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The Moving Feast of Politics

By John Hargreaves - 25 January 2016 23

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There are political junkies out there who have been relatively starved over Christmas for things to criticise, speculate over or of some carrion feasting.

But this week has given us a glut of issues to rip into.

Starting local, we had Minister Joy Burch stand aside from the new Barr ministry after being belted from one end of the town to the other, over months, perhaps years for issues largely out of her control. Perhaps if they had been in her control, things may have been different.

As someone with a modicum of experience in being accident prone in the political battlefield, I know the symptoms of a political death by a thousand cuts. I watched it happen with Joy. Her non-nomination for the ministry after the spill of positions in the Caucus of last week was the right decision, made a little later than was probably a good thing for all, but the right thing for Joy and her family – not to mention the Barr Labor Government. It also robs the Opposition of a target.

Mary Porter has announced she’s going early due to health issues, and these are real issues not confected ones. Mary has done a great job and deserves to take it a bit easy now.  Enter Jayson Hinder, a lawyer with good community creds and a leg up in the new seat of Yerrabi. All eyes will be on Jayson.  He should bring some depth into the Caucus. I despaired when I heard that Simon Corbell was leaving because this was a real blow to the depth and experience so needed in a Government. Hinder will fill some of that void. Hopefully, a new broom with Fischer, Maftoum, Gupta and Kulasingham will add a huge amount of freshness, expertise and experience which together with good community creds speaks well of the Labor offerings next time up.  The challenge for the Libs is to find some candidates with the talent to match the new offerings from the Labor Party. I’m not blown away by the Greens offerings but let’s see the whole field. Maybe the factional heavies in the ACT Libs are dragging the chain because they haven’t got people banging down their doors for preselection.

The big surprise was the creation of another ministry taking the number to seven. Everyone’s a winner!  Meegan Fitzharris is elevated in her first term (after coming in on a countback – sound familiar?) just as her old boss Mr Barr did in his first term after winning a countback.  Always good when the boss gives you a leg up!

Still, when all is done, this is a new team and it looks fresh and in some cases raring to go. Contrast that with those opposite.  Jeremy says that there will be no changes to his team until after the election. His team really needs refreshing. We haven’t heard much from anyone other than Jeremy and Alistair. But Alistair seems stuck on the tram issue and hasn’t offered much up in the alternatives for any other bit of public transport other than Northbourne Avenue. I have to say that the Northbourne stoush is getting a bit boring out in the ‘burbs.  Jeremy seems to be constantly telling the public what he won’t do but the public need a reason to switch and he hasn’t got much time to give it to them.

The media has pretty much concentrated on Barr and Co.  But Jeremy’s latest is a good one though.  Use the ‘tough on crime’ stance.  Whilst this is usually a good ploy, it is a bit inconsistent with his criticism of an ever-filling  Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

I often rail against the constant attention the Labor Party gets over factional politics. I have been somewhat amused to see the gnashing of teeth and the sharpening of knives by the Liberal factional heavies in NSW. Let’s be a bit even handed here. My turn…

I was a bit surprised to see Dick Smith come out and give his erstwhile street mate and fellow student in the blue ribbon seat such a flogging. Given the flogging Joy Burch got and the entreaties for her to go altogether now, where are the same comments about Ms Bishop? Interesting that Dick is putting out the blackmail saying that if Bronnie runs, so will he! But if someone younger has a go, he’ll forget it. I believe it!

And how about the bloodletting over Rowdy Ruddock, Billy Heffernan? Just to mention a couple of big names. It seems as though the Libs in NSW are shaping up every bit as nasty and manipulating as those shock jocks call Labor on.  So where is Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and that collection of fair minded journos, calling for some scrutiny on the selection process?  Just who are the Preselection Committees in each electorate?  Are they Faceless Men? Are they the factional bosses like Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton or Bronwyn Bishop?  All the talk about the sleazy processes Labor employs pales into insignificance when compared with the dynastic approach of the Liberal Party Powerbrokers.

It’s about time the laundry got a good airing. It is about time the public saw clearly the hypocrisy of one side of politics claiming to be like Caesar’s wife when indeed they need a good cleaning out.

When the ALP preselections are on, all eyes are on the unions, the factional bosses, the Parliamentary Leader.

Well, Bill Shorten has done a lot to clean up the ALP’s act. So where are you Malcolm, me old mate? I reckon he is just waiting to see if Tone is gunna give it another go.  Remember Paul Keating sitting on the backbench to Bob Hawke, John Howard doing the same to Peacock, Malcolm Fraser to John Gorton, and Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard? Well here we go again, folks.

Christmas is over, guys, bring on the elections. It just might be a better ride than anyone of us think.

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
The Moving Feast of Politics
dungfungus 5:52 pm 29 Jan 16

John Hargreaves said :

So where are the comments on the way the NSW Libs are engaging in factional thuggery, what happened to the comments on the division between the Rabbit, A’Bets, Cor Blimey and Miracle Malcolm?

Bagging the ALP is not a one-sided affair, or is it? How come when ALP factional infighting surfaces, the chatters have a field day but when the Liberal head kickers come out to play, nothing is said…

I haven’t seen any “F… Bill Shorten” T shirts yet, John.

miz 5:43 pm 29 Jan 16

If it consoles you John, I wish Mr Rabbit would get counselling to accept things he cannot change; think Arnie Cor Man is an utter fool for wanting to outsource OVERSEAS (!!!), and no APS in this town respects Erica because of many things including his poor management of the contrived EA process.
But Malcolm seems sensible so far and has calmed a lot of muddied waters. Interestingly a number of others in his team seem intent on scoring own goals out of spite.

rubaiyat 4:16 pm 29 Jan 16

John Hargreaves said :

So where are the comments on the way the NSW Libs are engaging in factional thuggery, what happened to the comments on the division between the Rabbit, A’Bets, Cor Blimey and Miracle Malcolm?

Bagging the ALP is not a one-sided affair, or is it? How come when ALP factional infighting surfaces, the chatters have a field day but when the Liberal head kickers come out to play, nothing is said…

They aren’t as fast to go and brag how they knifed each other in the back? Or running over to the US Embassy to rat on each other to the CIA?

John Hargreaves 2:38 pm 29 Jan 16

So where are the comments on the way the NSW Libs are engaging in factional thuggery, what happened to the comments on the division between the Rabbit, A’Bets, Cor Blimey and Miracle Malcolm?

Bagging the ALP is not a one-sided affair, or is it? How come when ALP factional infighting surfaces, the chatters have a field day but when the Liberal head kickers come out to play, nothing is said…

Blen_Carmichael 8:20 am 29 Jan 16

Charlotte Harper said :

Just to clarify, Ms Burch didn’t compose a tweet calling Christopher Pyne that herself, she retweeted (republished/shared) a tweet by someone else who used that word to describe him. She said it was an accident and apologised to Mr Pyne afterwards. You can see the tweet in an earlier RiotACT story here. Whatever you think about the contents of the tweet/Ms Burch, you have to admit that’s a great photograph.

I’m wondering if you would be just as understanding had a male conservative politician “accidentally” done the same with a tweet referring to a Labor female.

Incidentally, I believe the re-tweet was sent on a Friday night.

Masquara 5:47 pm 28 Jan 16

Charlotte Harper said :

Just to clarify, Ms Burch didn’t compose a tweet calling Christopher Pyne that herself, she retweeted (republished/shared) a tweet by someone else who used that word to describe him. She said it was an accident and apologised to Mr Pyne afterwards. You can see the tweet in an earlier RiotACT story here. Whatever you think about the contents of the tweet/Ms Burch, you have to admit that’s a great photograph.

And the retweeting was not in any way outside Ms Burch’s control, John Hargreaves! That was when the rot set in – it wasn’t exactly downhill from there but pretty much dysfunctional stasis for the following three years …

Charlotte Harper 1:17 pm 28 Jan 16

Just to clarify, Ms Burch didn’t compose a tweet calling Christopher Pyne that herself, she retweeted (republished/shared) a tweet by someone else who used that word to describe him. She said it was an accident and apologised to Mr Pyne afterwards. You can see the tweet in an earlier RiotACT story here. Whatever you think about the contents of the tweet/Ms Burch, you have to admit that’s a great photograph.

dungfungus 9:10 am 28 Jan 16

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

I hope you are right about Abbott coming back John.
The left dominated media are banking on it already.

The 80% “left dominated media” owned by The Rupe!

I thought the Canberra Times was Fairfax Media owned.

rubaiyat 11:09 pm 27 Jan 16

dungfungus said :

I hope you are right about Abbott coming back John.
The left dominated media are banking on it already.

The 80% “left dominated media” owned by The Rupe!

Masquara 5:44 pm 27 Jan 16

John, how exactly was tweeting that a politician colleague was a “c***” outside Burch’s control?

miz 5:25 pm 27 Jan 16

John, you were still, in essence, a decent local rep. Joy simply isn’t.

bronal 4:38 pm 27 Jan 16

It’s true that Joy Burch may have been ‘belted from one end of town to another’ on issues over which she had no control, for example the cage. It’s also true that Ms Burch had ultimate responsibility for these issues. It’s called the Westminster system of ministerial responsibility. People might have been more understanding had she not developed the track record of making a meal of dealing with them.

dungfungus 4:00 pm 27 Jan 16

I hope you are right about Abbott coming back John.
The left dominated media are banking on it already.

Mysteryman 11:12 am 27 Jan 16

“Bill Shorten has done a lot to clean up the ALP’s act”

Is that so? Would you mind doing us a favour and listing a lot of these things?

Blen_Carmichael 9:06 am 27 Jan 16

“Bill Shorten has done a lot to clean up the ALP’s act.”

Thanks, John. You never disappoint.

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