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NSW Labor: corrupt « Previous | |Next »
August 1, 2013

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has found that the NSW Labor powerbrokers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid, and his son Moses Obeid, engaged in corrupt conduct and has recommended criminal charges against them.The ICAC has referred its findings to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

RoweDICAC.jpg David Rowe

The ICAC doesn’t have recourse to make criminal charges or recommend specific charges. What the ICAC does is puts together the body of evidence and determines that what has been done can be deemed corrupt. That gets passed onto the DPP and then it’s up to the DPP to lay individual charges. Will anyone go to jail though?

These findings confirm that Sussex Street sure has a tawdry and corrupt past. Eddie Obeid controlled the ALP factional system in NSW and controlled most ALP preselections, state and federal, in NSW for two decades. The NSW Right controlled the Labor party, including federal Labor.

The consequence, as Ben Eltham points out in Obeid Was At The Heart Of ALP Power in New Matilda, is that:

If Eddie Obeid was corrupt, then the greater part of the Labor Party was too, because Obeid controlled it. It was Labor's factional system that allowed a man such as Obeid to seize control of the apparatus of state power, and use to enrich his family ... Preventing another Obeid is tantamount to dismantling the factional system itself ...... The factional system permeates the entire party, all the way down to the grassroots.

That suggests a long clean-up process and substantive reform to clean the stables. I cannot see it happening because it needs to reform its structure and culture, including its union linkages. Labor can only reduce its factionalism if it reforms the party-union nexus.

So will the stench around the Labor Right deprive it of office and power for many a decade?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:03 AM | | Comments (1)


Eddie Obeid could rule an entire caucus because he ruled the largest sub-faction. His currency was patronage. He offered support and dispensed favours in return for loyalty. He used this power for personal enrichment.