Kosky resigns – innocent AND guilty
Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-01-21
Lynne Kosky’s resignation from the Victorian Parliament and as Minister for Transport, for family reasons, was greeted with loud hurrahs by many long-suffering public transport patrons, and a string of "it wasn’t her fault" by many who recognized that taking over public transport, with many botched contracts already underway, was a poisoned chalice.
However, Lynne Kosky, along with all other Victorian Ministers, is extremely guilty of disservice to the public, for not gathering together with any honest party members, grabbing Joh Brumby, spreading him face-down on the Cabinet table, and shoving well-hidden and conveniently lost documents relating to mismanaged and ill-conceived contracts up his arse until his eyes popped out.
Such a method of assassination would take approximately 0.000000001% of documents meeting such criteria – even if they were on microfilm not paper.
The state is drowning in mismanaged contracts (most notably the Myki transport card, years late and billions over-budget well before Kosky became Minister), ill-conceived contracts (such as the desalination plant and North-South pipeline to take water from an empty Murray-Goulburn basin to Melbourne when artesian replenishing and storm-water reclamation would have done more at a fraction of the cost), policy-and-ministerial-decisions for auction to the highest bidder (via closed-door meetings with Ministers in return for party donations), and "Public Private Partnerships" that fund projects by borrowing funds at much higher interest rates through private consortia than the government could get by borrowing directly.
The lack of infrastructure maintenance, let alone capital investment, has been woeful, ever since Kennett privatized everything and public service engineers lost control to off-balance-sheet beancounters. This didn’t change under Premier Bracks, who was little more than a sock puppet for Brumby.
Urban planning is a joke. Green wedges and urban boundaries, in theory fixed for thirty years, were, once developers bought up the "reserved" land for a song, quickly released by the government for urban expansion, giving developers a massive windfall – and destroying hope of a livable and efficient Greater Melbourne for decades to come, if not permanently.
Despite Brumby as opposition leader during the Kennett years promising reform of government advertising as the first legislation to be introduced into Parliament if the ALP won office, promising that large "public information campaigns" would be independently checked for the taint of publically-funded party-political propaganda before going to air and print, despite more than a decade in power, the abuses of party-political advertising at the taxpayer’s expense are getting worse.
So, why were there no honest members of the Victorian Parliamentary Labor Party who could have spoken up about these and other outrages? Have there been far too few in the party room? Are those corrupt party branches that have been outed in the press merely the tip of the iceberg?
Where is the Victorian Parliamentary ALP equivalent of Petro Georgiou, of Judi Moyland? Answer: nowhere to be found. The corrupt branch practices, slammed by former ALP premier John Cain (universally recognized as decent and incorruptible even by political opponents), probably mean that decent people never become candidates in winnable seats.
So… given all this, given all the dissatisfaction about lack-of-service delivery, all the stench of corruption and favors for donors, why does the Victorian ALP still ride high in the polls?
The public hated former Liberal Premier Kennett with good reason, yet for pretty much the same sins the Joh Brumby (and ventriloquist dummy Bracks) governments continue to commit.
There are only a couple of things that the ALP government has done even half-right:
- Partially restore teacher numbers
- Reformed the upper house (although while to the short-term disadvantage of the ALP, this was to it’s long-term advantage should the Liberals regain popularity).
- Stopped the Kennett practice of literally shovelling sand into journalist’s faces (although the amount of metaphorical sand has increased).
Just as I was scathing about the lack of intelligence and decency in the average voter for keeping the Liberals in power federally during the Howard Regime, I’m scathing for pretty much the same reasons about the ALP being kept in power in Victoria.
Any decent progressive voter, even those like myself who might label themselves democratic socialists, must be hoping for a hung parliament or minority government after the Victorian election next year.
How bad must it be when a self-identifying lefty would rather see the Liberals get into power in Victoria, if only for a term, than let Joh Brumby, or someone like him, continue on the throne or be the power behind it?
The only throne Brumby is fit for is one found in a cubicle, with his head held down in the bowl, and Victorians lining up to push the "flush" button.
- "Are public-private partnerships worth the risk?" (2003-12-04, The Age, Ken Davidson), and a browse through KD’s opinion pieces at The Age will provide other useful comment on the Joh Brumby way, although this is a beauty, starting off "Bad government depends on secrecy and obfuscation. A perfect example was …"
- "Buck stops with you, ALP leaders: Start the Cleanup" (2009-06-11 The Age Editorial), which includes such phrases as
Premier John Brumby and his colleagues shrug their shoulders and look the other way, until scandal becomes undeniable
The complication is that, from the Premier down, many parliamentarians ultimately owe their positions to factional deals brokered by some of the very people behind this scandal. That explains ministers’ tendency to see no evil, hear no evil
Indeed, it’s worth googling for brumby corruption alp within The Age
- "No Need for ICAC in Victoria – Brumby" (2009-09-16, SMH, Melissa Jenkins) has Brumby, unsurprisingly, rejecting the need for an independent corruption commission.
- Vic Lib Leader Baillieu talks about Brumby corruption – video
- If you want just one example of branch corruption and consequent evils in the parliamentary party, a quick google for Brimbank corruption ALP will give you plenty.
- Alternatively, just look for "Joh Brumby" on this site, although this 2008-02-03 piece on the abuse of process and media monitoring is as good as any.
- Take the Joh Brumby Survey (same as the PollDaddy Is Joh Brumby a good nickname?). Results so far:
- Definitely, but not damning enough. The Four Corners expose cannot come soon enough. 22%
- Yes, he is just as bad as the ex Qld PM. 28%
- Probably, so why don’t the Vic Libs do the research? 44%
- Possibly, I smell a rat but need some proof. 6%
- No, his honesty is on a par with most Vic Premiers. 0%
- Definitely not, his probity is beyond question. 0%