It appears that a certain NSW Upper House member has been offering jobs to otherwise estranged people from his faction prepared to tip him off about the investigations of unfriendly journalists.
Researchers from a prominent current affairs program have been investigating the growing power of the MLC, as well as his involvement in the kind of politics Peter Debnam would probably prefer to sweep under the carpet.
A number of little birdies have reported to me that a former member of this MLC’s faction (known to his friends as “Big [first-name]” and whom I shall refer to as “BS”) has boasted of being offered a parliamentary staffer's job by the MLC.
And the price for this offer of employment? BS is supposed to tip off the MLC about the identities of all sources the current affairs researchers mention. Further, BS is to deliberately plant false and misleading information to divert the researchers away from the MLC and over to internal party enemies.
Among those targeted for “diversion” are a former regional president of (what used to be) the Inner West metropolitan region, a former Federal MP whose old seat was in the deep south of Sydney and a current industrial relations lawyer who occasionally has articles published in Australia and New Zealand newspapers.
Is it true that the MLC has engaged in such activities? Who knows? Certainly BS has repeated the story to at least 3 separate sources, none of whom are known to talk to each other in a civil manner (and hence would hardly be expected to collude and manufacture the story).
Watch this space for more information. I know Peter Debnam will be watching very carefully …
© Irfan Yusuf 2006