Two Victorian public figures have described the unopposed power Daniel Andrews wields within Victorian Labor and how his persona has changed since first coming to Government.
Speaking to Englishheadline Australia’s Peta Credlin in her special investigation ‘The Cult of Daniel Andrews’ the pair discussed the Premier’s rise from obscurity to the grasp he has of the Party.
Michael Danby – who was a Federal Victorian Labor MP for over two decades – argued the Premier is “so powerful” because there is simply no opposition.
He said Labor has been “transformed” and is completely unrecognisable from what it once was.
“I think the Labor Party has been transformed by him into a sort of personal fiefdom,” he told Ms Credlin.
“It’s almost out of Animal Farm, you really can’t recognise the Labor Party of the past from the one that’s currently there now.
“There are lots of people who feel the same way, particularly at a Federal Labor level but are not in a position to be able to do anything about it.”
In his five decades in journalism, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell claimed he has not seen a “worse government” – noting the Premier has refused to come on to speak with him.
“It’s hard to believe he would be scared of the scrutiny, it’s hard to believe he would not have the confidence to take on some idiot behind the desk,” Mr Mitchell said.
“He’d rather run the social media outlet that avoids all questions.
“He’s ruthless, there’s no question. He’s ruthless and he’s very clever.”
Mr Mitchell said since coming to power from opposition in 2014, Mr Andrews is a completely different person.
“I thought I knew him because he was always knocking on the door in opposition,” he said.
“I thought I knew him, I’ve got a lot of close friends who thought they knew him but it’s a different man know. We don’t know him.”
Mr Mitchell argued Mr Andrews has become “more confident, more arrogant, more dictatorial, more successful, more determined and more ruthless”.
He said all of that was evident during Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The unwillingness to accept responsibility for the mistakes or really give us any detail on what happened is an appalling insult, an obscene insult to the families of those 801 people,” Mr Mitchell added.
“I think that would have destroyed any other government.”