Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nasty politicians

I don't agree with many who say politicians do nothing and always do wrong. Most work hard and spend long hours in service for their electorates and for their state and country, for which they are adequately rewarded but not particularly richly rewarded if you compare them to wankers bankers.

I cannot remember really nasty people in politics until the conservative Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett was elected in the early 1990s. He was elected for a second term, much to my surprise, but chucked out at the next election. (I forget about Joh Bjelke Petersen.... actually, there have been a few more)

There are some really nasty people in Federal politics now, such as backbencher Tony Abbott and Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, who brought such trouble to our Federal Liberal Party and caused paralysis of our country for nearly a week when he challenged our former Prime Minister and kind of won, seeing the end of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, even if not becoming PM himself.

But let me go back to the former Premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Jeff Kennett. There is a small gallery space and a half price ticket (for shows and tourist attractions) outlet at Melbourne Town Hall. I always call in to see what the gallery has on show when the exhibits are changed. We were passing by and we saw an exhibition about public protests in Melbourne. I can't remember now, perhaps a pro union protest in the city, but we once took a very young Hippie Niece to a protest march in the city.

R remembers back to the 70s when he was a tram conductor and the monster Vietnam moratorium marches. The city just closed down in lock up, for cars, trams and buses. I think the tram staff deserted their trams and joined the crowd.

In the early 1990s we lived in Glen Iris and along with many of our fellow residents, we walked to Burwood train station to travel to the city and march in protest against Premier Jeff Kennett's legislative programme. There was a great sense of comradery on the train into town. March we did, along with 100,000 other people.

Back to the Town Hall gallery exhibition. I took a few photos.


Felicity is Jeff Kennett's wife. I thought this was pretty clever.


Even the young people in his own party protested against his actions.


He also imposed an extra annual tax on all residents per home for a few years. Our public transport still suffers the effects of actions some twenty years later.


Among other dastardly deeds, he brought the Australian Formula One Grand Prix to Melbourne, and we have suffered ever since. It eats up tens of millions of dollars in subsidies and almost unbelievably, runs around an inner city park. Kennett took away homeowners' civil rights for any damage the construction of the race track might cause to their homes.


Laughably after politics he went on to lead Beyond Blue, an organisation to assist people with mental health issues. Oh the irony when he was the cause of so much pain and distress to so many people.

I'll just include this brief snip from the well produced booklet that went with the exhibition.

20 comments:

  1. I like that snippet from the booklet. And the final paragraph is true here as well. Most of the protests here come from the progressive rather than conservative side.
    Our anti-abortionists are quiet though. Persistent but quiet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, continueing improvement of society depends on progressive people protesting. The Liberal Party aren't in the running.

      Delete
  2. Didn't Jeff Kennett close the mental hospitals - Mont Park etc... and then in a few years did Beyond Blue !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lady J, he did, along with Plenty Valley Repat Psysch Hospital and Larundel.

      Delete
  3. Joh Bjelke Petersen was far worse - corrupt, bigoted and divisive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, I suppose Kennett was never obviously corrupt but there were plenty of jobs for mates, including Ballieu's real estate agency getting the contract to sell off school land.

      Delete
  4. "our public transport is still suffering.." along with the other utilites! don't forget those.
    I thought the Whitlam reign went longer than 1975? I'm sure Gough Whitlam was still in when my fourth child was born, that when the child endowment (now called family allowance) payments were raised to a decent level.
    So from this do I understand that Jeff Kennett is to blame for all the copycat 'cut the services, raise the fees' politics that have gone on since then?
    I do agree that many minor politicians, those who don't get their faces in the papers and on TV are hard working decent people just trying to do the best they can while the rules keep changing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, 11th November, 1975. Remembrance Day. He stayed on as opposition leader until losing the '77 election. Yes, I think I can fairly safely say Kennett was a leader in cuts to services and privatisation of public assets. That worked really well with power, not!

      Delete
  5. Don't know the Australian politicians, but it's for sure that there are also some good once in all countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, it is easy to think of and go to bad, but so much better for the soul to think of the good in people.

      Delete
  6. Hi

    Andrew, what is your view on the Liberal Federal Government stopping SRSS payments to asylum seekers living in the community if they are judged job ready by the Government's Catholic Mercy Care minions?

    Even if they don't speak English or know how to drive or have any work skills, they can still be judged job ready. Their payments (89% of NSA) are stopped, their Medicare Cards taken off them, no access to free state schools for their children, no right of appeal.

    I think the decision to cease SRSS payments was the brain child of Mr Dutton, who allowed that French au pair to stay in Australia because his little mate Gil said it would be a compassionate decision. The exSRSS people will be left with no money, no jobs, no way of getting an education. Their asylum claims are still being assessed; the Government hopes that they will just go back to where they came from, even if their asylum claim turns out to be valid.

    Clearly I am not speechless but the cruelty of this makes me sick.

    Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, I am a firm believer in that if we take in refugees then they are de facto Australians, and due all social security support. It is somewhat harder if they are in limbo, as you say. But no one in Australia should have to pay for basic medical care, and nor should anyone be on the streets without basic government assistance and money enough to survive. Every child in Australia is owed an education. Dutton's behaviour about the au pairs on the face of it is appalling. Having said that, I don't actually know what the SRSS payment is and I don't think I would leave it up Catholic Mercy Care staff to decide anything about such life changing important matters.

      Delete
    2. I had no idea such a thing was happening and wish I still remained ignorant, for this is beyond cruel.

      Delete
  7. We have had a few horrors Andrew, but never a #45 thank goodness. They're politics are altogether much more complicated than ours 😱

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, number 45?

      Delete
    2. A Trump Andrew.. and I meant their, not they're 😀😀

      Delete
  8. Same crap here. Useless politicians trying to make a name for themselves, the same who got us in all this crap years ago.
    Harper, Scheer, Ford.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, Harper was bad. Even I remember how bad he was.

      Delete
  9. He sounds like a real winner. I love the photo of the guy in the hat with the sign about him with his wife question. Very good. Very handsome chap too, I could not help but notice. To race around a track in a park, ignoring the peace of neighbors, gosh damn, what can I say, that's awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer, the race is so disruptive and costs so much. I never took much notice of the bloke with the sign. Not like me. He is not bad looking at all.

      Delete

Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.