My town is awesome, but it sucks

Why is Sydney awesome?

Because the next time I’m in strife, I might be rescued by ninjas.

Why does Sydney suck?

A TV news station has taken it upon itself to out a senior politician who had broken no parliamentary codes of conduct in his private pursuits.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally says she has accepted Transport Minister David Campbell’s resignation, tendered over claims he used a government car to visit a gay sex club in Sydney.

Ms Keneally accepted Mr Campbell’s resignation, saying he had carried out his ministerial duties with dedication and success.

“I accepted his resignation on compassionate grounds as he clearly wants time to work through this difficult period with his family,” Ms Keneally said in a statement late on Thursday night.

“I thank him for his tireless work and for fulfilling his ministerial duties with dedication.”I appeal to the community to show understanding towards David and his family at this time.”

The TV producers justify the outing as “in the public interest” because he has presented himself to the electorate as a “happily married family man” and thus has been “lying”.

Newsflash Channel to 7 journos – it is actually possible to be happily married and a dedicated parent yet still enjoy same-sex liaisons – you have no idea how much his wife in particular already knew, and it’s none of your business anyway.

Categories: arts & entertainment, Life, violence

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11 replies

  1. Hear, hear.

  2. Yeah, outing a Minister for fun and profit is a cynical new low for the Sydney media.
    Also worth noting for the non-NSW readers of this blog, the senior journalist responsible for for staking out the bathhouse is Adam Walters, a media advisor to Morris Iemma and one-time partner to ex-Minister Reba Meagher. They both lost their jobs when the Right rolled Morris Iemma in 2008. It’s far less about homophobia (though the press are obviously revelling in it) than about delayed, cynical, hypocritical payback.

  3. Thanks for writing about this, tigtog. I just find it too depressing.
    In the weekly email from Justinian, there’s an amusing quip (it’s not on the website):

    It seems the MP and former minister’s offence was to be “privately” gay.
    It the old days people had to be privately gay to keep their job. Now it’s the reason to lose it.

    Ackland goes on to say that this will move privacy laws up the government’s agenda – wow, I think I’m more cynical than Richard Ackland, because I don’t agree with that at all!

  4. Because nothing is in the public interest quite like publicly humiliating the family members of a public figure. You know, the ones who did not sign up for public lives.

    Fuck people suck sometimes.

  5. Liam, that connection makes this smell like he has been knifed even more. Campbell has been an albatross ever since that traffic jam. It’s all just too convenient.
    Compare the way this has been treated with Della Bosca’s situation where the gritty details were quite studiously avoided.

  6. I’m hideously conflicted about this one, because it’s not just him but his wife as well.
    I was walking about thinking about this one, as a survivor of marital infidelity. I came to the conclusion that out of the two most likely scenarios,
    (1) Campbell has come clean to his wife sometime in the past and they have come to some kind of amicable arrangement. “You be the beard dear, have whatever liaisons YOU want and share the fruits of my high-earning lifestyle. And if you meet someone else you can just say sayonara and I’ll understand.” In that case my sympathies would definitely be with both of them.
    (2) Campbell’s wife is under the impression that she married the person she is to share the rest of her life, and grow old together, with. Her boon companion. In that case she is now in the state of someone who has been hit by a truck and is suffering from PTSD. Everything she thought to be true has now turned out to be a lie. (I’m not talking about his sexual orientation, that’s an extra but it would be that way even if he’d been straight down the line hetero). She will suffer mentally and physically for years for something she didn’t put her hand up for.
    In that case, I only have enough sympathy in my person for her.

    • I see those two scenarios, but I also offer a third: Cameron has never been using his wife as “a beard” – they have a genuine loving relationship and his sexual attraction to men does not stop him also being sexually attracted to and loving with her. We don’t know whether they have an understanding about infidelity or not – if they don’t then I agree that this will be immensely difficult for her.
      I’m resistant to reflexively classing him as “a closeted gay guy living a lie” or “a gay guy with a willing beard” – many people are on various scales of bisexuality and polyamory and it’s often just not as simple as that.

  7. Yes, I think it’s interesting how little that third possibility occurs to people, tigtog! But the whole thing is just so reprehensible at so many levels… even if this is about infidelity (I use infidelity in the sense of ‘betraying the trust of the person you’re with’, not ‘betraying society’s norms about how marriage work’), surely we’re not assuming that this man is the only politician who has ever slept with someone else? It annoys me how much such stories get ‘spiced up’, and even harder to negotiate for the family involved, by the ‘omg, GAY!’ that the msm does. And let’s not forget the ‘sex club’ which, I’m pretty sure refers to any venue with a sex-on-premises license, and includes a bunch of nightclubs. I think it was actually a sauna, in this case, but nonetheless, there’s a fair bit of blurring around this, mostly to make it as titillating as possible to a heternormative audience. Argh.

  8. I think the point is that it’s a matter for Campbell, his wife, and whoever else has had a relationship with them.
    Not us, not his constituents, not the Premier and least of all Seven.

  9. What Liam said, and Seven’s attempt to justify it just defy belief.
    I feel sorry for both Campbell and his family. This is not the type of thing that should be aired publicly. I don’t think the media realise much less care how this punishes his wife and children. Maybe they are being punished for the possibility that they knew about it but still loved him as husband and father regardless. And we can’t have that now can we.

  10. Think I read that Campbell’s wife is suffering from cancer and is very ill at present, which makes the timing of this ‘revelation’ particularly choice.

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