Topic: election Oz 2007
Well what do you know. John Howard blows Steve Bracks (Premier of State of Victoria where we grew up) off the playing field with a constitutional gazump of the control of Murray River waters, everyone knows it including the Victorian Farmers Federation who move to dump him and negotiate with the feds directly.
The VFF presumably understand the old axiom: Money talks and bullshit walks, as Bracks indeed has, and so called best treasurer in Victoria's history John Brumby has probably been a bit worried too on the Vic share of the $10B Murray Darling package the feds have agreement from all the other states except Victoria so far.
Off the field and nursing serious personal wounds over his young adult kids losing the plot in alcoholic games, and maybe fearful for his youngest teen's future too, Premier Bracks effective from Monday next has decided 26th July 2007 in the state govt cabinet meeting to well ... stay off the field.
Which is another way of saying like Bruce Baird MP on ABC radio yesterday '20 years is enough in politics'.
This has made a virtue of quitting and turned the PM Howard's longevity against him to some degree.
We are worried for Bracks' Deputy Premier John Thwaites though. He is known for some more green views of the world but has been sidelined recently if our understanding is correct over a massive desalination plant in Victoria, and probably the national Murray water scheme of the feds (?) and probably other things like Bracks absolute failure to protect classic East Gippsland forest. The early talk is that he is sidelined full stop. The ALP doesn't really have the much time for honest pollies anyway, no matter how talented or hard working.
We also take with a big chip of rock salt the notion Bracks is only about his family. For this reason: His family woes got to this place from a decade or two of "personal failure" to quote Bracks back at himself. That's a lifetime habit not easily changed in a Cabinet meeting or a press conference. That's the man Bracks is, not wants to be.
Secondly poor Geof Gallop, ex WA Premier, quit a year back or more for the reason of depression and then refused to take questions on medical advice at same Big Event. That was choreography writ large to our ears. Sure enough the major scandal of WA Inc developer corruption into the heart of his Cabinet, which he was unable to control, came to light. Indeed stalked Opposition leader Rudd for a while there. Talk about real cause for depression. Gallup sounds much happier and based in Sydney now but no doubt was a failure on cleaning up his own govt ... though he did alot of good for saving forests over there to some degree for which we have alot of respect.
The point being, judge Bracks and Gallop and all the senior ALP by what their Party do, not what they say in rousing press conferences. One lesson we learned from 4 years in mind numbing council meetings is the professional stock in trade of presenting plausibility over any old smelly dead cat or rotten nag. And that's a good axiom for all senior politicians weighing bucket loads of power and money in an essentially broken democracy franshised by Big Business. Yes we really are as cynical as that.
Tony Abbott MP a Howard loyalist is already on the case saying their is no parallels with John Howard PM on "the top of his game". Well maybe yes, maybe no, but we can safely say one thing. Howard's kids have all grown up fairly intact and out of scandal's clutches ....so far.
So that's one less worry for the old warhorse. Call and talk to your children every day was his dictum apparently. For them and yourself as parent one presumes. And beware that wicked deceiver alcohol destroying emotional well being across the land, another lesson Howard got from his mother Mona, and we've learned here too self taught.
Meanwhile the C7 decision was a doozy, webcast by the ABC if a bit late to get it up. Seven went down big time, and the legal folks got up as pictured here out of their seats to head for the appeal?
Postscript #1 29th July 2007
The premonition seems to have been borne out with Deputy Premier Thwaites announcing his retirement from politics and parliament only 4 hours later: See for instance Reality forces Thwaites to follow p9 Weekend Australian 28th July 2007.
We have another intuition about the Bracks political career and family dynamic. Bracks is the son of a Democratic Labor Party (DLP) ultra right Catholic group known as The Movement involved in the famous split of the ALP in the 1950ies. Same with my family. These folks are very hierarchical and lacking in emotional equpment having sublimated themselves to their fundamental God. Bracks went back to the ALP proper from that DLP legacy, based in regional town Ballarat. (Mine was exiled to Warranambool also in the Western Districts of Victoria. ) But how much of that religious dogma has stunted his children's internal life and emotional equipment - the strands of a habit of self medication with alcohol? This is the hot psychological deconstruction all before ex Premier Bracks. Yes, Bracks expanding girth looks familiar to this writer. Speaking as one who has managed to exorcise that loopy version of Catholicism, the booze and rubbish food.