Crikey Says

Aug 18, 2014

Crikey says: Robertson must stand aside

Scott Morrison’s late-night Twitter outburst. Dole-bludging Muslims? Not really. Bernard Keane on the real taxpayer-funded terrorists. Govt always meant to kill the RET. Press Council responds to Oz jihad. Poll Bludger crunches Newcastle numbers as Libs bow out. SBS Dateline to be scrapped? Rundle on the evolution of Tony Abbott. Alarm at Ten after actual debate makes it through the Bolt filter. And Family First’s Bob Day gets hip with the kids.

In deciding not to contest the upcoming byelections in Newcastle and Charlestown, NSW Premier Mike Baird has badly misjudged his response to ongoing revelations of corruption within his party at the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Clearly the decision will save the party money ahead of next March's election, but to deprive voters of the opportunity to vent their anger smacks of cowardice. The havoc wreaked by ICAC on the NSW Liberals, and in particular the removal of the popular and increasingly successful Barry O'Farrell, presents us with the unlikely scenario that NSW Labor could be competitive at the 2015 election. That makes NSW Labor's failure to undertake crucial internal reforms -- intended to lessen the chances of future Obeids, Tripodis and Macdonalds emerging -- even more culpable. Moreover, it is clear that current parliamentary leader John Robertson, a man heavily tainted with the follies of the Iemma-Rees-Keneally years, has made no impression on voters. On the weekend, Robertson's chief of staff, Ian McNamara, stood aside after questions arose about his involvement with the Newcastle debacle. A better outcome for voters would be if Robertson himself gave up his job and a more effective leader, one with no history in the disasters of Labor's last term in office, replaced him. A competitive Labor Party would put more pressure on Baird to deal with the cancer of corruption in NSW and give NSW voters a realistic choice next March. But that won't happen under Robertson.

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5 thoughts on “Crikey says: Robertson must stand aside

  1. wilful

    Failures can’t be culpable.

  2. Bill Hilliger

    Liberals and cowardice …the bacon and eggs of Australian politics

  3. Gavin Moodie

    Of course NSW Labor right will take Labor’s competitiveness as a reason and perhaps vindication for not making substantial changes.

  4. CML

    What a biased editorial!
    The Libs are rotten to the core. Therefore let’s tip a bucket on Labor, especially the leader.
    Sure, no one is smelling of roses since this ICAC investigation started, but trying to squeeze Robertson into the mix is more than a little below the belt, Crikey.

  5. AR

    CML – seems fair to me, a pox on both their houses. What I find depressing is that, outside an invasion of Spiders from Mars, the same-old, same-old duopoly prevails.
    The tories will continue to bend the knee to the brown paper bag and the … others (not Labor, anyone got a more appropriate name than ‘wannabes’?) will continue to wait their turn.
    No change please, we’re Oz pollies,the voters gotta hold their noses and vote for Tweedledum & Tweedledirty.

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