2 years ago when I first took notice of Victoria’s Premier (Daniel Andrews) I spent quite a lot of time defending his motives.
When I interviewed the retired Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police (https://discernable.io/chief-commissioner-retired-of-victoria-police-kelvin-glare) and he called Daniel inept and corrupt, I struggled to keep a straight face.
Corruption is not something this Australian millennial associated with Australia. That only happens ‘overseas in 3rd world countries’. Right?
Coming up on 2 years now of interviewing as broadly as I can (whoever will accept my invitations) and I am saddened to report that corruption is just as widespread in Australia, but it looks different. Conflicts of interest abound in Australian politics and big business, and often outright regulatory capture of government departments.
From health, to education, to justice, the western world has a problem with ‘white collar’ corruption where somehow being dodgy is less smelly because…you know, at least we’re not taking bags of cash (or are we #SussexSt?) but rest assured, opportunists are drawn to the trough of big business or big government. We certainly do have corruption.
It probably doesn’t get clearer than the story of #SlugGate (https://discernable.io/sluggate-part-2) but there are many, on all sides of politics.
And it’s encouraging to see the likes of 3AW’s Neil Mitchell finally calling a spade a spade when it comes to the heartless Daniel Andrews (https://www.3aw.com.au/neil-mitchells-plea-to-the-decent-people-in-daniel-andrewss-cabinet) because we will not likely get a better historical case study than the decline of the State of Victoria over 20 years.
It’s a story of good but misguided intentions, a particularly caring population primed to be taken advantage of, and what investigators assure me in private: outright criminality by Daniel Andrews over decades.
Daniel is not a dictator. Dictators go off the deep end but often in a misguided pursuit of the welfare of their subjects.
Daniel just doesn’t care about us the way we thought. He’s heartless. He’s cold. He’s opportunistic. He’s fake.
Why do you think he tries so, so hard to emphasise that he ‘cares’ about all Victorians? It’s because we know – from his actions – that no caring Premier would take the public for a ride like he is, or drive the health department into the dirt whilst hiding all health advice, shutting down inquiries and blaming everyone (including Victorians) but himself for any failure we point out.
I am aware that such malfeasance in office is not unique to the Labor Party, and I do not have much good to say about the Liberals (or most independents) at this time.
But I can say that I’ve ‘lost my virginity’ when it comes to corruption awareness in this country, and there’s no going back. I have Daniel Andrews to thank for making it so plain…the heartless Premier who taught us what a captured state looks like.
Captured bureaucracy. Captured police force. Captured education department. Captured and crumbling health department. A captured judiciary. Captured politicians – many of whom are too scared to speak against their leader. A captured people, endlessly bashed by propaganda designed to make Daniel look good, and the people bad.
That’s probably the most outrageous part – it feels like Daniel’s war is not against his political opponents. His war is with the people of Victoria. Every announcement he makes pits Victorians against Victorians, cheering one group and demonising the other.
Or his war of propaganda – not designed to make the Liberals look bad. But designed to make us forget certain truths, and believe other half-truths. A war on us.
Why is he so angry with us? Did we not deliver him repeated electoral wins and positive opinion polls for handling the pandemic?
I grew up in an abusive household, and dallied with abusive religions. I know what this is. But occasionally, like a good victim, I forget and start wondering whether I’m simply misinformed. Maybe Daniel is telling the truth about #SlugGate, the Red Shirt Rorts, hotel quarantine, branch stacking, the health advice, the VIC firefighter’s union…
Maybe the rumours of his alcoholism, of his driving the car that ran over the cyclist, of his bullying and glass jaw are completely unfounded.
But to enter into his world and believe its physics requires too great an effort to maintain.
The meme offers a simpler explanation: ‘the secret ingredient is crime’.
We wish him all the best for the upcoming state election in November 2022.