Victorian Labor: trashing public trust

The following article from Spectator Australia

As Victorians head to the polls this Saturday they’re deciding much more than who controls the state’s finances for the next four years.

They’ll be charting the immediate course of integrity, honesty, and trust in public administration in Australia’s second most populous state. (One in four Australians live in Victoria.) Voters should pause and consider what this means.

Amongst the storm of puerile political messaging thrown at voters in the last three weeks (from both sides) – sparing a thought for integrity in government might sound a bit lofty for mum and dad voters in the inner west, north, south, or outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. For first-time voters, the concept of public integrity will likely be entirely foreign. It shouldn’t be.

Consider the facts.

The Premier of eight years (20 in the Parliament) claims the future for taxpayers will be better. Drawing from the most basic of manipulation playbooks, political leaders encourage punters to focus only on the future.

To focus on the past or the present would be to draw attention to the manifest failings of Labor’s two terms in government and the dominance of Labor over the last two decades in the state. We are worse off, not better, for the 96 months this government has presided over public administration. Our standard of living is lower than it was when they came to office, our health is worse, our taxes are higher, and our services have diminished. It will continue to get worse if Daniel Andrews remains in office. Debt and deficit will swamp the state’s ability to recover.

We will come to Premier Andrews’ reputation in a moment. For now, let’s focus on the Victorian government’s standing with voters. Whether we think of factional or sub-factional brawling inside the union-controlled ventricles of the party, or reports of Labor branch stacking, or the cavalier sacking of ministers by the Premier, or the nepotism in senior appointments across the public service, police, and associated government entities – there is sound reason to be worried.

We saw what this government is capable of during the six gruelling Covid lockdowns resulting in so much dislocation, heartache, and of course death.

Victorian voters will not approach the ballot box with confidence that Labor has their backs. On what possible grounds might people reach the view that four more years of Daniel Andrews’ Labor is in their or the state’s interests?

Most Australians are trustworthy people intent on believing in the integrity of the institutions they rely upon. Government departments (health, education, transport) police, energy utilities, and local community services funded by government are important. In rural and regional Victoria these services are vital to social cohesion and wellbeing. These services are not stronger for Labor’s oversight – they are weaker.

The Victorian Labor government, under the spurious Daniel Andrews, has circumvented democratic processes and left many of our cherished public institutions in a parlous state. As everyone knows, our public health administration and delivery systems are broken and medical professionals are ashamed of what’s happened. If Andrews is returned – it will get worse.

The crackpot ‘state electricity commission’ proposal by Andrews is nothing more than a distraction by government strategists to take attention away from the manifest problems Victorians are facing today. Classic socialist politics. Distract, obfuscate and confuse. Whatever you do, don’t allow taxpayers to focus on what currently concerns or frustrates them.

These include clogged roads, hopelessly inadequate public transport, poor health services, dramatically declining education standards, and a massive skills shortage crisis – arguably worse in Victoria than anywhere else in the country. Is anyone wanting more of this?

Now to Andrews himself. Much has been written and said about his remarkable skills as a tactician and his staying power. Much more has been written in recent weeks, as the election approaches, about what a manipulative, unpleasant, conceited, self-satisfied, isolated individual he is. In a Cabinet of very mediocre performers – Andrews rose to the top. Andrews survived, and would only survive, in the sea that is Labor’s mediocrity.

Those people considered a threat to Labor were shown the door months ago and for the rest – they have gone along with the party line because their employment and their salaries depend on it. Those shown preferment with senior taxpayer-funded positions are presumably expected to demonstrate their loyalty.

In truth, democracy requires a government to be tested by a strong opposition. This has not been the case in Victoria and we are all now paying a heavy price. Andrews’ leadership has not been tested by a high-profile, popular opposition leader. This helps preserve Andrews’ irksome dominance of Victorian politics.

Victorian Labor is an outfit in which personal ambition, ego, and incompetence combine to form a heady mix of contempt for voters and taxpayers.

The Honourable Daniel Andrews has set the bar for what is perhaps the most dismal and dispiriting election in Victoria’s history. What is ‘honourable’ about that?

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