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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The problem with lobbyists

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One of the great problems with the way lobbyists deal with government is that they lack the integrity they need in order to win arguments. The implication is that they make a less than convincing case. The problems which I observe is:
1. They are condemned by their own contradictions
2. They are condemned by their moral ambivalence

Nowhere is this more true that with respect to business people. I mentioned on another post my conversation with a business CEO. He's great making money, but then making money is not so much about thinking. One of those great fallacies is that if you can make money, you are worth listening too, or you must be good at everything. Its the same logic which has Australians appointing sporting heroes to intellectual roles like 'chairman of some commission'. They are supposedly defenders of Australian values. Ha.. Of course sports people should not be precluded...but neither should these people acquire the position of saints.

Basically in the debate over the Resource Rent Tax - business leaders will be their own worst enemy. They will fail to recognise that government has a number of benefits up its sleeve:
1. Moral monopoly - they are perceived to act in the public interest - this presumption has to be breached.
2. Moral legitimacy - there is an expectation that what the majority of Australians want, or their representatives want, is

The problem with business leaders is that they actually cave into this folly. It is inappropriate, a blatant flaw with representative democracy, that miners appeal to the Greens Party for resolution on this issue. It is suicidal! Why? The Greens would be happy to see the mining industry implode, and they are going to do a deal with them? Go figure. The miners need to attack the legitimacy of the system. Why should a minority party be able to extort some political concession from the miners? The same is true for majorities. Extortion or coercion ought be banished from the parliament...after all that is why the miners are in this problem. Yet, here we have the miners selling out to Greens. They are conceding an 'own goal'. This is why we end up with fascism...because the 'productive' class of society, the wealthy cannot think. They keep offering concessions. They concede the most precious thing 'principles' to people. Some business people never had principles, but others simply have no respect for objectivity. They tend to be goal-orientated by nature, running business systems in a way that makes the least impact on their bottom-line. The problem is they tend to be short-range thinkers in this respect, and very concrete. This makes them practical people in the short-range, but when it comes to politics, they concede too much.
The Resource Rent Tax is an ambitious action for the Rudd government to make. Kind of courageous decision for Rudd...but then I guess its the desperate type of decision you make when you are a loser confronting an election loss. But he's the most powerful person in the country you say. How can he be a loser? The reason is that he is not convinced himself. He needs to control your life to feel 'almost human'. Such is the life of a middleman too scared to act. He has to charm his way into his wife's money rather than make his own. No doubt she was impressed by his power. Women love manipulation just as too many lack self-esteem.
Well I guess 'collectively' men have a lot to answer for in that respect. If we are going to have leaders with principles, first we need to elect people with principles. If you place any of your existing candidates on a TV screen, and you shine a UV light on them, all you will detect is 'liar'.
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Author
Andrew Sheldon
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