Sunday, March 27, 2011

Labor earnt it

Predictably, one of the biggest landslides since federation in the NSW state election.

It looks like the 93 seat parliament will have a maximum of 22 Labor seats, down from 50 in the last parliament.

It's no more than Labor deserved after years of incompetence with arrogance added to incompetence in the final weeks. The Keneally government ended its reign with two fingers to the electorate, pushing through making the Barangaroo development the only project in NSW exempt from planning laws on contamination and dissolving parliament in an attempt to avoid scrutiny of the electricity sell off give-away.

It shows us what politicians think of democracy, but also how useful it is for electors.

Will Premier-elect O'Farrell's government, and his promises, be any better than we've endured for so many decades I wonder. Experience says don't hold your breath.

It's a bad sign that his first comments are the usual pollie cliches - 'we have a mandate'...'we'll govern for all'...'promise to return honesty and accountability to government'.

They all say the same and we're always disappointed.

Think about the governments we've had over the last quarter century for example. They were led by Barrie Unsworth, Nick Greiner, John Fahey, Bob Carr, Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees, Kristina Keneally.

The state didn't go forward under their governments, didn't even stand still. We've been going steadily backwards. Roads, health care, transport, law & order, water, infrastructure in general...someone please give me a clue as to any progress we made under any of them.

Is it now a new dawn or a false dawn I wonder.

Monday, March 07, 2011

It's getting dangerous

I said in my last post I'd talk about the vicious nature of the attacks on political opponents, particularly from the far right, copying what's happening in the US.

Unlike the US, where the fringe Tea Party is pushing their mainstream party to the right, here it's the official opposition which is doing the pushing. But like US we have the so-called shock jocks of talk-back radio right behind them.

They were accurately described by Ian Verrender in the Sydney Morning Herald the other day as "furious frothing creatures ramping up the debate and whipping up a storm of outrage in the hope of picking up some ratings".

Full of their own importance, their pomposity was perfectly illustrated by Alan The Parrot Jones on 2GB.

The Prime Minister of Australia was ten minutes later than the appointed time for an interview and Jones believes he is important enough to launch into a tirade berating her for it.

He constantly interrupted her, overtalked her, called her not Prime Minister but Julia.

I would have said: "You are showing no respect for the office of Prime Minister of Australia. This interview is ended". Regrettably the PM didn't do that.

The Opposition, as expected under the leadership of one of John Winston Howard's attack dogs, finds issues on which they can express their fake rage. A few weeks back it was the flood levy. Now it's the carbon tax. They'll find something else after that.

It's not the policies they're really against, they're just used as a rallying flag. The shock jocks jump on the latest bandwagon even though they and their rabid followers don't understand the subjects they're frothing at the mouth against.

That's not what it's about. It's about power for the pollies and ratings for the jocks.

MPs in favour of the carbon tax are revealing that they're receiving death threats, demonstrating the irresponsible use of vitriol in the race for power, which is really what it's all about. It's about the Opposition removing the government so that they can have the power. How they do it, following the appalling example of JWH, is irrelevant. The end justifies the means.

And of course there are plenty of people who fall for it and take it to the predictable next level. Here's an example of the intellects we're dealing with, a message left for Independent MP Tony Windsor:

"You're a liar, a dog, a rat, a big MP dog... and you wait you're not going to get voted in again. I hope you die, you bastard," the caller said.

We're rapidly moving into very dangerous waters here and instead of pulling back to a more rational, intelligent debate our politicians are going to take us further out.

Tony Abbott won't condemn the comments from his party members, won't distance himself from them. That's no surprise, he learned under the patronage of John Howard. He'll do and say anything to get to The Lodge and just like his mentor he'll then do and say anything to stay there.

The cliche has it that people get the politicians they deserve.

Like so many cliches it's wrong. We don't deserve this lot, whatever political colour they are.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Bottom of the barrel politics

As I've said in earlier posts, I was less than impressed by John Winston Howard's way of going about politics

And I've been unimpressed by our state politicians for longer than I can remember. Just think back to the Premiers and their governments' achievements over, say, the past quarter century...Unsworth, Greiner, Fahey, Carr, Iemma, Rees, Keneally.

Can you think of anything that lot have done to improve things for us, of any improvements to the state.

But I've been away for five years and I've missed the daily exposure to our elected representatives' behaviour.

Back in Oz and listening to them now I'm appalled. I'm disgusted. They really don't deserve to be there. This is the behaviour of bad mannered school children.

No wonder we have the undemocratic compulsory voting system which doesn't allow us to withhold our votes in disgust. No-one would vote for them other than the diehard party faithful, whose vote is not a positive for their own people but a negative to keep the other lot out.

I was going to talk about the level of debate but I won't dignify their antics with that term. There is no debate.

There's screaming and shouting, there are personal insults flying. The Speaker bellows 'Order! Order!' which they ignore. Comparing the PM to the madman Gaddafi is just the latest example.

Given the opportunity, MPs won't talk about their policies, instead they just slag off the other party.

And what they say seems to have been written by ten year old schoolboys.

There's another fine example of this captured on video in the Senate, from Senator Mary Jo Fisher.

But it's actually much worse than just appalling scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel behaviour.  We have the vicious nature of the attacks, particularly from the far right, copying what's happening in the US. That's worthy of a separate post so I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, check these links and weep at the level our politicians have descended to.

Watch the video here.

Gillard-Gaddafi comparison, and more.