Reasons why the ACT is better than NSW – Jon Stanhope

johnboy 19 July 2008 82

In the first of a weekly series I shall explore the things about the ACT which a year in NSW has taught me are better here.

And the first one of them is Jon Stanhope.

No… wait… bear with me here. If you don’t actually have to live with the consequences of his Government Jon Stanhope is a lone flickering beacon of decency on the Australian political landscape.

Who else actually stands up for human rights, for freedom of speech, for double jeopardy and habeus corpus, even when the outcomes of sticking up for these principles are unsavoury?

The Times [The real one, not the Crimes] former editor Simon Jenkins once wrote the following which is my quote on Facebook:

    “Every age refights the Civil War in its own way and ours is no exception. Roundhead and Cavalier,

    Whig and Tory, Gladstone and Disraeli, Labour and Conservative, each conflict is an echo of the original.

    Every age has its own Cromwell, the man repainted, regilded, forged, twisted to suit some current purpose. The historian Isaac Foot, father of Michael, said that he judged a man by one thing, ‘On which side would he have fought at Marston Moor’, the King’s or Parliament’s.

    The pendulum of politics long ago stopped swinging from Left to Right, now being stuck on Right. But it always swings from Roundhead to Cavalier. It swings from the authority of democratic institutions, defended ceaselessly and sometimes bloodily, to the corruption of over-centralised power.”

Jon Stanhope, I have no doubt, would have stood with Parliament. And, I hope, so would I. But I can’t name another leader in this country of which I can be so sure.

I have been scathingly critical of his governance in the past, and I imagine I will be in the future.

But in a way it’s somehow heartening that Canberra has thrown up a politician of such steely principle (even if we might argue that some of his principles are poorly chosen and mis-applied), and that the voters have have rewarded him for it over the years. All that despite his many refusals to play the politician’s game.

Jon Stanhope, a better leader than what NSW has got.

(Photo courtesy of last night’s ABC news)

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82 Responses to Reasons why the ACT is better than NSW – Jon Stanhope
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peterh peterh 12:16 pm 23 Jul 08

Mælinar – *spoiler alert* I’ve seen S04E13 said :

I think Barr knows how to take it where it counts for the top job.

so do I. he got thrown a poisoned bone by an ex education minister and took it all on board.

Maelinar, what does the rest of your ID mean?

G-Fresh G-Fresh 10:09 am 23 Jul 08

Stanhop Prime Minister ftw

Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 Mælinar - *spoiler alert* I've seen S04E13 2:32 pm 22 Jul 08

I think Barr knows how to take it where it counts for the top job.

peterh peterh 12:59 pm 22 Jul 08

nicolae said :

All we got with Kate Carnell was bread and circuses. By that I mean exploding hospitals billed as public entertainment, futsall and car races (I really like cars but they are not a substitute for serious government). John Stanhope is a principled visionary compared to her. But I agree that Kate would win in the ring, gloves on or off.

and look what happened when jon came to power. no futsall, no car racing, no dragway, but some of the most hideous statues (I may not know art, but I know what I like) decorating a single lane bottleneck for gungahlin residents…

not any better off with the GDE, you know…

I am bitter about the fires, the poor consultation about the schools, the lack of parking in civic, etc, etc.

we need a new face in the top job, someone who will see the chief minister as the top job in canberra politics and treat it as such through the effective leadership that we so desperately need. Someone who will say “the buck stops with me” and own up to mistakes.

nicolae nicolae 11:59 am 21 Jul 08

All we got with Kate Carnell was bread and circuses. By that I mean exploding hospitals billed as public entertainment, futsall and car races (I really like cars but they are not a substitute for serious government). John Stanhope is a principled visionary compared to her. But I agree that Kate would win in the ring, gloves on or off.

vandam vandam 12:13 pm 20 Jul 08

True there isn’t much else to choose from, but I’m willing to give someone else a go. I can’t see how we can do worse.

Stanhope is a knob. He is out of touch with the community, the power has gone to his head, and he is only just a smidge above Kate Carnell.

In fact I’d pay money to watch them both go at it in a boxing ring. My bet is Kate is more likely to be wearing the pants and would KO Stanhope!

imhotep imhotep 11:41 am 20 Jul 08

A small point, I know, but Stanhope was not elected to impose his view on human rights, foreign policy etc.

He was elected to successfully manage a small city, a task he has failed to fulfill;

-our major hospital is the worst in the country on several benchmarks
-the GDE project has been a disaster by any standards
-our police service is under resourced, our court system a national joke
-public infrastructure is allowed to run down, yet we indulge ourselves with a state-of-the art jail, arboretum, unwanted artworks etc.
-the city is awash with ugly and ill-planned development, the will of developers seemingly of greater importance than the wishes of the public.

Elect someone else- anyone else. There must be better talent somewhere in this town.

tom-tom tom-tom 11:36 am 20 Jul 08

how silly of me to forget the concentration camps in calwell.that is seriously the dumbest comment i have seen written here for a long time.

Pandy Pandy 10:38 am 20 Jul 08

i cant help but think that maybe some people would be happier if they let go and started to move forwed.

Say that to the Holocust survivors.

Never forget what Stanhope is.

tom-tom tom-tom 10:10 am 19 Jul 08

yeah its berry and pratt who get the week in the sun, to be fair though this particular trip is aimed more at berry and pratt teaching the kiribatians rather than studying themsleves. otherwise 24k for non ministers study tours seems a bit excessive.

On point; i quite like stanhope, he’s a cut above anyone else in the assembly or in other state parliaments. To be blunt i dont think we’ve had a better CM or are likely to get one in the near future.

he has consistently shown himself as ready to make hard decisons, (schools, GDE etc) even though it may cost him electorally while his habit of standing up for human rights etc make him admirable. reading through the comments i remerbered things about him which i had forgotten (saving the drowning man, posting sedition laws etc) which just highlights the mans good points.

on the fires, the scale was unforseeable and i’m satisfied that stanhope acted appropriately. given 20/20 hindsight it may be possible to fault him, but my feeling is that on the day he did as well as could be expected. the fires where 5 years ago now, i cant help but think that maybe some people would be happier if they let go and started to move forwed.

(for the record i’m tipping the assembly to remain as is, or for labor to drop one in brindebella, probably to the greens.)

Thumper Thumper 10:07 am 19 Jul 08

Yes… I think you may be correct. I had consumed a large amount of Guinness by that stage and had started on the scotch and dry 😉

Thanks.

But Kiribati?

cranky cranky 9:41 am 19 Jul 08

I think the soon to depart Berry was the second suspect.

Thumper Thumper 9:16 am 19 Jul 08

Definitely Pratt, but I was sure I heard old Ted’s name as well.

I will stand corrected if wrong.

Time to consult google methinks.

Pandy Pandy 9:14 am 19 Jul 08

Loose wimin?

But seriously: Ouinlen? You been sleeping?

Thumper Thumper 9:13 am 19 Jul 08

Did I hear correctly last night that MLAs get $24K travel allowance a year and that Pratt and Quinlen are going to Kiribati on a fact finding mission?

I’m wondering what facts they’ll find in Kiribati?

Light rail?

Thumper Thumper 9:13 am 19 Jul 08

Did hear correctly last night that MLAs get $24K travel allowance a year and that Pratt and Quinlen are going to Kiribati on a fact finding mission?

I’m wondering what facts they’ll find in Kiribati?

Light rail?

Loose Brown Loose Brown 9:05 am 19 Jul 08

paull said :

I was at the torch ceremony – the one Stanhope spent a fortune on to surrounded with chinese goons direct from the chinese secret police. Yeah – human rights right. I saw him on the podium kowtowing to the chinese ambasador in a truley sickening display of lackyism.
Neville chamberlain had nothing on this guy. Munich – Peking – tis all the same. The 18 October cant come fast enough.

HA HA HA! Well, you obviously didn’t hear anything he was saying!

Pandy Pandy 8:34 am 19 Jul 08

But mostly I’d have more respect if he actually copped it sweet on ANY issue where he was shown to have knowledge of wrong / poor decision making.

The guy shows no humility, just grumpiness. He would make a good Russian President.

paull paull 11:01 pm 18 Jul 08

I was at the torch ceremony – the one Stanhope spent a fortune on to surrounded with chinese goons direct from the chinese secret police. Yeah – human rights right. I saw him on the podium kowtowing to the chinese ambasador in a truley sickening display of lackyism.
Neville chamberlain had nothing on this guy. Munich – Peking – tis all the same. The 18 October cant come fast enough.

Granny Granny 10:51 pm 18 Jul 08

I have it on very good authority (from the back of an old Sizzler menu) that Cromwell banned the apple pie.

Apparently pies were far too pleasurable, and people needed to be protected from fun and pleasure for their own good. Left to their own devices they might not have realised that these things were, in fact, evil … and to be avoided at all costs.

Other evils including rugby, cricket, horse-racing, two-up, the local TAB, the local pub, meat pies, music, cosmetics, fashion, stage shows, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, democracy, and all the bits of Christmas that make little kids’ eyes shine were also forbidden; not to mention the genocide committed against the Irish people and the sending of Irish children into slavery to work and die in the sugar plantations of the West Indies. People were encouraged to dob their mates in.

Worse still, Cromwell became accustomed to the high life and didn’t even practise what he preached. I can’t honestly say I would vote for him, let alone fight for him.

He no doubt had good intentions and believed he knew what was best (a one lane GDE, a power station in suburbia, high taxes, hopeless public transport, bad roads, sham consultations) but not surprisingly his actions did not endear him to the people and he was unpopular and despised by most at the end. They did, however, get around to burying his head in 1960, I believe.

; )

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