Thursday, August 27, 2009

What have we done to deserve this?

The SMH among others has brought leadershiop speculation in the ALP to fever pitch - despite the fact that the critical players all seem to be out of the country.

This speculation is just one element of the current parlous state of NSW politics. Our situation makes the proposals in Tony Abbott’s book for constitutional change to enable the Federal Parliament to take over State powers look very attractive.

The ALP is in complete disarray, fractured between its parliamentary and organisational wings as a result of the power privatisation push and divided in the parliament between two main factions each of which has sub-factions. The factions no longer represent fundamental philosophical divides but merely clubs within which patronage is dispensed. Some of this, unfortunately, seems to be the consequence of the move to an elected upper house and the sinecures that can be dolled out to “safe” positions on the ticket.

Now we see more fevered speculation that the rearrangement of these sub-factions is aiming to replace the newbie Premier with an equally newbie one, with no public profile and more significantly with no real hope to “lead” the party. A core cancer in this horrible state of affairs seems to be the sub-faction known as the Terrigals – notably Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi, two people most notable for their complete lack of any achievements for the people of NSW.

The left and the remainder of the right need to unite now to remove this scourge from the party. The first act needs to be removing Tripodi from the front bench. The second is to act on long term ALP policy and abolish the Legislative Council.

It is too much to hope that the ALP will act. The consequence will be that we will stumble to the State election and elect Barry O’Farrell as Premier by default, leading an equally talentless and disorganised rabble. We don’t know what this mob would do – all they have done for two years is to promise more for less (more trains, lower fares). We will turn to them only in desperation, not in hope!

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