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Integrity Bites: Attack of The Independents

An interesting piece from the Sydney Morning Herald (mirrored in The Age) has come out this morning, and it warrants some scrutiny. It deals with the use of the issue of political integrity and the federal ICAC to galvanise Independent campaigns.

Introduction: Not a Good Start

This piece was in the Australian print media, so we should not expect great writing, but this is something else. The piece begins as follows:

A national row over trust in politics will be used to galvanise campaigns against the Coalition in marginal seats after Prime Minister Scott Morrison abandoned a pledge to set up a corruption watchdog and blamed Labor for not supporting his preferred plan.

Mr. Morrison would do well to remember that his party was the government for the last three years (when the corruption watchdog was an issue). It is not the role of the Opposition to support your policy. It is there in the name: opposition. By definition of forming a government, you had the majority necessary to pass legislation. The support of the Labor Party was not necessary. They refused to support it because they knew, like a tax agency set up by Al Capone, it would be toothless. To then turn around and blame them for having the nerve to not mindlessly fall in line with your policy is the height of arrogance. Moving on.

Morrison and Integrity – A Match Made in Hell, Part One

The Lodge Occupant has long opposed the idea of an Integrity Commission (draw your own conclusions on that one). One of the ridiculous arguments against such a body was that it would be a ‘kangaroo court’ where reputations would be tarnished. A judge rightly demolished this idea when he noted the small number of investigations [private] compared to actual hearings [public]. More cynically, The Lodge Occupant is annoyed that Bruz and The Bin Chicken resigned (voluntarily it must be remembered) due to ICAC hearings. Not a fault in the process, Scummo, sorry. I realise that the mafia sees the court system as biased against them, but there is a reason for that.

Morrison and Integrity – A Match Made in Hell, Part Two

A journalist actually had the stones to raise the issue of integrity with The Lodge Occupant on the campaign trail. Asked if he would set up such a body, The Lodge Occupant refused to commit. The next day a journalist asked him whether the fact that he had not done so amounted to a broken promise. The response has to be quoted in full to be believed:

No, it is not [a broken promise]. “I am not going to introduce a kangaroo court. I am not going to introduce a policy that I don’t think is in the nation’s best interests.

It would be corrupted by a Labor Party that’s more interested in playing politics with this issue than addressing the real issues.

I put forward a detailed plan, a detailed proposal, which the Labor Party rejects. I have honoured my proposal. The Labor Party don’t support it. That is where the issue rests.

Indeed it is a broken promise, you liar. You said you would do something and you did not do it. That is a broken promise. Next, as we discussed above, it is not a ‘kangaroo court’ just because Liberals happen to be on the rough end of its actions sometimes. Third, how is a national political integrity body not in the nation’s best interests? You really are a clown, you know that?

Finally, as we addressed above, it is not the job of the opposition to support government policy. The nerve it takes to blame Labor for not supporting your policy is gargantuan. You had the numbers in the House. You just wanted to play politics with the issue by putting forward some non-retrospective, toothless tiger of a body and using Labor’s refusal to support it as a wedge issue. Politics truly is a game to this man.

The Rise of The Independents: Zoe Daniel and Company

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese stated the obvious (but it is no less valuable for that) when he said:

The reason why this Prime Minister doesn’t want an anti-corruption commission is sitting on his frontbench.

An interesting statement that is vague enough to avoid defamation charges, since it does not name a specific minister. However, it still throws the spear of corruption at the government. Labor also said that the only way to achieve an anti-corruption body was to elect a Labor government. Given the last three years of inaction, obfuscation and lies around the issue from The Lodge Occupant, it is difficult to disagree.

The Independent candidates in various seats are also making an issue of integrity in politics. Zoe Daniel in Goldstein, Kylea Tink in North Sydney among others have noted the essentially hamstrung position of government MPs. The Lodge Occupant’s refusal to address the issue leaves them with nothing of substance to say aside from the lies we dissected above. Another Independent of note is Helen Haines in Indi, who actually put forward a bill for a more powerful federal corruption watchdog. Naturally, the government rejected this. Dr. Haines has some credibility on the issue of integrity since she actually took action on the issue.

Distraction: Government MPs Attack The Independents

In a useful display of public stupidity, both Dave Sharma and Tim Wilson demanded that the Independents say who they would support in the event of a hung parliament. Textbook definition of a red herring there, gentlemen. They are not obligated to say where their vote will go since it may not even be an issue. The election has not happened yet and so the structure of the parliament is unknown. Morons.

This is actually ridiculous in another way too. Nothing says well-thought-out political strategy quite like making demands of the people who could hold the keys to the kingdom. Saying that the Independents should make their allegiances known before ‘making their next set of demands’ (where is the first one?) is likely to put them offside, is it not? Also, does this not suggest that these MPs think the Independents will have a major say in the next parliament? Reminds me of Mr Turnbull’s ‘forming majority government’ comment from a few years back.

Conclusion: You Are What You Do

The current government has a tenuous relationship with integrity. Morrison could not lie straight in bed, as his remarks on the campaign trail referenced above suggest. As Senator Wells said, ‘the fish stinks from the head’. The refusal to introduce a federal corruption watchdog, along with the terrible arguments against it, speaks volumes about the Morrison Government. This cabal of (allegedly) corrupt corporate criminals must be removed and a powerful, retrospective, non-partisan watchdog introduced.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    Morrison put forward “his” detailed proposal and the ALP rejected it.., because it was rigged, dictatorial, bent, twisted, ineffective, useless and totally self centred. The arguing anus tells us that his proposal was godlike, disney script sure, eternally safe and correct and honest. Piggzarz!!!

  2. GL

    They are terrified of what an ICAC would find if they dug into the corruption, graft, cronyism, etc. of the LNP over the past 9 years.

  3. Baby Jewels

    Well said, Dr. Jones!

  4. SteveJF

    It is like when Tony Abbott told the giant porky that there is no country anywhere in the world that subsidises their car industries! The opposite is true that every country in the world that has a car industry subsideses that industry in some form or other. The worst possible reasons (3) for hunting our car manufactures out of Australia. Free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and….. waite for it…..China. That worked out real well didn’t it? This stinking government has been totally shit from day one.

  5. Jack Cade

    Labor should promise to build a prison specifically for politicians, and provide the sort of conditions Julian Assange enjoys.
    Prison could be called Scummo McScumface.

  6. Terence Mills

    Watch these people on the federal ICAC that was never presented to the parliament because it was a dud. They blame Labor for not supporting it and thus frustrating their efforts to introduce it as legislation : all lies !

    Last night on The Project Lisa Wilkinson interviewed Social Services Minister Anne Ruston and quizzed her about the lack of substance in the coalition’s preferred ICAC and the fact that they had never placed it before the parliament for debate. She asked Ruston if the coalition would present a new Bill if re-elected. Ruston said that the same Bill would be maintained and if the coalition won the election they would then have a mandate from the Australian people and would expect Labor to honour that mandate and pass their legislation.

    These people are tricky !

  7. RosemaryJ36

    The lack of understanding by current Ministers of the roles of government and opposition, plus the meaning of ‘integrity’ is truly alarming! Even more of concern is that those who vote them into power, share their ignorance!

  8. Kathryn

    Nothing – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – kind, compassionate, foresightful, honest, sincere or intelligent has EVER been sourced from the unspeakably corrupt, lying, bible-thumping hypocrite and two-thumbs-up BOGAN, the bone-idle Sloth Morrison! This is a fake, power-obsessed narcissist who is internationally regarded as a recidivist PATHOLOGICAL LIAR! Even the French President, Emmanuel Macron, recognised what a disingenuous phony Morrison is – when asked if he thought Morrison was a liar, Macron astutely replied: “I don’t think, I KNOW!” ….. Hmmmm, an opinion that is also widely acknowledged and agreed upon by most intelligent, insightful Australians who can spot a despicable FAKE from 20 kms away! We all knew Phony Abbott was as fake as a $3 note but Morrison is not only fake, he is a callous, self-serving sociopath!

    Anyone with an IQ >10 can see that this appalling ruthlessly ambitious political parasite (Morrison) is about as shallow as a carpark puddle; as compassionate as a starving crocodile and as “loose with the truth” as Morrison’s notorious hero, Donald Trump, on Trump’s WORST day! History has proven that everything about Morrison – past and present – is fake; everything about him is a lie but what is even worse is that Morrison continually tries to hide his unspeakable level of corruption, inhumanity and treachery behind a nauseating level of bible-thumping hypocrisy!

    Morrison ticks EVERY box as a backstabbing, lying, conniving political psychopath. One does not need to search back too far in his political history to see how treacherous he is! The story of his appalling betrayal of Michael Towke (click on link below this paragraph) gives one an insight into Morrison’s devious, despicably malignant, lack of character. If that wasn’t enough, Morrison went on betraying and backstabbing other colleagues including Malcolm Turnbull! Who can forget how the treacherous Morrison placed his arm around Turnbull’s shoulders swearing support only to stick the knife in a few weeks later in order to usurp power!

    If the backstabbing liar can do this to his OWN colleagues, what chance do ordinary Australians have in trusting this appalling political psychopath?

    Even Morrison’s OWN colleagues despise him with Gladys Berejiklian (aptly) describing Morrison as a “horrible horrible” man, Barnaby Joyce stating that Morrison is “loose with the truth” and just about every colleague in his OWN cabinet and the LNP State cabinets describing him as a ruthless, backstabbing liar! Quite a worry when one realises that the people who supposedly know him the best haven’t got a good word to say about him, eh?

  9. Albos Elbow

    King Liar didn’t even put forward a proposal to parliament for Labor or anyone else to vote on.
    All he did was release a draft for comment and review.

    So blaming Labor for “not supporting it in parliament” is just another one you can add to his growing shit pile of lies.

    GROM – Get Rid of Morrison.

  10. A Commentator

    I’ve decided that a few independents are ok, but a dozen or more of them isn’t good for effective government.
    They have no policy coherence and no leadership.
    It looks like a gaggle of opportunists all looking for a place in the media and political limelight
    How do you know what you are actually voting for?

  11. Michael Taylor

    I’m more than happy with my independent, Helen Haines.

  12. Andrew J. Smith

    One is already that corruption, incompetence, rentier features of the economy etc. will continue to flourish as legacy Murdoch ‘medium’ started in unison with the campaign in running protection for the LNP; focusing upon Labour etc. and disappearing LNP ministers and MPs….. also includes the ABC/SBS, the latter by simply being anodyne and following the same themes holding Labor to account…..

    Not unlike the media landscape in Hungary, Turkey etc. where society is simply not informed well, if at all, but fed electoral agitprop 24/7/365.

  13. A Commentator

    There are a few good independents.
    Years ago Ted Mack in NSW was outstanding. Andrew Wilkie is also very capable.
    But every seat will have the option of Lib/Nat, ALP or Green. There’s enough there to cover any persuasion, and you know what you’re likely to get.
    Independents are generally opportunists and have zero documented policy
    Choose a party

  14. wam

    I am trying to remember what scummo said about the Federal ICAC. was Albo or labor mentioned???
    Pick a party??? You mention one extremist party so why not PHON or UAP?
    pps The greens are irresponsible labor loud, A vote for them is a vote against labor.
    Waltz that is not tricky scummo got voted in got a mandate for more of the same so did the copper man. Labor is forced to put promises and the loonies put gloss to take cash from labor. As does PHON and UAP taking $ from scummo.

  15. margcal

    Is there an Occupant in The Lodge?
    A cleaner?
    A security person?
    Morrison still calls Kirribilli home. That’s one of the reasons why he is the Prime Minister for NSW.

    This is not a nit-picking comment if you believe that the optics and impressions matter.
    In ages past ‘they’ thought so. That is why a residence was built in Canberra, the nation’s capital, for the PM of the nation to live in, rather than his/her home state.
    They were right.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    There is nowhere in the constitution that says the Opposition; any Opposition has to government bills because they have the mandate. The only order of a new government is to form a government because they can garner the majority votes of MPs in the lower house. If the number change between elections, the government can change. All leglislation becomes law if passed by the majority of votes in both places.

    The only way for any proposed leglislation to be tested is a vote in the house. PM knows the Opposition, in this case, doesn’t have the numbers to defeat the ICAC bill if he presents it. His excuse for not doing so is nonsense. The PM is frightened of those on his side who might cross the floor, not Labor. Has no faith in support from the crossbench.

  17. RomeoCharlie29

    When talking up effective independents I don’t think we should forget Rex Patrick in SA, not my electorate, who has been very effective in Senate estimates. I hope he isn’t lost to Xenophon.As for the ICAC we know the (mis)government didn’t bring it on was they knew it was shit and would never have got up. Sadly a few, maybe even a lot of, voters will accept the outright lie that it was Labor who scotched their bill. Their lack of credibility is clear from their unwillingness to give Helen Haines’ bill any support or even allow it to be debated.

  18. New England Cocky

    @ A Commentator: Why did you ignore Tony Windsor INDEPENDENT for New England who was elected with 62% of the primary vote in 2000. Perhaps his greatest achievement was preventing the Toxic RAbbott from ascending to power in 2010, thus allowing Australian voters to successfully survive the GFC without noticing it. His early retirement under health instructions from family was a travesty for Australian voters because it revived the political ambitions of Beetrooter the adulterous, alcoholic, sexually harassing misogynist representing the Nazional$ and foreign owned multinational mining corporations.

  19. Terence Mills

    If Scott Morrison was serious when he said that the legislation for an integrity commission wasn’t presented to the parliament – where it could be debated and amendments moved in the normal way – because Labor would likely not support it, then he was virtually saying that we don’t do anything without the Labor party’s agreement : that being the case there really doesn’t seem to be any need for the coalition at all.

    But, of course Morrison wasn’t saying that, he was telling lies, yet again.

    As RC29 notes, there was a real ICAC Bill drafted by Helen Haines and others that the government blocked from seeing the light of day.

  20. Michael Taylor

    We would still have Sophie Mirabella if a great independent – and the electorate – hadn’t have booted her out.

  21. GL

    Gag! Choke! Urk! Bucket, where’s the chunder bucket? Scummo (ably assisted by Rupert) is trying the “daggy dunce…I mean dad” bullshit again. And, most strangely, he had his official tax payer photographer with him for the completely unexpected and off the cuff visit to the show.

    For effs sake: “Otherwise, most passers-by were just excited to be in the presence of a famous person, and focused on trying to get close enough to take a photo of the Prime Minister.” And the only not nice comment they printed was a piss weak, ““Oh. I don’t like him.””

  22. Michael Taylor

    GL, I’m so pleased he decided not to campaign over Easter.

    Let’s just do photo ops instead. 🙄

  23. GL

    I’ve never heard of this septuplet of nobodies and cretins. After seeing the photo and reading what they had say I will continue leave them in the nobodies and cretin box.

    A new low even for the LNP: Reads like, “Vote us back in and we’ll let you have this type 1 diabetes have this potentially life saving monitoring device.”

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