Wednesday, November 05, 2008

All we are saying, is give Rees a chance

Whatever happened to the gentle journo's agreement that some topics should be off-limit in the public interest?

For cryin out loud, capitalism is melting down, the barbarians are at the gate, (and in a worrying develpment, it's "their" barbarians, not "our" barbarians), and nobody knows how many of us will be jobless, if not homeless, by the end of the financial year, assuming there'll even be a financial year once the dollar sinks below the event horizon. NSW's coffers are bare-ish, our infrastructure is crumbling, and to top it all off, the Emirates own the Melbourne Cup, nobody told DH, and now they're hoofing it off all the way back to Bahrain or wherever with DH's 5 bucks on that nogood Irish, Michael O'Reilly,

And with all this calamity going on, what tack is the State's maybe most influential journo, the political editor of the SMH taking? Check out Andrew Clennell's hatchet job in Saturday's SMH, and decide whether he's got any other mission than to undermine the Premier, rub his nose in his inexperience, and score as many cheap points as he can. Doesn't the Political Editor of the SMH have anything better to do than ask 3 times about love and traffic?

When you open the spillgates and deluge the Premier of NSW in a flashflood of drivel, it's not just the Premier who drowns, the whole State drowns with him.

Should a government fall because a politician has a temper, and grabs someone's leg in the heat of the moment? Is that all? Are staffers made of glass? Maybe they should teach the delicate young plants in staffer school that politics is a high-conflict zone, not a personal growth sharing circle. Stewart should rise and fall on his record, nothing else. If there's a stench around him, show us where its coming from, don't just wave the the nearest red herring under our noses.

And who cares if Rees made a throwaway comment that didn't quite come off? Only this morning that dullest and most affectless of journalistic heavies, Laurie Oakes, was on Radio National breakfast lamenting that politicians nowadays never say anything risky or colourful. How can they if they are put through the grinder for every misstep?

Since when is inexperience a crime? The young feller stepped up to the plate. He's obviously got brains, he's doing his best to save the situation. Maybe our commentators should give him some credit for having the guts and give him a chance.


Andrew Elder said...

The Premier is not up to his job. He has said, and seems to believe, that his job is about presenting the ALP in a favourable light for tomorrow's papers rather than governing to and beyond 2011. Bob Carr was part dilettante, part pissant, and the best you can say about Rees is that he's not a dilettante. He's not doing his best, and if he is then his best simply is not good enough.

Tony Stewart doesn't have any achievements. The fact that he mistreats his staff, senior police, and others who are better people than he really is the most significant thing about him. It is also significant that Rees' judgment of people is such that he should select Stewart as a minister. Who's next, Paul Gibson?

DH said...

Well, I'll have to take your word for it. A congestion tax is a good idea isn't it?. Rees' predecessors made a mess, but let's not hoist him by their petard just yet. If Stewart is incompetent, that's what the media should attack him for, not for putting his hand on someone's leg. What do you think of O'Farrell, and the rest of his team? Having seen David Clarke and Trevor Khan's performance at the housing budget estimates, I was not impressed. They seemed to make up for a lack of preparation by badgering the same point over and over.

Andrew Elder said...

Rees was an advisor to those predecessors. He is of the same party as those predecessors, as are his ministers. Like his predecessors, he is a bunch of press releases in search of a point. So yes, let's.

Stewart bullied his staff. He wasn't touching that woman up, he was stopping her from leaving while muttering threats. That *is* part of his performance - especially for a Labor man (look what happened to Orkopoulos' electorate secretary, compare her treatment with that of his former chief of staff. Do you expect Tina/Tanya/wotsername to go to her union?). Liberal Minister Terry Griffiths did the same thing and was rightly pinged for it, didn't quibble, just went.

O'Farrell is a better person than Rees one-to-one. His front bench, like Rees', contains one or two standouts, a few that are barely competent, and a whole bunch of duffers. We are now at the point where Labor is not fit to govern and have to hand over to the Liberals for a short time, as per the normal pattern of NSW politics.

It is to be expected that one would be underwhelmed by Clarke and Khan.

Andrew Elder said...

A congestion tax could be a good idea, but as I've said elsewhere, this isn't it. It's either comprehensive or you don't bother.

Besides, one of the effects of a congestion tax is to encourage other transport options. There aren't any other options (especially if you're going to cut back on ferries). Nobody minds a bit of quid-pro-quo, but quid-pro-buggerall gets people's backs up. And that, it is now clear, is all Nafe 'n' Eric are offering, and all they will ever offer. Stick a fork in 'em, they're done.

DH said...

Yes, I read your blog and I do take your points, but I think it's all very complex, trying to keep up the semblance of government while trying to deal with the rogue members. Hard to argue against the need for sending Labor out to wander in the wilderness to purify itself, but if that's not possible, Daily Telegraph petition notwithstanding, then shouldn't we be helping someone like Rees who is no doubt compromised, but not a bad guy, to grow into the job? As for quid pro quo, nevertheless, we can't start with both the chicken and the egg at the same time can we? First we gotta make some savings, even if Labor blew it before, we're stuck with them now, and then we can put on more buses. Though where they will all stop in the CBD's narrow streets...
Alternatively, I guess we could all storm Parliament House, heave the Ministers out the windows, and burn the place down. But, I'm not a fiscal policy expert, (studying Political Economy in its heyday saw to that), so what do you reckon they should they be doing?