Robert McClelland – The Labor Party’s number one Chameleon

Federal MP and former Attorney-General Robert McClelland has reportedly applied to be a commissioner of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. McClelland has no shame or equal when it comes to selling out friends or foes. If he was to get the position there would be plenty of fallout not just for the Labor Party but also the Liberal Party.

The report on News.com.au says that McClelland could resign in the next 1 to 2 months if he gets the position which would put pressure on the government for a by-election although it says the government would argue they should wait until the September election. (Click here to read more) It was first reported last Friday and is well worth this site following as it covers the judicial appointment process.

Mr McClelland has been busy planning for life after politics for a while now and started testing the waters in May last year by setting up his own legal practice. (Click here to read more) He must have come to the realisation that there is not much legal calling for a has-been corrupt federal attorney-general and decided to apply for a cushy judicial appointment.

Federal Labor Party

The obvious fallout for Labor is that they would lose one more vote and with both Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson possibly resigning soon, to protect their commonwealth superannuation given their criminal charges, who knows where we will be in few weeks.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and the NSW Liberals

The appointment needs to go to the NSW cabinet for approval. In theory that is true but in practice judicial appointments are decided well before hand. It would be extremely embarrassing for Mr O’Farrell if they did appoint McClelland and most would see it as an attempt to help bring down the federal government. A lot of voters would not take kindly to a state interfering in federal politics like that.

It would also cast a shadow over all judicial appointments in NSW assuming there is not already one with Greg Smith as the NSW Attorney-General.

Tony Abbott and the Federal Liberals

It does not matter what anyone says, if McClelland is appointed a commissioner, a lot of people will think it has Tony Abbott’s and the federal Liberals fingerprints all over it. That could sway some swinging voters to Labor. The upside is that given the recent polls even if the Liberals did look bad and lose a few votes they would still win an election in a landslide.

What is most disgusting is that it is a situation that should never have arisen. We are meant to have a separation of powers that dictates the judiciary is independent of the government. But once again and as per usual we are looking at a clear political appointment, just different circumstances.

If the separation of powers was taken seriously any current or former politician would be ruled out from being appointed to any judicial position. But as the above shows all politicians regard the separation of powers as a joke.

I could have written plenty about Robert McClelland’s corrupt conduct as AG and have in the past and will in the future but I wanted to focus this post on his possible judicial appointment.

If McClelland does get the NSW IRC position or another judicial role in the near future it could be a real game changer for federal politics. But the fallout for both sides of politics and the judiciary will be long-lasting.

McClelland’s tilt at a judicial role for himself shows how the judicial appointment process needs reform both state wise and federally as it is well-known that McClelland was stacking the bench federally with Labor Party boys and girls. Now McClelland sticks his hand up to the Liberals and in effect says “Give me a judicial role and I will help bring down the federal government.”

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14 Comments on “Robert McClelland – The Labor Party’s number one Chameleon”

  1. Chris February 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Yeah, if McClelland really cared for his country he’d have crossed the floor and put Gillard out on her ear where she belongs. I think he’s basically like almost all pollies; self first, second and third; others last.

  2. Flin February 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    I believe that corruption and dodgy political motivated judicial appointments have always been a part of the Australian way of governing this country.

    However this late trend of being so overt and openly blaize’ about it is very worrisome. Have we as a society, grown so apathetic in regard to what expect from our public officials, go along with whoever is appointed to any position without a whimper of protest. Just shrug our shoulders, shake our heads and plan what we are going to have for lunch, She’ll be right mate.

    We really don’t have to eat swill in order to understand pigs.

    • A Disgusted Australian Citizen February 22, 2013 at 1:30 am #

      VERY WELL SAID FLIN

  3. luisadownunder February 21, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    The rats are fleeing the sinking ship….

  4. Dave February 21, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    The Liberals should reject him both State and Federally and place heavy scrutiny on the next appointment to the Commissioner of Industrial Relations. The public don’t want him either….. and the government will be gone by September anyway.

    Net result…one less corrupt person in a position of influence. Start the clean out now.

  5. mike February 21, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Great to see anybody abandoning labour. No excuse necessary. Half of them live like champagne socialists irrespective.

  6. Bill Grassick February 21, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    It seems long overdue that we revise the present system and look at fixed terms for judicial appointments – something like the USA but suited to Australia.
    Personally, I have been distrustful of the present system for many years as the “boys and girls” of a particular leaning are rewarded with jobs for life – and usually ay a great improvement on work conditions and income!

  7. nottwistedyet February 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    You are so right Shane, it is an absolute disgrace the way the currdent judiciary has been appointed, Gillard has taken full advantage of this too!
    But if we have a Governor-General whose son- in- law in a minister of the crown, what can one expect?

  8. Karen February 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    On a practical level, what can we do to change things? We will all end up depressed and in the dirt if we just keep reading more and more disgusting stories and nothing changes. In every State and every town there are stories like this that involve all levels of politics. Its becoming very hard to stay positive.

    • Shane Dowling February 21, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

      As this site grows so does it’s power and influence. It has already had a few wins. Remember Justice Moore resigned as nothing more than a running joke in the judiciary. Others will eventually follow

    • curious February 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      Don’t get depressed Karen we are witnessing change right now. Read what Justice Rares is doing at the moment in Shanes latest post on him. For now watch what happens with McClelland. We are having a impact. Its a matter of supporting those that stick their neck on the line to make change.

  9. allan of myalup WA February 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    It cannot be a lot worse, My friend in UK, was enquiring yesterday, is Australia still a penal colony, I answered no but it soon will be if we have to lock up all the dishonest pollies.Allan Myalup.WA

  10. allan of myalup WA February 23, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    A breath of fresh air comes in the comment from Flin,I have almost forgotten what the truth is,five years of this corrupt mob is totaly disorientating. Flin for PM. Allan Myalup WA

  11. Andy S, Perth February 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    It’s no surprise that Mccleland is trying to break into a cushy job, as Shane has pointed out his reputation as a lawyer is trash, but what did Mccleland expect, you can only cover up the corruption for so long.

    The power of social media and the internet has and is having a major roll in exposing the corrupt officials within our judicial and political system and KCA is a MAJOR reason for that, we need to spread the word to all our friends, work colleagues, relatives etc etc.

    UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL

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