Constant threats of a history rewritten
KRISTINA Keneally has worked hard to vanish from the history books the political machinations behind her rise to NSW premier.
Much like Julia Gillard’s path to the prime ministership, it is beyond dispute Keneally was installed in the role by factional warlords in a desperate attempt to stop Labor bleeding at the 2011 state election.
It failed abysmally and Keneally led Labor to an embarrassingly sizeable defeat with voters’ responding savagely to her time as premier in favour of a new era under Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell.
It is a matter of record Keneally became premier with the support of a notorious trio: the now-jailed Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, and the corrupt Joe Tripodi.
Yet in the intervening years, Keneally has sought to rewrite history by coming down hard on those who linked her to Obeid.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari retracted comments he made in Kate McClymont’s book that Keneally had an especially close relationship with Obeid.
She complained to ALP figures there was a “legal issue” arising from the remarks and she demanded an urgent meeting with Dastyari.
Less than a month later, he rose in the Senate to “apologise unreservedly” for “wrongly leaving the impression that Kristina’s relationship with Mr Eddie Obeid was anything other than the normal interaction between a party leader and a backbench MP”.
And when Mark Latham called Keneally an “Obeid protege” on Sky News, she threatened him and her employer with a lawsuit.
The intricacies of her relationship with Obeid will be freshly scrutinised as she reenters the political arena.
As seems constant in Australian politics these days, you couldn’t dream up the twists and turns that shapes the make up of our federal Parliament.
The bizarre reality is an Aussie tennis champion could lose his seat for unwittingly holding British citizenship to a Las Vegas-born factional hack with an American twang.