The Liberal party in Victoria is in between two whirlpools each vying to seduce and suck into their sphere of influence. What is more is that in a recent article by Rob Harris, National politics reporter, Herald Sun March 10, 2017 stating that “Membership is a matter for the branches”
It is with great sadness to see Scott Ryan and his crew bring the Liberal party down so low in the Victorian Division. It was not that long ago that Scott Ryan, Frank Greenstein, Caroline Elliott and others were associated with the now disgraced former State Director, Damien Mantach who is now languishing in jail for corruption.
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When I was contemplating on separating from the Australian Defence Force so many years ago, I wanted to be sure that the political organisation had morals and ethical values that mirrored that of my own. To be sure it was not an easy task as Google was not about as we know of it today and one had to conduct their research the old fashion way.
I remember my Dad advising me many years ago that I would be judged by the company I keep. His exact words were, “Show me your friends and I will show you the type of person you are”. Wise words indeed.
It is not hard to come to the right conclusion that I chose the Liberal Party on the basis that their beliefs were very similar to mine. I therefore joined the Liberal party at a time when Michael Kroger was the President and through his charismatic leadership style reformed the organisation, making it easier for the incoming President Ted Ballieu to complete what he had started. In those days the Liberal party membership was in its thousands and more were flocking to its banner as direct result of the leadership of Michael Kroger. At that time, Jeff Kennet was in his ascendancy along with Peter Costello who was then thick as thieves with Michael Kroger.
They were heady days, full of optimism, hope, joy and with visions of wining the next election which the Liberal Party did so in Victoria under Jeff Kennet. Michael Kroger remained a powerhouse in his own right and many sought him out for his political advice at the State and Federal Level. Political figures such as Kelly O’Dwyer, Scott Ryan, Tony Smith, Peter Costello and Mitch Fifield were close confidants of Michael Kroger and he in turn supported them to the hilt, come hell or high water.
Sad to say like all good relationships, the Kroger/Costello faction began to show signs of deterioration and cracks began to appear in the coalition of the willing so to speak. Peter Costello was not happy and rightly so because he did not get the big Kahuna job in Canberra and stood aside when John Howard it would appear reneged on his alleged promise to step down. Whatever the case may be and it is still being debated whether a deal had indeed been struck. Michael Kroger on the other hand stayed true to his principles and moved on with life. Matters became worse after the all-out brawl; and public tiff between Michael Kroger and that of Peter Costello; which according to the party faithful was not good for the party at all. Individuals such as I who were aligned with Kroger/Costello faction became confused, disillusioned and somewhat left out in the dark, not knowing what had happened.
Factions. In the end, the party split into three camps, the Kroger, Kennett and Costello factions of which Kennet very cleverly manipulated to his benefit. During this period, Scott Ryan, Kelly O’Dwyer, Mitch Fifield and Tony Smith became aligned with Peter Costello while Michael Kroger still was held in high esteem by the party faithful. At the same time Scott Ryan began his clandestine undermining of Michael Kroger by manipulating all three factions to his cause and slowly attracting supporters to his banner. On reflection, I must hand it to Scott Ryan for his excellent use of negotiation, communication, political and strategic deceptive skills in laying the foundations for an assault on Helen Kroger who was the number 2 on the Senate ticket. Scott Ryan without knowing taught me a few things about deception and long term political strategic planning which were put to good use. I chuckle every time I see the video of Malcolm Turnbull saying the party faithful that there are no factions in the Liberal party, what a turn up for the books.
Suffice to say, it is all history now and the party members are all aware of the political treachery of Scott Ryan and his associates. Kelly O’Dwyer, Mitch Fifield, Matthew Guy, Frank Greenstein, Jackie Douglass, Scott Pierce, Tony Barry, Tony Smith and a host of supporters who were running the numbers and conducting calls to the party faithful. Again, I pay tribute to Scott Ryan from a strategic and organisational point of view for a well-run political campaign that ultimately gained him the number 2 spot ahead of Helen Kroger. I am not saying that I was happy with the result, far from it and it would be years later that I would come to terms with Scott Ryan’s skilful deception; when Peter Costello uttered those famous words that “the Liberal Party does not reward loyalty but rather success”.
Lessons learnt. Another lesson learnt, a lesson that would later be used against sycophants, political loiterers and political wannabees. Such lessons of political warfare became common place and many stories and yarns became the stuff of legends later when they became known. Lycurgus the Spartan law giver once advised the Spartans never to fight the same enemy more that twice lest they get to understand your battle tactics. Well the time has come where a new political generation is not tied philosophically to the paradigms of the past and God willing they will create their own platforms upon which to build a bright future devoid of “Old Guard” political tactics and generational dynasties.
The plotters and renegades. Speaking of plots and numbers men, it has been brought to my attention that plots are being hatched by the “cake whisperer”, ‘Wannabee Napoleon” and their ‘political assassins” One hopes that the “immigrant cake stirrer” and the “wannabee Napoleon” fail in their grab for power and, influence and glory for history has a habit of repeating itself. It will be of interest to note that there is no malice in my comments for I don’t dislike Frank Greenstein, Scott Ryan, Matthew Guy, Kelly O’Dwyer, Mitch Fifield, Peter Costello, Jackie Douglass, Tony Smith, Fiona Ogilvey, Jenny Mulholland, Scott Pierce, Tony Barry and others. Far from it and on the contrary, for I forgave everyone for their political transgressions when I spent six months in the Olivia Newton John Cancer ward and realised that disliking individuals was just not worth the trouble and certainly they were not worth the effort in trying to understand their political motives. But having said that, one wonders what devilish cakes are being created in the cake shops and what are the ingredients that some members of the party find so alluring.
I joined the party to contribute, support and bring about a Liberal Government at the State and Federal level and therefore my political aims were to see a strong and competitive economy a secure nation free from the shackles of its colonial past a free nation where my sons could grow up. I did not seek political office or was ever offered one, but merely went through the political preselection process knowing that although I would not win, I had to learn what it was like being on the cutting floor rather than asking the questions. After all integrity and credibility was important to me and wanted to know everything I could about selection of candidates in order to mentor others which has been conducted successfully.
Deceptive and ruthless political tactics. Politics and diplomacy are but tools of war in which battles are won without shedding blood of your opponents. This may be all fine and good for those seeking high office, but what I do mind is those who continue spreading falsehoods, about others. I abhor character assassinations, dislike intensely sycophants and recalcitrants and those who whisper in people ears misinformation and untruths in order to reduce the effectiveness of their intended victim or target. The Liberal party is littered with such political corpses and yet peoples still lap up these falsehoods and redistribute them in order to create an environment that is politically untenable. They all know who they are.
The Liberal Party at the moment is suffering panic attacks by the conglomeration of destabilizing activities of Scott Ryan and company and now they are attempting to influence all the parliamentary members of parliament with the aim of alleged “getting to the state council delegates” by any means possible. Again this appears to be similar tactics used by the Goebbels, Saddam Hussain, Al Capone and Stalin to win over the public by devious, deceptive and highly suspect political manoeuvring. But as I have previously stated, these political moves by Scott Ryan and company are indeed very clever and one has to be loyal to Liberal Party beliefs not to be seduced and/or taken in by their political pork barrelling or inducements.
The West Australian debacle. I find the West Australian election result surprisingly interesting. Given the introduction of One Nation, it would appear that the outcome was not a good one for the Liberals. I must say that it was good to see that peter Katsambanis was reflected again and although he looked exhausted, it was pleasing to see that he had the backing of the people. Another chap well known in Victoria is Andrew Cox the previous Victorian Deputy state Director to Damien Mantach. Andrew left Victoria and relocated to west Australia to try his luck out there but unfortunately for reasons unknown to us mere mortals, Andrew did not appear to have any presence in the west Australian Elections. Therefore, one wonders what does this mean for Andrew. Will he go the way of Tony Barry who was allegedly sacked for leaking information to the press twice in Canberra, only to be saved by Michael Kroger? It is believed that Tony Barry is working closely with Scott Pierce (another wannabee power broker and numbers man) for Matthew Guy.
Unproven Branch stacking allegations. Some ten months ago, I remember a young man being castigated for his alleged branch stacking activities and being forced to resign from the Liberal Party for actions which should only brought about disciplinary action and not resignation from a political party that he so believed in. He was “promised” that he would be rehabilitated once the Federal Election was over and that he would be looked after. Others who erred politically within the party system were rehabilitated and have gone onto bigger and better things, Scott Ryan is one of them, Aaron Lane another, Brad Roswell, Guidon Rozner, and the list goes on and on.
Jenny Mulholland a previous member of the Labor Party has tied her family to the Scott Ryan and Matthew Guy coat tails hoping that the crumbs that fall will be sufficient to feed her ever growing appetite for power. Other members of Parliament who have stated that they are neutral don’t have the courage or the political tenacity to tell, yes, tell their staff to stop interfering or becoming involved with the political process. I for one would be happy if not one member of the electoral staff became involved, passed on information that would help or hinder another seeking political office. These members of parliament by their association with their staff are just as guilty of political inside persuasion and should be reminded that politics is but to serve the people and not to feather their nest.
Rules, Rules and more Rules. We hear much about the rules and all are expected to follow them. Well let me put it this way. If the likes of past parliamentarians, including the former Premier, Jeff Kennet, who I admire for his financial management, good governance, and political skills and last for his service to the nation when he donned on the Australian uniform. I have the utmost respect for Jeff Kennets political and strategic planning and it is not unknown that he was called “the mouth from the south: for nothing amongst military quarters when he was then serving with the Reserve Forces in Victoria then known an as the Citizens Military Forces (CMF). In fact we can go one further and reflect for one moment another reason for his excellent demonstration of leadership, when he amalgamated the numerous councils and appointed Commissioners to oversee the changes. Many of those Commissioners were personally know to him from his days in the military.
Jeff Kennet the man. Both Jeff and I have served this nation in the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) and both of us have served with the First Battalion, RAR in Singapore but at different times and different locations. But even here, Jeff Kennet is a good bloke and liked by many has erred by becoming involved in the political process when he knows full well that he should not be airing his views public. According to Liberal sources, the State Director Simon Frost has been approached by members of the Liberal Party to take action against Jeff Kennett and either admonish, discipline, expel or take action in accordance with the Constitution. I for one cannot understand the State Director at times, because his actions are inconsistent with his role and responsibilities.
Free speech and the right to express an opinion. Although I am a freelance journalist by choice, I attempt to be impartial wherever possible, even though it is well known that I am a supporter of Michael Kroger. I guess it all boils down to ones beliefs, ethics, mateship, friendship, character, values and shared philosophies and as such it is inevitable that sometimes rules and regulations will clash with ones beliefs. Sometimes in life when someone is passionate about their politics, certain actions are taken by individuals as a result of built up political tensions. I believe in free speech within a society that expects another individual’s diversity and dislike rules that are created with the aim of supressing individual’s right to speak. Still life is full of surprises and no one knows what is going to happen next. One day in politics can be surprisingly illuminating and in some cases even bring down a government that is not performing well.
2015 and 2016 for me were years of reflection, treatment and recovery. Not to dwell on what could have been but to ensure that whatever time we have left is not squander in futile objectives that lead to nowhere. I intend to make life more meaningful and worthwhile, worthy of those who had a hand in making me who I am today. Life as we know it can only be sustained by vigilance and with that vigilance comes responsibility. Let us hope that 2017 is a good one.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538