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Let's honour the decent people in politics


Old Koreelah
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Yesterday Australia lost a great citizen, whose principles and integrity our politicians should aspire to. A bloke who risked (and lost) all for the greater good.

 

I had a tiny little bit in common with Jack Mundey; we both grew up on small dairy farms; we both arrived in Sydney penniless and ended up in labouring jobs. I came many years after he did, and benefited from being a member of his union, the BLF, during the Green Bans era. Four decades later, after corrupt politicians and union officials had destroyed his career and union, he came to speak at a rally against coal mining on the Liverpool Plains. This long-time communist, radical environmentalist and unionist received a standing ovation from the crowd of local farmers.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/11/jack-mundey-union-leader-and-environmental-activist-dies-aged-90

 

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/the-union-giant-who-helped-shape-the-city-of-sydney-20200511-p54rul.html

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mundey

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OK. So who is next? Thinking back it is a bit hard to remember a decent polly. There was one decent federal liberal minister from way back, but I forget his name, came from Northern NSW.

Another I forget was the bloke who became premier of Qld and got rid of Joh. Another a doctor with a Welsh name.

Oh how the years have hidden the key to the filing cabinet of my memories.

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OK. So who is next? Thinking back it is a bit hard to remember a decent polly...

The media tend not to celebrate the honest, quiet, hard working MPs.

My local member for yonks was George Souris, who tirelessly travelled to attend so many local events throughout his huge electorate. Even when he was Finance Minister, tasked with raising the billions required to run NSW, he never showed up with an assistant, let alone an entourage. Always drove himself and sat thru interminable presentations and speeches. Unlike so many of his peers, I never saw him use one of these opportunities to make political capital for himself.

 

He worked hard to remember everyone's name and always did his best to help me, even though he knew I couldn't vote for him due to some of his party's policies.

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The media tend not to celebrate the honest, quiet, hard working MPs.

<snip>

 

How true - because there would be nothing to complain about and that would not attract the redership/viewers that a good old numpty or controversy would. And those who are genuine and not shifty/cunning often are cut down by those who are..

 

Many back bench MPs work tirelessly in their electorate and are unsung heroes...

 

I met this bloke when he was member of Glenhunlty: Gerard Vaughan (Australian politician) - Wikipedia; He seemed to spend most of his time with the little people; he seemed a doer, not a political equivelant of a philanderer... I lived next door to Joan Child, Australis's first female speaker of the House of Representatives, who also worked tirelessly for her constituency.

 

Of the more noted po;ll;ies, although despised during his tenure as PM, post his tenure (when he could keep his trousers on), Malcolm Fraser seemed to be the political equivalent of a born again Christian, seeking to do more good than harm. Bob Hawke - I thought he worked hard for betterment than his own gain... Sid Spindler for the Aussie Democrats used to resonate with me with his "do the simple things right" apporach.. Bob Brown from the Greens seemed integral and practical..

 

There are many in the background and a few in the spotlight.. unfortunately, overshadowed by those in the spotlight who are oddballs..

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The problem with politics & religion is not the hard working back bencher/local priest, who may just have a vocation for helping his fellow beings (I am still sceptical) but those that rise to or near the top. Almost always people who feel they are "called" and have a right to be there. Inherently corrupt, in that they will do almost anything to get that top job, hold it and materially benefit from it for as long as they can. These are the face of politics & religion,not the little person beavering away in the background.

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The problem with politics & religion is not the hard working back bencher/local priest, who may just have a vocation for helping his fellow beings (I am still sceptical) but those that rise to or near the top. Almost always people who feel they are "called" and have a right to be there. Inherently corrupt, in that they will do almost anything to get that top job, hold it and materially benefit from it for as long as they can. These are the face of politics & religion,not the little person beavering away in the background.

 

There's been a lot of people on both sides of politics proven to be corrupt and use their position for material gain.

 

Having said that though, for a position of such responsibility they don't get paid all that much (compared to the private sector). The PM's salary for instance would be a tenth of some CEO positions - yes they have a fantastic pension plan with more perks than they possibly deserve, but in terms of materially benefiting from the position many of them would get far more in the private sector.

Turnbull was a prime example, he actually donated over a million to the LNP which was well over his salary as PM. As another example Bob Brown actually donated a large proportion of his salary to worthy causes (quite unlike donating to the LNP!) and lived very simply.

 

I think idealism/ideology does motivate many of them - some like Brown I can applaud, others like Palmer & Hanson do it for their own much darker reasons, but in both cases I don't think they're motivated by the direct material benefits of the position.

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There's been a lot of people on both sides of politics proven to be corrupt and use their position for material gain.

 

Having said that though, for a position of such responsibility they don't get paid all that much (compared to the private sector). The PM's salary for instance would be a tenth of some CEO positions - yes they have a fantastic pension plan with more perks than they possibly deserve, but in terms of materially benefiting from the position many of them would get far more in the private sector.

Turnbull was a prime example, he actually donated over a million to the LNP which was well over his salary as PM. As another example Bob Brown actually donated a large proportion of his salary to worthy causes (quite unlike donating to the LNP!) and lived very simply.

 

I think idealism/ideology does motivate many of them - some like Brown I can applaud, others like Palmer & Hanson do it for their own much darker reasons, but in both cases I don't think they're motivated by the direct material benefits of the position.

 

Gain can not be measured by remuneration alone - POWER is the ultimate goal and corrupter.

For most people once you have sufficient money to live in reasonable comfort, it ceases to be a motivator in itself. Other factors like social standing, power to make important decisions take over.

There will always be exceptions to any observation/rule, Turnbull is not one of them - his donations were to "buy" his way in/to the top.

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No. Not Rob Borbridge, from memory the man I am thinking of was Brian someone. I will have to look him up. Whoever he was he would not have to be real good to stand out in the others of his time. Russ Hinze, minister for everything. Another who ended in jail.

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No. Not Rob Borbridge, from memory the man I am thinking of was Brian someone. I will have to look him up. Whoever he was he would not have to be real good to stand out in the others of his time. Russ Hinze, minister for everything. Another who ended in jail.

 

There was Brian Austin, one of the ones involved in getting rid of Joh. But he was never Premier; he went to jail after the Fitzgerald inquiry. You might be thinking of Mike Ahern. He was the one who took over the Premier's job from Joh. I always thought he was a fairly straight shooter in politics.

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Agree, @Old Koreelah, but as they are predominantly privately owned and even Auntie's employees have to justify themselves somewhat to ratings, it is us, the general public who like to bay (bey?) for blood that drive what the media provide us with... No good providing us with stuff we are not interested in. Of course, they may help in determining our tastes.. chicken and egg.. but the collective we have a choice to reject their carp.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Surely Lies and damage done to the Country should be deducted from the points for eligibility? . After all, anyone can be the POTUS and the Australian PM has to heal stab wounds in the back, like terminator or arrive later to avoid the real action. Did Murdoch get an award? IF you cut out the middlemen, he's the one doing it. Giving Australia Awards to Pollies is risky if you care about the VALUE of said award. I'm NOT as disparaging of ALL pollies as many, BUT giving it to RICHO confuses me. Nev

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Yes Mike Ahern. My memory is slipping, I used to know who they all were.

Now I hear that ex PM Tony Abbot has been given the top award in Queens birthday honours.

It make the honours list a bit of a mockery. Then add Bronwyn Bishop to the list and it really means nothing. Go back a few years and we had an Indonesian military general given an OAM.

I don't say they are useless, but the top order are all politically motivated and suspect in my opinion.

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I think a lot of those awards are a bit of a joke. One of the best was Obama's Nobel Peace Prize; it even embarrassed Obama himself. He got elected, made a couple of speeches saying he was gunna do this and gunna do that, and gunna bring peace. So they gave him the Peace Prize for saying he was going to do something good, as opposed to some that have received it for actually doing something good. On the day they gave it to Obama, the Nobel Prize lost credibility forever.

 

Ditto with some of our gongs. Some might go to deserving people and some are a bit hard to justify. No doubt Abbott has a long history of public service, but I'm not sure he's top gong material.

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