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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

political disintegration in NSW « Previous | |Next »
September 5, 2008

Well I didn't think that the hopeless and incompetent Iemma Government in NSW would unravel as fast as it did. In quick succession, Watkins resigned as Deputy premier on Wednesday, on Thursday night Iemma sacked Costa; and on Friday morning the Centre Right Caucus dumped Iemma after refusing to accept the Cabinet changes he was seeking that attacked the Right's own power base.

MoirNSW.jpg Moir

It is the disintegration of the right wing ALP in NSW. The new Premier is Nathan Rees whilst the new Deputy Premier is Carmel Tebbutt. They have to clean up the mess quick smart. The new cabinet will be announced next week.They will deal with the collapse in revenue because of the nation's economic slowdown, budget blowouts, over commitment on infrastructure investment, and the possibility of a reduced credit rating.

Michell Grattin in The Age gives a good description of the disintegration well:

Iemma had been hanging by a thread, his administration a shambles. Treasurer Michael Costa was a reformer but generally regarded as crazy, fighting colleagues and unions like a Kilkenny cat. The unions tore at the Government and stood up Iemma. Labor HQ plotted against the Premier. The effort to privatise electricity was thwarted; the limited compromise still proposed is now in limbo. NSW has been resistant to economic change; business people speak of the Government with contempt. The public is frustrated and angry by transport problems and scandals in hospitals. Wednesday's national accounts have shown the NSW economy in the doldrums.

She adds that things have fallen so low in NSW Labor that the once formidable and feared Right has had to back a little-heard-of left-winger, Nathan Rees, for premier. Such is the lack of alternatives in a party that hasn't recruited enough talent.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:57 PM | | Comments (14)


Just watched that blow fly Tripodi sloping out of the caucus meeting. What a charming sight!
It seems that great service ethic that makes The NSW Right legenday across Australian politics, has come to the aid of the cause of good government and civilisation, NSW-style, again.
No surreptitious greed, rancour or childish personality based spats like those valueless, opportunistic liberals.
What about an intervention?
Whoops, that only happens in states where lefty orgs are in control.
Besides, this fragmenting and schizoid entity is at the determining centre; a meta-labor conscious entity at the core of, the functioning and survival of the rest.
As for the libs...

What a spectacular course of events! I like the cartoon although O'Farrell would be pretty safe at the moment.

You know, the stuff by Grattin is not really that good, btw.
The narrative of villainous "unions" opposed to even "limited compromise "in a state resisant to change" ( what "change"; "change" for "change's" sake?...
"change" for the worse-typical neolin narrative ).
How are " unions" this tiny guerilla group, when 80% of New South Welsh OPPOSE the so-called privatisation of their asset, behind closed doors?
Dispirited Grattin, no doubt cowed into line by the recent cricifixion of Carlton by her bosses, weasel-words this 80%into the diametric opposite of its meaning through the following:
"business people talk of the governemt with contempt", morphing into, "the public is frustrated...", so that the 80% opposed to privatisiation is suddenly by implication, pro-privatisation?
The tiny and corrupt business fraction pushing for secretive privatisation is suddenly coalesced with and exemplar of, "the public"?
Yet it is the Mac Banks and construction carpetbaggers allied with the rightwing "reformers" of government, for the public transport stuff-ups the real public is frustrated with!
No, Grattin's stuff is just conservative propaganda almost of Miranda Devine level dishonesty.
Am put in mind of Roland Barthes "Mythologies " deconstructing of media and society, when I read the sort of alibiiing that Grattin has attempted.

So the same men who made Morris Iemma the premier of NSW three years ago and helped sustain him as loyal enforcers were responsible, at the end, for tearing him down. The men areoe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid, the two hardnosed number-crunchers from Iemma's Labor right faction.

To save himself Iemma wanted Costa, Reba Meagher, Kevin Greene, Tony Kelly and Graham West dumped for new blood. It was too much for Obeid and Tripodi. So they dumped Iemma. Their primary concern is to remain in control and to pull the strings. The rottenness inside the NSW Labor Government after 13 years in office, is the political machine of Tripodi and Obeid that pulls the strings at party headquarters at Sussex Street to install their faction in Macquarie Street.

Is the ruthless political machine of the NSW Right losing control?

I interpret Grattin's account differently . The NSW Government is in big trouble---is the main point and she lists the reasons why this is so. Everybody, it would seem has little time for them.

I do not know where she stands on the privatisation of electricity generators in NSW, but she is right to say that it deeply divided the ALP - its parliamentary and organizational wings opposed each other over electricity privatisation.

Costa is probably right about the troubled finances of NSW. The sound financial management of Carr and Eagen, and their drive to reduce government debt became a fetish, that resulted in the neglect of public services, mounting problems such as crumbling public transport hospitals and education, and little long term investment to replace crumbling infrastructure.

What is a state government's duty Gary? Or which one should it put first - a credit rating or the provision of services?

There's not much point arguing over which premier let infrastructure crumble first, fact is, the services aren't there and they should be. Is a state government not obliged to take on debt in order to provide services? Is budget surpus so sacred that deaths resulting from inadequate health services is preferable?

From my probably overly simplistic point of view it came down to a choice between one or the other, and they chose the budget over the services. The privatisation of power is a distraction, because by the time the idea was introduced the infrastructure was already falling apart. That talk of an ETS killed the value of power stations was just bad luck on top of bad management.

Sorry, you (and Michelle) keep ignoring what 80% of NSW people and many others like myself, regard as the "main issues".
We are not interested in the intracacies of neolib dogma as alibi for further wealth shifting between classes by the greedy. Forget the camels and the eye of the needle, for a bit!
We are worried about the repeated dishonesty of privatisations of water, roads tunnels, electricity etc and the intractable refusal of accountability by politicians and financiers.
If there has been a debt problem or some other problem advanced as a possible reason for privatisation (= deterioration of services), why has a transperant process not been initiated to calm citizens fears?
Instead, all that happened was more blustering, stentorian hectoring mixed with sly furtiveness of the same sort that happened in the past.
If the thing is a such a wonderful solution, why is the process not open and transperant, to reassure people??
There is obviously a reason why all the PPP-related junk, perversions of FOI and the obnoxious treachery of "Commercial -in- Confidence" occurs.
Most Australians are taking a punt that it is related to dogmatic at best; corrupt at worst motives and behaviours and the refusal of politicians, after an entire generation, to reform the process, merely confirms us in our scepticism.
And Gratuitous Grattin and others of the punditry blaming a few alleged usual suspects from the revolving carousel of scapegoats for the Right, in this case naughty union hobgoblins, when three quarters of the population clearly loaths the proposition, is just too ideological to be accidental and just increases my suspicions, for one, even further.

Embroidering on Lyn's cautious comments, plus my own previous, suggest folk go to the current Matthew Moore article in the SMH; "NSW drags its feet on FOI reform",6/9.
And if no harm were to be done to workers, demonstrable through an open and transparent process developed only to yield "reform" in the meaningful sense, why would these lefty troll union thugs, whose viewpoint is rejected(?) by eighty percent of the rest of the population ( if only, thinks Costa, Obeid and co ), try to do harm to their fellows?
It's all just such a fable, and people like Grattin do themselves much harm as to reputation, for the repetition- just recycled Macarthyist child's night terror fairy stories.

For the NSW Right the sole purpose of state government is survival--hanging onto power. Whatever it takes to hang onto power is the modus operandi.

The state finances of the NSW government are in such bad shape that something has to give. The capital program as it stands is not sustainable as all the projects cannot be accommodated. NSW has to scale back its infrastructure program to avoid cuts in health and education.

It is unavoidable to think that if Labor can't balance the books in N.S.W then federally we are in trouble.
The second domino is wobbling.

No one's denying it, Garry. But why is this so?
Because of all the previous privisations and PPPs mis-handled through lack of planning, scrutiny and good intention.
If previous antics had worked well, where would the trouble have been in selling this one??!!?
Time to drop the neolib budget surplus fetishism, run a light deficit and fund necessary expenditure from THAT platform.

it looks as if they are going to slash the health budget as well as cut back on investment in infrastructure--eg., the northwest metro. There is a $1.3 billion black hole instead of the $268 million surplus forecasted in the last budget.

It's pretty grim, isn't it? And now, the hubbie of that thug Belinda Neal has been given Education. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!

I have ceased being a Useful Idiot and am more than prepared to vote for any party - ALP. Libs, Greens, Independent - if they are viable. At the last NSW election, I so wanted to vote Liberal, but simply could not because of all those far-right Xian cunts who had taken over. God, I hope they're retroactively aborted before the next election.