Private might be private, but stupid is still stupid
UPDATE 12.40pm: WA Premier Colin Barnett just announced Troy Buswell has resigned as Treasurer
Back in 2002 when Laurie Oakes reported on the worst-kept secret in Canberra, that former Democrats darling Cheryl Kernot’s defection to the ALP had more to do with the charms of Foreign Minister Gareth Evans than the promise of a ministry, he set off a quite bitter debate among journalists over the relevance of politicians’ private lives.
Glenn Milne was vocal in his criticism of his press gallery colleague’s decision to fill in the gaps Kernot left in her book Speaking for Myself Again. Lateline devoted a whole segment to the whys and what fors of Oakes’s actions, in which host Tony Jones wondered if the Nine political editor had “actually taken us over some rubicon here”.
WA Treasurer Troy Buswell is firmly in the private-lives-are-private camp, having dug his heels in this morning as he waits for his boss Colin Barnett to decide what to do about the fact Buswell has admitted an affair with a Greens MP, and also copped to using his tax payer-funded car to deliver him to his booty calls.
“The party that’s been affected by this has been my family, and I think that you’ll see the proof in the pudding when the budget is handed down of the hard work that we’ve been doing to do that,” he said.
He has a point, that really voters don’t get to dictate what politicians do when they’re logged off.
Many in the media use the argument that it’s not the affair (or other indiscretion) that’s the problem, but the cover-up. The theory seems to go that a politician can swing from the rafters in a gimp suit if they want to, as long as they tell us all the gory details.
Discretion is elevated to a much great crime than adultery in this scenario.
But maybe there should be a new standard in politics, inspired by the unofficial motto of the Sydney Swans - “no dickheads.”
Buswell can say what he likes about his ability to balance the books, and how he’s trying to mend his family, but the guy’s rap sheet is ridiculous.
Need I remind you he’s the only politician in Australian history who’s better known by his nickname the “chair sniffer.” He can be otherwise known as the “bra strap snapper”. And he didn’t earn those monikers in year 9.
He might have paid back the piddly amount of money it cost for him to use his official car for trysts during his four month affair with Adele Carles, but that’s not the point. Buswell appears to have no impulse control, or respect for women or voters.
He should be about to add another moniker to his impressive list. “Former Treasurer”.
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