All change in NSW

One thing I’ve learned in life, though not always applied, is that if you ignore a job long enough, it often goes away. I was going to write a post excoriating Maurice Iemma and Michael Costa for their handling of the electricity privatisation issue, but it doesn’t matter much now (retail privatisation may still go ahead, but that’s not such a big deal either way). The earlier departure of deputy premier John Watkins is more of a loss, though no real surprise.

Labor now has a chance to salvage a government that looked to be utterly doomed. It’s a long shot, but the NSW Liberals have a long record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, so who knows.

35 thoughts on “All change in NSW

  1. derrida,they hid the debt by neglecting infrastructure and services.We have $ 40 billion worth of urgent infrastructure that needs doing.So don’t try to guild the lilly.

    Everything they touch they’ve stuffed.They cannot even get a ticketing system right.We were suppose to have a synchronised ticketing system in 2000 we still don’t,and it doesn’t look like happening.All they had to do was to look across the border to Victoria and they had a perfectly funtioning system.

    Now because they are such imbeciles when private enterprise deals with them they simply have to treble the contract price to account for the BS and regulations that this Govt creates.They then don’t produce iron clad contracts to cover themselves.We’ve had fire stations facing the wrong way.Hospitals where the ambulances cannot fit in the undergroung parking bays.Doors too small to fit patients beds through,operating room too small to fit staff ,equipment and the patient,plumbing trying to defy the laws of gravity.

    It goes on and on and on.They make “Yes Minister” seem like a serious drama.

  2. Arjay, to some extent what you say is true. But the attempted “hiding” of debt was through bungled PPPs, like the airport rail link, cross-city tunnel, desal plant, etc. Another bungled PPP or privatisation ain’t gonna fix anything, and with these guys in charge, “bungled” is the only way things happen.

    The fundamental problem, IMHO, is that NSW Labor has pursued a strategy of tacking right at every opportunity. When Howard was PM, this strategy worked well, because it pushed the NSW Libs off the right hand edge of the scale. NSW Labor was acceptable because it wasn’t as extreme as the Fed Libs or the NSW Libs.

    Barry O’Farrell has been freed of having to back Howard, and is now able to, if he chooses to, pull the NSW Libs back into line with the wishes of the people of NSW, which is actually to the left of NSW Labor. Shock, horror.

  3. “The last time the loony left were in control of NSW they stuffed up its finances and were sacked by the governor.”

    So there weren’t any Labor governments in New South Wales between 1932 AND 1995?

  4. Tony G is really quite interesting, Ian.

    He’s the demographic that the NSW Libs have been chasing. The trouble is, there ain’t as many people like him out there that would give the Libs a victory.

  5. A bit of a problem with the dark forces here (rj, Tayhay and Tony), but DD has ridden in like the 6th cavalry at the Alamo, to save the day at the last possible moment.
    I detected one grumbler asking why Farrell wouldn’t support Iemma. Would this be because, with 80% of the population dead-set against, this would have been an act of arrogance hardly matched by even the entire NSW Right, combined?
    Then we had the grubby sleaze against Rees, because he had the guts to defy the perpetually continuing Dark Ages witchunt against pot smoking by matter of fact admitting that he had had a smoke.
    Well; Whoo-oohhh, you prig!
    Btw thanks, SJ. You just saved me several minutes of typing on my next response to the troglodytes.
    That means I can go to further points, such as a recollection of the murky performance of Kermit, when the last Tory government was in, as revealed on that Ticky Fullarton 4 Corners episode over the Sydney tunnels and roads sham.
    Also, it seems Rees has wimped out on tax increases in preference to service/budget cuts anyway, so it goes to prove that one swallow CAN make a summer.

  6. I’ve deleted a bunch of comments that are potentially defamatory. Please avoid this kind of thing, particularly when you are using a pseudonym yourself while leaving me to face any legal consequences.

  7. My (honorary) Auntie is an old-school rusted on Labor supporter. So has terminated friendships with people who supported the Liberals. She comes from a family that has voted Labor (exclusively) for three generations.

    She recently (but before Iemma and Costa went) informed me that she will not vote Labor at the next state election.

    How has it come to this? As already noted, its because Labor has been terrible, but the Libs have also been so bad that people have been reluctant to put them in. Labor managed to win the last election by essentially campaigning with the slogan “We might be bad, but the Libs are worse”. This wont work a second time.

    I can attest to the hollowing-out of the public service in the area I am most familiar with (Transport). Most people who actually have any technical skills or background in transport have been replaced with political mates (at the higher levels), or (at the lower levels) generalists who can write briefs for the minister, but dont have a background in the area. This is a recipe for poor policy, which we have had lots of in NSW.

  8. I posted this at Club Troppo, but it’s also relevant here:

    Costa isn’t someone who should ever have been put in a ministerial position.

    Something that someone said over at JQ today about Hayek reminded me of this infamous interview – Michael Costa: the free radical.

    The quote everyone remembers is this one:

    “I like making coffee,â€? says the NSW Treasurer. “So it’s one option in retirement. People would get to come along – I’d make coffee and Deb would make cakes – and they’d get five minutes to argue with me about anything they like. The cost would be built into the price of the coffee. Then I’d tell them to get f–ked, for nothing.â€?

    But the rest of it is very telling:

    As Costa sits down at the computer to show me some Milton Friedman videos he has discovered on YouTube, I ask if the elderly man whose portrait stares down at him from a shelf is his grandfather. He gleefully informs me it is the Austrian economist F. A. Hayek, who, with Friedman, is one of the founding fathers of what is usually called economic rationalism…

    A restless intellectual and autodidact…

    Costa is a study in contrast and contradiction. He started his political life as a rabid Trotskyite, but nowadays embraces free markets and the legacy of Ronald Reagan. He is a leading member of a government that invests billions in the fight against global warming, yet he has famously labelled environmental activist Tim Flannery an “idiot� and regards climate change as a natural phenomenon…

    In one respect, at least, Costa is like any typical nine-year-old boy: you can tell what’s on his mind by reading what’s on his walls. But instead of posters of Barry Hall and V8 Supercars, the walls of Costa’s office are untidily pasted over with clippings, mostly of abstruse scientific articles that attempt to disprove the theory of global warming as the result of human activity. If John Howard was a “climate-change sceptic�, Costa is something more radical…

    “It was only a very short period,� he says of his Trotskyist phase. “I like to play on it. People say, ‘You’ve changed your approach to politics,’ and I say, ‘No, I’ve always believed in the withering away of the state, but the methods might have changed.’ Coming from a working-class background, I hadn’t been exposed to ideas. It was the ideas that were exciting, rather than the shape they took.�…

    He also re-enrolled at the University of Sydney and took a degree in economics and philosophy, studying at night. Finally, in 1983, he caved in to his father’s urgings and got a “real job�, following his dad into the railways. A year later, he was driving freight-trains (a vision that, even today, gives those who know him nightmares).

    He’s a true believer in the “get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub� view of government. He hasn’t been any good at any job he’s ever been in. No one will employ him as an economist, so he makes it his target to become treasurer. He finally achieves his goal to become treasurer, then deliberately tries to sabotage the operation of the government of NSW.

    That’s all history.

    So what’s been coming out of Rees mouth for the last few days? The equivalent of “Yeah, what Costa said�

  9. It seems that I’ve left out one of the best quotes. I had earlier said:

    The fundamental problem, IMHO, is that NSW Labor has pursued a strategy of tacking right at every opportunity.

    So what’s Costa’s opinion of himself on the right/left scale?

    As I get in the car to head back to Sydney, it occurs to me to remark that, as of November 24 last year, Costa became Australia’s most right-wing senior political office-holder.

    He smiles broadly, lifts an eyebrow, and has never resembled Dr Evil more than when he replies: “Mate, I was that long before November 24.”

    Bear in mind that the guy writing the story, Imre Saluzinsky, is one of Murdoch’s prime RWDBs.

  10. Well here’s to NSW Labor.Henceforth they will be known as the “Bonobo Party”.Bonobos are related to Chimps.In times of stress they will attempt to copulate with anything in reach,even a tree.

    Does NSW Labor F*#K everything it touches?
    Let’s add a new word to the vernacular of Aussie slang.A bunch of Bonobos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s