Another one bites the dust

Cats would be aware that NSW Premier Mike Baird has resigned.

Good.

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.

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75 Responses to Another one bites the dust

  1. Scavenger

    Means Test their pensions, like the rest of us. Oh, and no access to early super either.

  2. Mother Lode

    OK, so I hear the new Premier will be Gladys. The one O’Farrell pointedly told the ABC to pass the mic to after they had promised that he would be speaking directly to her on his election night.

    She seems to have done a pretty competent job in Transport, and as treasurer has done as well as a person might considering the unslakable thirst for taxes all governments seem to have (except Trump, right srr?)

    These were a matter of applying policies. What are her beliefs, however. She has got to be better than that prudish-old-aunt-with-a-secret-gin-habit that was Baird.

    But better than Baird does not necessarily mean good.

  3. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspeeklike

    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

    Why not? Worked for Julia Gilliard and the live cattle ban.

  4. RobK

    “We tolerate far too much from our politicians. The costs of failure are far too low.
    No argument from me contra to that. The lack of budgetary discipline is woeful in every government around the country. The punters have become addicted to the largess.

  5. stackja

    Mike Baird saw the Orange by-election result and decided to quit.
    He can afford to quit. Many in Australia cannot. Voters must demand more accountability.

  6. jupes

    We tolerate far too much from our politicians.

    And even more from our public ‘servants’, the majority of whom are far-left loons.

    Far too many of them even get paid more than the PM and Premiers.

  7. TP

    Baird & Turnbull are peas in a pod. Just vote Labor & save us your bullshit.

  8. .

    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

    He’s not an adult. He’s a teenage social justice warrior.

  9. Delta

    Well said. I totally agree.

  10. John64

    Baird = Turnbull.

    Hopefully Lord Waffleworth takes the hint.

  11. Myrddin Seren

    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.

    There is nothing so unemployable as an ex-Liberal politician.

    They have no Maaates and bruvvers to apply leverage and business is agnostic. Hire ex-Labor to avoid payback and keep in good – sure thing. Ex-Liberal – CV straight in to the recycling bin.

  12. Mother Lode

    Indeed Myrddin, and having to perform within the financial constraints of the private sector, without an inexhaustable supply of OPM, renders them pretty useless.

    When an ALP pollie becomes available they get snapped up for their contacts and corruption being their first language. Sure as hell isn’t their organisational or managerial ability.

  13. miltonf

    Well said Sinc. And didn’t constituents elect him to represent them for four years (presuming he’s going straight away)? Yes the attack on the working classes with his greyhound ban was a new low.

  14. john constantine

    Try being in small business and missing a bas or two, or a compliance form or two or a census or a council election because you are running the business and full time caring for terminally ill parents, you soon discover the system demands that the important thing is regulation and compliance paperwork backed up by the full crushing power of the state.

    If baird is going to move his parents into his house to look after them, good on him. Otherwise.. what is really going on?.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    If baird is going to move his parents into his house to look after them, good on him.

    Heh – of course not. It is a rubbish excuse. But at the same time lets not not forget that the situation is difficult.

  16. WolfmanOz

    Well said Mr Davidson.

    The day politicians are subject to the same ‘rules’ as us ‘little’ people will be a day most welcome, but I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime.

  17. Candy

    It seems a decision made under tremendous stress. You wonder whether he may have been a little hasty and worn out by worry and lack of sleep.

  18. Cannibal

    eck

    eke ?

    When my ill parents needed some help, I took some leave, after which I and my workplace expected me to get back to work (which at the time was pretty stressful). Baird sooks in front of the cameras and gets to take early retirement – because he’s so important. Important enough to break the trust of voters who thought he’d be there for the full term.

    [yes, thank you. Sinc]

  19. Cannibal

    It seems a decision made under tremendous stress. You wonder whether he may have been a little hasty and worn out by worry and lack of sleep.

    Yeah, that’s such an isolated situation these days. /sarc

  20. Eddystone

    Cats would be aware that NSW Premier Mike Baird has resigned.

    Good.

    Unfortunately he will be replaced by another politician, so no real change.

  21. H B Bear

    If public life is so tough why are so many talentless party and union hacks crawling over each other to get a seat at the table? Or should that be snout in the trough?

  22. Cassie of Sydney

    Hooray, the best news I have heard since Trump won the election. Mike Baird, a total do gooder and sanctimonious fool who threw out mainstream public goodwill and popularity on the basis of a disgraceful ABC biased and shit report and who liked to toady up to inner city vegan wankers. He sowed the seeds for his own destruction. The greyhound decision and its accompanying legislation was more than a disgrace, it was totally unforgivable. Currying favour with a few vegan activists from Newtown was always going to end in tears. Latham’s description of Baird behaving like a dictator is apt. And as for “politics being brutal”, what a crock, the real brutality was in that greyhound ban.

  23. Rafe Champion

    You wonder whether he may have been a little hasty and worn out by worry and lack of sleep.

    Spare a thought for the people who were going to lose their livelihoods in the greyhound industry.
    And don’t forget his absurd stand on renewables.
    And the death of democracy through forced amalgamation of councils.
    Give credit for economic performance and the budget and most of the infrastructure projects (not the new trams to the city) but.

  24. curious george

    Baird, only 48, continues to be highly employable while his side of politics remains in power.

    Corruption oz style. That revolution is way overdue.

  25. Habib

    How is that blithering imbecile employable as anything but live bait in the pig dog training field? Politics in this dump needs to be far harsher, there should be actual consequenses for failure and over-reach. Being sold into slavery would be a reasonable start.

  26. Bear Necessities

    No one forced Baird to run for Parliament. Actually I have far less sympathy for his “brutal” comments about politics. He would of seen his father’s political career and would of observed how burtal and unforgiving it was.

    Cry me a river.

  27. H B Bear

    Before you feel too sorry for Baird don’t forget his government appointed the staff co-op’s Nice Mr Scott to the state Education Department. In a just world he would be required to report daily to Wentworth Park to be strapped to the lure as part of a State government sanctioned live bait program for eternity.

  28. Dauf

    Agree 100% with you that we are not tough enough. I think we pay too much and let them get away with bad policy, bad decisions and self interest. Supply and demand says we pay heaps. The pension/super for polls is simply disgraceful…and at least should be preserved like the rest of us and then subjected to limits and tax, like the rest of us

  29. Habib

    Public life is demanding and invariably takes a toll on the personal lives of those who participate in it. No, those who volunteer for public life are very demanding, and their vile habits, questionable morals, and ethical vacuum takes a toll on their personal lives.

    Most are unfit for organ harvesting, and species-unsuitable for vivisection.

  30. Rabz

    Don’t forget his Ethanol shenanigans.

  31. Irreversible

    Sinclair: Baird funded his budget with asset sales many were too chicken to press and overrode much NIMBY opposition to establish major improvements in NSW transport. The culture of many government departments is vastly better (notably that where one must go for licences etc and the people who run our major train stations). In fact there’s quite a long list of improvements, including especially the consolidation of local government.
    The greyhound debacle was not based on an ABC show but on a detailed report by a former High Court judge who grew up among the punters in Newcastle. The report is not easy reading.
    All the signs are now that we will go back to a rotation of faction-based Libs or faction-based Labs in government and presumably at some point another big task for ICAC.

  32. Titch

    He certainly was out of touch, and unthinking to boot. To not contact your Deputy, not even a simple text, was rude, and unprofessional. Latham’s evaluation of him as the state’s dictator is very apt. Like most modern Liberals, he is a Green at heart, and this is the main reason the Libs are in such a decline.

  33. Robbo

    Baird has always been a waste of space and his shilly shallying weak method of running a government makes him eligible for the title of incompetent idiot as well. It is good that he has gone, no doubt because he could not face up to getting a beating at the next election, but in doing so he is handing a poisoned chalice to whichever seat warmer gets handed the job. The issue for the Liberal Party in NSW (actually for them everywhere) is to find a competent leader. Baird was certainly not the answer but his peers believed that he was the best of a bad bunch. That shows what a poor field they have to now consider.

  34. gorgiasl

    Not very smart.

    Any Australian premier worth his/her salt would have gone to Davos at the taxpayers’ expense before announcing a retirement in January.

  35. Glynn

    Baird has done an excellent job in NSW, first as Treasurer and then Premier. He has turned NSW around after long-term Labor governments destroyed the place, he has had the guts to push through difficult reforms and put in place record infrastructure projects which will hugely benefit the people of NSW. A pity that there are not more people with his integrity and decency in parliament. I believe you are wrong about his pension because he has not been in parliament long enough to get a generous defined benefit pension. Baird is not driven by materialism, so your comments are extremely unfair. The salary of NSW Premier is well below what he earned and would have earned in the private sector. You forget the revolving door of Premiers in NSW during the Labor years, all of whom did a shocking job, and all received their entitlements on departure.

  36. Habib

    The William St whores are here in number, it’s like that strip on a Saturday night when the USN is in port. And remarkably the same creatures, ladyboys waving theur arses at incoming traffic. Sorry boys, we ain’t buying. Baird was even more out of touch and a traitor to supposed liberal values than his halfwit dad. Both perfect examples of what’s wrong with the modern liberal party, and why it needs to be crosked like an underperforming panlicker.

  37. .

    Glynn
    #2267205, posted on January 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm
    Baird has done an excellent job in NSW, first as Treasurer and then Premier.

    Hi Glynn, do you work for Gladys?

    . He has turned NSW around after long-term Labor governments destroyed the place, he has had the guts to push through difficult reforms and put in place record infrastructure projects which will hugely benefit the people of NSW.

    So Fatty O Barrel deserves no credit – not at least the NSW taxpayer?

    A pity that there are not more people with his integrity and decency in parliament.

    I’ll forgive you because I consider him a child, ergo innocent.

    I believe you are wrong about his pension because he has not been in parliament long enough to get a generous defined benefit pension.

    He’s been in for three terms.

    Baird is not driven by materialism, so your comments are extremely unfair.

    Materialism is not only monetary. What was the Greyhound racing ban about?

    The salary of NSW Premier is well below what he earned and would have earned in the private sector.

    What’s your point? The CEO of BHP doesn’t get to write laws either.

    You forget the revolving door of Premiers in NSW during the Labor years, all of whom did a shocking job, and all received their entitlements on departure.

    No we bloody don’t! The LNP have a revolving door policy now which is probably just as bad – 3 under six years.

  38. Crossie

    One down, one more to go. Wouldn’t it be a great Australia Day if Malcolm were to be given the heave ho next week?

  39. Crossie

    The first thought I had when I heard Baird had quit is that the internal poll results must be a shocker. He may claim family reasons but it’s more likely that his ego will not let him go to an election he would lose.

    What’s more, his much vaunted empathy and kindness did not extend to such unfashionable people as greyhound owners.

    I wish Gladys all the luck and hope she has more common sense than Mike.

  40. Marcus

    I wouldn’t count on it, Crossie.

    From ninemsn:

    “You’re likely to see a very progressive leader,” one ally says. “She will be a strong supporter of climate change as scientific fact, progressive policy on immigration and border control and gender equality.
    “She will surprise some people.”

  41. Defender of the faith

    Habib, etc: I suspect that you’ve never had a tough job. Baird had a tough job and did it well. A lot of the aggressive and tough language here is affected and in my opinion cheap. If you folk reckon you’ve got answers, run for election. Howling at the moon used to be a private activity.

  42. Rabz

    “She will surprise some people.”

    Sorry, but no. I already knew she’s a blithering dullard.

  43. .

    Defender of the faith
    #2267303, posted on January 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm
    Habib, etc: I suspect that you’ve never had a tough job.

    I think you’re being an arsewipe right now.

    Baird had a tough job and did it well.

    Tough? He has nothing to lose but a seat in Parliament. He is very privileged.

    If you folk reckon you’ve got answers, run for election. Howling at the moon used to be a private activity.

    David Leyonhjelm still blogs here.

  44. Tel

    The only thing keeping the Liberals going in NSW is the hind-brain memory of what the ALP has done to us burned into our autonomous nervous system. Other than not being ALP, Baird was shithouse.

  45. Defender of the faith

    Dot: I think I just added you to the pissant list.

  46. .

    Great. You can go on the”LNP staffer” list.

  47. Defender of the faith

    Dot: you can go on the public payroll whiner list. I’m on the business owner and retired Entrepreneur who has never taken a public penny list.

  48. Habib

    “She will surprise some people.” Not me, I expect nothing less than another idiot neo-marxist blatherskite. “Defender”, I wish I’d had employment as tough as politics, I’d be retired 20+ years of touring the planet on mugs dollar, instead of running a business and serving in the ADF following a decade + in law enforcement, dealing with vermin almost as vile and amoral as politicians. And likely to work until I croak.

  49. .

    Defender of the faith
    #2267346, posted on January 19, 2017 at 7:54 pm
    Dot: you can go on the public payroll whiner list.

    I’m not – you’ve asserted that being in a safe seat and having power is hard work.

  50. Defender of the faith

    Habib: youve had safe public service jobs all your life. What’s not to like?

  51. Defender of the faith

    Dot: he was premier. He gave up a good job. He took crap from people like you and delivered good results in NSW which has a chronically bad state government record and now he’s quit. You on the other hand think a self indulgent pinprick vet who gamed the senate is doing us all a favour. Give me a break.

  52. .

    He took crap from people like you and delivered good results in NSW which has a chronically bad state government record and now he’s quit.

    What good results? Balancing a budget is something that all adults can do.

    You actually think Baird is better than Leyonhjelm as a politician? You’re probably on the wrong blog. Or someone who bitched about Leyonhjelm being elected #5 instead of squeaky clean Artie Sinodinos in 2013.

  53. Habib

    Habib: youve had safe public service jobs all your life. What’s not to like? What part of “running a business” don’t you understand, you pathetic troll? And what’s safe about law enforcement and the defence force? Go forth and multiply, or toddle off to Mikey’s send off, the lemonade might be flowing, but the bar will be closing soon.

  54. .

    He gave up a good job.

    Why do I care? He got parachuted in a safe seat and his Dad was a former state front bencher.

  55. H B Bear

    Hang on. Where did I put my tiny violin?

  56. Infidel Tiger

    If you folk reckon you’ve got answers, run for election.

    My answer to everything is that anyone who wants to be a politician should automatically be disqualified… and then whipped.

  57. .

    Baird did the right thing quitting. I mean that with no hard feelings either. In fact I have much sympathy for him. I wish him luck with his parents, but the outlook is bleak and he must do the best he can and make them as comfortable as possible, etc. Your family is more important than high office. Only a person with a messiah complex would think otherwise.

    He was a wowser and heavy handed Premier. Balancing a chequebook isn’t an achievement for an adult. Especially not when you have no personal consequences if you screw up. Quite frankly it ought to be mandatory in public office.

  58. Habib

    Good job- ever since getting a crap economics degree he’s been angling for a safe seat. First tilt in 1990, having failed to get a gig with the Anglicans- he’d have been more at home with the Methodists, Baptists or Shi’ites. And a bloody Victorian to boot, at least in Melbournograd he’d be almost as expected, and would be made to look relatively reasonable compared to Dan the Destroyer.

  59. Crossie

    I wouldn’t count on it, Crossie.

    From ninemsn:

    “You’re likely to see a very progressive leader,” one ally says. “She will be a strong supporter of climate change as scientific fact, progressive policy on immigration and border control and gender equality.
    “She will surprise some people.”

    If that is true then we are destined for another Labor government though the upper house make-up will be interesting.

  60. Rob MW

    even a dog knows to never bit the hand that feeds it. Good riddance to dictatorial socialist lawmakers and their fucking “stakeholder” grave robbers.

  61. In defence of Mike Baird.
    This paragraph from Wikipedia provides the big reason a Baird premiership should be remembered positively
    At the 2015 election, Baird led the Liberals and Nationals Coalition to a second term, albeit with a slightly reduced yet still workable majority. The main policy that dominated the election was Baird’s unpopular policy to lease 49% of the state’s electricity distribution network, known as the “poles and wires” in the form of a 99-year lease to the private sector and use the proceeds to invest in new road, public transport, water, health and education infrastructure.
    Those infrastructure projects will be long term visual reminders of his far sighted strategies.

  62. In defence of Mike Baird.

    Shame Baird got a sex-change as soon as he was elected.
    Who did the idiot think was going to be favourably impressed by him make it law that a 28-yo single malt scotch must have Coca-Cola poured into it before being served?

    Then to double down and side with nutters who believe animals should get the vote?

    Baird is a complete nutjob. Even Di Natale wouldn’t be as insane.

  63. Tintarella di Luna

    The lockout laws were not a high point for Baird either. The entire area of Barangaroo and the Star Casino are not captured within the lock out laws footprint – amazing that, eh? The one punch deaths involved drunken thugs who’d pre-loaded elsewhere and hadn’t even been in a pub or club anywhere in the CBD or the Cross to get drunk out of their skulls.

  64. Snoopy

    The one punch deaths involved drunken thugs who’d pre-loaded elsewhere and hadn’t even been in a pub or club anywhere in the CBD or the Cross to get drunk out of their skulls.

    An unintended consequence of the alcopops tax grab.

  65. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspeeklike

    Who did the idiot think was going to be favourably impressed by him make it law that a 28-yo single malt scotch must have Coca-Cola poured into it before being served?

    Drawing, hanging and quartering is the only fitting penalty…

  66. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “I think we can all sympathise with individuals who have elderly and ill relatives who are in need of care.”

    Not with this drongo – his old man can himself afford to hire in the best of care and the finest plot in the cemetery after a decade as a senior public servant, a decade serving with mediocrity in the State Parliament followed by a decade in the House or Representatives doing not much (plus, when he retired a rich man from the public purse at 65, a couple of years of sinecures to polish it off).

    The Bairds, father and son, are life long leeches – they’ll be chortling into their port together tonight.

    I am amused by the flimsy smokescreens – Baird the son can, simultaneously “… walk into a highly-paid position in the business world” and attend the aged hospital ward daily to empty bed pans for his “elderly and ill relatives who are in need of care”. What do you reckon it will be in six months time?

  67. Rob MW

    Hee….heee….heee……apparently Baird was under assault from the ‘Right’

    No mention of being molested from the left !!!! What’s funny journalism called these days, must be either gay, or at the very least, happy.

  68. Sinclair Davidson

    The greyhound debacle was not based on an ABC show but on a detailed report by a former High Court judge who grew up among the punters in Newcastle. The report is not easy reading.

    This report? I’m sure Baird thought he was being very clever appointing a high court judge to write a report, but the Liberals need to learn that they should never ever appoint Labor people to any position anywhere at any time for any purpose.

  69. Defender of the faith

    Sinclair: the greyhound ban was Troy Grant’s idea, which is why he went and why the Nats made no complaint about Baird.

    As for habib etc, you folk appear to prefer political leadership that is impotent and noisome. Good luck with that. Nothing here has made any sort of dent in the facts of baird’s efforts and the outcomes that benefit everyone in NSW.

  70. Defender of the faith

    Dot: bairds achievements are well covered in Judith sloan’s comment in today’s Australian. As for Leyonhjelm’s judgment I suggest you check out his twitter feed and especially his choice of commentary on today’s tragic events in Melbourne. The man is desperate for attention and clearly moronic.

  71. Habib

    As for habib etc, you folk appear to prefer political leadership that is impotent and noisome. Good luck with that. Au contraire, Defendi, I, and I’d posit most others here want political leadership that is competent, sane, cheap, honest, rational, and who minds its own business, and doesn’t mis-use scoring a safe seat to push their own idiot agendas onto long-suffering mugs. In other words, the unachievable in this one party state run by the demented, delusional, drunk and dictatorial. I’d be less perpetually crabby if they just shut the fuck up.

  72. JABL

    Gladys will like as not be just another red from the ‘nice’ side of town. She comes from the same creche that has given us Joe Hockey and Marise Payne – the NSW Young Libs in the 90’s and was a staffer to boot before she took a seat. I have not read anything that suggests that she has ever done anything with her life.

  73. .

    Defender of the faith
    #2268307, posted on January 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Barid’s achievements were what all adults have to do with their own chequebook.That should be the minimum demanded. It is not “an achievement”.

    Leyonhjelm’s comments were right. The Herald Sun actually said that a “rogue car” was on the loose in Melbourne. You’re prepared to accept this level of journalism and the left have no concern about “waiting” before making comment.

  74. .

    JABL
    #2269240, posted on January 21, 2017 at 8:48 am
    Gladys will like as not be just another red from the ‘nice’ side of town. She comes from the same creche that has given us Joe Hockey and Marise Payne – the NSW Young Libs in the 90’s and was a staffer to boot before she took a seat. I have not read anything that suggests that she has ever done anything with her life.

    Wait until the LNP staffers get a load of this.

  75. Defender of the faith

    Dot: you get the biscuit. Woof.

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