THE "RESIGN, JEFF!" REVIEW
25 March 1994
Jeff Kennett declared legislative war on democracy the night he was elected. His Freudian slip--calling us "victims" instead of Victorians--gave away his real agenda. We all winced then; we're reeling now.
The Kennett war machine has mounted an aggravated assault on all but the business community, holding its interests alone to be of the highest good. Every other sector of the population has been bullied into helplessness or submission. Jeff Kennett's inhumane, economic rationalist ideology has spread fear throughout Victoria. It has wrought havoc in the public service, the education system, the health and welfare services, has caused massive protest rallies among working people across the spectrum, has rammed legislation through what amounts to a private Parliament, has cut funding to just about every people-oriented group, and doubled or tripled fees for those who can least afford it.
Kennett has scrapped the Accident Compensation Tribunal, sacking its nine judges, abolished the position of the Equal Opportunity Commissioner, refused to renew the terms of three members of the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal with past links to the Labor Party, and plans to reduce the power of the DPP. He has laid legislative waste to this state in much the same way that Hitler laid military waste to Poland and the rest of Europe. His penchant for projection has found him labelling those who question his absolute rule as 'anti-Victorians', when he is clearly the one who is destroying the state.
"War" as a descriptor for the Kennett Autocracy's assault on the lives of Victorians is apt, rather than hyperbolic, for this is no ordinary government. While the media is required to be even-handed in its reporting and commentary, the RJR believes the time is long overdue to call a spade a spade. Jeff Kennett is nothing less than a warlord.
JEFF KENNETT..."Mr. Kennett expressed strong views about Section 55 when speaking about the Labor member for Richmond, Mr Theo Sidiropoulos, who was a member of a non-profit cooperative that was devoted to producing a Greek/English newspaper and advancing the cause of the Labor movement.
"The cooperative had received an interest-free government loan and Mr Kennett called for the expulsion of Mr Sidiropoulos, although he did not argue that Mr Sidiropoulos had profited financially. 'The [MP] has a direct or indirect interest in the contract because he is a member of the cooperative. For these reasons the Opposition says the [MP] has forfeited his seat...the Constitution is not the plaything of the Premier...the Constitution is the cement that binds the walls of our democracy and parliamentary processes...the parliament must stand up for the Constitution by resolving...to refer the matter...to the Court of Disputed Returns [in the Supreme Court]. Any other decision by the Parliament would be an attack on the integrity of the Legislative Assembly and the integrity of the Constitution."' (Russell Skelton & Michael Magazanik, Age 8/3).
ROB MACLELLAN..."during a parliamentary debate on the fate of low-profile Labor backbencher, Mr Theo Sidiropoulos, [Mr. Maclellan] said it was intolerable that the then Labor Government should use its numbers, not the court, to resolve the issue...he criticised the Government for opposing the 'proper movement of this matter from the politics of the Legislative Assembly to the...Supreme Court, where it ought to be properly determined for the benefit of future generations and all members of Parliament."' (Russell Skelton, Age 9/3).
JEFF KENNETT, faced with a very-much-for-profit breach of Section 55, hollowly claims he'd like to fight it in court, but will leave it up to his private Parliament to decide if Section 61a should be used to get him out of hot water.
ROB MACLELLAN claims in no uncertain terms that Parliament should decide the fate of its members and puts forward the motion to quash all allegations.
During his whirlwind tour of country Victoria, The Illustrious One served this to a breakfast meeting in St Arnaud: "We are all alive and well today, which is a good thing because we would look pretty stupid sitting around these tables if we weren't."
After a Hard Day of
After a harrowing week of throwing people out of their hospital beds before the anaesthetic has worn off, of cutting back ambulance funding in the name of providing a better service, and fudging figures about reducing hospital waiting lists, Marie Tehan likes to take in a sermon at her local church. Dodging throwaway humans littering the streets owing to her government's policy of taking from the poor and giving to the rich, she slips inside for a few comforting words on the Holy Ghost. Imagine the poor thing's outrage when the priest chooses instead to talk about her government's policy of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
• On the recent episode of the KNF affair, one of many final words goes to Russell Skelton. "The main concern is that Parliament is an inappropriate forum to deal with such a complex constitutional issue. It cannot make balanced judgements without all the facts being placed before it. We now have eminent legal counsel offering strikingly divergent opinions on Mr Kennett's eligibility to sit in Parliament. [This] is extremely serious." (Age 10/3.)
• '...[F]ewer Victorians now have jobs than when Jeff Kennett and Alan Stockdale took office promising to restore jobs. Since then 187,000 jobs have been added in the other states, yet Victoria has 2500 fewer.... Only one explanation makes sense: the Kennett Government's drastic cuts to jobs and spending, far from getting the Victorian economy going again, are preventing [it] from getting going again. They are not merely downsizing the State Government; they are downsizing the state. [T]he intensity of the...cuts, far from inspiring the private sector to grow and employ, is fuelling the exodus from the state [at around 145 people a day!], reducing spending power, and hence reducing demand for the private sector's products and services.' (Tim Colebatch, Age 11/3.)
The RJR has long pondered over the Kennett Government's real agenda. We honestly don't know what these secretive skullduggerers hope to ultimately gain. In the meantime, however, it is clear that they are consolidating power by means of the implementation of an elitist ideology that will serve that power and not Victoria or Victorians.
• Alison Zehnwirth, the sister of Peter Wallis, injured in the NCA bombing in Adelaide, also wonders what's on the Premier's agenda. In her open letter to the Premier, she says, "My family and I are deeply offended by Mr. Kennett's recent comments and unyielding stance about this matter...we saw Mr Kennett parading in front of the cameras attempting to score political points...I can only assume he has a hidden agenda..." Of course, mate John Elliott's attempt to coax the Deputy Premier into getting rid of the DPP wouldn't have anything to do with it! Elliott's astonishing press conferences and costly court actions to stop the NCA from prosecuting him, and Kennett's sinister fiddling with the Victorian justice system may just give us the smallest of clues....(Based on an article by Michael Pirrie, HS 12/3)
• KEEP 'EM DUMB AND THEY'LL VOTE LIBERAL. Government schools are sinking as Kennett's education cuts take their toll. Euphemistic doublespeak such as "Schools of the Future" may fool authority-worshipping Liberal voters, but the rest of us know better. Since the implementation of SOTF, 70 per cent of government schools have scaled back education programs, while teacher-student ratios are where they were 20 years ago. And let's not fool ourselves, Kennett education spokes-puppet Don Hayward is aiming for a return--not to a mere two decades ago--but to the last century. (Based on an article by Sheena MacLean, Age 16/3, Claire Heaney, HS 16/3.).
• GRAND PRIX: NO ONE WHO WALKS ON TWO LEGS WANTS IT. The Premier has admitted the GP race track will devastate Albert Park, thus confirming local residents' (and the rest of our) worst fears. We'd better take our Sunday strolls and let our kids play on the playground built with love by the Gallant 2000 while we can, because the place will soon be fit only for hoons and profiteers. The pathetic fantasies of Sterling Moss et al that we can return to yesteryear are ridiculed by the difference in the quaint cars that sped around the track then and the whining, screaming behemoths of today. (Based on an article by Sue Neales, Tim Winkler and Maryann Stenberg, Age 16/3.)
• JEFF IS OURS! CLAIM LIB/NAT LIVING DEAD. Their plastic teeth closing in on that luncheon favourite of sophisticated country philistines: asparagus tips wrapped in white bread, elderly Liberal supporters heralded the coming of "our Jeff" to their town. Happy to see younger generations--the ones with futures--in despair, they crowded around the Great One, shouting words of encouragement. "You're doing a fine job, young man," said one clueless old fool at the Creswick RSL. Another called out, "You go get them, Jeff, we're right behind you!" Them, of course, were those sorry folk protesting outside, the ones who will have to live through "Our Jeff's" devastating cuts to education, health and transport. (Based on an article by Michael Magazanik, Age 17/3.)
• With all the court battles it's involved in, or will soon be involved in, there's no wonder the Kennett Government has had to bleed the public for extra cash. (We know the "Victorian Debt Crisis" is a lie swallowed gladly by gullible, single-mother-hating rednecks.) Now, Jeff, through his Henchman for Industry and Employment, Phil Gude, is threatening a High Court challenge if the IRC restores the public holidays axed last year. The embodiment of that quintessential businessman, Scrooge, the State Coalition continues to turn a blind eye to the majority of Victorians. But where Scrooge repented and achieved a sort of nirvana, the Gang of 61 are not rehabilitable. Henchman Gude goes further to warn that state industrial relations systems are finished unless the Government's challenge succeeds. Who's he warning? Certainly not the people, who simply want to work and be left alone to enjoy their lives. No, he is speaking directly to the only sector of the community he and Jeff ever speak to: the business community. (Based on an article by Nicholas Johnston, Age 18/3.)
• JEFF LICKS HIS CHOPS OVER SLAV-MACEDONIAN TERM. Having shown his utter lack of judgement by backing the Greek community, Jeff Kennett now adds fuel to the fire by acting promptly to instruct government departments to use the term Slav-Macedonian in reference to people from the former Yugoslav Republic. Inch deep and as transparent as a killer with a blood-stained machete, Kennett is recruiting Greek votes with a vengeance. In fact, the announcement was made in the Greek language newspaper, "Neo Kosmos." (Based on an article by Darrin Farrant, Margaret Easterbrook and Michael Magazanik, Age 18/3.)
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