When I read Kristina Keneally, in terms of background, foundation, connection, and the way she presents, I feel we have someone who genuinely wants to make a difference. A degree in Theology with a masters thesis on feminism as the instrument of liberation, you are thinking opf someone with passion and ideals.
She must be very glad of the Ponting Crisis in the cricket, otherwise I suspect there would be some more news focus on the little fiasco that has arisen and what it means.
There is an effort on the part of Roozendaal and others to sell the grid that provides electricity to NSW for foreign owned interests. This would result in a short term cash inflow and a long term cash outflow. There is clearly a lot of opposition to such a sale, not least of which from the unions who prefer public to private ownership of utilities, as do I.
On the eve of the announcement of the sale there were a significant number of resignations from the boards of the current grid providers, who clearly are contractually restrained from providing details of the deal, or the reasons for their resignations, though to be sure it has something to do with disagreeable aspects of the sale in their eyes at least.
Barry O’Farrell indicated he favoured a committee of the Legislative Council to examine the details including the question of how much this would likely add to the cost of power for the average household in New South Wales.
All good so far and nearly open and transparent government. Mrs Keneally then announced that the Governor, Marie Bashir, had prorogued parliament. This essentially meant that parliament was suspended to allow the next election. This would normally happen between a week and a month ahead of the scheduled election, not 100 days. She also advised that she had been advised by the Crown Solicitor that committees could not carry on while parliament was prorogued, nor could such a committee offer parliamentary privilege to whose who might appear before it.
This deft political manoeuvre may seem clever, however it is flawed and fraught.
- Interestingly on the day oft he announcement Kristina had sought advice in writing from the Solicitor General. There is no suggestion that she has received such advice as yet.
- The Governor of New South Wales is highly unlikely to prorogue parliament except at the request of and on the advice from the Premier of New South Wales.
- When Charles the First prorogued parliament it led to a civil insurrection that ultimately caused his head to be severed from the rest of his anatomy in an untimely fashion.
So, I muse, whose wonderful idea was this anyway. If it was Kristina’s then it would seem to fly in the face of everything she is and everything she stands for. Was it Ben’s idea. It’s a bit more like Ben, it’s clearly a political device. Or was it Joe, Frank, Eric or Eddie’s idea, Or does this bright, no class idea, lacking integrity and light, come from the depth’s of Sussex Street.
Kristina went ahead with the idea and one imagines that she will shortly be nobody’s girl. Though I hasten to add that I hope Ben sticks with her, he is likely to have a lot more stick-ability than Sussex Street.
Initially when I caught the news I was shocked, even a little aghast. Now I am a little sad. Sad that the people of New South Wales are being treated in such a second rate fashion, and sad that our premier appears to have shed her integrity at a time when public life needs more not less of it.
It looks like Barry O’Farrell will owe a debt of gratitude to Kristina Keneally following the elections on March 26 2011. I am sure he was cranky when the announcement was made, however on reflection I suspect it will be his best Christmas Present yet.