EDITORIAL FRIDAY 05.09.08.
The reign of Premier Morris Iemma has come to an end in the most spectacular fashion. The bricks began falling from the façade yesterday with the sudden departure of Deputy Premier John Watkins, precipitating the much anticipated Cabinet Reshuffle. This was the spark which set off the explosion, but the dynamite has been piling up for a long period of time. The list of Government failures over the past few years is lengthy, and Treasurer Michael Costa has been at the centre of many of them.
Before today’s Caucus meeting, Mr. Costa held his own press conference to announce that Morris Iemma had dumped him, and went on to outline the economic challenges confronting the state. With dwindling revenue and increasing costs, the picture he painted is pretty grim. The trouble is that for the last two years he has been the one responsible for it. The fact that Morris Iemma kept him on for so long was one of the factors that ultimately brought down the Premier. But it was not the only factor.
Don’t forget that prior to becoming Premier, Morris Iemma was Health Minister. Regardless of the perceived failings of Reba Meagher, the crisis in the management of the hospitals of New South Wales was presided over by Morris Iemma. The combination of the deterioration of public services and the increasing reliance on the investment of Private Equity Partners was a betrayal of Labor Party principles, and ultimately of the people who elected them.
Now there is a new Premier. A new chance. A new beginning. Except nobody believes that any more because that is the same pup that the people of New South Wales were sold last time around. No matter how talented or capable Nathan Rees and Carmel Tebbutt may be, it is still the same Government which has consistently failed to deliver on its promises.
It no longer matters who is driving the Titanic… the iceberg has already struck and the ship is going down.