WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?
Last week, Tony Abbott, the leader-in-waiting, backed down from a bipartisan agreement that would have gone a long way to removing the influence of "big money" from our elections. Instead of manning up and selling the agreement to the voters, this man of little leadership instead got rolled by shallow populist arguments from his own backbench. Abbott again revealed himself to be a liar and dimwit. So it's fitting we reward him with our highest elected office.
But he's no bigger a liar and dimwit then the current PM.
Think back to the first days of the Rudd Government. Kevin
'07 promised to throw open the doors to a new generation, and to harness this enthusiasm he set up a weekend "2020 Summit" to hear ideas from the best and brightest Australians.
Which were summarily disregarded and ignored - the 2020 Summit was a PR hoodwink of massive proportions. And from there began the slide into mediocrity. Otherwise called the search for "Common Sense" government.
John "Cueball" MacKenzie genuflects everytime he hears the name Paul Pisasale. Pisasale, the mayor for Ipswich, is seen by much of the community as a true leader - on this we agree. And leadership means doing the RIGHT thing, not the "politic" thing, nor the "easiest to explain" thing. "Common Sense" means common. I don't want my leaders doing the common. I want them doing the uncommon, the groundbreaking, the unique.
Cairns & Ipswich are both growing cities. Pisasale knows that one lever of growth is public spending. He knows his city won't grow if they don't have what people are looking for in a community. Jobs, housing, good roads and public transport, arts & entertainment, sport, and good public service.
As a councillor in Ipswich since 1991, Pisasale led the city into huge spending budgets, financed by debt. Debt is the lubricant in the engine of growth. Somehow somewhere, shifty politicians are now equating debt with "bad government". Big mouth Martin Tenni screams about it regularly, despite being a minister in the Joh government that spent like drunken sailors, resulting in huge growth across Queensland.
Ipswich has over $418M in debt - $1480 per resident. Cairns is carrying $102M in debt, less than $750 per resident. This is why attacks on the Val Schier council for "overspending" were baseless. We're a growing community, with growing community needs. This is what debt is for, why debt is available. If not for debt, only the top 5% would own their own homes. Australia as a country is nowhere near a dangerous amount of debt. And choking off debt means choking off the future. A dismal future in a high-growth area like Cairns.
It should be noted that Paul Pisasale did one campaign appearance in Cairns - on behalf of Val Schier, the obvious leader.
But "leadership" has been hijacked by the anti-leaders, guys like Bob "Sleepy" Manning. Over a year after an election where all sides agreed we need a new theater, Manning has failed to lead and instead lets chaos reign. And with a council that is so obviously dysfunctional, why would any state government hand over money to this place? Campbell Newman was attacked for daring to say that the Cairns CBD "looked marvelous to him". The shameful part is that two elected leaders, Bob Manning and Gavin "Don't Rape Me"
King didn't even have the cajones to disagree with the Premier. Indeed the spineless wonder that is our Member for MacKenzie Gavin King looked foolish blaming the federal government for Cairns woes - especially when he meekly rolled over as his LNP mates picked our pockets for $100M in commitments. So gutted is Gavin King now he rarely ventures out of his office and won't even take calls on the radio any longer. The opposite of a leader? A toxic Gavin King. And our federal member thinks leadership is dreaming up the most senseless expenditure of money that a few glasses of wine have lubricated into words. "Tunnel to East Trinity" and "40,000 seat rectangular stadium" are just two of these idiocies.
Joh Bjelke Newman is governing Queensland using "common sense", and he's now starting to realize how stupid and expensive that can be. "Common Sense" told him that Queensland would save lots of money by firing 14,000 public workers. Many of these jobs are now being done by temps and contract workers at much greater cost. UnSir Bob Norman used his LNP "Common Sense" to eliminate the "paper pushers" at the hospital - but they're now finding out that this paperwork is actually vital in running a health care system.
And Bob Manning has a whole council of "Common Sense" councillors who rarely challenge Manning's position, and in fact have ordered that reports to councillors be streamlined so they don't have so many details to read.
Two of our good 'ol boy Common Sense councillors are now actively engaged in sexual harassment of the female professional staff at council, keeping management busy with counseling a growing number of disaffected staff. One of these boys thought the awarding of council grants entitled him to a kiss from all the females there to accept the council support. One of them made it quite clear that she'd not be smooching this councillor, grant or no grant. It's only time before the actions of these two councillors results in sexual harassment lawsuits, according to one insider. That's if they're
We're now going into a federal election that seems to be devoid of any leadership whatsoever. Julia Gillard has already proven to be leadership-agnostic. And Tony Abbott is proving to be no better, with a devious streak to boot, and we're preparing to reward him for his lack of leadership with the expectation he might in fact have some ticker.
None of this bodes well for a 21st Century Australia.