Matthew Guy, the state opposition leader, showed us this past week just how unappealing he is as an alternative premier, and that he is unable to learn from his past mistakes.
I am talking of course, about the scandal which enveloped his Chief of Staff, PR Guru Mitch Catlin, who was discovered to have tried to strong arm a billionaire Liberal Party donor into making secret payments to Catlin’s PR company to supplement his Chief of Staff salary.
A witch hunt is now underway to find who it was who leaked this disgraceful attempted arrangement to The Age. Apparently Catlin had no shortage of enemies who would have been able to gain access to this information and who had the motive to use it against him.
Whilst the Liberal Party insider dirt blog, Real Freedom News, appears to have been offline now for about two months, I did read it avidly when it was still running. Mitch Catlin featured prominently in recent months, where accusations were raised of his unhealthy degree of influence within the Victorian Liberal Party, to the point where he seemed to be one of the most powerful figures, despite only being a hired servant of the opposition leader.
Now all that might and power is gone. Mitch Catlin is, to all intents and purposes, a pariah within Liberal circles and he well deserves to be.
He can go back to swilling champagne with his PR clients at Spring Racing Carnival.
But what we are left with is Matthew Guy, the thrice discredited opposition leader.
It is very clear that he was well aware of Mitch Catlin’s attempt to boost his income by strong arming a billionaire donor (I wonder who actually thinks that some moron can actually strong arm any billionaire? They are giga-rich for a reason, and being weak and spineless is not part of the job description.) and did nothing to prevent it.
This is damaging to Matthew Guy for three reasons.
The first is that it casts a very dark cloud over his own integrity. He knew about Catlin’s stunt, and did nothing to stop it.
The second is that trying to get ‘donations’ inappropriately from a wealthy donor not only damages the chances of getting further donations legitimately from that donor, but causes other donors and party supporters to question the motives of Guy and his staff. How else and when else are they trying to line their own pockets?
The third is that it shows Matthew Guy, yet again, to be weak and spineless. As planning minister, he allowed himself to be led into making some very ill considered planning decisions on Fisherman’s Bend and Phillip Island which cast doubts on his integrity. Five years ago, in his first stint as opposition leader, he allowed some chancer recently active in the Liberal Party to take him to a lobster lunch with some new potential donors who turned out to be alleged mobsters. I am not saying that Guy is necessarily bad, just that he is so weak and insecure that he is easily led astray by alpha males who bully him into doing their own bidding rather than what is right.
The state election is three and a half months away. Victorians deserve a better choice as alternative premier than someone whom I have previously described as a hypocrite, a cad, and a blackguard.
I definitely stand by my opinion of Matthew Guy.