Modia Minotaur

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Monday, August 29, 2005

John Brogden: Booze, Broads and Bad Jokes

Well, it's happened, and the Liberal Right didn't even have to put him in the thumbscrews.

Rumours have been rife that NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden's leadership has been on shaky ground for weeks - ever since former NSW Premier Bob Carr's departure did not yield the bump for the Opposition all expected given the many issues they have to run on. Talkback callers have been scathing, uniformly describing Brogden as `negative', `a policy-free zone', and `a whinger'. And, as was so splendidly detailed in The Monthly Magazine recently (and reproduced in The Labor Herald, the factional winds of change are blowing in the State Liberal parties, and warriors of the Left (yes, I have trouble describing him as a warrior of anything) are getting sandblasted by a generation of far-Righters so hair-raising they making Ronnie Reagan look like Mahatma Gandhi.

But all this aside, Broggers has managed to put the nail in his political coffin himself. Quite amazing.

At a function for the NSW Hotels Association, Brogden (who should have been whinging about the Poker Machine tax and no doubt was), was heard to describe Bob Carr's Malaysian-born wife Helena as `a mail order bride', and further, was seen to `pinch a female journalist on the bottom' and speak to another inappropriately.

Of course, the furore over such an incident exposes a deep streak of hypocrisy on Australia's part. This country thrives on racism, yet likes nothing more than condemning anyone responsible for some. But the fact remains. Has Brogden gone mad? Is this his death roll? His hari-kiri? His kamikaze mission? Was he drunk and under pressure, or just drunk and very bloody dumb?

In any case ... I think we are about to see the last of Mr Brogden. He's already offered to resign. Is the NSW Liberal Right going to clamour to stop him. Absolutely not. Goodbye John Brogden ... it's been entertaining.

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