Thursday, October 14, 2010

You get what you give, Mary

Mary Delahunty (pictured) [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [3]. The government continues to cite commercial-in-confidence for refusing to release figures in its contract with the said consortium [4]. And Victorian premier Brumby refused to disclose the cost of a tram rental agreement because Victorians don’t need to know [5]. Thus opposition leader Baillieu called Victoria ‘a state of secrecy’ [6]. 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.

1 comment:

farmdoc said...

Yesterday's Age published an article about a secret deal in which the Victoria Police devolved investigatory powers to the Australian Football League [1]. The article quotes Jeff Kennett - former Victorian Premier and oft-mentioned subject of derision here on Farmdoc's Blog - thus: '...the deal was one of many disturbing secret contracts recently discovered involving government agencies, including one that shared information on protesters with AquaSure, the builders of Victoria's desalination plant. There has been been a total sellout of an individual's rights by this Labor Government'.
You should know that, when Premier, Kennett sold 'individual's rights' down the gurgler - by draconian Grand Prix legislation, abolishing local governments, selling State utilities, privatising public roads, and abolishing community-appointed hospital boards of management.
The man's not only perverse, but he has astonishing memory impairment. But do the media remind the public of this? Don't answer that - it's a rhetorical question.