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Some of my best friends are corrupt

Photo: http://www.dreducation.com

Photo: http://www.dreducation.com

There appears no question that Craig Thomson misused union funds, though his sentence of 12 months gaol (3 months to be served) is being appealed.  The amount in question is about $24,000.  He has lost his career, faced intense and intrusive media scrutiny, been publicly humiliated, ordered to repay the money to the HSU, faces huge legal bills, and felt the pain of the embarrassment he has caused to his family.

The whistleblower who led to his demise is Kathy Jackson.  She was lauded in glowing terms by Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne for her courage.  Coincidentally, her partner, Michael Lawler, was appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia on a salary of $400,000 a year by Tony Abbott when he was Employment and Workplace Relations Minister.

Independent Australia and Peter Wicks have been following this story.  It now appears that Kathy Jackson is being referred to the Royal Commission who will investigate allegations that she has absconded with far more than Thomson ever dreamed of.

And then we have Karen McNamara who was a captain’s pick, parachuted into Thomson’s seat of Dobell, bypassing normal preselection which infuriated the local Liberal Party members.  (The same was done when Abbott chose to install Lucy Wicks as the candidate for the other Central Coast seat of Robertson.)

Ms McNamara was called to face ICAC where she was under fire for claiming to have raised $100,000 for the 2011 campaign for State Liberal Darren Webber when official records indicated only $11,000 had been raised.  Ms McNamara said that Mr Webber and his fellow Central Coast MP Chris Spence had told her that funding was being “centralised” through Terrigal, which meant only a small amount of funds had actually gone through the Wyong account which needed to be declared, though she had bragged about raising $300,000 for the campaign when seeking preselection.

State Member for Terrigal Chris Hartcher has been involved in fiery exchanges at ICAC where it has been suggested that Mr Hartcher helped set up slush fund Eightbyfive in the lead up to the last state election to funnel illegal donations to the campaign’s right wing Liberal candidates on the Central Coast.  The fund is alleged to have issued sham invoices to hide secret donations for political favours.

Both Mr Hartcher and Mr Webber have been sitting on the crossbench since last year, along with fellow Central Coast MP Chris Spence.

Campbell Newman takes the frontal assault approach by scrapping limits on political donations and election spending, and lifting the threshold at which donations have to be reported.  He then sacked a Minister who expressed concerns about his decision.

We also witnessed the calculated attack on Peter Slipper.  Weeks of Parliamentary sitting time were devoted to the public humiliation of this man and the destruction of his career.  This very cynical political exercise was all over $900 in cab charges.  We are all aware of the many entitlements fraudulently claimed by politicians that have been subsequently repaid, usually only when directed to do so, for far greater amounts – $50,000 in the case of Peter Reith and over $9000 by Tony Abbott.

It is astonishing to find what politicians feel justified to claim.  Even though he is earning a sizable salary, and getting free publicity and electioneering along the way, our Prime Minister thinks it is perfectly justifiable for him to claim an additional allowance when he chooses to take part in charity and sporting events.  Our treasurer sees nothing wrong with charging thousands of dollars for meetings with him.  Our Speaker views the chambers as a private Liberal Party function room, and the Prime Minister uses Kirribilli House to entertain the likes of Bolt and Jones.  Our Attorney General has a very expensive penchant for books and he has no hesitation in creating high paying jobs for boys from the IPA.

Their sense of entitlement has become so entrenched that they would not think of catching commercial flights when they can summon a private jet.  Public transport when you have a comcar and chauffeur, why would you?  Driving oneself can be so tedious when one can’t drink.

I understand that they are away from their families at times.  As for so many other people, that is the choice they made when they took on the job.  Should we be paying for families to all go to the Melbourne Cup or football grand finals?  Surely they earn enough that they can afford to do this themselves should they wish?

Eddie Obeid’s greed has done us a great favour in holding a candle to the dark chasm of corruption that is our government.  Every day we hear of more slush funds and money laundering schemes and dubious foundations.  The stench is growing and it is emanating from the Liberal Party.  They are happy to accept huge donations from vested interests, some of them illegal.  They go to complicated lengths to hide or launder these donations. They admit to selling access to office for those who can afford it while neutering lobby groups for the disadvantaged.

Their budget protection of these donors whilst attacking the poorest cannot be denied.  At great cost to us all, hard won reforms are being rolled back as the donations roll in.

There are three groups who think the Liberal Party aren’t corrupt.  Those who will always vote Liberal regardless, those who are too naïve or lazy to find out the truth, and those who are profiting from the corruption.

The only reason for resisting the formation of a Federal Commission Against Corruption is because…

Some of my best friends are corrupt.

 

36 comments

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  1. Rod Johnston

    Well put Kaye Lee, looking forward to more.

  2. DanDark

    Once again Kaye
    you have hit the nail on the head
    we hear about the corruption going on in other counties all the time
    but we have had it all along,
    the “media” have purposely kept it hush hush for decades

  3. Nick McCarthy

    I believe that the current federal coalition are nothing more than a criminal organisation whose raison d’etre is to acquire and hold onto power by any means, fair or foul, and to use that power to acquire as much of the ‘common wealth’ as possible for their backers and themselves thereby excluding the majority of the population from the benefits of the economy!

  4. leighton8

    Yes, Australia is in desperate need of a national ICAC. AND a solid Federal law to protect whistleblowers, both on a national and State/Territory level. Sunlight does amazing things … and one of those is helping to keep people honest. Great column …. how do you all keep coming up with such good material? Oh, wait, the material is being provided on a platter …. but your handling and presentation of it is superb.

  5. leighton8

    And Nick … I agree with your points ….

  6. Brendan Kelly

    Congratulations, once again, Kaye. One has to wonder if these donations can be retrieved, where they’re not yet spent, and be used to balance the budget somewhat, say on the elderly and the disabled? It is rumoured that the Queensland LNP has a battle chest with over $50M in it. It could be used for job creation in regional and rural Queensland where the jobless rates are staggering.

  7. Kaye Lee

    The trouble with Liberals is they grow up feeling entitled. Take the Abbott family. Dick Abbott’s family came here to avoid the horrors of war and he got a university education in dentistry (I think that was here but have been so far unable to verify). He went back to England to practice. He then availed himself of the ten quid Pom offer to bring his family back here. The children went to very good government assisted private schools. Tony went to university in the days when there were no fees. Australian citizenship, if somewhat belated, made him eligible for a scholarship to Oxford. He entered Parliament over 20 years ago and has been making a very good living ever since. His expense claims are enormous. His daughter was given a scholarship and her college had the course she wanted to do accredited and private colleges became eligible for government fee assistance.

    None of this is illegal or even wrong, though it would have looked better if someone other than the daughter of the college owner and the daughter of the PM had heard of the scholarship let alone been a recipient. I am just pointing out how they come to expect to be assisted in life.

    The old school tie network is as insidious as the Young Liberal career path.

    Disclaimer: I am married to an ex GPS rugby playing rower who spent six years at a Catholic boarding school.

  8. CMMMC

    Does anyone recall the Costigan Royal Commission, formed in 1980 by the Fraser Government, to investigate/witchhunt the wharfies union, Painters and Dockers?

    The major criminal activity the Commission discovered was the ‘Bottom of the Harbour’ tax evasion schemes run by the rich and powerful.

    Even Kerry Packer came under scrutiny.

  9. Keitha Granville

    Do you think Kathy Jackson blew the whistle on Craig cos she thought maybe her misdemeanours might be overlooked by those in power since he was such a scalp and caused so much trouble for JG and Labor ? I suspect she might find that they’ll dump her like a hot potato now. Come the revolution the first to go are the revolutionaries.
    We have entered the world of Downton Abbey /Upstairs Downstairs. If you weren’t born into it or carefully married into it without anyone noticing, then you’ve got no chance of getting anywhere. You wll be part of the underclass till you die, and those at the top can do what they like, when they like, and have everything they want. Eventually the only way out IS a revolution. I am beginning to see what pushed them to those limits.

  10. DanDark

    Norm Gallagher dug my parents drains to install septic system
    He worked solid for 2 days, all he wanted in return was some fresh snapper
    As my stepfather was an avid fisherman, and retired on Coast
    Norm was a man of few needs, a beer and some fresh fish, was a gentleman
    and as for building his house off corrupt money, and stuff pffft it was no flash palace, a basic house
    He worked hard in the little fishing hamlet to help his friends and neighbours
    And never expected anything back, only fish if payment was offered, he loved his fresh fish
    After personally knowing Norm, I understand how the liberal gov’s have and will
    Do anything to kill unions, and all who protect the average worker, and the lengths they will go to

  11. Matters Not

    John921Fraser, what I find interesting is that Seeney and Newman sat on this attempted corruption for two (2) years. It’s all very well to claim that he regrets not going to the police or CMC earlier, the fact is he didn’t. He covered up! Wiki points out:

    the discovery of an attempt to cover up is often regarded as even more reprehensible than the original deeds

    If the allegations are true (and for the life of me I can’t see how they can be proved) then maybe Jeff Seeney is guilty of obstructing justice.

    Gee I love it when ‘the most hated man in the bush’ and Newman have their dodginess revealed.

  12. John921Fraser

    <

    @Matters Not

    Its a great can of worms Seeney has opened up.

    Clive will be well aware of it via his legal team.

    I don't know anyone who credits Seeney with any brains but all agree he is a bully.

    Seeney trying to divert attention has just stuck newman in the cow patty that he is up to his neck in.

  13. illillawa

    Funny, I heard a rumor today that that the Nat-Libs (?) may be trying to re-re-re-recruit Geoff Shaw as a favour to napthine to ge Shaw out of Victoria

  14. Kaye Lee

    Keitha,

    We are not quite to the “let them eat cake” stage yet, though I do rather enjoy a rousing version of the French national anthem (perhaps because it was the tune of the theme song of the Parramatta rugby team). We will very quickly be having to provide for a growing number of people needing help. In 2 years and 3 months time we can show our displeasure at the ballot box. We have that time to make sure that everyone knows the truth protesting loudly and in numbers (march on June 24).

    In the mean time we need to start planning on helping each other because there will be a lot of people struggling until we can get rid of Abbott and his henchmen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4fWN6VvgKQ

  15. DanDark

    Kaye I have been sooo strong
    But that video brought tears to my eyes
    ……RIP Norm Gallagher….
    A man who genuinely loved people…..

  16. Kaye Lee

    Very appropriate choice DanDark 🙂

  17. Kaye Lee

    John Fraser,

    Nothing about Queensland surprises me anymore.

    “The head of corporate affairs for a mining company at the centre of an environmental dispute has been in charge of developing policy on the environment for Queensland’s ruling Liberal National Party (LNP) since 2012.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-05/qcoals-james-mackay-developing-environmental-policy-for-lnp/5431008

    I believe that Clive has a fair bit of dirt on Newman from when he was mayor. This could get quite nasty.

  18. John921Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Fair go mate.

    The crow eaters managed to get a former Liberal leader to support the Labor government.

    The Territorians managed a coup d'état while their leader was out of the country.

    I must admit though that Queensland does appear to be leading the way with policies akin to Abbotts.

  19. Pingback: Some of my best friends are corrupt | love2ascend.com

  20. MIssPamela

    The music is great Kaye Lee, as is the article yet again. Members of LNP are REALLY hard to “love”, particularly when they show such complete disregard for others.

    One of my favourite protest songs from the Sixties (I am SO old) is “We Shall Overcome”.
    I feel it is also appropriate to us now.

    This is a recent version by the wonderful Joan Baez at the White House.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yId_ABmtw-w

    This is a sixties version (full version of song – my preference)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnFwR8G6u2g&feature=kp

    Sorry – having trouble posting the videos themselves tonight.

  21. MIssPamela

    Thank you Bacchus.

  22. DanDark

    Thanx Bacchus 🙂
    I haven’t been able to get video up successfully either
    only links

  23. MissPamela

    Oh Yes – definitely. Covers it all doesn’t it!

  24. Kayla

    Hi Kaye,
    The link you provided
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-05/qcoals-james-mackay-developing-environmental-policy-for-lnp/5431008
    Was a good read and sounding very familiar all over the country, mining mafia bullies, ignoring details of environmental impact studies etc
    About an hour ago this was posted on Facebook, it’s regarding an appeal in the federal court. It could, hopefully, if successful, set precedent? Something to follow up?

    Oops forgot …..I’m sleepy http://tarkine.org/

    Nails on heads again!

  25. trevor vivian

    Politics and corruption go hand in hand. Now that’s an unfortunate truth and the real issue is Power.
    Who has the Power, Who is gunna give the Power to Whom and are there winners and losers?

    I was one time long ago approached by LNP and Labor with a Sinecure for Life..in the Senate.

    But there was a proviso.

    The Proviso was that I support unquestioningly the whims of the leaders or decision makers of either of Australias two major Political parties.

    After 15mnths, it was clear to me that their interest in me as a political candidate related to the Public Profile I had at the time and that in not finding enough skeletons in my cupboard to blackmail me with, meant that I was finally left alone to continue my roles and functions in Public Life, albiet somewhat diminished by an unnamed underhand campaign which was engaged as part of a process to force me to accept the terms offered for the Senate Sinicure for Life.

    The article by Kaye is spot on and my own experience showed me that even at the lowly position of potential political candidate for the Senate by the two majors, the modus operandi of the majors is based in corruption.

    Political Power and Corruption equal Political Power.. What a dog of a system is Australias much vaunted version of Democracy..

    Often the Parliment and its Politicians are defined as acting like Private Schoolboys Misbehaving. Well I’ll take this one step further and define what Ills the Australia fair version of Parlimentary Democracy..

    Hands up if you know of a Private School that gives it’s students carte blanch to control their daily doings..

    By some quirk of fate or ill numerated planning this is what the Australian Public Has done to it’s Parliment. Given Day to Day control to the Politicians.What a sick joke.There are remedies but no procedure to implement. Only a F*n Politician can decide to lessen the control of the Parliment by the Political Parties and their suckhole politicians.

    Ever heard of a politician voting to lesson his/her renumeration,largesse or Power or Control.

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

    .

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