Monday, May 4, 2009

Troubling Times

In a weird twist of world events, i have found myself in (indirect) support of Philip Ruddock. Yes, he of the 'pacific solution', who (on some accounts) officially co-ordinated the institutional abuse of some of the world's most vulnerable people.

Yes, today finds me at odds with my morally sound belief that the sooner Ruddock is permanently removed from public life, the safer the world will be for all of us. Yet, as I read an article in today's Australian, I actually found bile entering my blood stream in such a way that the blood-brain barrier was passed and I though for a second, 'these people have no right to demand Ruddock's departure'.

So what rubbish am I babbling about today? In a sign of how Australian politics works in practice, let me quote from today's Australian:

MAJOR business donors to the Liberal Party have put Malcolm Turnbull on notice that their continued financial support is now conditional on the Opposition Leader personally driving a large scale renewal of MPs in the parliamentary party.

The business figures have compiled a list of MPs who they believe should stand down at the next election in order to allow new talent to come through and to demonstrate to voters that the Opposition is looking to the future, rather than the past.

The list of 14 MPs across all states includes senior figures from the Howard era such as Philip Ruddock, Bronwyn Bishop, Kevin Andrews and NSW powerbroker Bill Heffernan.

Now, believe me, dead wood needs pruning, and in this case a good burn-off would go well. But there is something fundamentally pathological in a society where:
a) it is the donors to a political party who decide the content of a political party. I was under the impression that democracy was concerned with the elected members serving the interests of the electorate, and not who 'donates' money to them.
b) this is public knowledge and no-one seems to be concerned about it at all. Are we so far gone as a society that we see it as o.k. that donors to political parties can make demands as to who represents the people?

Now this is not a problem of the Liberal Party, i'm sure this sickness poisons the integrity of the Labour Party as much as any other. The bile that has now filled the cavity of my brain is screaming that something has gone horribly wrong here.

Does anyone else hear these voices? Am I the only one?

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