NSW Looking Through A Glass Onion

The Walrus Wasn’t Paul, It Was Gay!

This week’s scandal for the NSW Government brought us the uneasy spectacle of Transport & Roads Minister coming out of a gay sex parlour in Kensington. Why the public need to know that David Campbell – aka ‘the Walrus’ – was never adequately explained by Channel Seven who initially ran with the story that it was an abuse of ministerial privilege to drive the minster’s car to a brothel, but quickly dropped that angle when it came to light that yes, he is allowed to drive his vehicle wherever he likes.

Just as promptly, David Campbell quit his minister’s job before the news broke, although it’s really not the kind of scandal one would expect to be a scandal. Channel Seven’s news desk is now alleging that a man who keeps a second life as a gay person needs to be outed if they are a politician. One imagines this might have some serious repercussions if people decided to live by that code.

Indeed, there have been some tawdry moments and affairs from the NSW Labor Government but one thinks that David Campbell as an in-closet married man actually constituted a scandal so much as lurid sensationalism. I for one thought we were way past the point of being scandalised by the notion of anybody being gay. Apparently Channel Seven’s news desk is still living in the mid-twentieth century. I mean, we live in a time when everybody knew Ricky Martin was gay, a decade and a half before he came out, and nobody even batted an eye-lid when he did.

All the same I guess our society will always run on the “You Fuck One Goat” principle, which essentially makes idiots of us all.

Here’s an article in Crikey sent in by Pleiades that sheds some light on the motives of the people who broke this non story.

There is also a factional dimension. Walters lost his job in September 2008 after the strategy unit was disbanded under Iemma’s successor Nathan Rees. At the time, Campbell was part of a group of ministers, including Meagher, that had moved against Iemma. While his girlfriend stayed on, the former premier’s treachery had left Walters without a gig.

After joining the Daily Telegraph in early 2009, Walters was accused of giving his lover preferential treatment, which just weeks before had pilloried Meagher with headlines including ‘GRIM REBA’.

David Koch picked up on this obvious conflict this morning, producing this amazing exchange on Seven’s Sunrise:

Koch: “Yeah, Adam, he [Campbell] has led a double life. Let me play devil’s advocate here: yes, he should apologise to his family, there’s no doubt about that. But is it a hanging offence? People make mistakes … to be polite you were involved in a similar situation when you worked at state parliament …”

Walters: “Very briefly.”

Koch: “… with a minister and things like that. Private things happened. So, should they have to resign? Yes they’ve got a lot of explaining to do to their family, but shouldn’t it be left at that?”

One Seven insider told Crikey this morning:

“Adam Walters is the last person who should be throwing stones. He has three children to three different women, and is unable to keep his own penis in his pants.”

Walters, who is paid $250,000 a year by Seven, has also been accused of attempting to protect his journalistic integrity by cloaking the headline-grabbing same-sex elements of the story in a sub-plot over Campbell’s use of a “ministerial vehicle”. But as premier Kristina Keneally remarked this morning, ministers routinely use their ministerial vehicles for private tasks, including picking up the kids from school.

This Adam Walters sounds like a real keeper. Somebody should *out* where this guy lives.

I was watching ‘Wag the Dog’ last night thinking, if this were the President of the United States of America, we’d be going to nuclear war right now. As it is, it’s only the NSW Transport&Roads Minister. We should count ourselves lucky we live in the venal state.

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