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Kaiser

August 22nd, 2003

At a time when the Howard government’s increasingly brazen dishonesty (in all senses of the term) might just be starting to sink in with the electorate, and with the Hanson business raising all sorts of memories, what does Labor go and do but appoint Mike Kaiser assistant national secretary. For those who don’t recall, Kaiser was the leading operative of the AWU machine in Queensland and was forced to resign his Parliamentary seat after admitting involvement in branch-stacking.

Stacking is not the gravest of offences, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that Kaiser should never return to public life, but appointing him as a national official in a party that is supposedly trying to stamp out things like branch stacking is just plain stupid.

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  1. August 23rd, 2003 at 14:13 | #1

    It’s not “just” stupid, it’s their nature, as in the fable of the Frog and the Scorpion. And by “they” I’m referring to politicians’ habitual behaviour in general, not just ALP bashing. It’s that enclosed world they move in that leads them not to have a problem with that, indeed to be drawn to it as a logical way of doing things. Their groupthink isolates them from the wider people, undercutting democracy over time.

    In fact, that’s precisely why and how that Queensland judge was wrong when she said Pauline Hanson’s deeds risked harming public confidence. As I said before, it’s the support structure for existing politics that itself, like existing politics, does that harm to public confidence.

    As a wise mane once said, “it doesn’t matter who you vote for, a politician will always get in”. (Tautologically, since being elected is just another sort of power that corrupts the elected into being politicians, even when nobody defines that as corruption.)

  2. Jim
    August 23rd, 2003 at 18:13 | #2

    John,
    Your point is irrefutable – but isn’t the saddest aspect of this the fact that neither major party actually really cares about the principle at stake.
    If there is a downside to the growing sophistication of the electorate,it’s surely that we’ve become apathetic to even holding the parliament accountable to the system they serve.

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