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Federal Government

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Powerless “power broker” Feeney under fire from ABC studio audience of hipsters & miscreants

FeeneycusterVictorian Labor Senator David Feeney rarely gains national media attention unless engaged in on-the-record defending of long-time union ally the disgraced, despicable and dodgy HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson (“a person of integrity… Kathy’s strategy in this fight has always been to run into the light, because her enemies are only strong in the shadows. Kathy is a friend of mine. I am not walking away from that.”) but bravely headed onto the bright lights of ABC’s talking heads show Q & A last night.

The well-read, hopelessly inner-urban, usually quick-witted snarky Senator seemed strangely a bit out of his depth, as it was his first time on the show, constantly interrupted by bellicose Barnaby Joyce and an audience that seemed keen to lynch Feeney for the questionable offence of being a long-lunch-munching Japanese-style head-kicker factional boss “Labor powerbroker,” as he was unhelpfully described by the show’s host and caption-makers.

Feeney’s not much of a power-broker, truth be told, these days, largely as a result of his own curious factional/fractional choices in Victoria, but didn’t even deny being one convincingly. There’s not a single vote we can think of in the federal parliamentary Victorian Right (or any other group) influenced by his edicts, even those in the same sub-group like Jacinta Collins or Anthony Byrne don’t think much of him, or so it is said by sources not friendly with the Senator. It’s a long way from the hopes many backers had for him when preselected back in 2006. Once described by a triumphantly re-elected SA Premier Mike Rann as General Eisenhower on his campaign, since he’s got to Canberra in the Senate, he’s been more like General Custer.

Feeney’s most recent foray into factional misadventure culminated in another mini-disaster just last week when he encouraged his chum and dinner-party companion Miguel Belmar, a nice-guy barrister with much work from Feeney’s wife’s law firm Maurice Blackburn, to run for the vacated state seat of Lyndhurst despite a widespread view that hard-hitting power-slammer senior shadow minister Martin Pakula should move downstairs to take the fight to the government, in the house that forms them.

The optics of opposing Pakula, one of the Opposition’s star performers, were never going to be good and that the sorry incident had Feeney’s pudgy fingerprints all over it concerned those who’d hoped the grouping he’d latched onto were determined to play a more constructive role going forward (as they had promised). Sanity prevailed at the last minute, and Belmar withdrew, due to the maturity and common sense of SDA secretary Michael Donovan and south-eastern ally Adem Somyurek (much more of an actual powerbroker than Feeney we would argue), who appreciated that burning Belmar on such a frolic was indulgent, opposing Pakula despite his strong record was just mean and that you cannot talk factional/fractional peace while perpetually provoking warfare in every theatre.

Press reports that Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and SDA-partisan deputy leader James Merlino were linked to opposing Pakula were a worry too, although sources close to Daniel Andrews insist he was quietly encouraging of Pakula’s move, believing him to be a strong contributor. This came at a time when Andrews is “in the zone” – buoyed by the Libs panicking and taking out their Premier in the light of award-winning Herald Sun scribe James Campbell’s revelations of behind-closed-doors unpleasantness – and doing extremely well in media interviews, appearing nearly Reagan-esque in relaxed, persuasive and comfortable mode. It had been a while since we’d seen him to do a long TV interview and he really did nail this one last Friday.  He did very well on the night of the boning too when the Libs were still licking their wounds after a night of the long knives.

We digress.

The first question Q and A virgin sacrifice Feeney faced was a bouncer from an innocuous looking civilian who came in from the long-run about his involvement in boning Rudd. He deserves a medal for that but seemed oddly unprepared for the obvious question.

We dozed off early into the proceedings in a post-Nando’s haze but did note some unfriendly reviews of his appearance on Twitter afterwards which show the extent to which it’s a tough gig and the savagely unforgiving nature of the lefty Twitterverse. They hated him. Not since the Belushi brothers showed up at Bob’s Country Bunker has there been such a tough crowd. We feel it would be wrong not to chronicle some of the more vicious and snide remarks here lest they be forgotten.


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  1. poor old David. should have stayed behind the Wizard of Oz facade instead of hillariously exposing his (ahem) tiny talent to teh nation’s latte sippers on prime time telly.

    Posted by voice of reason | March 19, 2013, 9:32
  2. Jeesus everytime I Senator Fatty he is even fatter than the last time I saw him. What will he be doing for a Job come September…

    Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2013, 10:07
  3. Who ate all the Pies!!!

    Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2013, 10:11
  4. My term expires June 30th next year giving me plenty of time until I start at Hungry Jacks where the burgers are better. Feeney has asked me to put in a good word for him. Lambros thinks I should let the cnut swing…

    Posted by Ben Maxfielderson | March 19, 2013, 10:14
  5. The challenge is on: next March after my NUW mates have got all the good seats.

    Posted by Smarty Marty | March 19, 2013, 10:18
  6. Thought Feeney was your mate landeryou?

    Posted by Anonymous | March 19, 2013, 13:07
  7. Life isn’t fair, you stitch me up as an ally of Pinochet lover David Feeney when all we can agree on is a shared love of Shiraz and living well off the workers.

    Viva Miguel!

    Viva Allende!

    Posted by Miguel | March 19, 2013, 13:51
  8. Who mentioned pie?

    Posted by Girth | March 19, 2013, 13:53
  9. David who?

    Posted by iheartjinglee | March 19, 2013, 13:56
  10. NUW = National Union of Wankers. No wonder Feeney is right at home with them.

    Posted by anon | March 19, 2013, 15:12
  11. David Feeney has my vote. A brave Soldier standing up to the shortcons.

    Posted by Taliban fan | March 19, 2013, 15:24
  12. The should have got a real Labor man from the Senate to go on Q & A, like Penny Wong

    Posted by Ragool | March 19, 2013, 15:36
  13. Sandra Lee is a serious wanker as well- an ex-News Ltd hack who spouts LNP rubbish every hour of the day and by George, challenge her one of her dishonest anti-Labor rants and you will have a Hell fire spitting firebrand on your hands.

    The real story here is why isn’t the ghastly Q&A and it’s repellant ‘host’ put out of it’s misery?.

    It’s become a Barnaby Joyce/Chrissy Pyne/IPA roadshow and is Just plain boring. As is Sandra Lee.

    Posted by Oscar | March 19, 2013, 15:39
  14. I like k d wong.
    Good bloke!

    Posted by Marilyn | March 19, 2013, 19:48
  15. Oscar – you have my vote!

    Posted by Alison | March 19, 2013, 21:21
  16. Never thought I’d see the day when VEX championed right on right violence.

    Somebody stole someone’s cheese burger and isn’t happy.

    Posted by Maxwell Smart | March 20, 2013, 10:11
  17. Colonel Custer (he was only a General in the Confederate States Army)looks like Julian Knight.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 20, 2013, 15:29
  18. Gobble, gobble.

    Posted by Gobbler | March 20, 2013, 16:10
  19. Time to get lost Julia you have completely stuffed the ALP. Please go NOW you are NOT welcome or wanted by the majority of your party.

    Posted by anon | March 20, 2013, 16:39
  20. Tony Jones is a wanker.. i guess i should start a facebook hate group.. oh wait…. i mean a facebook campaign to boycott the show until they replace him with a pile of shit

    Posted by i heard the libs now have c&%t factions like labor | March 20, 2013, 17:01
  21. I was only dancing with the goat’s hind legs and my pants fell down that is all Officer, I am not like Banyardi or Joyce.

    Posted by Richard Torbay | March 20, 2013, 19:12
  22. Anon at 13.07, it’s called an inter-factional split. A lot messier than two factions fighting it out. Just ask supporters of Kroger and Costello.

    Posted by Anon 2 | March 20, 2013, 21:27
  23. Sounds like Torbay was into Zoophilia.

    Posted by anon 3 | March 20, 2013, 21:41
  24. Truth is Feeney is a very talented and gifted politician but he has used all his tricks and no more rabbits are to be found. He has peaked in his early 40s and is now in decline. It happens. eg. Mark Latham. I suspect the Labor Party in Victoria has realised Feeney is old hat before he and Freedom Sandwich.
    Labor renewal means Feeney and his fair-weathered alliances will have to go as the ALP is about to enter a post-election civil war. Feeney is just a distraction.

    Posted by wtf | March 20, 2013, 22:20
  25. Feeney’s best asset is his wife.

    Posted by Red underwear | March 21, 2013, 0:26
  26. Feeney peaked in 1999 when he was behind Bracks’ victory against Kennett. This is a very hard act to follow.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 21, 2013, 10:38
  27. Despite my visceral dislike of collectivism and factions based solely on ambition rather than principles, I still think David Feeney is still one of the major assets in the Victorian ALP. He will be voted out of the Senate and this may be his opportunity to concentrate on the finer arts of manipulation and persuasion.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 21, 2013, 11:00
  28. How’s Kate Dunn going David?

    Posted by Anonymous | March 21, 2013, 12:09
  29. David did it his way

    Posted by Dunne for | March 21, 2013, 12:34
  30. Andrew, you are the perfect embodiment of everything that is wrong with the ALP at present, and i’m an ALP supporter. Pull your head in you clown.

    More importantly, you should get on a treadmill yourself before you criticise people for being overweight. You look like a cross between Mr. Potato head and Chris Farely.

    Posted by Tom | March 22, 2013, 17:07
  31. Steven Conroys preferred candidate for the seat of Gelibrand is not eligible to be selected.
    Mr Tim Watts received a waiver by the ALP administrative committee because his membership was not continuous for 12 months.

    But this was not the only barrier to Mr Watts eligibility that needed to be mitigated.

    Mr Watts is not a member of a local Branch, but instead he is a member of Central Branch.

    Under rule 5.4.2 A member of central branch cannot stand as a candidate or vote in an internal election except for policy committees.

    Mr Watts would have needed to join a local branch under 5.4.4 He needed to filled in a form (schedule E1) and join a branch in the FEA in which he resides. Then he needed to attend a branch meeting and table the form and join the branch. His membership would have been activated from that time and only from that time would he have been eligible to stand for preselection.

    Mr Watts did not do this and therefore he is not eligible to stand.

    Even if the State Secretary or the Returning officer choose to ignore this, a court of law will hold that the rules need to be upheld and Mr Watts is not eligible.

    Steven Conroy needs to decide whether he is a factional power broker or a Minister because he cannot do both and is not doing either very well given this very basic mistake.

    Posted by stevo | March 27, 2013, 14:39
  32. Hmmmm, come over to my face, I mean place, Davy Boi!

    Posted by Craigy Boi | April 2, 2013, 14:49
  33. Katie’s been Dunn. David had funn!

    Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2013, 14:51
  34. I love it hard and fast in my gaping botty.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | April 2, 2013, 23:44
  35. how many losing bets can one man make

    Posted by Geof | April 3, 2013, 22:37