Monday, January 30, 2017

NSW Ministry: Entrenched corruption in NSW politics

There is nothing more marvelous or madder than real life. 
— E. T. A, Hoffmann, born around this date in 1776

Nothing surprises any more about the depths to which NSW politics can sink. That is the only possible explanation for the rather subdued media reaction to the most recent revelations before the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The media has seen it all before on both sides of politics Entrenched corruption

... Mr Shoebridge said it was "extraordinary" councils were agreeing to multi-million dollar contracts without going to tender The IT firm cashing in on Sydney' council mergers

Four ministers dumped and a new portfolio for counter-terrorism - NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's cabinet shake-up features plenty of changes.

Senior MP Duncan Gay has lost the roads portfolio, while John Ajaka and Leslie Williams have been dropped from multiculturalism and early education respectively.

Adrian Piccoli has also lost education to former planning minister Rob Stokes, despite being widely respected in the role.
Senior NSW MPs axed, terror role created

As Ms Berejiklian prepares to ask tomorrow’s Liberal party room meeting for endorsement as leader, a whispering campaign is highlighting her close ­relationship with Left powerbroker Michael Photios. 

“She is his prized jewel,” one right-wing Liberal said. “He has finally obtained the premiership.”

Where Premier Mike Baird and his predecessor Barry O’Farrell enjoyed being free of the factions, some MPs fear a return to the John Brogden era when warring factions nearly tore the party apart How Gladys Berejiklian came to be frontrunner for the top spot 

Mr Harwin and Mr Kean were key to engineering the numbers to have Ms Berejiklian elected Liberal leader and Premier after the retirement from politics of former Premier Mike Baird.

NSW Cabinet reshuffle: Gladys Berejiklian appoints new counter terrorism minister

WHEN a 15-year-old girl from North Ryde took on the government over the closure of her high school, it began a foray into politics that would eventually hit the lofty heights of NSW premier.

Gladys Berejiklian was that eager teenager, whose interest in politics and activism started in the area she grew up during the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

One of three daughters of Armenian migrants, Ms Berejiklian and her family settled in North Ryde in 1973 when she was three.

Her father Krikor and mother Arsha still live there.

Gladys Berejiklian (bottom right), with her family outside their North Ryde home in 1980

Ms Berejiklian barely spoke English when she started at North Ryde Primary School, but learnt quickly.

The young student did well and later, at North Ryde High School on Smalls Rd, began to take interest in wider issues.

“The first issue I really became involved with in a meaningful way was in 1985 when I was 15,’’ she told NewsLocal in an earlier interview.

“The Wran Government was threatening to close down our high school and I led the student protest to keep it open.’’

The teenager staged a sit-in demonstration in the principal’s office.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with her family after the swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Sydney. Picture: AAP/David Moir
However, the school was closed and students – including Ms Berejiklian – moved to Peter Board High School. From Protester to Premier ...

Climate Change and Kristina Photios

In India, a whopping 21% of the Members of Parliament have serious criminal cases against them. Why are criminals successful in politics? Writing in the FT, David Keohane reviews Milan Vaishnava’s excellent new book, When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics.

Vaishnav’s main explanation for the continued electoral success of criminally tainted politicians is quite simple: They provide services the state does not.
In short, the state has failed to keep up with its voters’ expectations and that failure — of the rule of law along with many basic services — has allowed criminal politicians to serve in lieu of the state: providing protection, social welfare of a sort since the state makes it hard to get even a drivers license without paying a bribe, dispute resolution in the absence of a functioning court system etc. As Vaishnav says, the corrupt politician becomes “the crutch that helps the poor navigate a system that gives them so little access” in the first place….
In no time, Dagdi Chawl became ground zero for Mumbai’s notorious underworld. From his fortress-like compound, Daddy dispensed patronage, protection, and even justice to local residents. Journalists who came to interview Gawli wrote of the hundreds of men and women — unemployed youth, ageing widows, aspiring gangsters, and established politicians — who queued up on a daily basis in front of the iron gates of Gawli’s compound just for a few minutes of face time in the hopes of being showered with Daddy’s munificence. They came seeking building permits, ration cards, welfare payments, employment — a things the state was meant to provide but was either unable or unwilling to.
So, “a reputation as a matabhare (literally, ‘heavy handed’) person is considered to be an asset” in India because the state is so absent in so many ways.