The Press gallery in my time was a reputable one. In those days, if two journalists had been sacked on a Prime Minister’s insistence because they were getting too close to the truth, all hell would have broken loose.
An immediate Australia-wide strike would have been a certainty, threats to blow up the presses and demands for the PM’s head would be screamed from AJA headquarters.
Not today. The beltway boys and girls have closed ranks behind Gillard to protect her from attack. They have no respect for their fallen comrades who sought only the truth.
How can this be? Well, the insulated gallery is led by a few old hacks including Michelle Grattan, Laurie Oakes, Paul Bongiorno and others in the far Left of Fairfax.
Because of the parlous financial state of newspaper groups, under-qualified, lowly-paid junior reporters have been assigned to relay the political state of our nation.
Of course they know little of the workings of Federal politics, as was clearly evident in Gillard’s farcical Press conference of August 23. Gillard knew that.
At the base of the current scandal is this: The union movement in Australia is corrupt beyond belief. It was so when I worked in it and it still is now. We are only aware of the current corruption because it was fortuitously tripped over.
The HSU, AWU, CFMEU (BLF) are symptomatic of the way lawless unions work. The CFMEU (BLF) alone has millions “missing” and I know where it went but can’t afford to lose focus on the main game.
The current Gillard Government is made up of these unionists… unionists who have been owed favours or have been paid to keep their mouths shut. Thus the current quality of Labor politicians. Promotion is not on ability but on who is owed what.
Safe Labor seats are a valuable form of internal union currency.
The reason for the appallingly biased Press gallery coverage is that a deal was done in respect of Gillard by the gallery seniors. Prior to Gillard’s appointment they were asked by the NSW Right if her shady past would be a problem. They were told that the story had no legs and it wouldn’t be covered, thereby paving the way for Rudd’s execution.
How wrong they were. But the gallery seniors are standing firm and the juniors are understandably following suit. The Press gallery is a tight-knit club. They eat together, play together and some sleep together. They present a united front.
A maverick on the outer is excluded from the essential communal chatter.
Gillard maintains her close relationship with her gallery, as she said yesterday in her valedictory speech:
"To the Press gallery, I will host a function for them tonight and I think what I've got to say is probably best reserved for off the record."