NEVER BANK ON A SELF-SERV­ING USER

Sunday Herald Sun - - Opinion -

BY spec­tac­u­larly dump­ing on the party that put her into par­lia­ment, Ju­lia Banks made her­self a hero this week — but only to peo­ple who hate the Lib­eral Party and who would never vote for it.

Her speech, care­fully timed to am­bush a prime min­is­te­rial me­dia con­fer­ence, was made “on in­dul­gence”. That’s a tech­ni­cal con­cept mean­ing by leave of the Speaker. And it was in­deed in­dul­gent in ev­ery sense.

It was self-serv­ing, self­im­por­tant and self-de­luded. Above all, though, it was a be­trayal of the real Lib­er­als who worked hard to win the elec­tion in her seat; be­cause they thought that she re­spected them, and the val­ues of the party that they serve with­out any hope of per­sonal re­ward or ad­vance­ment.

In 16 years work­ing for mem­bers of par­lia­ment, I came across thou­sands of Lib­eral Party mem­bers. There was a fringe of zealots and ec­centrics, as you’d ex­pect in any or­gan­i­sa­tion try­ing to make change for the bet­ter.

There was a hard core of ca­reerists us­ing the party to fur­ther their per­sonal am­bi­tions to “be some­one”, by en­ter­ing par­lia­ment and climb­ing the greasy pole of power.

The vast ma­jor­ity, though, joined the party be­cause they sup­ported free en­ter­prise, small busi­ness and per­sonal choice, while also re­spect­ing the fam­ily and the other in­sti­tu­tions that have served this coun­try well. They were never go­ing to be po­lit­i­cal staffers, let alone MPs, and would nor­mally only serve as branch of­fice-bear­ers

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