Loyalty is a splendid thing

It has been a long time since I wrote a serious post; many troubles have beset me, both in keeping this blog empire functioning, and away from the screen as well. Be that as it may, a serious post is in order lest this blog become known as the Daily Mark Bahnisch.

The Left might have lost the elections in 2004, but they are in danger of winning the blogs, and it is past time order was restored, at least in Armadillo terms.

****


How about De-Anne Kelly? The Member for Dawson seems to have come a cropper and got caught with her pants down big-time. If you missed it, Hugo Kelly for Crikey.com.au reported this week:

To recap, in the past week it has been revealed:

* Her adviser (and former Bjelke-Petersen press secretary) Ken Crooke was hopelessly conflicted when lobbied the A2 Milk company for a multi-million dollar grant, while being employed in her office;
* Her hubby has been outed as Svengali in her office, even holding a Parliament House email account, against guidelines. A confession had to be drawn out of her on that one;
* And now she’s been revealed as either incompetent or worse by issuing a slew of letters announcing pork barrelling under her old letterhead as a parliamentary secretary, well after she was sworn into her new job as a minister.

She’s not the Messiah, the Member for Dawson is a very naughty girl.

The Prime Minister, it may be fairly said, is not generally noted with the qualities of compassion or mercy. Certainly, his critics charge him with a severe lack of both. This is most unfair. John Howard, once again, has displayed remarkable mercy to a lady in Parliamentry distress. In fact, a review of his conduct since 1998 has shown the Prime Minister to be one of the most compassionate men in the nation, with the mercy he has shown to Ministers in distress.

Matt Price noted Ms Kelly’s bad week in the House:

De-Anne Kelly’s woeful defence of her administration of the regional partnership “pork rorts” program buoyed Labor. Latham’s relentless focus on Kelly revealed a shaky, uncertain rookie minister with limited parliamentary skills. Her sins — a clerical error and failure to attain clearance for a staff member — are not hanging offences but Kelly’s pitiful self-defence boosted caucus spirits and revealed her to be a fragile and vulnerable minister.

In fact, the Prime Minister’s compassion and mercy have absolutely nothing to do with his charitable feelings towards Ms Kelly. I suspect these amount to precisely zero, given Ms Kelly’s past.

The Member for Dawson has been one of the most intractable MP’s on the government side of the House since her election in 1996. While most MP’s from the National Party have been as loyal and obedient as their Liberal counterparts, Ms Kelly has never been afraid to speak out against the government when the interests of her consituents, or her holding onto her seat, have been threatened.

For Ms Kelly lives in Queensland, and her outspokeness is a natural response to the threat of One Nation and rural Queensland populism. Her accession to the Ministry is designed to tame her outbursts, and to keep her inside the tent.

The Prime Minister’s loyalty is designed to keep her in the tent. With a Senate majority looming, the last thing he wants is for Queensland National Party MP’s to resume their habits of independence of mind, thought and vote.

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Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“Be that as it may, a serious post is in order lest this blog become known as the Daily Mark Bahnisch.”

Which God forfend!

“The Left might have lost the elections in 2004, but they are in danger of winning the blogs, and it is past time order was restored, at least in Armadillo terms.”

Here’s an extract from my forthcoming Troppo (auto)bio which will appear when Ken rejoins the online world:

“Something of a libertarian morphing into a social democrat with a preference for non-statist solutions, (Mark) embodies the Troppo ethos of faux centrism principally by liking his political debate to be reasoned but passionate. ”

So, there, Scott!

Seriously, nice to see some other Armadillos wagging their tales the last couple of days. It was getting pretty lonely posting here at this group blog…

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

ps – re Mrs Kelly.

“For Ms Kelly lives in Queensland, and her outspokeness is a natural response to the threat of One Nation and rural Queensland populism.”

Her closeness to B. A. Santamaria’s National Civic Council (which may be in the past but it was reputedly there in the past from what I heard from some NCC and Nat people about a decade ago) may also be a factor as well as her Queenslandism.

Robert
2022 years ago

Scott wrote: “The Left might have lost the elections in 2004, but they are in danger of winning the blogs…”

That made me laugh, because it reminded me of the League of Gentlemen:

GEOFF: Who wants to see things finally going in my favour for a change, ladies and gentlemen? Because in ’87, both our mums got really ill at roughly the same time. Mine, thank God, she got better, but yours died, didn’t she, Mike? Didn’t she?

MIKE NODS, UPSET AT THIS RECOLLECTION.

GEOFF: Yeah! Your mum died… and mine didn’t. I won that! At least I won the mums!

Robert
2022 years ago

Oh, God. I’ve just realised how terribly insensitive that post might have been, given your mum’s illness, Scott. I hope you’re not offended, and that you’ll delete the post if you are.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

Not familiar with that movie, alas Robert.

So, De-Ann is one of Santa’s Little Helpers? That explains a bit! I did not know that one.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

No offence taken Robert. These things happen. She would have enjoyed the joke.

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2022 years ago

De-Anne is lucky Howard has given up sacking ministers.

I think you’ll find that when Tim Fischer retired 5 years ago De-Anne made a deliberate move to get inside the tent. She’s not dumb and stays very closely in touch with her electorate. Maybe she can come good. Ian Mcfarlane started as a bumbling idiot IMHO. In the week becfore the Tampa showed up he had five different stories about what happened to some electoral funds. He survived and now is probably not the worst minister.

De-Anne and hubbie have been a working team for yonks with her as the front person. I guess you can say that she doesn’t fit the mould too well, nor does her MO.

C.L.
2022 years ago

If Ken Crooke is conflicted, that means – ipso facto – that just about every Labor staffer in Parliament House should resign forthwith.

Most of them worked for multi-million dollar outfits with an interest in political outcomes and a desire to lobby for what they want.

Ex-union staffers, in other words.

Applying the Crooke Principle (heh – I like the sound of that), none can act impartially in relation to a multitudinous array of government decisions.

Hey Mark – I was a student Grouper once: albeit one who put in an appearance before getting smashed on Friday nights. Met Mr Santamaria once at Monash. A great and humble man.

Re your NCC point: please expline.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

My point or Scott’s re the NCC, CL? All I know is that Ms Kelly used to attend meetings of several NCC front groups (ie Defence, Family) but that wouldn’t be unknown for Qld Nats – vide Boswell and Barnaby Joyce. Student groupers certainly claimed her as one of Santamaria’s… It probably has no significance at all – unless Tony Abbott’s a mentor. What is going on is that Howard is unwilling to lose a Minister and/or his code of conduct is a joke, depending on your perspective.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

ps – I can imagine you as a student Grouper, CL. In my experience the Groupers and the Nats were much better company than the Young Libs (with a few exceptions…).

Oh, and one day I should tell the odd tale of the Labor affiliated NCC splinter group the Industrial Action Fund, which in the early 90s was close to ex-CPA AWU members, and operated out of a building in Annerley (just up the road from the notorious Buranda Soviet). But I’m bound by horrible oaths of secrecy to the Blessed Virgin…

C.L.
2022 years ago

Mark:

My comparison with union staffers was for Scott.

The further-info on NCC request was for you.

On both questions – just curious.

Nic White
2022 years ago

Heh, Rob this reminds me of this post:
http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/008152.php

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

You’re wasted on just doing sports commentary, Scott.

Go on, feel the wind beneath yer wings.

Tony.T
2022 years ago

Wasted doing sports?!?

Good Lord, man! Do you realise what you’re saying? Stop it.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

Mark says “What is going on is that Howard is unwilling to lose a Minister and/or his code of conduct is a joke, depending on your perspective.”

Howard would normally drop Kelly like a hot potato- but Howard is sticking by her so that he can saddle up to potential dissident Nat senators in 2005 and beyond. He can point to how he’s stood behind one of their own and now they need to return the favour. Smart cookie, that PM.

Tony, he did say ‘just sports’ he’s not asking me to give up :D

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Do you reckon, Scott? From memory, the last Minister tossed overboard was Tuckey and he really had got himself into a mess. How many Ministers since the first term has Howard actually sacked?

One other thing going on might be the paucity of talent in the Nat ranks in the HoR. I really don’t know whether Anthony was any good, but after his losing his seat, they don’t seem to have too many plausible candidates for the front bench.

A number of commentators also noticed that most of the defence of Kelly was from Nats (Anderson, McGauran) and the Libs weren’t particularly going out of their way to dig her out of her hole. Costello spent much more time crowing about the Labor leadership.

So I daresay you are onto something with the Nats thing – but I still wonder in what circumstances Howard would have dumped her.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

Howard knows that to sack her would be to allow the ALP to go into the Christmas break in good cheer at having a victory in Parliament; he would like to sack her but does not want to give the ALP a victory to do it.

Howard has a long memory and some of Kelly’s statements in the past would have grated on him; but Howard plays for the long term.

CL makes a point about union staffers; but we all know that conservative governments are held to a higher standard then the ALP. So they should be; Australia deserves better standards of government.

saint
2022 years ago

“Most of them worked for multi-million dollar outfits with an interest in political outcomes and a desire to lobby for what they want.

Ex-union staffers, in other words.”

What’s the difference between ex-union staffers and ex-staffers of employer associations? or the NFF? Or the AMA. Or….?

C.L.
2022 years ago

Touche Scott.

C.L.
2022 years ago

Touche Scott.

C.L.
2022 years ago

Saint: None. Congrats.

Robert
2022 years ago

The difference here is that Crooke was not really a former lobbyist. Although he had cancelled his formal contract, he still turned up at a meeting between his (supposedly) former colleagues with the Qld Govt, handed over a business card as a lobbyist, and participated in discussions. Not long afterwards, his new boss threw cash at the company he had supposedly cut ties with.

Tony.T
2022 years ago

No, I meant he obviously has a low opinion of sports. That’s just not right. It’s wrong.

No matter how stupid sports is. And most of it’s pretty damn stupid.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

Oh, I took it to mean he wanted more of my writings, not just sport.

Niall
Niall
2022 years ago

Might be a ‘rightie’ post, Scott, but the news is all good for the Left.

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2022 years ago

My sources tell me that the local reaction around Central Qld is strongly in support of De-Anne. Undoubtedly she played a bit fast and loose, but it is seen as pretty trivial and stemming from Labor desperately trying to find distractions.

Fundamentally, I am told, De-Anne’s seat is marginal at best for the conservatives, but De-Anne has made it safe. So while not denying other theories of Howard’s motivation, why would he upset the locals?

De-Anne could have unloaded on him or spat the dummy when Howard sold out the sugar farmers in the US FTA. She took it on the chin and supported him. So maybe he owes her one.