sex worker in a Sydney hotel room in 2009, he could not have imagined that his words would end up in a corruption inquiry.
It is a mark of Macdonald’s self-delusion that the 60-year-old party hack could possibly have imagined that the 34-year-old Tiffanie would have known (or cared) that he was, in fact, the NSW Minister for Energy.
In Tiffanie’s statement to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry, she says that after she removed her clothes, they lay down on the bed together and he kissed her “very roughly”.
“I felt very reluctant to be kissed by him because I didn’t like him,” she said. It was then that the Macdonald uttered this fatal phrase; clearly meant to be an aphrodisiac. However, the famed Minister for Energy almost immediately fell asleep.
Macdonald is yet to give evidence but in his statement he denies that there was any sex involved, and that he had gone to the Four Seasons Hotel to meet Tiffanie because he had “tightness in the neck” and was needing a “remedial massage”.
It would all be amusing if it wasn’t such a tragedy for the taxpayers of NSW, who have been ill-served by Macdonald and his ilk. If you want to know what is wrong with Labor, NSW is a good place to start. Decades of factional dealings, cronyism, branch-stacking and “whatever it takes” attitudes have created a government with ministers such as Macdonald , Joe Tripodi, Eddie Obeid, Milton Orkopoulos, Angela d’Amore and John Della Bosca.
Their actions were light years away from the ideals of public service or even acting in the public interest, and they thoroughly debased the high ideals that should come with public office.
The Independent Commission against Corruption is currently investigating allegations that Macdonald received sexual services paid for by Sydney businessman Ron Medich as a reward for introducing Medich to energy officials who could advance his business interests.
Medich is one of five men charged in connection with the murder of Michael McGurk in 2009.
Tiffanie, attractive and well-groomed, gave evidence with the assistance of a Mandarin interpreter. In her statement, she said of Macdonald that “the man was not young. I cannot describe him well because the lights in the room were not bright. I know he was not handsome but believe he was very tall and strong”.
Her friend, Cindy, gave evidence to the inquiry that Tiffanie had called her that night, complaining that the man had made her feel sick, like vomiting.
All very statesman-like, isn’t it? And who could forget Belinda Neal shrieking “Don’t you know who I am?” at a waiter? Unless Labor can completely reform its party structures and bring in a large number of people with integrity and talent, then it will be sitting in Opposition for several terms.
Cindy’s evidence to the commission continues today, to be followed tomorrow by Ron Medich.