Friday, October 23, 2009

Final Post - least for now

Dear readers, thanks for visiting the L Party, this will be my last post, least for a while. Present priority and interest changes have prevailed and piloted me to this decision.

Though it was not the primary reason for beginning this blog, I have admittedly harbored more than a casual interest in entering the political fold by seeking pre-selection or perhaps working in a behind the scenes role. Indeed, the future is still open to this - change is a constant.

Only recently, I weighed up the question in a broad mode taking into account a whole gamut of factors including but not limited to, the impending cost to family in terms of the time and effort required, the potential loss of privacy due to my sometimes-audacious nature, and remuneration factors. On that last note, while guarantees go begging, let us assume that I did in future become a Victorian MP. One of my conundrums stems from my present salary as a train driver for the much maligned and not so endeared Connex. Yes, I know, the latter may come as a revelation to those outside my immediate sphere of acquaintances and family. Though I hardly find the role inspiring, it pays well, in my case, pre-tax and pre salary sacrifice earnings fast approaching $110K this financial year. When I compare this to an MP’s base salary of around $124,000 I begin to fathom what Age political reporter Melissa Fyfe meant in an August article, “If you pay peanuts”:

"Victorian MP’s gets a $124,360 base salary … That is about twice the average Australian wage, but it is not an endearing sum to a well-established professional or even a higher-level public servant. The result, some argue, is that only two types of people will go into Parliament: those who think $124,360 is a great wage and have few other prospects of earning that money elsewhere, and those who are independently wealthy".
I am compelled to add, that I am not one of the "two types" that Melissa refers to.

Why did I consider the question so thoroughly you ask? Only a short time ago, I was courted by a party member and official with far more than a common measure of clout. Names are not necessary, let’s just say that this person is part of an influential fold of Melbourne’s inner eastern Liberal party cluster. After two face to face meetings what followed was not exactly a concrete offer, in this game that’s not how it works. Rather, I was presented with a genuine window of opportunity to begin building the necessary bridges – profile – required for a successful tilt at pre-selection at a future date and furthermore, in the electoral seats that really matter. Though I declined the offer this time around, I was and remain, both honored and immensely grateful for having being seen in such light.

Finally, much like my previous blog American Interests, I recognize the role The L Party’s content plays in the larger ecosystem of related insight and information; accordingly, its contents will not be removed from blogosphere just yet.

Therefore, as I continue tendering to the needs of a modern family, which includes pushing trains around Melbourne’s rail grid and pontificating the vicissitudes of politics and the Liberal party, I would be somewhat insincere if I told you that I did not - at least intermittently - feel frustration of the kind felt by a certain, David Larkin.

I rest my oars ...

Addendum:

For those wondering whether Melbourne’s train services will get better when Connex is replaced by Metro Trains in December, the short answer is no. Moreover, here is why. The new company will have to make do with a limited capacity to improve services due to years of government neglect that has resulted in an infrastructure capacity that is limited at best. However, this is only part of the story, that bloated left wing bureau mass known as the Department of Transport and its two of supporting constituent bodies – can you name them? – will ensure that mediocrity prevails behind the glossy facade. A veneer made possible by MTR’s winning a staggering sum of taxpayers’ money - $474 million to run the service per year compared to $398 million for Connex.

I am of the belief that ultimately, it’s the quantity and quality of people that matters most.


In the case of our public transport establishment; it is littered with pretenders and baseless types and nothing is expected to change. At the least, they are grossly hypocritical and in just about all cases, second handers that are great at acting as speed humps for those that do wish to excel. As someone more qualified than me once said:
"How often have we heard it, about being part of a brain based economy where the best assets are your people, but how many leaders appreciate what this means? In the interests of doing something, anything, they create diversions, give the impression that they’re actually doing something, they fool around with the latest management fad, they re-structure, engage in deal making more oft than not, to consolidate their own arrangement … Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great things. In a brain based economy, your best assets are your people. We've heard this expression so often that it's become trite. But how many leaders really "walk the talk" with this stuff? Too often, people are assumed to be empty chess pieces to be moved around by grand viziers, which may explain why so many top managers immerse their calendar time in deal making, restructuring and the latest management fad. How many leaders immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, the most creative are attracted, retained and - most importantly - unleashed?"
On the question of establishment quantity, one could scale back numbers to the tune of 20% and you would not notice, save saving the taxpayer a bundle.

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