Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. With his track record of slipping out of scandals apparently unscathed, you likewise couldn’t blame Victorian premier Daniel Andrews for not expecting more than a light tap on the wrist from corruption investigators. But, far from the comfy chair, he’s suddenly finding himself on the rack. No wonder he’s surprised.

Still, as he loses a fourth minister over two simultaneous Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) investigations, you’d think he’d be starting to wise up. His government’s army of spin doctors should probably start drafting more resignation speeches.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he was not expecting to lose a minister to the IBAC inquiry into Labor branch-stacking when he woke up yesterday morning, and hasn’t given “a lot of thought” to whether he would have asked Luke Donnellan […] to stand down had he not tendered his resignation.

No doubt he’s giving a lot of thought now to the future of some of his closest allies, such as Minister for Police and Minister for Water Lisa Neville. Nothing, after all, sharpens the mind so much as the sight of the hangman’s noose.

For the present, though, “Dictator Dan” is taking the Sergeant Shultz option.

The Victorian Premier on Tuesday said he would not speculate and that any finding to come out of hearings would be dealt with when they arrive.

The Australian

Which sounds an awful lot like crossing his fingers and hoping he doesn’t cop too much of the nasty stuff that’s hitting the Labor fan. It also sounds a lot like deflection: unlike other states, Victoria’s corruption hearings are held in secret. It’s unknown, so far, whether Andrews himself has been questioned. No doubt he’s hoping it never becomes public if he has.

But the scandal in Victoria is reaching well beyond that state. The stink in Melbourne is reaching all the way to Canberra. Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese must be praying as hard as Andrews that there isn’t much more muck to be raked in Labor’s strongest state.

The hearings affect the federal Opposition Leader in two ways.

First, it muddies the waters on the debate over a federal anti-corruption body; second, it exposes Albanese to a long-running internal sore in Victoria […]

All of which leaves Albanese as federal leader in a vulnerable position.

With Victoria as his strongest state, he needs to perform well there to win office.

Instead, it is organisationally weak and mired in scandal, coming off state Labor’s world-record beating lockdowns.

The Australian

This is the way even the strongest political regimes fall: at first slowly, with a trickle of scandals that seem to wash off like oil on Teflon, and then very quickly. As even Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu found, all it takes is one obstreperous crowd to boo and days later you’re off the balcony and facing the firing squad.

“Dictator Dan” can at least thank his lucky stars that we don’t do firing squads in Australia.

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Not the Comfy Chair for Dan

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...