PETER SAINSBURY. Revolving doors and roulette wheels

CBD is the daily scuttlebutt column in the Sydney Morning Herald. Monday’s offerings included a piece that provided examples of the revolving door for staff between the inaptly named Responsible Wagering Australia and the ALP. I strongly recommend it.

The most recent move involves Stephen Conroy, the former Federal Labor Minister, who will be retiring as CEO of Responsible Wagering at the end of the year. Mr Conroy is not returning to Labor’s Canberra ranks though; he is planning to spend more time at TG Endeavour, the public affairs consultancy he runs with former Liberal party politicians and staffers.

People have to make a living, of course, but it’s hard not to be cynical about the motivations of the movers and shakers in our larger political parties when you see how people shuttle between jobs in government and jobs in industries with a strong interest in influencing public policy for their own advantage. Or when they set up shop with previous political foes to act as hired guns to influence whoever happens to be in government at the time. All well away from the public gaze, of course.

Incidentally, the quotations that rotate through the home page of TG Endeavour are worth a look – I assume that they are intended to provide an indication of the company’s view of politics and their modus operandi which, again I assume, they think will appeal to their potential clients.

Doesn’t fill you with confidence about the political process in Australia. But then, not much does at present.

Peter Sainsbury was a member of the ALP for 30 years. He left when they extended the previous Coalition government’s Northern Territory Intervention. He is now a member of the Greens.

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