Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Honourable Premier Has Left the Building

 I generally refrain from Blogging about politics nowadays because it is a sticky area to get into when friends might have a different persuasion to you when it comes to voting in a government and I really don't know what I am talking about when it comes to most political discussion. However, I had to have a laugh yesterday after the resignation of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell due to a corruption scandal.

 Mr O'Farrell lied "inadvertently", apparently, when it came to remembering that he had received a bottle of wine from a dodgy businessman seeking favour from a newly elected Liberal government when it was voted in three years ago. Mr O'Farrell denied at a corruption inquiry that he had ever received said bottle of wine which was worth three thousand dollars but was forced to fall on his sword when a note of thanks, written and signed by him to the aforementioned businessman was presented at the inquiry yesterday morning. Mr O'Farrell had not declared the bottle as part of his pecuniary interests. A fatal oversight in retrospect.

 I wouldn't vote for Mr O'Farrell if by chance I lived in his state as I lean the other way when it comes to politics but as far as Centre-Right leaders in Australia go, he was much more "middle of the road" and moderate than the current occupier of the Lodge in Canberra and I had hoped he would act as a bulwark against the conservative ideology the Federal Liberal Party seems hell-bent on imposing on Australia.

 He was a solid Premier. Hardly inspiring but he gave the state some backbone again after years of decay under the previous Labour government and restored a bit of confidence. I didn't mind him which is as big a compliment as I can give a conservative politician in this country.

 That being said I find it totally ridiculous that he couldn't remember receiving the wine or writing the note and it's amazing a politician of some skill, as he is got himself into such a tangle over what seems on the surface to be quite a mild offence.

 I could only laugh when the Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, referred to Mr O'Farrell as a "man of honour" and declared that such political unselfishness had rarely been seen in the political landscape of this country. Mr Abbott himself then declared he had never met the dodgy businessman concerned. Unfortunately it seems that he has indeed met this fellow as left wing trolls on social media were keen to point out and produced evidence to back up their accusations. Oh dear.

 The fact is that Mr O'Farrell's resignation was far from an honourable act. He was in an untenable position. He had lied to a corruption inquiry. He had reiterated his position to the media a short time later and was found out in very quick time. He had no other choice and left the Premiership with his tail between his legs.

 I laughed at the Prime Minister's protestations that Mr O'Farrell's act was "honourable". This was the same man who had turned his allies in the media world onto the former Prime Minister, Miss Gillard, used his connections with Sydney radio shock jocks to decry her and call her every name under the sun and had no qualms about calling her a liar, publicly and in Parliament and stood in front of signs carried by protesters which described her in detestable terms because she apparently broke an election promise.

 Mr Abbott wouldn't know what the word honourable meant!

 Karma is a bitch and Mr O'Farrell, despite being a hard working and apparently decent man has in many ways reaped what the Liberal Party has sown. It's unfortunate that an inquiry that is attempting to weed out real corruption has tangled him in it's web and destroyed him politically but so be it. They have played the game hard and he is collateral damage.

 One can only hope the real criminals who rorted the NSW electorate for years get the comeuppance they deserve but let's also hope that Australian politics can get out of the gutter, that governments can stop playing the man and start playing the ball and let the community judge them on policy rather than government's being elected on the back of expensive smear campaigns. That goes for both side of politics.

 Have a nice day.

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