A drunken party back on budget night back in June has cost NSW Police Minister Matt Brown his job. It’s a tragedy and embarrassment for a well regarded rising star of Labor’s moderate faction. It’s certainly an argument for declaring Macquarie Street a “dry zone”. But much more than that, it is a reminder that the Labor government is a house divided.
Sacked ministers, ministerial staff, disappointed MP’s are all cutting loose leaking and counter-leaking smut and smear against each other.
Matt Brown is accused of stripping to his underwear and simulating sex in a jesting fashion with his colleague and mate Noreen Hay. Insiders insist it was meant purely as an off-colour joke and “wasn’t sexual at all, just the Minister letting off steam”.
Brown was under a great deal of pressure at the time on the home front and had faced criticism of his ownership of fourteen rental properties while being Housing Minister.
Hay has emerged as one of few people in the NSW legislature with any class at all, denying the whole thing.
Not only that, she said there were much better-looking women in the parliament that Brown could lust after.
They might well put a photograph of Ms Hay in the dictionary next to the term “team-player”.
Matt Brown might have done well to adopt the “Rudd defence” to debauchery and say he had no memory of the incidents.
His resignation benefits nobody except those doing the leaking. One Sydney Labor insider warned “If you reward bad behaviour, you’ll get more of it. Michael Costa is threatening to write a book he says will make Mark Latham’s look respectable. It really is game over here.”