CBD Melbourne: Labour hield stand voor een heldnovember 3, 2019
Apparently, Labor burgher (and later Hawker Britton lieutenant) David White approached Gordon in the wake of Jeff Kennett’s landslide win in 1992, asking him to parachute in as party leader to help rebuild the decimated Victorian Labor Party.
“And this was in 1992, early 1993 and it was at a time when Labor lacked any sort of heroes or people associated with success who had credibility running an organisation,” the self-effacing Gordon said.
Apparently he was thought of as a big deal at the time. He’d had a win with the Footscray Fightback campaign, and the Dogs were profitable and winning on the field.
“My star was in the ascendant,” he said.
Other factors playing in favour – because there was more, apparently – included his landmark win for the Wittenoom asbestos miners against CSR, and a world-first in successfully taking on the Red Cross blood bank, CSL and The Alfred hospital on behalf of patients who had acquired HIV through transfusions.
But he said no to Labor. He could see what he calls “storm clouds” on the horizon with a series of complicated cases. And he maintains he had no appetite to enter politics.
“I wasn’t interested and I’m still not now,” he said.
A JOB WELL DONE
Federal shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus is adamant he has no plans to leave politics even if his own party members are acting in a fashion which says the opposite.
And so you can’t blame former Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger for going straight to the Isaacs MP last week to double-check his future plans.
CBD was told Kroger chose to broach the subject last Friday night, as a guest at Jon Faine’s packed Fitzroy home as the veteran broadcaster celebrated his final program with around 150 of his nearest and dearest.
According to spies who heard the conversation, Kroger congratulated Dreyfus on a “stellar career” in Parliament before telling him how much he was looking forward to his supposedly imminent retirement. Subtle indeed.
But Dreyfus didn’t take the bait, telling Kroger: “I’m not going anywhere”.
Apparently, it was a convincing display and Kroger is now dismissing the suggestion that Dreyfus has one foot out the door.
Other members in Kroger’s party, however, see things differently. Robert Clark’s state administrative committee has discussed a potential pre-selection in the electorate. And in characteristic fashion, some officials are naming potential candidates.
Considering Labor holds the seat by a margin of 6.4 per cent, they might have a challenge on their hands.
Myer chief John King is no doubt hoping that this year’s general meeting – due on October 30 – will be a subdued affair compared with last year’s outing.
That was when billionaire retailer Solomon Lew went truly berko campaigning against Myer chairman Garry Hounsell after a $486 million loss. Who’d blame him.
But is Federal Court judge Jonathan Beach about to throw a spanner in the works?
After total silence since December, Justice Beach last Tuesday told Myer and its class action pursuer TPT Patrol Pty Ltd to expect a decision on the matter on October 24.
Our sources, who have some involvement in the class action, said being given two weeks’ notice before a judgment was unusual. Perhaps Justice Beach was hoping for the parties to settle to avoid having to decide what the damages were, they suggested.
Myer shareholders, represented by Melbourne silk Norman O’Bryan, QC, allege they lost money because the department store under then boss Bernie Brookes breached continuous disclosure obligations by not updating the market about a fall in profit.
As we recall, the explosive evidence included claims that Myer had prepared two different profit forecasts on the same day for the 2015 financial year, with one internal document showing a full-year profit of $101 million while another draft report warned profits could be as low as $90 million. A few months later, Myer disclosed a profit of $77.5 million.
Still, the only director from that time who remains on the board, Ian Cornell, is expected to step down in just under a fortnight.