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How do you introduce a policy detrimental to your own integrity?

What is it in the hearts and minds of men (l declare women more honest than men, but they also indulge) that turns them into liars, robbers, cheats, people of ill repute, corrupt scoundrels who would take from the public purse – that which is not theirs – in order to feather their own nest?

When an act of dishonesty is committed by powerful people, be it in the media, by the police, public servants, by inducement or by politicians it is nothing more than corruption.

However, any commission or its governing legislation needs to clarify just what corruption is as opposed to just bad governance.

Are the sports rorts corruption, or just politics, or more likely a cover up?

The AFP are currently looking into the sale of land in NSW at the site of a new airport. In my view that is corruption as is the controversy over the sale of water.

Is it possible that a crime against the common good can be committed? Was the implementation of Robodebt a form of corruption, a crime, or just bad execution?

If all the LNP errors, mistakes and corrupt activities during their tenure were all lumped in the same basket as corruption and looked at retrospectively, then a commission would have years of work.

Be it bribery, or any other form of illegal activity, the list of corruption would be as long as one’s arm depending on the innovation, sophistication, or subtle covert forms the perpetrator used.

What contaminates them to the point that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely? It is a question as old as the ages.

Corruption learns from its mistakes and over time gets better at it, particularly in politics where ethics is expected but isn’t monitored.

I ask myself these questions while at the same time advocating for a Federal Corruption Commission, and l conclude that corruption is innate in man and has always been so. After all, our jails are full of men and women who have committed crimes against society.

It would seem temptation is something beyond our control and therefore in need of some oversight. Turning a blind eye to it is also a form of corruption.

Somewhere, corruption is being carried out today because greed is intrinsic in people and in politics it is relatively easy to get away with. Politicians don’t want to be investigated so they protect themselves against investigation.

In Australia, at the last election, both Labor and the conservative parties agreed in their policy platforms to formulate some form of oversight-similar to a NSW style ICAC.

The conservative parties have had draft legislation for almost three years but use every excuse to do nothing.

In February of this year Paddy Manning writing for The Monthly said that Attorney-General Christian Porter told Perth radio that the draft legislation, “now running to more than 300 pages, was ‘very close’,” however, given the total scandals of the Morrison government, it well may be that a proper federal anti-corruption agency will be buried and cremated before it gets any worse.

Remember the legislation was promised by years end, 2019?

Porter now says that:

“… the government was still committed to establishing the CIC but would not give any concrete timeline, saying only that the draft legislation would be released ‘at an appropriate time’.”

He goes on to add that he has been so busy with COVID-19 that he hasn’t had the time to put into the legislation.

To that I would say that the commonwealth is spending hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer’s money in order to combat a recession. It is rife for exploitation and corruption. He should find the time.

From what we know so far, the Federal Integrity Commission legislation is so weak that it would not have the power to investigate the Leppington Triangle deal.

Without the ability to investigate scandals of this proportion then it wouldn’t have any teeth at all.

On top of that, conservatives would never legislate a policy detrimental to its own ability to commit activities that advantages them. Even if such activities might be considered suspicious.

The Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said in Parliament that:

“… it had now been two and a half years since the government started work on the CIC, which he described as ‘weak, ineffective, and opaque’.”

He is correct. It doesn’t even allow for public hearings. Corruption of the sort we are discussing doesn’t enter the equation, and it has very weak powers.

I predict they will now blame the opposition for failing to agree.

 

Image from getup.org.au

 

My thought for the day

Time never diminishes the crime.

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6 comments

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  1. leefe

    Integrity – along with honesty, decency, consistency and compassion – is not in their dictionaries. I doubt it is compatible with their DNA.

  2. wam

    Haha great work this morning with a blame labor prediction that rings true.
    (Harris SMH will back you up with his aug 2019 article Three of Labor’s most senior figures including Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese argued against a new federal anti-corruption watchdog because some feared it would “make it very hard to govern”.)
    did you see media watch, lord??
    Rupert in the election:
    293 political ‘stories: 6 pro labor and 43 pro lnp and 5 anti lnp and 134 anti-labor.
    Albo, lord may follow your, time doesn’t diminish the crime and there must be a court case in some of them????
    But worse what is being done by the company of 4 with their $100m+ each for the reef. It has been over 2 years at a low 2% that is appro $17.6m each well done malcolm?
    Love your thought, lord.
    I spent 10 year criticizing booby for his inane reason for killing climate action with his criminal vote with the rabbott. Then he apologised and all the loonies who had swallowed the excuse forgave him.
    It has been 7 years since milne’s crime of giving the lnp no limit on debt (up from doubling labor) only 3 to go before she confesses and tells us what she got in return?
    It has 9 years to go before brandt reveals his reasoning behind the timing of boobbies caravan.
    ps
    Have you thought on your rupert-like selection of what to call truth, lord? Perhaps you are preparing any true successes of trump’s administration??

  3. Phil Pryor

    That is a horrible sight, the picture of heathen Porter, a hunnish whore for handling things slowly, badly, to orders, for greedy backers, snouty patrons, profiteering political perverts.., so expect nothing from any superstition drenched conservative idiot as they tend to live in a world that never existed and thus invent rules of behaviour to suit, especially self-forgiving, -promoting,-awarding,- blessing,- knobpolishing. Religious superstition today is a virtual mental disease or aberration, making people who rely on faith, fantasy, wilfulness, egofixated dogma, totally unfit for public life and duty. Adolf, Benito, Juan and Eduardo may be extreme examples of the conservative cowardy crooked criminal, but a world of Trump, Morrison, Johnson, Bolsonaro, Erdogun, Modi types, betrays decency and civilisation.

  4. Keitha Granville

    The establishment of a Federal ICAC should not be the choice of any government, it should be established by the court with all power to investigate anything and everything, call anyone and everyone and expect absolute truth.

    Only then will we have any chance of seeing off corruption in politics.

    They may all promise it, but none of them wants it.

  5. wam

    Kietha,
    A federal icac under the federal police and conservative courts will be little different than now when they already have all the power you want.
    The lnp political icac will ignore lnp issues and be used to terrorise labor politicians even when labor is in power.
    The territory and federal pollies I have talked to over the years count going out of the house or answering the phone in the house even going to the picture with their family as ‘work’..
    The easiest way to destroy corruption, expose rorting and show how hard they work, is to have politicians publish their monthly diary showing where, when, how long and who with.

  6. Barry Brown

    To answer the title question … very reluctantly!

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