Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A pitiful state or an effing shame?

The state of NSW is currently the largest economic unit in Australia. On population and other statistics it should be, but given the appalling lack of political talent across the spectrum it might well sink to second, or worse.

Prime Minister Rudd must despair at times over the political albatross represented by his Labor state counterparts, particularly the NSW lot. In fact I’m certain if I were Prime Minister I would be far happier that the states should be in the hands of various other parties.

At present NSW is led by an ineffectual compromise, and is suffering from the lack of real leadership. Not that there aren’t potential leaders on the Labor or Liberal/National teams; it’s just that the body politic in the state is too busy trying to pull itself to pieces to actually present a unified ticket.

The latest impasse came when potential Labor leader (dream on) John Della Bosca bit the bullet over a sex scandal. Sorry, sex scandals aren’t life and death in this country. It might well have been the last straw, but then the underlying issues which made it so aren’t easily apparent. Well, unless we consider how desperate Labor caucus members must be to block rather than build.

I’m no Della Bosca fan, but there are few in the state Labor ranks I would support. Sadly the problem is as deep for the conservative opposition. The junior partner, the National Party, would be shot out of pure compassion if it were a horse. The Liberals are torn between genuine Liberal ideals and ultra Christian conservative.

Liberal leader O’Farrell is a decent bloke, but then how often do decent people actually achieve strong leadership? O’Farrell is flat out putting out party fires to develop the sort of platform he needs to gain traction, a platform a majority of his party might accept. Even if he can hold on and win the next election by default it would soon be stolen from him.

On the Labor side Rudd is powerful enough to step in, but at what cost to him. If he does and it goes wrong it’s his problem. If he does and it goes right then a strong state Labor government in NSW might also become his problem. I’m sure Kevin prays for a Liberal miracle.

There are good decent people on both sides, just too few in either camp to make a difference. In the meantime NSW is desperate for sound stable leadership and there is no real answer in sight. As for the common nick name – the ‘Bear Pit’ – after Della’s triumph, it perhaps just be called a f*cking shame.

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