Dangerous Political Pastimes: Sleeping With The Enemy

ENACTING CHANGE would seem the logical expectation of a new government, especially a conservative one whose inheritance from Labor would appear to be a bureaucracy and QANGO sector stacked to the hilt with plants from the Left; appeasement never works at the best of times, but providing platforms from which political enemies can spruik unhindered is political stupidity, and hardly merits any suggestion of inclusivity.

I’m back in Melbourne after my little field trip on Wednesday, but have been otherwise consumed by issues unrelated to politics and have therefore had little time to post; a reasonably quick piece this morning, to be sure, but I will be back later today and across the weekend to discuss a few other things happening at present.

I’ve read an article today from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, by Piers Akerman, that had me nodding right through to the end with increasing vigour; readers can access this piece here.

It concerns the appointment of an increasing number of Gillard-era and generally Left-inclined figures to prime sinecures from which they are effectively free to advocate whatever they like, and with whatever slant they care to put on it: Natasha Stott Despoja’s appointment to the quaint post of “Global Ambassador for Women and Girls” is a case in point.

This is the kind of claptrap-spawned “job” so beloved of the intellectual Left, and so reviled by virtually everyone outside of it: such posts achieve nothing more than to provide the appearance of “doing something” on a pet issue — in this case, the status of “wimmin” (and I put it as such deliberately) — whilst actually tokenising the very “cause” ┬áthe appointment is meant to further, and wasting more than enough taxpayer money in the process.

Akerman is right: such a role should be abolished, not perpetuated.

Similar sentiments can be expressed about Greg Combet’s appointment to advise on the situation at SPC — a company whose dalliances with Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and the union movement threaten its extinction in the same fashion GM’s manufacturing operations are set to follow those of Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Leyland from Australian shores for disturbingly similar reasons.

We have repeatedly discussed the issue in recent weeks of major Australian companies facing oblivion as a direct result of EBAs struck with the unions, and their residual effects: far from representing the solution, a figure as deeply entrenched in the trade union movement as Combet could be argued, with great credibility, as a representative of the problem.

As Akerman notes, Combet’s engagement by the (Labor) government of South Australia to argue the case in Canberra for greater government subsidy monies for Holden would seem to irreconcilably conflict him as an agent for the salvation of SPC.

And frankly, the less said about former AMA president, Howard government minister and Liberal leader Brendan Nelson the better: in the opinion of this column, the only vaguely beneficial service he has ever rendered the Liberal Party was to shoulder the poisoned job of opposition leader first-up after a shattering election defeat in 2007, leaving worthier candidates untarnished for future service.

The point is that whatever the motives of the government’s inner circle in appointing luminaries of the Left to key posts, those motives are misguided at best and downright idiocy at worst.

For those who even needed to learn the lesson of the past six years at all, the Left does not operate in a spirit of inclusion and bipartisanship when it comes to its enemies: it seeks to destroy them, openly or behind the scenes, and it certainly doesn’t provide them with taxpayer-funded soap boxes from which to bite the hand that feeds them.

Aside from anything else, a lot of these appointments are to bodies and posts that are ripe for abolition as the new government hunts, line by line, through the Commonwealth accounts for savings to fix the disastrous mess bequeathed it by the ALP.

Either way, the Left has an ample contact book of ready advocates at the ABC, Fairfax and elsewhere, all of whom stand ready and willing to do its bidding before a mass audience. It doesn’t need to be gifted freebies by a conservative government — not least when most of the recipients of such largesse are bent its destruction, and are unable to believe their luck.

Or that Abbott’s outfit could be so appallingly dumb.