Aug 31, 2009

Nelson salutes, Howard on rights and the mess of NSW

Mungo MacCallum discusses Brendan Nelson's departure, John Howard's shameless return to his soap box, and Nathan Rees' attempts to avoid the Obeid and Tripodi kiss of death.

Mungo MacCallum

Canberra Press Gallery legend

Brendan Nelson is a decent, intelligent, moderate and generally rational politician, so his departure from Parliament is a loss to the Liberal Party, which appears increasingly lacking in such qualities.

Nelson did a reasonable job as the patsy who had to pick up the pieces when Peter Costello decided the job was too much like hard work, and would probably have done a better one if he had not been constantly and viciously white-anted by Malcolm Turnbull, who made it clear from the start that he believed the leadership was his by divine right.

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5 thoughts on “Nelson salutes, Howard on rights and the mess of NSW

  1. Liz45

    The less said about Howard the better! In fact, I agree with all that Mungo has said about his govts and him. I just change channels instantly when he appears now. He really spoils my evening meal – he’s a contemptible person! Gone and good riddance to him! I only wish his thick hide could somehow lead us to an even better treatment for burns victims – he has no shame!

    Almost every other day there’s another ‘happening’ in NSW, that just leaves me shaking my head. Last week(one of them?) was the news about highly qualified nursing people being given the ‘chop’ and in their place, less qualified, less experienced unregistered nurses???Then, it was revealed, that the Rudd Govt’s quest for more qualified nurses to go back to their profession had not reached its target?? By a long way it seems? Now people could possibly understand why I was left shaking my head? What on earth is going on? We’ve had the horror stories of women having miscarriages in emergency waiting room toilets, people dying etc, overcrowding in A & E departments – the need for highly qualified practitioner nurses to relieve the long queues??I’m utterly confused!

    If the NSW govt is broke Nathan or John or anybody??? – just have the guts to say so! What on earth would be the reason to cut back on highly qualified, skilled and experienced nurses, when the population is growing; technology is more sophisticated; the reasons for ambulances queueing up is lack of beds, too many people, not enough ‘hands’ etc, if it’s not lack of money? Hospitals getting gloves and other basics from the local vet hospital???Patients not getting meat as the butcher hasn’t been paid???WHAT!!!(these are just a few of the gob smacking events this year?)A supposed new hospital opened in a growing area(good stuff I hear you say?) with less beds than the old one??A hospital opened and the operating theatres are too small? How could this happen? Who’s been sacked over this? Ferries, public transport? Let’s not start on education and people with disabilities??

    I’m not a conservative voter, and remember the past all to vividly of what they don’t do when in government(for us ordinary people, that is) but let the Greens get in to Parliament, or a mixture or just some competent people who give a damn! Get this lot out of the way! They’re more interested in shoring up their future pension entitlements than caring or governing for the people of NSW. Funny how they always find the money for their incomes, lerks and perks, the dining room, the wine list, and increasing their electoral allowances, or having meetings with developers or ????

    I’d like all the media outlets to refuse to cover any stories about leadership, or who’s on whose side, or who will vote this way or that in Caucus! I DON’T GIVE A TOSS! OK!
    That includes the Libs/Nationals too! Not interested, don’t care! ENOUGH!

  2. Alex Romanoff

    Congratulations to Mungo for his metaphor for John Howard’s unwelcome reappearances. It is one I share, and for some time now I have found myself referring to those lightweight turds that keep bobbing up in the toilet no matter how often they are flushed as “John Howards”. Mungo may wish to journalistically explore another aspect of the man that I’m surprised has not been done during his far-too-long public life, and that is the extraordinary similarity of his political persona to that of Richard Nixon. Both should never have been conceived, let alone born.

  3. Tom McLoughlin

    In all of this commentary I am guided by this: The environmental and civil rights agenda in NSW did best by far when there was a minority Coalition Govt in power under first Greiner and then Fahey 1989 to 1995. Not by those governments as such but by Parliament as a whole.

    I could give a whole range of policy areas – forest protection momentum generated in this period without the Carr sell off downside of an even bigger area to big corporates.

    Cross bench charter of reform.

    ICAC got’s it mandate.

    Momentum for Wood Police royal commission.

    Some of this spilled over to new Carr Govt when it still had it’s moral compass and a thin majority to keep it honest. But the political capital all came out of the earlier dynamic.

    That’s the best case scenario for NSW again probably.

  4. AR

    Rather an incompetent Independent than a machine hack of either persuasion (assuming that anyone can pout a cig. paper between them). NSW showed that a good Independent, Ted Mack, Peter McDonald, the various by-election blow ins who became power brokers.
    The poltical parties, in the first & final analysis are, legally, merely private clubs – they have no standing in the Federal Constitution (and on some readings are prohibited – i remember a constitutional committee wayyyy back in the Hawke years when someone did sterling work on explaining the intricacies – name of … Garrett I think, wonder what ever happened to him?).
    So why do we,the People, vote for them? Thje old anarchists had a nasty cartoon of the spiral pyramid which asked the same question. Plus ca bloody change.

  5. Sean

    hear, hear, liz45 (et al.)

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