TV corruption condemns Rudd

It is remarkable that it is often the relatively small things that speak the loudest, and Kevin Rudd’s wilful ‘bribery’ of the free-to-air television networks may well be the harbinger of his limited longevity as Prime Minister.

How did this come to pass?

For a politician so commonly ascribed as a policy fanatic, it is passing strange that the Rudd administration’s decision to give a $250 million ‘gift’ to the FTA networks was implemented without any recourse whatsoever to policy. It was, without even any decent denial by the Rudd government, an off-the-cuff decision.

Even when questioned about this absurd generosity, the government could not mount a credible defence. It has been entirely unable to indicate the slightest policy pretext on which such largesse could reasonably be founded.

The antics of the Minister responsible, the now-hapless Stephen Conroy, were pathetic. He supposedly can ski but can’t put two words together to defend his career.

How did this come to pass?

One has to suggest it emanates from a hubristic belief that the Opposition were a pathetic bunch of losers who could never score a point from the government even if their lives depended on it.

Well, welcome to reality, Mr Rudd and your colleagues. You are now on the biggest downhill slide since Gough Whitlam and Co and, frankly, you are starting to make them look good. Just as Jim Cairns could not be sacked simply because his love life screwed the government’s responsibilities to hell and back, so Peter Garrett’s imbecilic managerial competencies cannot be allowed to condemn him to a sacking.

Sorry, Mr Rudd, but the handbook of ministerial responsibility – in any democracy you might care to name – suggests Garrett should hang from the yardarm. Conroy should hang for being a fool. Gillard should hang for attempting to play the rest of us for fools. Swan should hang for his silence. Tanner for betraying his intellect.

It’s a sad litany. But, you have to ask, who – other than these knaves themselves – was the architect of their own downfall? They did it entirely themselves because of hubris. Their fall from grace is not yet complete and it is possible they may, indeed, yet save themselves. But, somehow, and quite inexplicably, it is starting to appear as if they are unable to do so.

Once thing is certain – albeit as yet unrecognised by many of the players on our national political stage – things have changed. The mood of the electorate has altered. Spin is not dead but its demise is near. People are demanding new attitudes, new ethics, and new honesty. They appear ready to be brutally unforgiving of transgressions.

This is the most transformed political landscape since pre-1972. Those who did not live through that period clearly do not yet understand that the mood has changed. Even the opinion polls may take time to discover it. Even many voters have yet to appreciate their new feelings. But there will be no denying them when expressed. Bring on the ballot box.