All due sisterhoodly congratulations to Kristina Keneally and all that, but with NSW Labor still so totally dominated by Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid (would there have been a leadership spill at all against Rees this month if he hadn’t sacked Tripodi from the ministry last month?) it’s hard to see it as anything more than just “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” – yet another party leader beholden to the Tripobeidi machine.
Keneally might not literally be a puppet premier, but she’s well and truly boxed in by the ongoing factional dominance of the NSW Labor Right. Nathan Rees’ rhetoric about the Tripobeidi puppeteers may not have convinced the Right caucus to disown their influence, but it’s a pretty good bet that it will resonate strongly with an already disgusted electorate.
Nathan Rees took on the leadership’s poisoned chalice 15 months ago and had his efforts to detoxify it blocked by the Right at every turn. Kristina Keneally will probably appear initially more effective, because the Tripobeidi machine will be behind her to begin with. But that will only last as long as she sticks to their script – just watch the Right turn on her if she decides to follow her own path in any way.
Will NSW voters be fooled again into voting for Tripobeidi’s Trogs at the next election by Keneally’s shiny smile? Or will we finally give them the boot while holding our nose to vote for the laughable Libs under Debnam/O’Farrell, because at least they don’t stink of shoddy deals (at the moment)? Does the grimly appalling prospect of either of the current major parties holding government mean there’s any real chance for the Greens or independents to win at least the balance of power in NSW?
Time to wait and see, I guess. The other factor of concern to feminists should be the fact that the almost inevitable failure on her part to make a genuine difference to the sorry state of NSW Labor effectiveness before the next election is going to be characterised as showing inferior capabilities of all women, not just this particular woman in these particular circumstances. That none of the recent male leaders have been able to do the job either will not be similarly used to cast aspersions on the capabilities of all men. Meet the new sexist spin, same as the old sexist spin.
Categories: parties and factions