(Image: Gorkie/Private Media)

For political wonks, the IBAC/ombudsman's report into branch stacking is a riveting read of transferred money, shonky signatures, factional use of staffers, and transcripts of Adem Somyurek's engaging telephone manner (SOMYUREK: "I NEED YOU TO CALL ME BACK IMMEDIATELY ALWAYS!" SNOTLEY JONES, ORGANISER: "I WAS ON THE BOG!" SOMYUREK: "ON YOUR OWN TIME!"). But for civilians, amid about 1000 paragraphs, it could do with a car chase or two:

501. After detailing the exchange of invoices between the SAVCOL and the Mods, Mr Somyurek and Ms Kairouz leapt on to a waiting motorbike and sped away. IBAC staff jumped into four Minis in different colours and gave chase through Melbourne's vibrant laneways, making heart-stopping turns and demolishing a fruit stall before running into a St Patrick's Day parade.

That would do it for the general public. For the rest of us, the report fills out in great detail a very narrow part of the ALP story over the past decade or so: a grand series of factional realignments, dictated not only by the shifting plates of political history, but also by the needs of other forces within the ALP. To call these latter forces "the deep state" would be to exaggerate it, but not by much.