Pie-eyed on Political Power

If you ever doubted that politicians get dangerously drunk on power, the following tale may give you cause to rethink your views.

Pie-eyed on Political Power

If you ever doubted that politicians get dangerously drunk on power, the following tale may give you cause to rethink your views.

No, I am not talking about Comrade Dan Andrews but the first-term Liberal Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall.

Marshall has essentially outsourced his leadership to the unelected South Australian Police Commissioner and a media-loving health bureaucrat during the COVID alarmism.

He did so by having Parliament pass an emergency powers act that gave these two incredible authority over the state - curfews, confinement, closures and the like.

That has been standard practice with all State Premiers, with some having asked their respective parliaments for multiple extensions of the emergency provisions.

However, in most other states, the Premier has been front and centre of the Covid crisis.

In SA, the Premier pops up to take credit when things go well but disappears when an unpopular decision needs to be made. Then he uses the vested authoritarian decision makers as political shields, hiding behind their 'advice'.

Little wonder Paul Murray of Sky News refers to him as Premier Marshmallow.

Now, the Marshmallow gang are trying to give the Premier the authority to invoke emergency powers, a permanent one. That way, he wouldn't have to seek parliament's permission before trampling over South Australians' rights.

It all sounds peachy, doesn't it...if you want to live in a dictatorship, that is!

Under the Marshall plan, any current or future SA Premier could declare a state of emergency and then vest authority over the state to a tiny group of those who 'know what's best for you'.

What constitutes an emergency is anyone's guess. Perhaps a pizza delivery driver with the flu - after all, that was what it took to shut down the entire state for three days recently.

That panicked idiocy cost South Australian businesses an estimated $500 million, but it did highlight one interesting development.

Apparently, the anti-alcohol lobby has been lying to you over the years.

You see, as the dynamic duo shut down the state, the health bureaucrat defacto Premier, who seems to love the camera as much as any politician, said she was keeping the bottle shops open to 'reduce domestic violence'.

That's right, after decades of telling us alcohol is the cause of domestic violence, it takes a pandemic to learn that liquor actually prevents it.

Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up, and it goes unquestioned by the lazy hacks in the state media.

Even if you believe that Premier Marshall was capable of real leadership based on time-honoured principles or a guiding framework, who knows whether future premiers will be able to resist the siren call of supreme authority?

History shows that power always goes to the politician's head.

As Lord Acton famously said:

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.

Unfortunately, by putting this Bill forward, Marshall has shown that pandemic power has already gone to his.

In fact, the Covid political possibilities must have numbed his brain like a bottle of breakfast vodka.

No self-respecting centre-right leader would ever suggest a single individual should have the ability to effectively neuter democratic ideals by decree. Yet that is what Marshall's idea does.

His colleagues were given thirty minutes' notice before being expected to tick it off in a Party room meeting. Thankfully, the few hardy souls left in the South Australian Liberal government pushed back.

I only hope they smash it into the legislative graveyard. If not, it will set a precedent for every megalomaniac premier in the country. That should concern every one of us.

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