Sussex Street Gets Revenge On Rees


Former Premier Nathan Rees’s private life has been aired in Sydney’s tankstream media, The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald, to devastating effect. Reporters Andrew Clennell and Sean Nicholls have climbed into Rees over an affair with a 40-year-old mother of two that occurred a year ago.

Two consenting adults have brief affair and then amicably end it – SHOCK HORROR. Rupert Murdoch has been having clandestine affairs with staff for 50 years – Anna Torv and Wendi Deng, to mention just two of them – and they never caused the same moral outrage.

Would someone now investigate the private lives of other News and Fairfax editorial executives? How many have had extra-marital affairs? How many male reporters have been cuckolded by their partners? How many have endured marriage break-ups because of extra-marital sexual liaisons? Names and photographs, please.

Perhaps Messrs Clennell and Nicholls should write columns on the subject and declare any interest. I suspect, however, they won’t be washing their dirty linen in public, just other people’s.

The Rees “revelations” have a political purpose. He is still loathed by Sussex Street, the Catholic right-wing and the media for winning the premiership in 2008 and attempting to clean up years of scandal and cronyism.

When he launched a full frontal attack on the Obeid-Macdonald machine in November 2009, he was sacked and Kristina Keneally was brought in. Her first announcement was to rescue the career of Macdonald and promote him into her Cabinet as Mineral Resources Minister.

Sussex Street tried to disendorse Rees as the candidate for his seat of Toongabbie prior to the March 2011 election. He was saved by national executive intervention.

This year Toongabbie was abolished in a redistribution and he now faces he an uphill battle to retain a new seat at the next State Election in 18 months.

I can’t help feeling the latest “revelations” have been orchestrated to damage Rees and help the coup plotters who want to topple Labor leader John Robertson and install Maroubra MP Michael Daley. We shall see.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.