We’re All Being Trolled
Politics, particularly within our major political parties, has always been a profession that attracts parasites and crooks, drawn to the public purse like leeches to an open wound.
One of the biggest lies we, the public, are regularly told is that it is some sort of great, hard slog to be a politician. We’re told that when someone like Philip Ruddock spends four decades in Parliament, locked up in a safe seat and guaranteed a job for life, they should be praised for their “dedication to public service”.
This is rubbish. Generally they are there because they are too incompetent to succeed in the private sector and it’s easier to sycophantically climb the ranks, stack a branch and bullshit your way through a preselection dominated by the geriatric landed gentry cowering in Sydney’s northern suburbs than it is to have a real career.
Most people don’t give a shit about politics. Surveys regularly show politicians are amongst the least trusted professions — right down there with used car salesman and journalists.
And why should people care? These days when a political story permeates the public consciousness it’s almost always self-serving bullshit at our expense. Think Tony Abbott knighting Prince bloody Philip. Bronwyn Bishop helicoptering around the country like a 15 year old kid playing GTA for the first time (except in real fucking life!). Joe Hockey being given the plum gig of Australian Ambassador to the United States, despite the fact his career and popularity peaked when he was elected President of the Sydney Uni SRC (IMO).
Philip Ruddock’s political career has always been a joke in the eyes of many, but his exit from Canberra is probably the biggest joke of all.
As Immigration Minister Ruddock gave us temporary protection visas and the Pacific Solution, policies that continue to destroy the lives of countless refugees.
As Attorney-General he explicitly outlawed same-sex marriage and civil unions.
Amnesty International was so disgusted by his behaviour they actually wrote to him and asked him to stop wearing their badge in public.
Still, despite these colossal policy fuckups that even the United Nations (we’ll come back to this) condemned, Ruddock managed to survive the apparently “cut throat” environment of modern politics, becoming Australia’s current longest serving MP.
It only started turning sour for him over the last few months, when the so-called ‘moderate’ faction of the NSW Liberal Party began publicly agitating for him to step down and make way for one of their own, Julian Leeser, the former director of a Liberal Party aligned think tank.
The situation was starting to stress out the Prime Minister, who was facing pressure internally to refresh his Parliamentary team, but Ruddock didn’t want to budge. Why he would he? He was earning a cruisy $200,000 a year, putting him right up there amongst Australia’s top 2 per cent of income earners. He didn’t have to campaign — his seat of Berowra had never been held by a non-Liberal MP.
As a backbencher all he had to do was fly down to Canberra, top up his income with a generous travel allowance of nearly $300 a day, and do whatever the Prime Minister’s Office told him. Who in their right mind is ever going to give up a gig that cruisy?
Turnbull had to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get Ruddock out of Parliament. So he did — and he trolled us all.
Ruddock, the politician condemned by Amnesty International, whose policies were condemned (and continue to be condemned) by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, has been appointed as Australia’s first Special Envoy to the United Nations for Human Rights.
In order to get himself out of a tricky internal factional fight within the NSW Liberal Party, our Prime Minister has literally made up a new taxpayer funded job, sending Ruddock to the United Nations to advocate on behalf of human rights.
Is this what “public service” means? Earn enormous sums of money compared to the average Australian by sitting in a safe seat for decades, implement policies that conflict with international law, and when finally the public think they are rid of you, announce that you’re actually being sent to New York to advocate for the one thing it was clear you despised — human rights.
What an absolute joke. The public get more and more sick of politicians with their expense scandals and jobs for mates attitude, and politicians respond by doubling down. The Ruddock situation isn’t unique, it’s what our Prime Minister did to Joe Hockey too.
As The Australian helpfully reminded us today, when breaking the news of Ruddock’s retirement/promotion, it’s actually illegal for the government to offer ‘inducements’ to politicians to convince them to retire. But there’s no problem if they are offered a sweet gig mere moments after quitting. That’s just a coincidence, apparently.
People aren’t dumb. Voter’s don’t ignore politics because they are stupid and ignorant. They ignore it because wherever you look, it’s stacked full of careerist hacks, who even when they leave, find a way to mug us and send us the bill.
Speaking of Bills, do you think our esteemed Opposition is likely to make a fuss about this? Watch them sit back and do nothing but praise Ruddock for his “dedication to the Australian public”. They voted for the same policies Ruddock has been condemned for — both on refugees and on same-sex marriage. They’re guilty of the same culture that rewards incompetence.
And that’s why the whole system is a troll. The only thing they’re really good at, the only thing they’ve really shown “dedication” to is taking the public for a ride.