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EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl on – Election 2013 – Growl No: 13 – The Obeid Dynasty Profile –

February 10, 2013
Latest ‘Harry’s Growl’ Posts:

– 9th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 12 – Dunce Hat’s sit firmly on Gillard and Swan’s noggin’s –

– 8th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 11 – Parliamentary remuneration – Peter Slipper in Profile –

– 8th Feb – Growl No: 10 – Parliamentary remuneration – Peter Slipper in Profile –

– 7th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 9 – Gillard in Focus –

– 6th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 8 – Obeid has decided to take a few with him –

– 4th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 7 – ABC’s “Q&A” proves none of them have a goddamn clue

– 4th Feb – Election 2013 – Growl No: 6 – Gillard in Cartoon Form –

– 4th Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 5 – Poll Results,  Senate Leadership, & Pyne’s Hitler Gibe –

– 2nd Feb –  Election 2013 – Growl No: 4 – Craig Thompson’s Bankruptcy revisited –

– 1st Feb – Election 2013  – Growl No: 3 – Roxon’s Rocky Status as the AG  –

– 31st Jan – Election 2013 – Growl No: 2 – Gillard lifts her skirts to thrill the Media  –

– 28th Jan – Election 2013 – Growl No: 1 – Senator Penny Wong … policy exposed –

– 18th Jan – Hedley Thomas and Larry Pickering – – Resume their AWU crusade against Gillard  –

– 1st Jan 2013 – Jenny Macklin – Joins Swan as another ALP Fu_kwit – Claims she can live on the Newstart allowance –

– 20th Dec – Wayne Swan – His backflip on the 2012-13 Surplus – Makes him the Fu_kwit of all Fu_kwits –

– 16th Dec – Lenore Taylor – Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH  – Part II – – A correspondent pushing her own political agenda  –

– 15th Dec – Lenore Taylor – Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH  – A correspondent with her own political agenda  –

– 14th Dec – Gillard’s Gutter Mouth – The dishonour she does to the office of the Prime Minister –

– 3rd Dec – The GREENS – Leader Milne has her head in the sand –

– 28th Nov – The Dogs have their BONE Part II – The Wilson Interview and how it reflects on Gillard –

– 27th Nov – The Dogs have their BONE Part I – Gillard’s kicked them out the house –

– 23rd Nov – The ALP and Obeid Train Wreck  – is it meant to distract from Gillard & the AWU Scandal –

– 22nd Nov – Gunfights at the OK Corral: Misandry v Misogyny – GILLARD v Ralph BLEWITT – GILLARD v Hedley THOMAS – GILLARD v Mike SMITH – GILLARD v Larry PICKERING – GILLARD v ALP Caucus – GILLARD v All Australians …

– 13th Nov – The Day the heavens began to cave in – – Obeid and his entourage to bring it all down … –

– 10th Nov – The 2012 US Presidential Election Part II – The Fallout – the GOP beating up on itself –

– 8th Nov – The 2012 US Presidential Election Part I – what does it really mean —

– 7th Nov – Bob Carr … Foreign Minister – as profiled by “The Australian’s” Ross Fitzgerald –

– 29th Oct – The Most Irrelevant of all Irrelevancy – Independents – Slipper, Thompson, Windsor, Oakeshott, Katter & Wilkie – hanging on to office rather than face the electorate –

– 27th Oct – Julia Gillard does not understand Hypocrisy – ALP Powerbrokers dump Penny Wong – makes Gillard look foolish over her ‘sexism’ claims –

To see more EYE-BALL Harry’s Growl posts: click here …

– Election 2013  – Growl No: 13 –
– The Obeid Dynasty Profile – 
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl | 10th Feb 2013|

New Pickering images added – 8th Feb 2013 – see end of text linked here

As Australia vomits over the stench emanating from the NSW ICAC inquiry, and the salacious evidence unfolding involving the Obeid family, and the people he used to gain political and financial favour – it is relevant to understand how it all started, and who were the people who help promote Obeid to the Parliament of NSW.

The Sydney Morning Herald [SMH] published a story, reproduced below – that chronicles the rise and fall of Eddie Obeid. It is fabulous background and once again highlights the fact that history prevails – we can find any amount of repeat evidence pointing to the debasement of expectations in our Leaders – they continue to fail us at every turn.

First read the Alex Mitchell article below – Alex Mitchell is a former state political editor of The Sun-Herald.

With friends like these …

| Author: Alex Mitchell | Date: Feb 10th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Image Caption: Power player … Eddie Obeid in 1999 as minister for fisheries and mineral resources. Photo: Hank Van Stuivenberg

Alex Mitchell charts the long rise of Eddie Obeid from obscurity to the glare of the ICAC, and the ALP powerbrokers who helped along the way.

At 11.50am on Thursday, September 12, 1991, MPs from the two houses of the NSW Parliament – the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council – met in a joint session to approve the millionaire businessman and Lebanese newspaper owner Eddie Obeid as the state’s newest Labor MP.

He was the ALP head office’s candidate to succeed Jack Hallam, the former agriculture minister and leader of the opposition in the upper house, who was retiring after 18 years in politics.

The Labor benches were crowded with MPs joining the ceremony to catch a glimpse of Obeid, still a relatively unknown quantity to most of them.

Image Caption: Ian Macdonald. Photo: Edwina Pickles

”Order!” the upper house president, Max Willis, shouted. ”I am now prepared to receive proposals with regard to an eligible person to fill the vacant seat in the Legislative Council caused by the resignation of the Honourable Jack Rowland Hallam.”

The opposition leader, Bob Carr, jumped to his feet saying: ”I propose Edward Moses Obeid, OAM, as an eligible person to fill the vacant seat.”

”I second the nomination,” said Michael Egan, Carr’s upper house lieutenant and the future state treasurer. Willis declared Obeid elected and closed the session. It had taken only a few minutes to install Obeid but he would spend the next two decades using his malign influence on state governance and the Labor Party.

Image Caption: Graham Richardson. Photo: Dean Sewell

Obeid’s political career was sponsored by Graham Richardson, the former NSW ALP general secretary who became a senator and a senior cabinet minister in the Hawke and Keating governments. Recently, he has been reincarnated as host of Richo on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News.

Richardson had met the owner and publisher of the Arabic-language El Telegraph during the late 1970s and was impressed by his willingness to donate to the ALP and by his bountiful hospitality.

As the friendship matured between the senator and the aspiring politician, nicknamed ”the Sheik”, Richardson vowed to find Obeid a seat in the NSW upper house, once described as ”Sydney’s most exclusive club”.

Image Caption: Eddie Obeid at the ICAC. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Richardson set about removing Jack Hallam, who had enraged the factional powerbroker by speaking at an ALP conference in support of a left-wing motion to ban uranium mining in NSW.

”As a long-serving agriculture minister, I think my position carried some weight,” Hallam said last week from his home on the NSW far north coast. ”Richardson was furious. He never spoke to me again. He wanted me out of Parliament and he wanted his mate Eddie Obeid to take my place.”

Richardson was a spirited advocate for uranium mining and used his influence in Sydney and then Canberra to frustrate the ban, which had become a talisman for the left. In her unauthorised biography of Richardson, The Fixer: The Untold Story of Graham Richardson, the award-winning journalist Marian Wilkinson wrote: ”Uranium mining was one issue Richardson passionately believed in. Not only did it make economic sense but it had the added advantage of prompting scores of left-wing activists to resign from party branches.”

Before the May 1991 state election, there was an abortive move to remove Hallam from the ALP upper house ticket, but the popular MP was given the No.1 spot and Obeid was slotted at No.7.

The first six ALP candidates won seats but Obeid missed out. Another unlucky candidate was Graham Freudenberg, Labor’s legendary speechwriter who had worked for Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth.
”Freudy”, awarded life membership of the NSW ALP in 2005, said his candidacy had been supported by Michael Easson, the secretary of the NSW Labor Council, and his twin brother, Shane Easson, as well as Carr and the party general secretary, John Della Bosca.

”They intended that I should get the sixth or seventh place on the Labor ticket,” Freudenberg said. ”They neglected, however, to clear it with Richardson, who had his own candidate for a winnable position, businessman Obeid.
”I ended up with the hopelessly unwinnable ninth position.”

But within weeks of Parliament resuming, Obeid struck a lucky break when Hallam announced his retirement.

”I told the party before the election that if we won, I would stay,” he recounted. ”But if we lost, I would leave. I was exhausted and I’d had enough. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the faction decided Obeid would be my successor. He was gifted my full eight-year term. Richardson had finally got his way.”

Freudenberg recalled that shortly after Hallam’s resignation and Obeid’s elevation, senator Stephen Loosley, another former ALP general secretary, made him an outlandish offer. ”I’ve just had lunch with Eddie Obeid,” Loosley said. ”He was wondering if you would write his maiden speech for the Legislative Council.”

Freudenberg declined, but someone else crafted Obeid’s inaugural speech, which was delivered on November 13, 1991, before a public gallery crowded with his family and associates.

He began at 8.15pm and concluded almost 50 minutes later. He gave public thanks to his supporters, starting with Richardson and including Carr, Wran, Della Bosca, Loosley, Michael Easson, the federal parliament speaker, Leo McLeay, upper house MPs Johnno Johnson and Deirdre Grusovin and former attorney-general Terry Sheahan.

He concluded: ”We should never lose sight of the fact that we are here … for the betterment of all Australians.”
With the speech delivered, Obeid set about recruiting MPs to the Terrigals, the right-wing sub-faction named after the central coast township where the group’s founding meeting was held.

The faction attracted influential right-wingers who exercised ruthless power in two key areas: preselection of parliamentary candidates and promotion to cabinet.

Policy wasn’t a major issue for the Terrigals. Their overriding considerations were jobs for the boys, branch-stacking, accumulating a war chest from developers and hoteliers, and extravagant advertising. Whatever It Takes, the title of Richardson’s 1994 book, became their slogan.

The Obeid-Richardson relationship continued to flourish. In 1993, Richardson informed Obeid that Kerry Packer wanted to sell his suburban printing subsidiary, Offset Alpine Press. Obeid took the deal to stockbroker Rene Rivkin, who stumped up $15.3 million for the company and listed it on the stock exchange. One of Obeid’s sons, Paul, was made a director, though there is no evidence the family had any shareholding in the company.

On Christmas Eve 1993, the print shop went up in smoke. Fortunately, it had been insured at its replacement value of $53 million for its shareholders, including Richardson, Rivkin, governor-general Bill Hayden, Channel Nine’s star host Ray Martin, entrepreneur Rodney Adler and former Packer chief executive Trevor Kennedy.

Obeid’s biggest breakthrough came after the 1999 election when the then-premier Carr appointed him minister for fisheries and minister for mineral resources, aka the state’s ”Mr Fish and Mr Coal”. After his victory at the 2003 election, Carr sacked Obeid from the cabinet, provoking a flaming row in the premier’s office. From that day they became sworn political enemies.

By this stage there was a clear division of labour at the top of the state: Carr ran the Premier’s Department, Michael Egan ran Treasury but Obeid’s Terrigals ruled the Labor caucus.

Their ruthless power became public when they broke Carr’s premiership and forced him into early retirement, killed off the premiership ambitions of Carl Scully, ended the reigns of premiers Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees, and cynically elevated Kristina Keneally to the top job.

Under Iemma, the highly prized mineral resources portfolio previously held by Obeid, was handed to Ian Macdonald leader of the left faction. When Rees sacked Macdonald in late 2009, he paid dearly: he was ousted from the premiership by the Obeid faction and the incoming premier, Kristina Keneally, immediately promoted ”Macca” to three portfolios, including Mineral Resources.

Alarmingly, the rise in the influence of Obeid’s faction was in direct proportion to the collapse in ALP membership and the folding of branches. At the 2011 election, NSW Labor suffered its biggest defeat in 100 years and its numbers in the lower house were decimated to a rump of 20 MPs.

The Obeid legacy is now being played out in sensational hearings at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, where secret deals involving mineral resources in the Upper Hunter Valley worth hundreds of millions of dollars are being forensically examined. Voters are being given a ringside glimpse of how the nation’s oldest parliament had become a private fiefdom for insider profiteering.

In coming years, historians will argue over the causes of Labor’s decline. What will not be in dispute is that factional powerbrokers such as Graham Richardson, the right’s Eddie Obeid and the left’s Ian Macdonald were major contributors to its implosion.

Gillard will carry this baggage as well as her own AWU skeletons with her limping to the 2013 election. She can’t cut Richardson adrift for fear of risking him spilling the beans on the AWU – Carr is similarly infected. Obeid’s

Read more online

I have one lingering question – former ALP Senator Richardson’s name pops up all over the place in past dealings with disgraced MP’s, Ministers, Corporate pirates, and a hybrid of other dubious and corrupted schemes – yet he holds pride of place in the media, still proclaims he knows all that is happening within the ALP, and appears to be untouchable – why is that?

When is disgrace mounted and owned and no price paid … Richardson is living proof that a skulking cat has nine lives.

The ALP stench is across the Federal and State divide.

Sadly – the ALP brand is toxic and in a democracy where two parties hold sway – the ALP being one of them – our democracy is also a broken model.

There is an opportunity here – do we look to change our form of Government because the insanity plea is in – i.e. ‘doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result’ – we’ve been doing this corruption investigation/appeasement thing a long time, is repetitive – the Police, the Politicians, the Corporate greed, surely the next bunch that come to power will be doing the same things in another 15-10 years – that is the insanity part!!!

What’s to stop them – the judicial system, the police, the food chain keeps pushing downhill.

The system fails those who depend on it the most … and those at the bottom of the food chain have lost respect for the ‘office’ and as history shows, that resembles the first signs of public revolt.

Look to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Dictatorships for sure – but corrupt regimes and how is that different to what we have here.

EYE-BALL’s Herman said it so well in a recent post – the first party to run on an anti-corruption campaign and demonstrates its intent will have the high-ground. That might mean as a start:

  1. A Royal Commissions into the AWU, HSU, and the whole Union franchise,
  2. Forensic auditing of Politicians and their family interests, whist serving, before they enter politics, and for a lengthy period after they leave politics, and
  3. Corporate malfeasance via the lobbyist and donations to Political parties –

In the USA known clever white-collar criminals get offered high paying positions in Federal programs trying to get ahead of criminals and their – ‘one step ahead of the Law’ options.  There are many unconvicted criminals in this Nation – there all too smart for the Feds, the Stateies, and the like chasing them down – or is it that Law enforcement is in bed with the major criminals?

The Obeid saga will drag on and the emotion will die – from that will come the apathy and a new bad guy will emerge.  That person is probably in place right now waiting for the opportunity – and the odds of it being someone from the NSW ALP Right are pretty short.

To bring some much-needed levity – there is always the Larry Pickering Cartoons … below is a sample of his summer offerings – his images page can be access here[click on image below to enlarge] … enjoy and don’t hurt yourself with the belly laughs …

Larry Pickering also writes some very intelligent blogs including many on the AWU scandal.  Whilst not as regarded as Hedley Thomas in journalistic circles – his penmanship and his heady wit give him a take on things not easily publishable in mainstream media.  None the less … his take on events cuts to the chase and he does not mince words … his Facebook page can be accessed here

Added 8th Feb 2013:

To see all of Pickering’s Political cartoons – use this link

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  1. Barry M
    February 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    The fact Richardson has hoodwinked the media shows just how gullible and flakey the media is. Have a good look at each media outlet, TV and Newspapers, and judge the permanent “heads and “editors” on how they are sucked in by Richardson, particularly Sky.
    They are weak individuals influenced by the “perceived power” of the man.

  2. February 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I think that the media are drawn to the flaws in Richardson looking for the off comment – the throwaway line he is so often providing ..

    The media are ‘sluts’ to a good story and Richardson knows how to pick the right one to tell the story he wants told … the media is just putty in Richardson’s hands …

  3. david the pragmatist
    February 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I think this article is articulate, well written and says it all.
    The questions you raise are legitimate and should be a concern to everyone.
    Just the same! It goes much deeper than what you philosophise.

    You see the whole of humanity is fundamentality dysfunctional and you cannot change what is endemic across the world. You refer to the Middle East, Europe,Asia, China and probably everyone we have left out, the reality is the whole of our society’s, regardless of type, race, creed or doctrine are fundamentally flawed.
    I suspect you write about these topics in pure innocence and justified alarm. Would you be any different if you were empowered, who knows? not even you because the temptations are so great. Why is it so that presumably well meaning and supposedly honest people when exposed to money, power and self glory go this route. What makes mankind so evil?

    I do not know the answer, I see this morning that the Pope’s resignation as great for a large portion of mankind. Why? because so many people rely on the Catholic church for hope and having a leader go that provides none is a positive. The reality though is that the church is no different to our politicians, its is just as corrupt and would have us suffer as part of its doctrine, what a wonderful goal! Its sure good at suffering!

    My title of calling myself a “pragmatist” hardly fits the type of negativity I am putting on this response but when I think of it, maybe it is pragmatic to accept our fate as flawed.

    Humanity has come a great way in the past 5 thousand years with wonderful steps forward in technology and medicine. The one constant is human kinds penchant for corruption! corruption is so varied we do not have to list it.
    You may say I am Dreamer but I’m not the only one! (John Lennon to satisfy your penchant for plagiarism). You also say that when your dead, “your dead” which means it doesn’t really matter anyway. Fortunately I have some faith (weak at times) and suffer from “mankinds” in exhaustable supply of hipcrosy, but I feel I have more to look forward to than you.

    What a shame that we cannot look forward to a day when we are not all philosopically the same. That’s probably why I am a spiritist, because i do not have or know anything better.

    It’s good to laugh at Pickering’s cartoons and the guy is very talented with this skil. I am not sure though that he is not that much different when it comes to being human!

    Will we ever know ? I suspect not!!!

    So what I just said, does it mean or achieve anything? I suspect no more than what you said and you put a lot more time and effort into yours.

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