Anna Bligh’s panic move (to give the impression of) curtailing the influence of lobbyists will have some dramatic repercussions for all Labor politicians, especially once the inevitable me-tooism sweeps the land.
Some previously standard fund-raising events (such as Jim Turnour’s “Catching up with Kevin Rudd”) will now be off-limits, if not for the direct breach of the new rules, then for the perceptions they create.
How far will these rules go? Obviously one can assume the $10,000 a plate dinner to which this businessperson has been invited on many occasions before and after the election of Kevin Rudd will be a thing of the past?
More importantly (for business, anyway) is the fact that for many, these events are the ONLY way to hijack, button-hole or otherwise interact with our elected representatives, and we have been prepared to pay the relatively modest freight to so so.
Despite the disingenuous claims by Beattie and others that their Governments are always accessible to anyone, the fact is that pollies only ever get enthusiastic about getting up close and personal with unscripted and unpredictable crowds when there are campaign funds at stake.
Being confronted by informed, concerned and influential captains of industry is not what a politician looks forward to at the best of times.