Topic: nsw govt
If ever one needed proof the NSW Parliament is descending into farce it's this picture above. It has a heading which is a take off of our satirical culture jam here of May 28th:
Oh dear, blogster Tim Blair implies climate change worrier Rupert Murdoch is in terrorism denial
Which in turn was about a satire of the green movement by News Ltd. And on the ripples go. Thus the Telegraph's editor got a bit personal with this yesterday asking what goes on the wall of the Greens?:
And the answer of course is not a stuffed capsicum but beautiful landscapes reflecting the true spirit of this country as with our wall at the SAM office:
Prue Goward MP shadow minister for environment and women has been ticked off apparently for criticising her workplace too much, as if we should all be careful what we wish for now she is actually elected:
Outspoken Goward ticked off Daily Telegraph p2 31 May 2007.Nor does she seem to be out of the woods by a long chalk in the press just today
Goward walks out after Gibson wink SHE had been carpeted by her party and told to curb her attacks. But yesterday, a wink and five words from NSW Labor MP Paul Gibson fuelled Pru Goward's anti-Parliament tirade even further
The spin doctors on Trioli show 702 this morning recommend she get focused on the issue de jour namely climate change and it's hard to argue with that even if a speech on women’s concerns is squarely in here job description. It’s just that she jumped the gun and it seemed to many miscued with her characterisation of the parliamnet workplace as sexist.
But we have reasons to add moral support to an otherwise ideological opponent in Ms Goward. For one it's damn good for democracy to have a well functioning Opposition let alone Shadow Environment Minister.
Second if Goward can hit her stride yet she has undoubted depth of intellect, experience and guts. Let’s hope she can get there. In fact we strongly suspect the attacks on Goward, via favoured cipher Simon Benson here
and similarly Greg Smith MP for Epping here
are motivated by that understanding, and in fact a back handed compliment. The ALP wouldn’t be taking the trouble with their psychological violence stock in trade if either Goward or Smith were lightweights. They undoubtedly are not.
We saw Smith in particular on Tuesday at question time in the House and he did well under duress. Not quite as focussed as he might be on the strongest political ammunition but showing a real capacity to speak and think on his feet under sustained pressure.
All the while the real dead cat in the house was the memory of Milton Orkopoulos alleged pedophile and former loyal torch bearer for the ALP, and everyone knows it, which is why the Big press ran the attacks on Smith much lighter than you would expect.
Thirdly Goward is onto something profound about the poorly functioning culture of the NSW parliament. We carefully observed the scene in the Upper and Lower House question time 2.15 and 4 pm respectively last Tuesday first day back in session. In Paul Simon’s words it just isn’t “amusing anymore”. In columnist Matt Price’s words it’s “sad” for democracy in NSW.
In the lower house Iemma was the chief zoo keeper of a fairly mediocre bunch, flourishing as Carr would answering questions with cutting political analysis that Nats State leader Stoner was after Vaile’s federal seat. That Debnam was already counting his leader O Farrel’s numbers. Etc. There is no doubt this is where money and power grinds away but also no doubt most members are vain, adolescent, shallow, ignorant, and sleazy. We were treated to time wasting mundane speeches on otherwise worthy social services and disability topics running the clock down on questions, like a feature film that missed the cutting room.
There was Shoquette Moselmane (ex ALP mayor of Rockdale) too in the public gallery shepherding the visiting dignatories through an otherwise faction ridden closed shop of nepotism. No wonder Premier Morris Iemma sought Independent Torbay MP as speaker to try if he might to improve the process of question time at least. We didn’t notice much improvement.
Iemma provided an example of the sleaze culture himself during the election campaign. Leveraging the photogenic female "yuppie" MPs on his side Kristine Keneally, candidate Jody McKay, Angela D’Amore, Virginnia Judge a tactic care of ex ABC tv reporter Ben Wilson of parading these camera fodder for Premier press conferences. But it was easy for this blogger to tag them as policy bimbos who were not allowed to make a verbal squeak, just stare or smile inanely. That was demonstrated patriarchy. And as soon as we made the point on our blog site the wheels started falling off with Jody Mackay in particular fluffing her lines, as a political yuppie.:
Simon Benson running the female proportionate numbers should be read down for this reason until we see serious policy performance by the ALP sisters.
The cover ups of ALP culture continued too with recently demoted (?) Cherie Burton MP noticeably chatty with Paul Gibson MP as if to prove see he is not a woman beater after all. Then the censure motion of Greg Smith MP former deputy crown prosecutor came up and it was a grim skirmish over who hated pedophilia the most, Smith or the ALP.
When we went over to the Upper House at 4 pm we noticed Marrickville based MLC for the ALP Penny Sharpe enjoying the high dudgeon with the best of the brothers. And they were quite self aware. When an immaculately dressed delegation from the Vietnamese legislature took their seat the decibels dropped 90% and it was all decorum. Up until then increasingly fat hobbling Treasurer Michael Costa was disdainfully and haughtily speaking out loud as speeches proceeded at the microphone.
Much hilarity and play acting over traffic fines through a city motorway tunnel. It was all superannuated charades much worse than the Lower House. If I wasn’t mistaken the only focused individual was Attorney General John Hatzistergos busy with paper work who looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else. The Greens were subdued in the face of all this duopoly gerrymander hidden behind the gallery wall.
And the meaning of all this WW2 Singapore style hilarity just before the Japanese invasion, convincing only to themselves? It’s clearly the lack of real moral purpose of the NSW legislature under the duopoly major party scrapping over an increasingly ecologically unsustainable economy. If it’s not land clearing at Gwydir enraging all thinking people:
Bulldozed: a vital wetland - National - smh.com.au. on 21st May 2007,
it’s the tragedy of intensified logging on the NSW South Coast running in all the press there:
Or the destruction of Botany Bay for more useless consumer goods to compound the ballooning national debt and trade deficit, making our notorious congestion and smog even worse. Threefold increase in containers says the infrastructure industry on abc radio this morning with their big political donations. And Morris Iemma sounds almost convincing accusing the Coalition of “base political purposes ……..in the wilderness”. Well he would know about that.
Truth is Morris Iemma was not quite focused on the welfare of NSW quite as much as on the federal election and not just Stoner taking Vaile’s seat – an intriguing gibe. Sitting near us on the couch at reception watching the screen of proceedings was none other than one David Epstein new chief of staff of Kevin Rudd:
On cue the next day in a state and federal choreography Iemma did the work of the federal ALP leader:
The only person who seemed to exude dignity was the Leo McGarry type figure on the paliarmentary staff at reception of similar age to the West Wing character sorting everyone with that face like a map of the world. We cursed the lack of battery charge in our camera.
And no one asked the question we were interested in regarding affidavit of Treasurer Costa seemingly in breach of his duty to protect the public revenue in the Tim Priest affair:
Ms Goward the Shadow Minister is copping it bad now but NSW is copping it alot worse as regards good governance so we hope she has more success as soon as possible.
In the longer term the unhealthy two party gerrymander will have to be reformed to get more talented alternative competition into the place.
Postscript #1 June 5th 2007
This story ran on June 3rd 07, 2007 in the Sydney Daily Telegraph causing suitably appalled and incredulous reactions, not realising perhaps that the Iemma ALP Govt have been working to appease and pander to the sporting lobby for most of 2006 and 2007. This is a belated slap down by Big Media with the ALP govt guiltily sitting on their hands. Pathetic really: