Cats would be aware that NSW Premier Mike Baird has resigned.
He is precisely the sort of “Liberal” that is making it easier and easier for me to not vote Liberal in state and federal elections.
The postmortems are flowing in – but this question will resonate with our political classes:
We need to question whether the political culture has become so unforgiving and so brutal that people of real talent either do not want to enter it or do not want to remain in it.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “quite the contrary”. The Australian political system isn’t brutal enough. We tolerate far too much from our politicians. The costs of failure are far too low. Mike Baird, for example, will retire on his full, and no doubt augmented, pension (or super or whatever post-employment income for politicians is called). In addition, we are told:
Baird, only 48, continues to be highly employable — if he so chooses, he can walk into a highly-paid position in the business world, particularly while his side of politics remains in power.
This is a man who tried to destroy the livelihood of thousands of his fellow citizens and an entire industry on the basis of an ABC report. Yet he gets to retire with dignity and respect and, no doubt, millions of dollars of taxpayer funds (probably well in excess of the $1.6 million everyone else is now allowed to accumulate) to comfort him in retirement.
Update: Greg Melleuish* at The Conversation:
Baird has cited personal reasons for his decision to leave politics, and one can well sympathise with him in regard to the health of his parents and sister. Public life is demanding and invariably takes a toll on the personal lives of those who participate in it.
I think we can all sympathise with individuals who have elderly and ill relatives who are in need of care. But again … there must be thousands of people who would love to pack in their jobs and immediately access a very, very generous retirement income scheme. The “little people”, however, who did retire for the same personal reasons as did Baird would have to make do and eke out a living on the carers pension.
* congratulations on the promotion.