Mary Delahunty (pictured) . She’s a 59-year-old former TV journalist who in 1998 became a Labor Party MP in Victoria’s lower house. From 1999 until her 2006 parliamentary retirement she was a Minister. I thought her a mature and sensible person. Until I read a recent Age op-ed piece she penned . Titled ‘So ungenerous we can’t say thanks to departing politicians’, it’s subheaded ‘Whatever we think of their policies, we should be grateful for their service’. She writes: ‘they are volunteer public figures’. True. But they’re well paid for their service. And their retirement benefits are top notch. She asks: ‘why the scorn when they…confide that their stint is over?’ It’s because politicians’ attitude and behaviour to their political opponents, and moreso to their constituents, is secretive, patronising, elitist and thus disgraceful. Recent examples? The Age revealed the Victorian government authorised a secret deal for the police to make available secret files on anti-desalination protesters to the private consortium building the desalination plant . The government continues to cite commercial-in-confidence for refusing to release figures in its contract with the said consortium . And Victorian premier Brumby refused to disclose the cost of a tram rental agreement because Victorians don’t need to know . Thus opposition leader Baillieu called Victoria ‘a state of secrecy’ . So don’t whinge about the public’s lack of gratitude to politicians, Ms Delahunty. The moment they start acting decently, the public will reciprocate in kind. Until then, they can expect to get what they give.
2 days ago