Wednesday 13 April.
1 Labor proposes a Royal Commission into the financial sector. Particularly the banks. The establishment and those of a conservative ilk cry foul. ASIC, a major regulatory body say they continuously investigate crime and have adequate powers. Repeat, powers. In fact our financial institutions are overseen by four regulatory bodies. The harshest in the world, people of the right scream out.
To me it’s rather simple and I don’t profess any superiority of intellect.
A Royal Commission is needed to find out why in spite of the best oversight in the world it is not working. I can’t make it any clearer than that.
I don’t understand why it is at press conferences when the Prime Minister and others espouse what they see as an almost faultless system of regulation, why some journalists with a bit of brain doesn’t ask the fundamental question:
“Can you please explain then why it doesn’t seem to be working?”
Sabra Lane had the perfect opportunity to put the question to Deputy PM on 7.30 Tuesday night but let the opportunity slip.
Mind you it might have some relationship to the reason why the ATO can’t collect tax from multinationals. They sacked the staff collecting it, or conversely it might be, in ASIC’s case (200 sacked) that the $100s of millions ripped from its budget is affecting its capacity to investigate.
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft at the commissions Annual Meeting last year said that they were “very thinly resourced”.
In 2013 he said Australia was too soft on corporate criminals and that the Country was a “paradise” for white-collar criminals and the regulator could do little about it because it lacked the resources.
So it seems they have heaps of power with no one to enforce it.
The argument that Labor opposed a Royal Commission last year is a nebulous one. Things can always get worse to the point where a change of mind is not only justified but necessary.
A change of mind when it addresses the common good is a worthwhile thing to do.
Or one also could argue that Labor is making a stand against the greed and corruption being perpetuated on us by big business and the right of the political spectrum in general. If you want to put this to the test, go to a pub or apply Turnbull’s own fairness test.
We don’t live in a right-wing democracy. When you only have Royal Commissions into matters relating to your political opponents and ignore those associated with you, you leave a stench of hypocrisy that has a whiff of gutter politics about it.
As for the banks reaction they are considering a mining type advertising campaign against the opposition.
To quote marketing consultant Tony Ralph , who has apparently worked on a number of similar campaigns.
”no doubt the banks can run a campaign that will turn the political opportunism of a Royal Commission into an electoral nightmare for Labor”
And if Labor gained power and I hypothetically were leader I would have no hesitation into having a Royal Commission into the Ashbygate Affair.
2 Monday’s ABC Four Corners, if nothing else, confirmed that Clive Palmer is a grubby individual and that nothing in the world matters unless it is of benefit to him. His entry into politics was solely calculated to be profitable to him. The appointed administrator suggests that a “reckless” Clive Palmer instructed Queensland Nickel to pay him nearly $15 million and may have acted as a shadow director for the company according to an administrator’s report which recommends winding up the Townsville-based operation.
He might join a long list of corporate names like Elliott, Bond and Skase. Perhaps a Royal Commission into the breakdown of corporate law.
3 Tuesday’s Essential Poll still has the parties tied on 50/50 apiece. In my view 40% are rusted onto each party. The Greens have about 10% and the rest are undecided.
One should never pre suppose that in a democracy the party you support should be the only one that ever wins. But a vote for the Coalition this time would be an acknowledgement that you are satisfied with bad government and would be happy to experience another three years of it. That you would be happy with a further decline in the standards of our political institutions. You wouldn’t care if your children suffered in their education or if inequality increased. In short you would accept mediocrity, or worse. The right would of course interpret your vote as one of confidence and your regret would be twofold in the realisation that you had committed the same sin twice. Too late then.
I wrote this a short time after the last election:
“I have wondered since the election what I will write about for the next three years. I have concluded that it is my duty to hold the government to account. To see to it that the Government governs honestly and transparently and that the media reports news rather than opinion in the guise of propaganda”.
I think I have been true to my word.
“I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile”.
My thought for the day.
“Are you really doing what is important? What you believe in, or have you just adjusted to what you are doing”.