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In The Interests Of Balance Will The ABC Have To Start Pushing For A Pro-Corruption Body?

I’m concerned that so few people understand how politics works in this country.

For example, various people were complaining about Greg Sheridan’s appearance on QandA last night and asking why the ABC feel the need to call on him so regularly. It’s very simple. The ABC’s charter requires balance so, if they’re going to have rational guests who understand what’s going on and say intelligent things, then they’re required to balance that by having Sheridan.

Similarly, calls for a federal anti-corruption body have to be balanced by interviews with people such as Angus Taylor, Barnaby Joyce, Stuart… Well, actually just about any government front bencher.

As for the proposed anti-corruption body itself, complaints about it being a toothless tiger are all wrong. Even without teeth, a tiger could rip you to shreds with its claws while this body will only be allowed to pursue corruption under the following circumstances:

  • The corruption is so evident that somebody else has already noticed it and referred it to the appropriate body, which means that the new body has no need to double up on the investigation.
  • The corruption is a “serious” crime. Not something like drink driving… which as we saw with the Peta Credlin case if you know the Attorney-General then you can get off with no fine, no conviction and no requirement that you pretend that you’ve even done the wrong thing.
  • It is someone on the left side of politics.
  • Alan Jones thinks that they should be investigated.

Of course, there are some safeguards to ensure that people don’t have they’re reputations besmirched by an unelected body which isn’t accountable to anyone. For a start, you can only be investigated if it’s clear that you’ve done something wrong. We don’t want innocent people having their name dragged through the mud. And given, everyone is innocent until proven guilty the body will only be allowed to investigate people who’ve already been found guilty by a court of law.

Secondly, so that we don’t have show trials which might be used for political reasons, we’ll have secret accusations with secret trials, which I guess suggests that there’ll be secret findings with secret penalties, but that shouldn’t be a problem because we don’t want people being publicly humiliated just because they’re accused of doing something wrong and that – under the terms of the referral – there’s a strong suspicion of criminal misconduct. As Christian Porter pointed out there have been numerous occasions when people have had their reputations sullied by various state corruption bodies and they hadn’t done anything wrong. Mind you, he didn’t give any actual examples, but it’s enough that he told us that such things had happened and I for one admire that he didn’t drag these people through the mud by talking about their innocence.

Another safeguard is the lack of protection for whistleblowers. This should prevent them from making scandalous accusations. In fact, if a whistleblower has a strong suspicion but no actual evidence, then they’d be best to keep it to themselves rather than bringing to someone’s attention because it could lead to a prosecutable for an unwarranted allegation. This should stop people from interfering into things that don’t concern them such as fraud, bribery and corruption.

The final safeguard seems to be that the Liberals will appoint people to the commission, so there’s a very strong chance that – like Arthur Sinodinos – they’ll have no idea what they’re job is and why they’re being paid, so they’ll be content to do nothing and just take their pay cheque.

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14 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    G Sheridan is undoubtedly a romanist raving ratbag of Merde-ochian self congratulatory and masturbatory magnificence.., just ask him. A superstition drenched professional liar suits the balance of the ABC? Sheridan is totally untrustworthy on matters of fact, science, honesty, decency, progressive attitude, a mediaval relic of ridiculous and ranting righteous right wing rubbish.., but that suits Merde-och’s drives and scheming. Our future and progress should not be hindered by deficient and dishonest intent in such as Sheridan and the usual paid media truth deniers of right wing ideology, hunters for pose, notice, preferment, position and of course money for services rendered. They are sluts and anti-civilised ones in extreme, trained liars.

  2. Jack Cade

    The ABC is a lost cause. The Insiders is now The Sunday Australian. And I turned on Radio National the other day to discover that Amanda Vanstone has her own programme. Not on as a guest – as a host. I had only just stopped rejoicing that she was no longer a Board member of the Port Adelaide Football Club (she is SOOOOOO working class, isn’ t she?)
    The Right is the Salvation Jane (or the Soursob – do you have that everywhere else in Australia or is it just SA?) of Australian political discourse in the media nowadays. They are like cane toads, spreading their venom everywhere.
    It is in -effing-escapable.
    That’s called a a tmesis, donchya know! Abso-bleeding -lutely.
    Amanda effing Vanstone.
    Her own programme.
    FFS

  3. Terence Mills

    I had forgotten about Arfur Sinodinos, a man who had been a director of Australian Water Holdings (AWH) from October 2008 and later chairman for a year until November 2011. During this time he was treasurer of the NSW Liberal party and later the party’s state president.

    His job at AWH was to “open lines of communication” with Liberal politicians. AWH donated $75,636 to the NSW Liberal Party during his tenure – money that had come from Sydney Water. Sinodinos, a state treasurer of the Liberal party, told ICAC he knew nothing about that donation either as a Director/Chairman of AWH (the donor) or state treasurer of the Liberal party (the donee).

    They made him Australia’s Ambassador to the USA !

  4. Rossleigh

    Vanstone has had her own program for a number of years now, so when the conservative forces ask where the right wing equivalent of millionaire, Phillip Adams, is they must obviously consider Amanda too far left to provide balance.

    And, Terence, Arthur forgot about Arthur so you’re not alone there!

  5. Chris Haviland

    I am a great ABC supporter and member of the ABC Friends. But recent developments are most concerning. Gaven Morris’s comments about “left wing elites”, the number of IPA operatives coming onto programs, and of course the odious Sheridan. And much more.

    Balance? It’s a bit like going to church if you are a Christian, and someone demanding that “the Devil” or “Satan” be given equal time! Not going to happen. Giving climate deniers equal time is much the same. The science is in!

  6. RomeoCharlie29

    I have chosen not to buy any Murdoch product for a long time now, one reason being to avoid the odious Sheridan, but then he keeps bobbing up on my ABC. Had hoped the ABC might be starting to bite back against the clear hatred from the Merde-och ( thanks PP) rags and the Morris I’m government and it’s bunch of tools but then someone from the IPA or the Oz or somewhere else in Liberalland will appear on The Drum or QandA and spoil my day. I really think it’s time, hmm good slogan, the ABC of which I am a former employee, took on its enemies head-on. Time to reveal the mailed fist.

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    The ABC has been corrupted by the appointment of that mealy mouthed ex packer stable mare as head of the organization. Scummo made sure about that and the rest of the so-called journos and presenters have followed suit. Their anti Labor bias is on show on every ‘serious’ current affairs or news gathering program. And to drive home the message, regular appearances by right wing ratbags such a Sheridan, complete the utter and shameless display of partisan politics. Bugger Independence and the charter of the ABC, Murdoch wants it, so shall it be. Thugby, the Batchelorette, the Block, are what australians been conditioned to concentrate their minds, while Scummo and his band of crooks, carry on rorting and scheming and re-arranging the country’s wealth to suit themselves. This Anti corruption body will just sweep more of the crap under the carpet.

  8. !

    Notice the number of Labor power brokers, once occupants of high office, who have deep regrets but only sometime after their demise. Lots of if only(s). When Rudd was on his way to be the PM, he was going to take the politics out of government appointments. In brief – it never happened and now it’s worse than ever.

    But that’s the nature of party policy platforms since time immemorial. They are like railway platforms – designed for getting in from and not remaining on. As always, the devil is in the detail and that remains hidden until it’s far too late.

    Yes I know, next time it will be different. (But it never is! Don’t tell anyone.)

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/partisan-appointments-to-abc-sbs-selection-panel-crushes-rudds-dream-20140704-zsvkz.html

  9. wam

    In 2013 the nt abc had young rabbottians who for 5 hours every morning talked about debt with callers all, until I pushed stop, were clp. I got buttoned when I argued that the rabbott was lying and the announcer should check the figures quoted by callers. Unfortunately I was unable to be calm when using comparison so the button was correctly activated. No change to the pro-opposition then and more of the same with the gov in the last 7 years.
    Currently the majority of producers are ex-murdoch or from southern papers background and it shows.
    Even bigot’s have rights, don’t they???

  10. Brozza

    I watched the interview with Geoffrey Watson SC on abc news this morning (3/11/20/) in which he rubbished EVERY aspect of the gummints proposed ICAC, stating that the country would actually be worse off with than without it in it’s current form before both houses.
    In fact he said he would personally go to can-bra to lobby all the senators to OPPOSE it because it was so bad in it’s setup.

  11. Andrew Smith

    Greg Sheridan is a good example of not just what is wrong, but how conservatives have been usurped by corporate libertarianism and white nativism; he had a reasonable reputation on Asian affairs bit has lost that through political partisianship and blindly echoing Murdoch policy.

    Couple of years ago he was on The Drum (tag team with IPA types?), where he features often, like a PR sock puppet speaking very quickly so he can not be interrupted, presenting physically and becoming tired and emotional, while promoting a Murdoch and/or libertarian/nativist attack, against an ethical leader.

    This leader was conservative Angela Merkel who is targetted because she is a woman, educated, German, EU protagonist, supports EU regulation on businesss (including standards, taxes, trade agreements, environment etc.) and is welcoming to immigrants; the antithesis of Anglo conservative ‘leaders’ who are not allowed to lead as they must keep an eye on Murdoch or NewsCorp.

  12. Egalitarian

    Greg Sheridan has a great deal of difficultly distinguishing shit from clay.

  13. Terence Mills

    Rudd’s petition on media ownership closes today and currently stands at 476,824 signatories.

    If we can get it to half a million, the government can’t ignore it !

    https://www.aph.gov.au/petition_list?id=EN1938

  14. Josephus

    494656 just now Terence- final count?

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