The New South Wales Government, nominally led by Nathan Rees, is arrogant, incompetent, out of touch and willing to totally disregard the wishes of the electorate. Nothing matters so much as retaining a AAA-credit rating, even when there is little or no credit to take.
The caucus, little more than a shop-front for the Sussex Street office of the ALP state branch, took its contempt for democracy to a new level today, when former Unions NSW boss John Robertson was chosen to join the cabinet.
Robertson, a fiesty character who engineered the Your Rights At Work campaign against the Howard federal government in 2005-06 and led the electricity anti-privatisation campaign that ultimately brought down Morris Iemma and Michael Costa last year, has been brought into the tent for one reason above all else. In LBJ terms, it is to stopping him from being outside the tent pissing in.
He's a talented customer, more so than most of the state party hacks, but there's one big problem: he has not been elected by the public to enter parliament. He was appointed to the Legislative Council as a casual vacancy after Michael Costa spat his dummy and quit. As such, he comes up for a public election at the conclusion of Costa's term in 2011. The same time, incidentally, that state treasurer Eric Roozendaal faces his first Legislative Council election.
Accountability to the people? What's that?