“forget politics, join ALP and your financial future is secured”
I am so lucky that I am represented in the Queensland Parliament by Anna Bligh and in the Federal Parliament by Kevin Rudd. Unfortunately, so far neither of them came to ask me what I think about their performance, even though they could easily find my address from my letters to them. Perhaps they are modest and would be embarrassed by praise.
When in 1995 Annie managed to get elected, Sunday Mail devoted to her a double-page spread. I was intrigued by her reply to the question why she had joined the Australian Labor Party. Well, she was a daughter of a single mother and if not for ‘Saint’ Whitlam, who legislated the unemployment benefits, they would both starved. That gave rise to her social consciousness. I was not surprised by the fact that a socialist is lying, after all their whole ideology is based on a lie, but by the fact that the newspaper printed such a nonsense blissfully. A lot changed since then and today nothing will surprise me. That time, in my naivete, I purchased the next issue, curious, whether the editor would, for such a howler, apologise. Or whether perhaps comrade Bligh would claim she was misquoted. No, not to this day.
In her pre-parliamentary life, Annie devoted her time to student unions, women’s rights, legal abortions, children’s rights, female refuges and, most far-sightedly, trade unions. For some time she was receiving a salary as a public servant. Somebody could say a parasite, somebody else a true party apparatchik. The workers’ Party does not have many workers in its ranks and none in its apparatus. The workers have the duty to vote the selected apparatchiks into parliaments as directed.
Today the danger that Annie or any member of her family would starve to death is thankfully past. When there was an urgent need to find a boss for the Office of Climate Change, which Annie created in the first month of her rule, it was a seemingly insurmountable problem. The frantic search for a suitable candidate lasted a few hours, when it occurred to our Annie that, after all, her husband Greg Withers is, luckily, the most qualified. The job description was as if made to measure*. Never does she forget her comrades. For the former Labor Premier Peter Beattie she created a lucrative position in the United States, making the extradition** difficult. Her former accomplice comrade Kaiser became the chief of National Broadband Network Company, where he slaves for miserable $450,000 p.a. Yes, that Mike “vote-early-and-often” Kaiser, who was in 2001 convicted of electoral fraud, who in disgrace resigned from Queensland parliament, who for a short while was even expelled from the Australian Labor party and who for even shorter while disappeared from the eyes of Queensland citizens, but surfaced in New South Wales as the Chief of Office of the Labor Premier Iemma. As soon as Annie became the Premier, recycled Mike returned to Queensland to the same influential and lucrative position in her Government. Some nasty people were suggesting at the time that he was rewarded for taking the main blame for the electoral scandal and protecting the more important comrades.
With all the needy mates around relying on the taxpayer’s tit the money is indeed short. Pecunia non olet and the money from Communist China in particular. Since Annie became Capo di tutti capos in September 2007 she managed to dispose of Qld Motorways, the Port of Brisbane, Forest Plantations of Qld, Abbot Point Coal Terminal and Qld Rail Freight Service. It is interesting that the socialists are so keen on privatisation of state assets, and collecting commissions in the process, the Marxist teachings suspended for the time being. One could speculate that selling the capitalist state, i.e. citizens owned assets to the corporations which are simply a front for a communist state is not really a “privatisation”, and thus represent no ideological conflict.
In response to my letter of concern Mr Andrew Fraser, the Treasurer and the Minister for Employment and Economic development assured me that the proceeds would be wisely spent on two hundred and forty kindergartens. He did not mention whether ‘halal’ or just plain flanneries.
In 1987 the bosses of the Queensland ALP sold their radio station 4KQ, when they finally realised that “their” Australian Broadcasting Commission has been doing the same job at the taxpayers’ expense for years. The profit of $16.5 million was administered by Labor Holdings Pty Ltd so successfully that during the last ten years it was able to donate to the Queensland ALP $25 million. In addition the company, in 2007, gave $4.5 million to the then Rudd dominated Federal ALP, which represented a quarter of its admitted electoral budget.
Labor Holdings holds shares in about forty companies, including Suncorp-Metway, BHP Billiton, Wesfarmers, Campbell Bros, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) and Woolworths. CSL received an order for swine flu vaccine from the Federal Labor Government to the tune of $120 million. A friend in need is a friend indeed, especially when the taxpayers provide. It could also occur to some suspicious soul that the likelihood of a trade union fighting for better wages and working conditions of, say, Woolworths’ employees is minimal. A success could mean that the dividends would be lower, i.e. monies for ALP electoral campaign would be less; and who would then protect those employees, if not ALP?
In July 2009 Tony Fitzgerald QC, (a judge of Federal Court of Australia, president of The Commission of Inquiry into Official Corruption in Queensland, a judge of Supreme Court of Queensland, a judge of Supreme Court of NSW). He said, inter alia, referring to Labor Queensland: “Access can now be purchased, patronage is dispensed, mates and supporters are appointed and retired politicians exploit their political connections to obtain “success fees” for deals between business and government.” Very strong words from a judge. To the best of my knowledge, neither Annie nor any of her “mates and supporters” asked Mr Fitzgerald to produce evidence. I guess very wisely in all the circumstances. Based on my personal experiences I would consider it extremely unlikely that Tony Fitzgerald would say something like that without concrete evidence.
My friend the economist, who specialised in state finances and had at one stage unusually good access to the Queensland government documents, once told me, with awe in his voice, “they behave as if they held Queensland in vivendi vadium”. (In English law, a vivendi vadium was a mortgage in which lender took the rents and profits of the land in satisfaction of both the principal and interest of his loan)
Yet, one can still find people who believe that, “ALP is the only party on the side of the workers”. Thinking obviously hurts. So let’s vote for Annie in that famous-for-TV white helmet; Annie big on spin, image and jobs for mates, Annie little on achievements for ordinary citizens.
/First published in the Czech language in February, 2010, slightly altered/
*/ Her husband must be doing an excellent job and the climate must be changing for the better already. Annie would not grant him a pay-rise and make him practically un-dismissable just a few weeks before the elections otherwise, or would she?
**/ Heiner inquiry