Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Heave away you ruler kings- the South Australian election

With the state election a month off, public focus is now on the political parties and their leaders.The parties provide little alternative for voters. Regardless of their social progressivism or conservatism they seem equally wedded to unfortunate and discredited economic rationalism.

Nonetheless we can say the election is to be contested between the Liberal’s and their new leader, Isobel Redmond and an eight year old Rann government currently paying the price for complacency in the wake of former Lib leader Hamilton Smith’s unfortunate fall.

They are caught in the dreaded pincer movement of colluding issues; Rann’s alleged antics with a barmaid in parliament some time back has focussed the public’s consciousness back on the Rann government and its policies, outlook and decisions; to “hear” alternate messages from the Liberals (usually ) on one hand and /or excluded or silenced social groups.

Arguably, SA governments over the last generation have followed a trend right across Australian politics over the last fifteen or twenty years; a trend most associated with NSW, where a disturbing democratic deficit has been revealed, which does not augur well for the future regardless of who wins the next election here either, since the most disturbing thing about NSW is its use within political parties as a conscious blueprint for other regions.

As the Rann government has become more presidential, the public has sensed a greater exclusion, mirrored in the concern over the Rann government’s distaste for a Corruption Commission watchdog.

Is the sense of a need for one echoed in public concerns over the numerous and ugly landswaps, open-slather CIC based deals with developers, removal of council (hence public) powers of input, scrutiny and veto over inappropriate “developments” in people’s home locales?

The Libs, by contrast, seem finally to have learnt the lesson of opposition: shut your mouth and let the other side be the issue, instead. In doing this they have followed the example of Rudd in 2007 and Rudd Labor is no reforming political unit. So what would we expect from the SA Liberals?

Unfortunately, more of the Olson/Rann type of politics!

Labor has floundered, with the spot light attracted by Michelle Chantelois also alighting on issues that the state government has failed to respond reasonably to, usually to do with “developments” involving public land or resources, or the public interest.

They follow in an ignoble tradition pioneered by the former Brown-Olson government.

The action has included the notorious PPP’s where public money is employed to buttress privatised water, electricity and transport; as well as recently, more intangible issues to idea production and socio cultural reification. Derivatives, to use a familiar term, of these include funny asset and land swaps such as the St Clair Park, hived off to developers while the public foots the hidden cost of rehabilitating nearby industrial land. And god knows the funny financing that must go on behind the walls of secrecy that are FOI and commercial in confidence.

But if you're careful enough to pick up “local rags” from other suburbs, you will find that just about every new “reformed”(defanged) council precinct in the metro area is faced with problems created when the new barge arse “development at any/ every cost” mantra that so antagonises the public. Currently battles are under way right across town- Goodwood orphanage, Thorndon park, Le Fevre Peninsular, around the (privatised) airport, the Chelsea movie theatre, Glenside and the entire heritage precinct of the City of Adelaide and North Adelaide City, accompanying a sustained onslaught against trees of any sort, so long as they are Aussie native flora, as well as much Heritage bluestone as possible; this to make way for as much jerry-built, badly constructed and climate-inappropriate sardines cans as possible, for future generations to curse us over, as they will all the other ecological vandalism we’ve committed over the last fifty years, knowing full well what we were doing.

And why?

For Rudd to unnecessarily ramp up the population to thirty five million, despite the system’s inability to cope even with the current twenty-two million?

And it all hinges on this notion fed us that economic stability will be robbed from us if we don’t have every river in the country polluted, every native tree axed and as many native fauna species wiped out.

Same as we are told we are on the way to ruin if we do not privatise or censor education and the internet, dumb down the media so the public are discouraged from considering real issues that also effect them and wherever possible discredit any science that warns of threats to sustainability. And as things stand, this is the future role of SA: as the typical example of a dried out husk of a once vibrant community now peopled by the dumbed-down and a few well informed but disenfranchised other people gnashing their teeth in frustration on a well-grounded fear of the consequences, as the processes gather apace.

For the many have been mislead for many years and will as likely vote for Rann out of a Chicken Little-ish fear that jobs will be taken if everything is not done strictly on the developers terms.

And that is extortion, nor democracy

[ category: ]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Yeah, but who won?

Just a couple of last things to chew on, in the wash up following recent elections.

Labor and the newspapers have gone very quiet about SA politics.

The Chantelois couple appear to remain quite estranged, after the bitter comments from the husband a few days ago.

The libs, in demoting the at times irritating and perhaps disloyal factional leader Vicki Chapman, had a badly organised leadership spill which plonked the leader, a
Thatcher clone,  with a new deputy not of her liking. So to exacerbate a poor effort with the first spill they turned around and did a second spill, this time electing a different person again, one Mitch Williams.

What Hamilton Smith, Evans, Chapman and the rest of at the head of a seemingly endless flow of deputy leadership candidates made of it, one can only guess.

 And in Tassie the Labor forces slunk ignominiously off into opposition in a funk, rather than sit down with people who beleive that science may have a role to play in planning, like the Greens.

Heaven forbid any one or thing should ever challenge the sancrosanct pre eminence of the Brian Burke brown paper bag in Australian development procedures, especially after Emerson's ignorant serve on the subject the other night on Q/A

"Nothing can come of nothing"- Parmenides.

And on another (possibly related ) topic, the retirement of Sen. Nick Minchin. Was told Minchin's move was "irrelevant", but a couple of odd things have happened on the relative quiet, that have the writer thinking that something as significant as the conservative warrior's retirement, might have more to it than meets the eye.

Firstly, Abbott on his form in the last couple of weeks, looks alone and isolated.

Secondly, yet another high profile liberal, Malcom Turnbull, the nearest person to a progessive and alternative still with a high profile within the Liberals, has also picked up bat and ball, so what must he think of his chances of being in government any time soon, let alone acheiving something substantial in government, whilst Barnaby Joyce was ousted from the finance portfolio for a Liberal (Robb, I think)

The attrition rate with parties kicked out of government seems to leap exponentially, after such an event. Howard, Costello, Downer, Nelson, Minchin and Turnbull have have all left, along with several influential backbenchers.

Instead, nonentities like Morrison are mentioned and nobody knows who they are, except that they are promoted because of the loss of someone more high profile or likely competent than themselves.

Back to the election

Back to the election. It's now due for resolution in a few days.

Latest reports seem to indicate that Labor has staunched the voter haemorrhage of the last fortnight - thelacklustre efforts of Isobel "Taser" Redmond have not been decisive enough for them to capitalise fully on Labor disarray. Labor has not deteriorated into a squabbling mess under pressure, so perhaps the result will be a hung parliament rather than a romp in for the Liberals.

Labor remains in its morass undetected, as two incidents have tarnished the Liberals efforts this week. firstly, a gung ho approach to Laura Norder, Dodge City style, from Redmond herself.  Who says "taserite" Minchinism is dead in SA?

Secondly, comes a warning of another leadership spill for the Liberals from deputy Liberal leader and opposing faction head Vicki Chapman. Redmond is a political tyro compared to both Chapman and the Labor leaders and so it's not surprising that the ancient split between town and country libs should find a way of resurfacing.

In my electorate, Croydon, my guess is I might vote for the resident's independent, Max Galanti. If I follow their how to vote advice, this may mean exhausting the vote down to a Lib preference, and frankly I don't want to reward Redmond any more than Atkinson, they way I feel at the moment.

Alternatively, I could vote Green, which reflects my wider politics better, which exhausts back to a Labor leadership committed to "development at every cost" predicated on costs returning to the taxpayers rather than a grubby and furtive mass of developers, "consultants", lawyers, accountants and political operatives, some of whom don't even live here.

Re: Hamish's Piece

At first glance, Hamish Alcorn's new piece, Go Tony, That's Good Policy  seems to bear little relation  to the SA election.

But closer inspection and a little thought establishes a link that proposes open government and upfront mission statements; precisely the elements that seem to have, in their created absence, created the problems over the last eight year re Cheltenham race course and St Clair recreation park.

We feel we have drowned in a welter of legislation created to side step, across the three tiers of government,  precisely that input and openness of procedure most needed in remodelling cities for the twenty first century. 

It's true that NIMBY and local conservatism may stand in the way of  well designed TODs, as they apply to Adelaides various suburbs, but the sense of many is that that the necessity for transport reform has operated as a stalking horse for processes and procedures that already have or are, or will, obscure entitled reasonable scrutiny of these sorts of plans, required by citizens in the performance of their civic duty as responsible voters, in ensuring that the projects produce reasonable results.

We do not welcome the mechanism set by neolib ideologues, vested interests and politicians to divvy up public infrastructure, behind closed doors.

Progress Report

Progress Report:

"All quiet on the Western Front".

Seriously, how do you discuss something when no information of real relevance to it is available?

"Requiset in Pace".

Mississippi Burning.

Actually, have read "Oz" since above "Progress Report", and it claims that Rann is now in trouble in the latest polls.


Actually, a far more powerful and immediate story is included in this newspaper of all places, concerning the unhappy Mulrunji Doomadgee affair, "Witness changes story: I could see Mulrunji Doomadgee's 'scuffle'", by Tony Koch.

A new inquest has had the chief witness now come forward to claim that he saw all of the assault by Sr Sgt Hurley on Doomadgee, without any furniture obscuring the view, but was too intimidated by police investigating to be more up front about what he witnessed.

Ugly stuff.

Fat lady hasn't sung yet

Rann and Labor are taking a dive in today's Newspolls, and it's interesting to note that the latest round of law and order announcements (Hoon drivers, total suspencion of drivers licences, disclosure to juries of repeat offenders' records) are being announced by the Premier and not the A-G, who's obviously been sent to political coventry.

Agreed, Paul, the oxygen level has been minimal, but you never know what's around the corner.  Five seats away from a hung parliament, anything could happen yet.  One more juicy scandal.. geez I wish I have corroborative paperwork for the one that I am assured occured.  However, I don't have twenty grand to shell out to A-G Atkinson, and that's about what it would cost. 

But if I have one, someone's bound to have another, and  with the right paperwork.. 

The result has been a tease.

The result has been a tease. Can I say sobering fizzer?

 No one can tell for a couple of days yet that, for sure, Labor has survived.

Sad about Lomax Smith, Adelaide likes cutting people like this down to size if they can, still a big country town.

 We must ask if SA Labor can learn from the Blair experience- will Rann's successor be a Gordon Brown?

If the Libs get up, does the relationship between Redmond and Chapman already look problematic?

A realistic chance to win office in another four years, provided they maintain cohesion and unity. But, if they return to the torpor of the last eight years and do not finally start working out a program that at last is realistic rather than Disney Fairylandish, and Labor heeds the warning of this election, the libs will be wasting a chance for renewal that began four painful years ago.



As to a hung parliament, I'd go along with that, apart from Parnell and Winterlich, thats exactly what they'd be, if I had my way!

As in trees and ropes.

Just Desserters

Paul, I understand (though perhaps not agreeing with the intensity) your distaste for Winterlich and Parnell.  As the last pollies standing for the Dems and Greens, both jumped ship to stand independently.  

Parnell (a fellow button-accordion player, albeit with a stronger penchant for Morris dance tunes than yours truly) has a miniscule margin, and whether his performance has been strong enough to be elected as a loner remains to be seen.  

Winterlich, given a headstart as a Democrat candidate by a generous Sandra Kanck, walked away.  The noises made by A-G Atkinson a year back kmplying that the Dems didn't have the numbers to constitute a local party suggest he may have had little choice . 

At any rate, with the Libs trailing too far behind for anything but a landslide to put them in office, these two are the most likely to have a strong influence in a new government.  The catch is that they're going to have to help other indies over the line as well.  Giving representatives of disaffected local communities a second-preference ticket was a clever move on Winterlich's part, but unless he does more to support them before we go to the polls, he might be perceived as only engaging in local activities for the purose of self-benefit- do or die kinda stuff if you ask me.

Rann's saying he expected the Newspoll results, but won't comment on the increased level of dissatisfaction in his Premkership... hmm, I wonder why.

However, this is only a Newspoll, with all the tricks that these can contain.  If you're careful who you ask, you can get any answer you wish for. 

A nice design

Good God, Richard!

When I mentioned a "hung" parliament, I meant just about all of them except for those two.

But am greatful for your fill-in on them.  Am too prone to searching for new messiahs, and we have to remember they ( indies,etc, ) operate outside of the stifling conformity of the bigger parties.

 A token democracy?

South Oz Shennanigans

A-G Atkinson has been actinig like a cyberbully, violating local Ministerial Codes of Conduct, not to mention Facebook protocols.  He's used the St Clair page to publish an address of a troublesome constituent (her car was subsequently broken into) and to threaten those who don't like him with legal action.  

His claims that the blogosphere is an evil place caused such an uprising that he had to announce a repeal of his law on compulsory name and postcode comments for any comment made on the net about the SA election.  How was he going to enforce this anyway?  Then there's been his comments of being more afraid of video gamers than bikers.  Mick's been very quiet lately, no doubt hoping that everyone will forget his bejhaviour over the next three weeks.  He won't be allowed to, and 8 years of A-G-ship and 20 years as an MP might soon be history due to his recent national self-portrayal as possibly being a couple of sheep short in the top paddock.

Rann's kept a lovely trick up his sleeve, apparently in violation of laws regarding use of govt dept funds as campaign tools.  He's opening his new tram and live music venue on Wednesday, halfway through the campaign, and it would seem he's kept the number of women attending as low as possible to ensure Michelle doesn't get a chance to show up.

For a Premier known as Media Mike, who's run such a careful campaign for nearly a decade, recent months have been disastrous. No matter what good or bad he's carried out while in office, the public perception that he, his A-G and his Treasurer are not trustworthy might well be enought to topple his government.

Treasurer Foley?  His faux pas was to use his claims of suffering from clinical depression and loneliness as a sympathy card.  Maybe he shouldn't have accompanied the story with a photo of himself on the top deck  of a multi-million dollar speedboat.  True, the deckrailings were cropped before it was transferred from the local Murdoch site to paper, but the damage had been done.

On the day that Rann and the US Deputy for Defence opening the new naval dockyard, the story was blown away by a photo of Michelle on the front page of the Advertiser.  Did I laugh?  Did I what!

Make them wear burquas

Make them wear burquas (the women).

They all look the same with a bag shoved over their heads, don't they?

 As for the government and others, had they been prepared to come clean earlier as to all facets of this sort of development, they wouldn't be having to explain themselves now.

But we know now that St Clair is just one example of an aggressive development at all  costs mentality and that fear for jobs fuels complicity from the public for this sort of aggressive behaviour.

Never mind, at least the trains might run on time now...



Reported recently in MLC David Winterlich's site, news that the Charles Sturt council refused to acknowledge that the land swap concerning St Clair parks and the old industrial site being swapped for it, altho the St Clair land is valued at $16 mill, compared to $ 4million for the unremediated land the People of Charles Sturt get in return.

I am revolted at the party I voted for so long and the local member I once trusted.

Welcome to NSW, fellow Crowies.

jiving talk

If you want to find out what others feel about loosely the sort of thing that bugs me, can commend two fine articles in Fairfax, one from Ken Davidson and one from Michael Epis on a variation of a theme. 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 12 weeks 6 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 days ago