In all likelihood, this is probably going to be one of the worst week’s of Mike Baird‘s life, and, frankly, it’s hard to be all that sympathetic. 

While things like tax and immigration policy have somewhat subjective elements to them, mass graves of greyhounds tend to provoke a pretty universal response in people, namely that we need to punish the sick fucks that are doing this.

You don’t need anyone to tell you how fucked it is for people to abuse and kill greyhounds. Even thinking about someone hurting a dog evokes a visceral reaction in my guts. Greyhounds are the gentlest, sweetest dogs and they don’t deserve to be cruelly mistreated so that blokes at the pub can have a cheeky flutter to fill in the time.

While Mike has been copping no end of shit for the wildly unpopular lockout laws, he was praised for having the guts to make NSW the first state to put a ban on greyhound racing. He justified his decision by citing horrible excerpts from an inquiry into the industry by Queen’s Counsel Michael McHugh:

He also tweeted about how the report found that attempted crackdowns would be likely “fruitless”, that the industry had been lying to protect itself, and that numbers were already down at tracks:

That seems like a pretty convincing argument to me – except, of course, he decided to backflip on it. The man had a brief moment in the sun where he wasn’t universally hated by everyone in Sydney under the age of 30, but then went and shat on his own parade by bowing to pressure from both the Nationals and the racing industry.

In summary: he’s a cowardly dipshit who had a chance to really do some good and instead chased votes against his own conscience.

So what does this mean in terms of the lockout laws? Well, it doesn’t bode well. At this stage it would be more or less career suicide for Baird to be seen to backflip on two issues.

If there’s one things conservatives love, it’s refusing to budge on issues regardless of what new evidence or change in attitudes occurs, and while they might have been behind this particular backflip because it was seen as an attack on the humble dog-abusing battler, failing to deliver on two major promises would pretty much undo him as politician.

It also shows that he doesn’t really give a fuck what popular opinion is. Regardless of the incredible movement that’s risen up around Keep Sydney Open, if he’s willing to cop the backlash from essentially re-enabling the indiscriminate slaughter of dogs, it’s hard to imagine he’d be too riled up by people that don’t want their nights out on the piss ruined.

But who knows, maybe if his own party remembers their whole thing is personal responsibility and minimal government intervention, they might put the pressure on him to give Sydney’s nightlife a second chance as well, and stop just funnelling people into bloody casinos.

Photo: Getty Images / Matt King.

What Baird’s Greyhound Backflip Means For The Future Of Syd’s Lockout Laws