So Barry O’Farrell was guilty of receiving a $3,000 bottle of wine that he held in such little regard that he couldn’t remember having received it.
Could it be just another example of the rich and powerful treating their privileges as a God-given right, or is there something more sinister at work?
The wine was given by a NSW Liberal Party functionary/lobbyist for the CSG/coal mining group.
Rumours of the wine’s existence had been leaked to the press some time ago. The thank you note dashed off as a matter of good manners was perfectly preserved for all this time.
No creases, no evidence that it had been retrieved from the bin at the last moment.
The note’s oh-so prompt arrival at the ICAC hearing the day after Barry O’Farrell (suckered in, supposedly not under accusation) had testified, has all the necessary characteristics of a set up.
It was rushed through before the Royal visit became such a distraction that it may have allowed the details to get lost in the Royal mania.
With the royal distraction and no thank you note, Barry would have been just another Liberal with a poor memory. A brief but unspectacular case of the current crop of memory lapses.
The note (oh so perfectly preserved/oh so conveniently produced) must have come from a source high up in the party, perhaps Nick Di Girolamo himself? (After all he was, presumably, the last in possession of it?)
It is clear that Barry was knifed in the back by his party, the only question is why? Could it be his squeaky-clean personal history and his attitude to the crooks in the energy lobby and Liberal Party who were about to be exposed by ICAC?
Could it have been the CSG/coal lobby who were upset at his conciliatory approach to the anti-CSG/coal mine majority in the state of NSW?
Or was it some unholy alliance between the two?
I wonder what (if any) commitments the energy lobby has extracted from Mike Baird? Are we to expect some policy U-turns? I smell a conspiracy and I hope that ICAC has the courage to do a little sniffing around, surely their noses are a’twitching!
Vince Kean, Murwillumbah