It’s safe to say that Noreen Hay has been having a dog of a time the last few months. However things don’t appear to be about to improve for the Labor MP for Wollongong that has found herself at the centre of controversy for the last decade and has been a part of nearly every NSW Labor scandal over the same period.
Readers will recall that Federal Police raided Noreen’s electoral office on 2nd July in what I suspect is a bit more than the electoral fraud allegations that are being speculated as the reason for the raid.
However if we look at the related pre-selection that was highly controversial at the time with both Fairfax and yours truly closely monitoring events and pointing out irregularities such as branch minutes that were psychic in talking about events before they occurred, members that appeared to only exist for voting purposes, eligible voters who were not allowed to vote, and members who suddenly found themselves un-financial and ineligible to vote.
After backing his factional ally all the way through this process eventually Labor’s NSW General Secretary Jamie Clements was forced to make a token gesture and closed one branch of the party. However no member of that branch was disciplined in any way and members who had forged and doctored minutes were free to move to other branches to carry on their ways. God forbid Clements actually hold anyone to account for bringing the party into such disrepute.
If Federal Police have seized computer equipment from the electoral office the correspondence between and Noreen and Jamie at that could make for some interesting reading.
In the absence of Joe The Cameraman Noreen has had to find someone else to point the finger at, and I guess that is what staff are for? They must be in Noreen’s world because that is the direction the finger of blame is heading. However it will be a tall ask to have a staffer take that kind of rap, one which could even carry a jail term should someone be found guilty of the Federal crime of election fraud.
There are still yet unanswered questions involving her travel to China also, something I think may have more relevance to the raids than the electoral fraud.
Now Noreen’s family have been dragged into the equation as Fairfax have dredged up an interview from last year that Noreen did with a magazine called Dogs Life.
In the interview Noreen discussed how she had purchased a new dog a few years earlier as all of her children had moved out of home.
That’s lovely, however what she didn’t tell Dogs Life is that for election purposes and for Labor Party business such as branch votes and pre-selections they are all still living with Noreen.
One such slip could be a mistake, two an oversight, but four of them?
It is called electoral fraud, and for Noreen who doesn’t live in her own electorate, it is a means for her to wield some power over the member for the electorate she lives in, Shellharbour, as well as a Federal electorate.
Unfortunately for Noreen, those MP’s a few of things that Noreen lacks and that also negate Noreen’s families fictional address. Those things are respect, talent and popularity.
Now I wouldn’t want to insinuate that Noreen is proud of her reputation of being corrupt and operating outside the law however she apparently loves to go to a particular coffee shop in her area and have her photo taken with locals with the shop name clearly visible. Noreen does this not to help a struggling local business, but because the coffee shop is called Soprano’s On The Mall.
It sounds like something from an episode of The Chasers.
Whether she is proud of her reputation or not, there is little doubt as to the damage she does to the reputation of the Labor Party, a party who desperately need to gain ground in NSW if we are to have any chance at the next Federal or State election. Instead she drags the party through the mud.
As the Labor Party heads to National Conference it is also worth remembering that for all of his posturing and talk of reform that I have no doubt is coming, NSW General Secretary Jamie Clements is in my view to blame for much of this.
Clements had opportunity to ensure the pre-selection that is now subject to investigation was carried out in a legitimate fashion, rather than the farce it turned out. Clements has continually backed Hay in her short-lived position as Opposition Whip. Clements has been the one in a position to do something about this travesty and he has done less than nothing. Clements talks of reform while patting the arse of those destroying the party with their allegedly corrupt practices.
Noreen Hay is, in my humble view, a septic cyst on the arse of the Labor Party. A cyst that is long overdue for lancing.
I am also of the view that those who support her also need lancing as well, no matter what their position. We need to have a zero tolerance approach if we expect to be taken seriously as a party opposed to corruption.
This is long overdue and I just hope that someone in the National Executive has the guts to pick up the scalpel.
Before the voters take one to us….