Sussex Street Empire

The real issues behind the saga of Eddie Obeid and Ian Mac Donald.

LET ME GIVE YOU THE NEWS: EDDIE OBEID AND IAN MAC DONALD WERE PAR FOR THE COURSE IN the NSW Labor Party of the 2000s. They are evolutionary figures indicative of the lack of democracy and accountability within Labor culture. With opportunity after opportunity for internal reform ignored,  NSW Labor was, and remains, an everyman for themselves culture in which there were no rules particularly in the Right factions of the party (see on this Peter Botsman, Day of the Terrigal, 2005). Politics was about gaining and holding power and squeezing the lemon as hard as you could. It is hardly surprising that this culture spilled over to the Liberal and National parties and that Eddie Obeid played a role in kick starting the career of Richard Torbay.

The ICAC processes currently bewitching NSW are bizarre and offer no remedy to the general problems facing the community and the country. We can burn McDonald and Obeid at the stake but the machines and corrupt political culture that produced the atmosphere in which they thrived and were rewarded, go unanalysed. Those who bear responsibility wash their hands and declare themselves pure and innocent. It is about time the real story is told about how the Labor Party became so corrupt and inward. It is also about time that more than just token reform of the Labor Party was set in motion. This paper is an attempt to get these important jobs started.