Monday, March 28, 2011

A "When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife ?" Moment

The verdict is in and Labor has been removed from the NSW political landscape having captured a probable 21 seats while the Coalition have at least 64 seats. There are oddities as usual in this state election. Although the Greens picked up over 10% of the vote they won no seats while the Nationals with just over 12% win 17 seats.

For all the doomsday predictions in the media this isn't too different to the '96 John Howard election when he crushed Federal Labor in a 'landslide' which reversed itself within 3 years with Labor winning over 50% of votes in '99 but still failing to take office. It does mean however that it will be a probable 8 years before Labor has a hope of winning although the voters belief that the Coalition is going to deliver them Paradise has the power to backfire badly.

 Common wisdom is that huge landslides really mean little in the way of a party's power to govern but do mean the electorate expects much and heaven help those who don't deliver. The claims of a mandate complicate matters when no-one actually knows what the Coalition intends to do apart from widen one highway as they announced. Labor had 11 new young MPs elected which gives them a chance to quickly re-invent itself.

As usual the local media-particularly the giant News Corp tabloids have performed woefully and spoken in soundbites that resemble Liberal Party press releases and have let new premier Barry O' Farrell slide into office without revealing one single policy.

The Fairfax Media, publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne's Age newspapers seem desperate to descend to the same levels.

One report we noticed in the last days before polling was this piece about a well known personality who features on the Shuttle often-private investigator Frank Monte who stood unsuccessfully for the NSW upper house.

The Shuttle spoke to Monte yesterday and he was still annoyed. The previous week he had mentioned to us a tale of how the Herald had phoned him and asked why he was standing for politics.

Frank Monte

He gave them a quick run down of his policies and revealed that in the past he had worked for two state premiers and believed he could do a better job himself

The journalist's reply was "oh everyone around the office says it's only so you can get your hands on the electoral rolls."

Monte scoffed at the idea and responded that the majority of his work is now corporate investigation where local rolls are of little use and indeed, he spends more time working in the USA than Australia. And the very idea of spending $30,000 on a political campaign to get a copy of the electoral rolls was pretty silly.

Having set up the scenario (as our headline explains) -the Herald duly printed the outrageous slur without one scintilla of proof apart from some hacks in the Herald office deciding that must be the case. Office gossip became news.

Solomon Lew
 When the DJ's harassment case broke last year Monte announced (and it's presumed that it was a deliberate strategy by the client) that he was investigating the girl who made the claims which were eventually settled with no admissions made by the ex-DJs boss Mark McInnes who was recently described as the "disgraced" former DJ's CEO. Disgraced ?. Who says so ?. Certainly not Solomon Lew who just hired McInnes for a salary of $5.5M to oversee his fashion empire.

As we reported last year- during the infamous Versace court case, Donatella Versace said in an Australian High Court witness box in 2001 while being questioned by Monte's barrister, that she had never, ever taken drugs but just 18 months later revealed in Vogue that she had been addicted to drugs before and after Gianni Versace's murder.

Learned legal minds say that had Donatella told the truth about her drug use the trial's outcome may have been entirely different and in Monte's favour. The Herald amongst other newspapers got stuck into Monte at the time and have used every opportunity to bash him in print ever since.

They have gone strangely silent since the new verification that Gianni was indeed murdered as Monte had originally said-by the Mafia and which concurred with local confidential Miami police reports at the time that voiced the same suspicion .