The news that NSW Labor MP Barry Collier has defected from the right to the left faction certainly shows that the man values ideals over power. With a few exceptions, joining the NSW left faction is not the fast-track to a ministerial spot.
The news also reminded me of attending the 1992 NSW ALP Conference – the first conference after Michael Knight moved from the left to the right faction. When Knight came to the microphone to give his first speech, the entire Sydney Town Hall echoed for a full five minutes with the left chanting "rat, rat, rat". Knight just stood there grinning.
Of course, NSW factional politics is only the beginning. Within factions, there are fractions.