Cory Bernardi is probably the first Australian front-bencher sacked for what he wrote on his blog. We suppose that’s not as bad as getting your secretary pregnant, conflicts of interest or attempting to smuggle in a colour television but notable enough.
Turnbull sacked the Liberal’s spokesperson, who was Parl Sec Bill Shorten’s opposite number, after giving the South Australian every chance to withdraw his non-name-specific attack on Christopher Pyne as being politically unprincipled. VEXNEWS sources had this morning indicated to us that the Leader would be profoundly annoyed about Bernardi’s commentary and they were once again vindicated.
The Liberal Right-winger Bernardi’s refusal to withdraw the commentary and apologise for making it shows that he is a man of principle, albeit an unreasonable one. It certainly reveals the depths of his hatred of the more left-leaning Pyne and does not augur well for factional stability in SA.
And to think Pyne recruited him. Talk about blowback.
Also, it is interesting that Pyne’s defence today was to make the point that even as a no doubt precocious and annoying child, Pyne was handing out Tory HTVs in the 1970s when ALP Premier Don Dunstan’s pink hot-pants were all the rage. An understandable reaction to the hot-pants.
But it’s – as we say in the business – a non-denial denial. It doesn’t deny that he said his desire to be in politics was what drove him not an ideological disposition. It’s hardly the most scandalous admission, it’s common enough. There are only a few who join parties who have the strength to carry the baggage of unbreakable belief in anything. We can think of very of them in Parliament and of that small group, there’s hardly one that is doing well at climbing the greasy pole.
You’ve got to be flexible to the point of being a lithe Romanian gymnast to do well in the politics caper.
For example, there’d be many an ex-government adviser from the Hawke era now in Parliament whose free markets rhetoric is somewhat toned down now. K-Rudd is just one of them.
At VEXNEWS we can afford the luxury of favouring markets over bureaucrats every time, the certainty of sharing Tony Abbott’s concern about unaffordable aged pensions increases, the indulgence of questioning whether it’s possible to successfully spend your way out of a recession and the righteousness of not worrying about the next election but about the next generation.
With three year federal terms (should be five) and voters who gratefully lap up every hand-out with glee, Australia is getting – and has always got – the politicians we deserve.
It’s not their fault, it’s ours.
In case he is ultimately prevailed upon to remove it, we’ll put his full posting on here:
Cory’s Comment – Why Politics?
Following on from yesterday’s comment, many readers have contacted me asking about the events and motivations for my own political involvement. I’ll share a couple of recollections with you now.
I was always politically aware and remember as a fourteen year old speaking with then Prime Minister Bob Hawke on Adelaide radio lamenting the ability for young people to participate in political debate.
A few years later I left school and joined the Liberal Party at the invitation of a ‘wannabe’ MP. He was later successful in achieving his ambition (without any assistance from me I might add).
This was nearly 23 years ago and I have been involved with the Liberal Party ever since.
However, the single biggest motivator for me to get really involved in the Liberal organisation and ultimately to seek a position in the Senate was the result of a conversation during a round of golf.
Around fourteen years ago, I was invited by the aforementioned parliamentarian to play golf at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club where he was a member. In a wide ranging discourse the substance of our conversation eventually (inevitably?) turned to political involvement.
In response to my question of why he joined the Liberal Party the MP blithely responded: “I live in a Liberal seat so I had to be a member of the Liberal Party to get into parliament. If I lived in a Labor seat I would have joined the Labor Party”.
Frankly I was aghast at this response. Where was the conviction, the beliefs, the values that I believe should motivate our political leaders? Several follow up questions disclosed that the only motivationÂ for his own political involvement was for him to become Prime Minister.
Now I am all for ambition, but ambition in the absence of passion, purpose and belief is dangerous and anathema to me.
The result of this conversation was that I resolved then and there to no longer be a passive member of the political process. I wanted to engage in the battle of ideas and advocate for the values that I think are important.
Initially this was done through the organisation as State President and Federal Vice President of the Liberal Party, but it is a battle I continue today in my current role as Senator for South Australia.
Whether people agree with my views or not and whatever their political allegience, I respect those whose argument is one of conviction rather than convenience.
Ultimately I hope that this is what the people of Australia respect too.