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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 3 March 2008
From Wall St to Wollongong, Daryl Hannah as Beth Morgan, Paul Matters v ALP Right developers
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Years ago in tragic wonky form we watched agog as Paul Matters (ex unionist rep South Coast Labour Council, in new role as legal advocate barrister for a hapless staffer of ALP MP Gabrielle Harrison in an employment IRC dispute) was in turn quoted by Quentin Dempster on Stateline. The effect of the allegation was that said staffer in her wrongful dismissal case claimed she heard her boss Harrison refer to the State ALP Govt as

'the most corrupt government in the history of NSW'.

Harrison duly denied ever saying it though it was claimed so in sworn evidence. This may all have been before standard ABC web based searchable archival data base putting it at 2002 or earlier. The damage possibly was done because junior minister Harrison exited state politics soon after because if she didn't say it the gist of the embarrassing disloyalty to the Labor Family Business must have been noted. Ms Harrison one suspects was too honest and a poor fit.

Indeed in retrospect these quotes from the SMH say plenty about Ms Harrison out of love with the ALP Parliamentary Party and corroborate our general memory of the events:

Ms Harrison was described by the Premier, Bob Carr, as a Labor Party hero in 1994, when she was elected in a byelection after the death of the incumbent member, her husband Andrew Ziolkowski.

She was quickly elevated to the front bench and held the sport and recreation portfolio for five years. But Ms Harrison's star fizzled in 1999 when she was dumped from the front bench and her former electorate secretary, Anne Stonham, launched legal action against her over allegedly harsh and unfair working conditions.

Ms Stonham, who worked for Ms Harrison from 1994 to 1997, claimed in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission that Ms Harrison had neglected her duties as a local member and kept photos of opponents in a locket. The case has still to be finalised.     ...

Ms Harrison, who could not be contacted last night, told ABC radio that her decision had nothing to do with the Stonham case.

"I've just had enough," she said. "I think you know in your heart when it's time to move on and I knew that, so it was a difficult decision but I've made it.

"I guess it's been coming slowly that I felt that I should move on. It's the sort of job that you have to give your heart and soul and your life to.

"You can't do the best job you possibly can when you're wishing you were somewhere else, and I've been wishing I was with my family more."

in  Ballot rules row after Harrison quits ALP By Robert Wainwright, State Political Correspondent
December 21 2002

Roll forward some 6 years we hear 'a source' in Wollongong (ie referred to via abc 702) reckons words to the effect of: 

'if an administrator is appointed at the Gong by Justice Cripps via Premier Iemma then it will mean the Wollongong Council is effectively run from Iemma's Macquarie St'.

Ain't that the truth.

We did notice Mr Matters in the press recently too in a picture sledging the corrupt Wollongong Govt for a community group down there. Quite the indy advocate is our Mr Matters all these years later. And good luck to him too.

Matters seems to have come a cropper developer influence some 10 years ago having been shunted out of his secretary role in the SCLC with Michael Costa, as then unionist leader keen to flog off Currawong on the north shore. A real battle of old Labor versus spiv Labor within the union movement itself:

Currawong: How Costa squanders workers' assets' , 6 December 2000 Green Left Weekly by Dave Bell - "a NSW Teachers Federation delegate to Labor Council of NSW"

We watched the 1987 Wall St the movie yesterday, twice with Michael Douglas as best actor Academy Award winner ousting Broadcast News the same year with the high promotion budget and no awards at all. We watched once with the director's comments and what a geat study of greed it is:

The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.: Gordon Gecko soliloquy to stockholders meeting in Wall St 

Ground breaking frame of the information technology age in 1986-7 just before the share market crash of Sept 1987, released in Dec 1987 (where this writer lost a year's Canberra public servant superannuation, Trademark's Office).  A classic and homage by right leaning Oliver Stone as director to his dead father who worked as an intellectual style economist on Wall Street.

When we saw the deeply amoral compromised Daryl Hannah character Dariane, that Hannah had trouble channelling apparently, in all her natural beauty and charm we realised with a shock we were looking at .... Beth Morgan at the ICAC hearings this last fortnight ... who we presume also wanted to do "alot more than just survive".

To quote wikipedia: . The defense of greed is a paraphrase of the May 18, 1986 commencement address at the UC Berkeley's School of Business Administration, delivered by arbitrageur Ivan Boesky (who himself was later convicted of insider-trading charges), in which he said, "Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."

Some stand out lines of the movie:

"The main thing about money, it makes you do things you don't want to do":

spoken by actor Hal Holbrook, which director Stone underlines "It's true".

"when you look into the abyss you find your own character":

again by 'soothsayer' character Hal Holbrook.

We felt an urge to take the DVD into the ICAC hearing public gallery today and give the shop copy to the badly wounded Ms Morgan, that she might become the Charlie Sheen character who indeed weeps and switches track back onto the road to redemption, the social contract under the law.

"Maybe it's the price you have to pay"

Says actor father Martin Sheen to actor son Charlie Sheen, referring to the imminent jail sentence as he faces with grit and honesty his own wrongdoing.

We would urge Morgan to watch this movie if she ever gets to read this blog. Douglas who plays the black hat so well is in life actually very idealistic. The whole thing is a parable. It will make her feel better to know plenty have been there before and some have even survived looking into the abyss. It's a question of character.

Posted by editor at 10:23 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008 3:24 PM EADT

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