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article imageOp-Ed: Premier not attacked by Pterodactyl

By Paul Wallis     Mar 21, 2011 in Politics
Sydney - Kristina Keneally is the person holding the dead baby as the greatest, most one-sided stampede in Australian political history heads for election on March 26. It's a study in failure, and a study in the truth of state politics in Australia.
This is an election which has seen four premiers come and go in a few years and more than 30 Labor sitting members voluntarily leave office before the election happens. Sitting members usually require explosives to get them out of their positions, but not this time.
In what must be the most spineless example of sheer lack of character in Australian politics (that ain’t good) Keneally is carrying the legacy of over a decade of sleaze. New South Wales is now behind most other states, a mess of developers, corruption and deals with dubious bozos. Keneally, who used to be Planning Minister, is now stuck with fighting a campaign against reality. It's odd she's in this position, because Planning is one of the portfolios for the truly tough minded in NSW politics, and reality is a bit hard to avoid noticing.
State politics is traditionally on the nose in Australia. Not that we expect much from our politicians except the ability to avoid embarrassing the nation any more than usual, but it’s the sewer outfall of the Australian political environment. Mediocrity is the norm and “vermin” the basic descriptor, in between anti-corruption hearings and nauseating headlines. Donald Horne, writer of The Lucky Country, said that “Australia is a first rate country run by second rate people.” Mr. Horne’s statement is now a euphemism in New South Wales, where “tenth rate” would be flattery. It’s nearly as bad as the US.
But in New South Wales, Labor heartland, the conduct of the parties is usually oversighted by someone with an understanding of basic personal hygiene and often an ability to use furniture wisely. The two main Labor factions, right and left, are usually run by people having some concept of functional government. NSW Labor was in fact the heavyweight major influence in the Labor Party until the last Federal election, when it was discovered that the NSW approach was largely responsible for the current hung Parliament and Labor’s dismal showing in the polls.
To her credit, Keneally has hung in there, even when Labor commercials have effectively admitted defeat and told voters not to give Barry O’Farrell, the Liberal leader, too much power. Great copy from great minds. Absolutely nothing has gone right for Keneally, and the scandals have been taking up a lot of space in the news as the election approaches. Keneally has also been touted as the likely party leader for “the wilderness years”, and the party doesn’t expect to be back in power for at least two elections. They didn’t say she’d be leading the party for the return to power, either.
Keneally has apparently been getting some pretty toxic advice. She prorogued Parliament to shut down an inquiry into the sale of electricity assets, which is likely to lead to more massive price increases for consumers. This maneuver, supposedly shutting down the debate was carried out only to discover that the Upper House was able to hold a damaging inquiry of its own, regardless of the proroguing. Further scandals have emerged in the course of the inquiry. With friends like these, Keneally needs enemies.
The current polls show Labor heading for disaster. From a clear majority to about 16 surviving members is the expected result. Rarely have polls been so definite. Just about everything that could go wrong on the campaign trail has gone wrong, from runaway buses to contradictory headlines, on a daily basis. Hence the headline for this article, “Premier not attacked by Pterodactyl”, because that’s about all that hasn’t happened.
(We’re doing a few side bets just in case, including current 5/1 odds on getting hit by an asteroid and 12/1 for alien invasion.)
New South Wales is where the Labor Party, the party of Chifley, Evatt, Whitlam, Hawke and Keating, was born. There was an ideology, once, and a sense of obligation to the public. Labor was the party of social justice, not social ineptitude and ethical squalor.
Labor’s hard men have turned to jelly, either unwilling or unable to operate on the basis of good government principles. This is an absolute disgrace, even by the bottomless standards of state politics. Labor deserves the defeat it’s about to get. Perhaps in some future incarnation “ALP” won’t be an acronym for “Absolutely Lousy Politicians” but at the moment, it is.
A word of advice to the Labor hard men/plainclothes Lamingtons-
Get your fingers out, you overpaid, embarrassing, useless bludgers, and try and pretend you’ve got some working chromosomes and a functional brain cell between you. While you’re at it, find someone who knows how to use a bloody calculator and can tell the time, before submitting figures to an independent auditor.
This is supposed to be a democracy. If you don't like it, leave. Soon.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about kristina keneally, NSW election 2011, Barry o'farrell, austrlian labor party, Liberal party of Australia
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