NSW Labor’s revival starts at the Radisson

Sam Dastyari has two jobs: general secretary of the NSW Labor Party and head honcho of the state branch of the right-wing faction known as Centre Unity.

How do I know? I’ve received an email invitation from Dastyari to the 2012 Centre Unity Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 18, starting at 6pm.

The card ends with a cheery flourish: “Hope to see you there!” And it is signed by Dastyari as NSW Labor general secretary.

But in the tiniest print at the foot of the card are the following words: “Email sent by Sam Dastyari, NSW Centre Unity, PO Box 254, Haymarket.”

In other words, the tradition continues in Sussex Street, headquarters of the NSW ALP: it is little more than a front for one faction – the rightists of Centre Unity. It was ever thus.

Invitees are asked to send their RSVP to NSW Centre Unity or Kaila Murnain (a paid official of the NSW Labor Party).

And where is Dastyari’s Centre Unity holding its Christmas Party? The Radisson Hotel on Liverpool Street in the Sydney’s CBD where single rooms are $299 a night and $324 for a double.

The Radisson is part of the global Carlson Rezidor Group which owns 1,319 hotels in 80 countries and makes US$7 billion in annual revenues.

I presume the swish five-star location is part of Dastyari’s much-vaunted programme of rebuilding the mortally wounded ALP from the grass roots.

I wonder who’s paying for this beanfeast? Probably the Health Services Union.


The ultra-Zionist leaders of Israel are transforming the Jewish state into a pariah state. They appear to be following in the footsteps of the Boers who turned the Republic of South Africa into a reviled apartheid state between 1950 and 1990.

The Johannesburg-Tel Aviv similarities became clear in the wake of the UN General Assembly vote granting Palestine its long-awaited goal of statehood.

Instead of recalibrating their world position, the Zionists followed the example of the Boers by circling themselves with wagons, pulling down the shutters and digging deeper into the Laager.

The policy of giving an “up yours” to the rest of the world didn’t work for Hendrik Verwoerd (1958-1966) or Balthazar Vorster (1966-1978) and it won’t work for Benyamin Netanyahu and the Zionist hardliners.

Following the overwhelming vote for Palestine at the UN, Netanyahu announced Israel’s intention to build 3000 homes on the military-occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

And in an illegal act of wanton collective punishment the Israeli regime is withholding millions of dollars in tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.

Such is the irrationality of the Israeli leadership. Instead of accepting the inevitability of Palestinian statehood and its global recognition, the Zionists are locked in a siege mentality and throwing away the key.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, the Palestinians said Israel was behaving “in a rogue, hostile and arrogant manner, contravening all principles and rules of international law and reacting with contempt to the will of the international community.”

Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme, said: “Settlement construction is the cause of forced displacement, a myriad of human rights violations and is a flagrant violation of international law.”

Let’s see what happens in the Israeli elections on January 22 when Netanyahu’s hardliners seek another mandate to screw the Palestinians, treat the Egyptians, Jordanians with Gulf Arabs with contempt, threaten the Iranians and insult the White House.


On the latest figures, there were 690,000 births in the UK in 2007 or 1890 babies born every day. That’s the equivalent of about 80 every hour.

Across the world, around 490,000 babies are born every day or about 20,000 an hour.

I was reminded of these statistics as I dug my way out of the media coverage of the pregnancy of William Windsor’s slapper, the former Kate Middleton.

To read some of the coverage you’d reckon the writers were referring to the Second Coming.

When Princess Anne, then married to horse-loving Captain Mark Phillips, had her first child, the Daily Mirror in London carried the huge headline: “IT’S A BABY!”

What did they think she was going to have? A foal. 

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