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.