The slow breaking Brogden story


"What was John Brogden thinking"? asked Miranda Devine, "Bob Carr’s resignation had just handed the NSW Opposition Leader the greatest gift of his career. But instead of capitalising on this stroke of luck, J-Bro let his hair down in rather exuberant style in front of a room full of journalists at a party at the new Hilton hotel."

Devine’s story appeared three weeks ago on 7 August. It seems that she had the story but didn’t spell it out. She did, however, let readers know that Brogden was treading close to the edge:

The Australian Hotels Association’s legendary annual knees-up is better attended by the fourth estate than just about any function on the Sydney media calendar.

The sushi and chocolate fondue fountain were temptations but the party and its aftermath downstairs in the Marble Bar were surely not the wisest place for an aspiring premier to let down his guard over a lemon-studded Corona or three.

Right now, discipline and focus are what 36-year-old Brogden needs if he is to have any hope of impressing NSW and achieving the big swing he needs in 2007.

After all, as his mentor John Howard is fond of saying about elections: "You can’t fatten a pig on market day."

Brogden was one piggy not destined to make it to market.

Meanwhile, on the ABC’s 7:30 Report site, there’s a reference to the shadowy figure "Alex Walker". Did they mean this bloke?

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Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2024 years ago

The reason was that these events are off the record events.

He rarely drinks and is not womaniser and the journo’s didn’t think a lot of it.

It ran when Federal Libs used glen milne to get rid of Broggers.

I can’t help thinking there are double standards when it ccomes to Lib and ALp pollies.

No-one said boo when Carr in Parliament said Cjicka was using male hormones.

David Tiley
2024 years ago

But he didn’t say that Chicka’s husband was using male hormones. See the difference?

The double standard is in the perception of the parties. We are very well aware of the internecine fighting in the Labor party, and how it dogs the preselection process, even though the political principles in this day and age are actually pretty vague.

But this stoush is an example of the Lib’s fight between wet and dry, in which they have clear ideological differences. I personally think this battle line is the single most important in our times, in which we being captured by deranged ideologues.

Here’s the SMH article cited above:

“Mr Hawke is a staffer for the most prominent Christian right-wing Liberal MP, David Clarke, and has previously worked for federal right-wingers Ross Cameron and Helen Coonan. He and Mr Clarke have worked together to build a conservative religious network in the party and end the left’s 15-year hold on the state party. They regard Mr Brogden as too socially liberal, particularly on issues such as republicanism, abortion, heroin injecting rooms and homosexuality.”

Can you imagine what the Liberal ascendency would have been like in the last ten years if the wets had won in the Eighties?

David Tiley
2024 years ago


One of the clear differences is that those pigs on the Right never ever resign, thus removing a fundamental principle in Westminster politics. Here’s the scenario in this instance

1. Brogden has a few ales and does naughty things.
2. Hawke runs around telling people about it
3. Brogden resigns and dobs Hawke for an act he considers vicious and
4. Hawke barefaced lies and says it is not true.

He said this:
“”I have not spoken to a single journalist, on or off the record, about this matter until now and I was not in attendance at the function where Mr Brogden committed these acts.

“To ascribe any role to me in this embarrassing episode is false and I reject it totally.””

Either we believe Brogden on this or Hawke. Who do you prefer?

What do you think of Hawke’s Christian values?

Scares me, I tell you.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2024 years ago

“Can you imagine what the Liberal ascendency would have been like in the last ten years if the wets had won in the Eighties?”

There would not have been a Liberal ascendency. Or was that your point?

David Tiley
2024 years ago

It’s an open question. I think you are saying that a Wet ascendancy could not have won, which is an interesting notion. I don’t see why a more protectionist government which gave more legitimacy to the role of government and accepted medibank, adhered to centralised wage bargaining, and rejected the GST would not have won in 1996.

Could a West ascendancy have survived party infighting? No, for reasons outlined above – the mongrels come out on top.

2024 years ago

O’Farrell and Debnam, the chief contenders from the wet/dry, right/ultra-right, conservative/extremist, crazy/crazy wings of the party, or however anyone wants to classify them, are both probably unelectable.

Kinda renders the whole excercise pointless.

2024 years ago

Brogden is not atypical of your average Lib when in sympatico company or sozzled – at least as far as the “mailorder bride” crack went. A shame they have to resign for being themselves, but telling.