Topic: election nsw 2007
Either way the NSW Public are facing 4 more years of bad governance under the influence of either major party, ALP or Liberal- National Coalition. Democracy is effectively broken here as illustrated by this sorry image:
Picture: ALP’s moral credibility: Huge sandmine hole next to Wollemi World Heritage national park on one side and Yengo NP/McDonald Wilderness on the other, 40 km west of Sydney next to the Singleton Road. The sand "pulled out" goes into the ALP controlled construction sector. The mine by Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd was illegal 1986-96 then given retrospective approval by Hawkesbury River Shire Council, and proceeded without valid development consent from 1996-2007 according to Environmental Defenders Office written legal advice. It is due for takeover by Adelaide Brighton Pty Ltd and most likely will be expanded to 270 ha and approved by Minister Frank Sartor in due course. It is killing the water flow in Tinda Creek into Wollemi natural heritage area. There is no real restoration of these huge sand mine sites. They are usually left as quicksand slurry pits (called 'lake' in the spin). Photo by SAM editor 14th March 2007.
Mark Colvin the veteran reporter and presenter of the ABC PM show last night posed the question: What if they held an election and no one came?
This apparently was in response to Peter Debnam's press conference earlier that day posing his own rhetorical question to the effect of: Why are NSW voters in the latest marginal seats Galaxy poll such masochists to still prefer the ALP 58:42 two party preferred? : Debnam throws in the towel
Good question Peter.
It’s a devastating answer in the headline above: Frank Sinatra was a Sicilian* and many other things too: An apologist for mobster killers in the mafia (like the ALP are killers of clean government and good public interest policy with their family cronyism devoid of merit), but the crooner wasn't racist, he loved his black brother entertainer Sammy Davis Junior. Similarly the NSW ALP bruvvers are not white supremacists but they are corrupt as the day is long:
Picture: Premier Morris Iemma, leader of the NSW ALP and reportedly an expert ethnic branch stacker.
But you can’t say that about the NSW Coalition. There are a thousand examples of their cunning subtext trawling the 5% racist redneck vote once rusted on to Pauline Hanson's One Nation, the latest being exchange of preferences with Fred Nile MP the so called ‘Christian’ Democrat.
It’s also worth remembering Nile has voted for every forest destroying legislative instrument ever presented since at least 1992 to this writer's memory. Nile has just targeted a Federal policy question proposing a ban on Muslim immigration in a state election no less:
and notice this demolition of the crackpot Nile election policy:
Crikey - Politics Etc - Fred Nile’s step-by-step guide to spotting ...
If the hood fits Fred, and by the shape of the head it looks like it would:
Thus young Australians are flirting with neo Nazi policies, like this convicted criminal who should have been sent to jail: Cronulla rioter guilty and free
But if John Robertson of the NSW Labour Council is right yesterday interviewed on radio there is a bigger cohort of voter concern than racial intolerance, namely 7 or 8% out there supporting the Your Rights at Work campaign against Debnam’s sponsor, PM John Howard and his “extreme industrial relations” turning our society into a ruthless Darwinian jungle.
Even allowing for posturing by unionist Robertson to claim electoral credit (who interestingly also spoke at the Climate Change Rally late last year 2006 in person with more here Climate march gallery 3.12.05), Robertson is surely right to a degree. Worker rallies of 40,000 last November 30 in the Sydney CBD with many more across NSW show that his point is fair.
Yet as a result of a systemic money politics, incumbency and diverse gerrymanders by the two party sleaze bags, 30% or more voters still feel there is nowhere else to go than Coalition or ALP despite racism,or corrupt policy (see examples listed below).
At least this election the rise of the Independents is being seriously discussed as per this candidate out in Windsor the othe day:
Picture: Steven Pringle resigned from the Liberal Party after losing pre-selection allegedly to the Christian Right of the Party in the seat of Hawkesbury and is recontesting in what is said to be an interesting contest 2007 New South Wales Election. Hawkesbury Electorate Profile ...
Quentin Dempster on Stateline last night 16th March posed yet another question: Will Peter Debnam, who presents as already defeated here resign a week out from the election so his more moderate rival and deputy Barry O’Farrell MP can go to the polls for the Liberal Party?
Debnam chuckled with hollow bravado at the impertinence of that question, just as Iemma and his Minister Tebbutt chuckled with arrogant assurance on the screen last night during the main ABC News bulletin.
And then there is the painful rise of the third force in politics: The Greens Party. They copped it again last Wednesday and Thursday in the 'Daily Idiot' as Leunig accurately cartooned last weekend, meaning The Sydney Daily Telegraph over their “liberal” drugs policy. Here are their sister News Limited papers chiming in:
[Interestingly David Penberthy, the editor of the SDT running most strongly on the drug issue against the Greens is related to another Penberthy in the newspaper game of yesteryear at the Nationwide Review which crashed and burned.]
Indeed the Greens are portrayed by sleazy Iemma for the ALP as “ludicrous, ridiculous, unscientific” for their policies on harm minimisation. For years now the ALP have sought to position the Greens as pro drug use possibly to project their own guilt over huge donations from the clubs and pubs lobby. The Coalition are green baiting as usual via their Daily Smelly mouthpiece as much as possible possibly because their ex Premier Nick Greiner works for Big Tobacco. The hypocrisy surely is that more people are killed and hurt by alcohol and tobacco in society than other problematic drug use.
Picture: Fortune favours the brave? Lee Rhiannon MLC who is leading the Greens upper house ticket, gave a strong defense of rational drugs policy with fortunate back up by world class expert Dr Alex Wodak on ABC Trioli show recently.
The Greens up till 2003 have been too little and naïve to meet and demolish this stereotyping but I heard on ABC Trioli show late this week the policy bullies hit the wall, and the bigger they are the harder they do hit: MP Lee Rhiannon for the Greens stood and faced the attack and beat the ALP/Coalition policy thugs pointless.
The Greens don’t condone drug use but they do support reallocation of resources into harm minimisation and health approaches. Funny that, just like the scourge of prostitution was taken out of the hands of corrupt police and politicians into the decriminalised health and planning sector.
The truth is the Law and Order Industry (humorously called LauraNorder) need illegal drugs to run their huge budgets, power, prestige and jobs for the boys and girls.
Sydney does listen to Trioli in significant measure and she started out harsh and sceptical but she backed off good and proper as Dr Alex Wodak of St Vincents Hospital slam dunked the major parties with this, to paraphrase:
'Q. Alex Wodak is Lee Rhiannon of The Greens right?
Ans. Yes. All the evidence internationally says they are’.
What was that about expert, scientific, public policy Morris? Who are the honest politicians in the election? Who have the proverbial courage, so often associated with voter shyness for being ahead of their time? Who indeed are ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous and indeed liars? The ALP and Coalition, demonstrably so.
Dr Wodak even quoted the hero of right wingers (like shrieker Miranda Devine) for his case: free market economist Milton Friedman abhorred the prohibitionist failed polices over 8 decades in relation to unhealthy illegal drug use.
The Greens are in favour of criminal sanctions for all dealers of drugs, says Rhiannon. Rhiannon is also quoted in the news bulletins as not taking alcohol or other drugs herself personally. And another difference this election is that Jamie “horny goatweed” Parker (who by the by more than anyone haughtily encouraged this writer in person to get out of the Green Party in 2000, literally in the office of Lee Rhiannon in Macquarie Street), is not a candidate in Balmain.
Indeed Horny Goatweed got mugged 3 days out from the vote in 2003 while the Daily Smelly has shot its bolt a premature 10 days out with time for such counter attack by The Greens on the real facts and real expert advice.
Therein is the difference 2003 to 2007 apart from Parker losing his preselection (jumped or pushed?) and keep in mind politics is all about timing. Indeed I was moved to call and congratulate Rhiannon’s performance on Trioli's show with the advice – hold fast, its tough with black and blue bruises inevitable, but you are turning the corner on critical public policy reform.
Indeed Trioli doesn’t "have children" but Rhiannon does and criminalising youthful idiocy/despair into a life of crime is no way forward for any political analyst with half a brain. On the the Daily Telegraph's own biased terms over 25% of NSW voters agree with the Greens already and it will grow.
But the last word on drugs surely goes to liberal minded Democrat, Arthur Chesterfield Evans MD who fronted the drug test stunt by Fred Nile MP in state parliament press room calling for “a mental health test” as well. Laugh out loud. If it’s anything like the character test re stewardship of God’s creation that Nile has already dismally failed then Nile has no chance.
Truth is Iemma/Carr’s ALP majority this last 12 years have never been worried about “scientific” policy for the welfare and good government of NSW. Nor were they in the lead up to the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption. This writer worked in parliament and witnessed the ambition and shame that forced both major parties to go along with independent John Hatton MP now retired.
These major parties have always preferred feather nesting 'ludicrous ridiculous' policy to quote Premier Iemma back at himself, whenever democracy was asleep or apathetic. Here's one current list of such tragedies but it's only limited by space not examples:
1. East Darling Harbour site has toxins apparently:
We hear the ALP’s excessive development plan is a bastardised version of architect Phil Thalis’s design (pers comm Sydney City Councillor) and he is really not happy. Jack Mundey famous for Green bans and on the government advisory committee rejected the bogus plan that ex ALP PM Paul Keating (that old developer mate from Bondi Junction) defends, and Jack the old unionist has gone very quiet since Maritime Union boss Robert Coombs was given a choice preselection into State Parliament via seat of Swansea. The whole thing reeks.
2. Legal and illegal land clearing in the millions of hectares with duchessed greenie Jeff Angel on the government’s peak advisory committee during this time 1998-2005, for more see report 27th Feb 2007 here:
Revealed: legal land clearing's savage toll - Environment - Specials
The fact ex ALP Premier Carr mitigated this unfolding disaster just prior to his buckle in mid 2005 to the incoming Iemma forces puts the ALP ahead of the Coalition on land use but only barely, with Debnam way ahead on water policy. The Desalination Plant is just just more ALP construction industry cronyism it seems. Indeed The Greens identify Iemma’s “unscientific” policy on land clearing with this:
“ The government’s mapping does not pick up clearing where canopy is less than 20%. As a result it does not recognise clearing of open woodlands or grasslands. These areas are responsible for around 60% of all legal clearing in NSW. I challenged [Minister] McDonald about this technology in a meeting we had late last year. He promised to provide evidence that would support its effectiveness. Nothing has been forthcoming.”
Ian Cohen MLC, Green Party press release 28th February 2007, doing Jeff Angel’s job 10 years late but better than never.
I explained these facts of life about Green Party preferencing to the ALP in some parts but not others (say Monaro or Blue Mountains) due to Coalition support for land clearing last Wednesday to Riverstone Liberal Candidate Kevin Conolly outside Windsor Railway station at 7.15 am. Conolly supports his Party's repeal of 330K ha Goonoo Pilliga conservation reserve because of lack of park management funding.
Picture: Future MP Kevin Conolly? Former Catholic school teacher, presumably from the intolerant Christian Right faction of the Liberals. Conolly is after an upset from the ALP on about 11% margin Riverstone - State Election 2007 - smh.com.au. His federal Counterpart Kerry Bartlett is also doing it tough on minus .5% in the seat of Macquarie (and was out leafleting the commuters) after a federal westward redistribution taking in ALP strong holds of Lithgow, also more neutral Oberon etc.
We saw a ‘picfac’ of another rural regional Liberal Party candidate too, chubby Prue Goward in the Sydney Morning Herald 15th March 2007 Pushing Prue: can she speed into leadership? with alternative headline Goward seen as Libs' saviour on the Fairfax website:
Did she get her inspiration from this other biker political animal "Randall Nelson OAM AKA Animal" as described on his business card?
Picture: “Animal” is a Christian preacher in Kings Cross whose business card reads prophetically “When we do Right No-one Remembers When we do Wrong No-one Forgets.” Is this why the primary vote of the ALP and Coalition is going south and will continue to do so until the dam breaks?
Coalition candidates should read this letter from an enlightened farmer to save our animals so to speak: Letters: Farmers' argument comes down to reserves versus reserve fodder
3. Matthew Moore the Freedom of Information editor for the Sydney Morning Herald reveals 15th March 2007 the cheating over a hidden document preparing the way to bulldoze Beacon Hill public school on valuable land for developers. Simply more corruption. See
4. Telegraph report March 5th 2007 p17 that BHP-Billiton’s Appin Area 3 mine, southwest of Sydney has indeed cracked the Upper Cataract River as predicted by critics, 5 months after approval:
“Last October, The Daily Telegraph reported that the [Sydney Catchment Authority] had advised the State Government the mine should go no closer than 350 m to the line of the river. The operation, however, was permitted to go within 100m.”
5. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of feral critters live in our rural areas both national park and farmlands. Iemma has appeased cowboy shooters by allowing them into public recreation reserves like the USA where hunters take over. There probably is a place for professional full time efficient sharp shooters following a scientific kill program, accountable to government employers, but Iemma in a sleazy deal has the whole community
“Living in fear of stray bullets” (p26th March 4th 2007 The Sydney Sunday Telegraph),
says Robyn Gregg with toddler on knee, from Kulnurra north of Sydney regarding shooters in McPeherson State Forest. This is corruption of public policy and anti science and frankly outragous pandering..
6. Our climate change friend John Robertson, an ALP crony above all else, is described thus by profoundly likeable and good planning writer Elizabeth Farrelly as follows:
“… to list Currawong [heritage area next to Kuringai NP] after so controversial a sale [by the NSW Labor Council] would be to invite damages. Why didn’t [Minister Sartor] do it when it was easy? The answer may lie with the Heritage Council. A public body with very private meetings, it is chaired by property type Mike Collins and lists among its members none other than Comrade John Robertson, an electrician who is also, as luck would have it, secretary of Unions NSW. See what I mean? It’s that cosy family feeling. Cosy nostra. Full circle.”
in Currawong is still oriented towards family ...2st Feb 2007.
That’s res ipsa loquitur (the matter speaks for itself) a perception of corruption in the governance of heritage land by this NSW government.
All of the above criticism risks offending Gandhi nonviolence when he says, as for politics so in life,
"10. Avoid exploiting weakness in your opponent. Aim for integrity, not simply to win. "
meaning adversarial point scoring in a race to the bottom, muck raking negativity, is not a sound basis for good governance. But the point about peaceful but confronting Gandhi was that he did still aim to win for the public interest with integrity and that is the way forward to reform NSW politics.
* this writer is 1/8 Italian and proudly so.