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Restoring trust in the political system after a political hatchet job

In his book “The Political Bubble”, Mark Latham said this about the state of our democracy:

“Australians once trusted the democratic process. While we got on with our lives, we assumed our politicians had our best interests at heart.”

Whatever you think of Latham, one cannot deny that this book is a brilliant analysis of the malaise that has permeated our politics for the last decade. He asked:

“What can be done about this democratic deficit? Can our parliamentary system realign itself with community expectations, or has politics become one long race to the bottom?”

Re-establishing trust in Government is one of the essential things the Albanese Government can do.

Until Morrison came along, I considered Tony Abbott to be the most extraordinary liar ever to walk the plush green carpet of the House of Representatives. He, however, proved to be amateurish alongside Morrison. So good was his lying that he took it to heights never before witnessed in Australian politics.

Now with an inquiry into the duplicate ministries scandal and a Royal Commission into Robodebt, the Coalition thinks it’s all a hunt to discredit Scott Morrison, and we should “move on” from all the cock ups they ever made.

John Howard advised Tony Abbott that it would be foolhardy to implement Royal Commissions into Pink Batts and the Unions because, in the future, such actions might turn around and bite you on the bum. That is precisely what has happened.



Of course, these two won’t be the only sins of the ministers that will face inquiries. There is an impressive list.

No doubt, whatever form the proposed National Corruption commission takes, it will have several issues to look at.

Angus Taylor and Barnaby Joyce were involved in a shady water buyback scheme that channelled money through the Cayman Islands.



$444m awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with no tendering – straight into the pockets of directors with links to Liberal National Party.

The Coalition granted $30 million to Foxtel, ostensibly to assist with “sports coverage” (whilst simultaneously slashing ABC funding). There was no public release of any conditions or oversight regarding the financing.

Then follows the issue of When in 2018, the Federal Government paid a Liberal donor at the Leppington Pastoral Company ten times the fair value for land that will serve as the airport’s second runway after 2050.

The saga of the Sports Rorts affair has never gone away. The former sports minister Bridget McKenzie said the prime minister’s office did not approve the $100m sports grants program.

Federal parliament Car Parks affair, Government officials can’t say how many car spaces are funded by the project, which Labor describes as ‘professional rorting.’

Is the Leader of the Opposition seriously suggesting that these alleged examples of impropriety should be swept under the rug just because it might make them look bad?

The deputy opposition leader, Susan Ley, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton both, last week, called the Royal Commission into Robodebt and the inquiry into the then Prime Minister’s ability to make two out of one, “witch-hunts” and “get-square” with Scott Morrison schemes.

According to Dutton, Albanese saw:

“… political advantage” in an inquiry targeted at Morrison. “It’s morphing into a witch-hunt rather than pointing out a problem that needed to be solved.”

The opening paragraphs of Rossleigh’s recent article for The AIMN explains the attitude of those opposed to any action against those who have worked against the nation’s best interests:

“Imagine that you go to the police to report a person is accused of misappropriation of funds from your organisation, and rather than investigate, the constable asks a few questions and asks you, “What’s the point of the investigation?”

You reply that you’d like to find out how it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again, to which the constable tells you: “Yeah, but he doesn’t work there anymore. Aren’t you just being vindictive? I think you should get on with your life and not worry about the past!”

Susan Ley’s simplistically inane comments never seem to match the seriousness of the allegations making her at times look like a Marilyn Monroe dumb blond. They look foolish, even laughable, in doing so when one considers they lost the election mainly on Morrison’s untrustworthiness. (No misogyny intended).

But the Liberals and the Nationals have always been a party of elites and wannabes. The idea that economics and society are intertwined is abhorrent to them. Economics is the domain of the wealthy and privileged, and culture belongs to those of class and privilege.

The previous Government’s words and actions questioned the very essence of the word truth. Or they at least devalued it to the point of obsolescence.

The Liberal born-to-rule philosophy has finally been put to death by their shameful actions, as has the indulgence of “we are the best party to manage money.” During their Luddite period, they alone were responsible for the utter contempt they displayed for the Westminster system of Government.

We found that with Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, that power is a corrupt possession, especially when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.

Of course, in the case of Morrison’s duplicitous Ministerial self-appointments, we must remember the conclusion of the Solicitor General:

“On the other hand, we’ve got a report from the solicitor-general. It clearly says that there was nothing illegal done, but it also clearly indicates that it is just highly unconventional, highly unorthodox and shouldn’t have happened.”

If the Coalition cannot admit to the carnage they are responsible for, then the stench of it will attach itself to their future election campaigns.

Of course, Labor has to walk a fine line between genuinely being called out for Morrison bashing and seriously trying to resurrect good governance.

As part of its restoration program, Labor must also do something about the Public Service. Change it from an anti-public service to a concerned pro-public service with a pulse that people can measure. And return it to being an apolitical institution in Australia!

Regaining trust in Government will not be attained overnight. It may even take as long as the conservatives took to wreck it. Such is the audacity of the conservative mind. But having said that, the Prime Minister has made a good start with a willingness to show openness and truth when dealing with people.

At the same time, it is prosecuting its case against the opposition. It must prove that it is making advancements in communicating its transparency agenda.

The conservative right-wing media are doing their best to advise against any form of investigation that might expose wrongdoing. They did the opposite when Abbott went after Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard.

Albanese is determined that we might have a better standard of governance. It cannot achieve it without exposing why it is necessary. That means laying bare those matters which were shady, dishonest, deceitful, or plainly corrupt for a decade.

My thought for the day

If we are to save our democracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should be transparent and tell the truth.

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  1. New England Cocky

    Once again JL you have accurately nailed the Australian political status quo. However, the Albanese LABOR government appears to be shying away from ”too hard” matters in fear of repercussions or even a repeat of the bloodless coup overthrow Dismissal of the democratically elected Whitlam LABOR government by American CIA interests, Betty Windsor with the assistance of the Australian High Court.

    For example, why should gg David Hurley be allowed to advocate for a $18 MILLION “matey’s gift” to the Australian Future Leaders Foundation Ltd, an English ”charity” with no publicly known assets except an address and interesting management procedures that allow asset stripping when the directors all agree is the best time?

    The pitiful performance of Deputy Opposition Leader Suspect Leyzee immediately identifies her as an unthinking airhead to pair up with Boofhead Voldemort Duddo, the hopefully life-long Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition’. The Liarbrals are in ”good hands” …..

    If the Albanese LABOR government is serious about pursuing ALL the corruption of the RAbbott Turdball Scummo nine years, then the Australian legal fraternity will become very rich and the current surplus of starving young lawyers will be accommodated. However, I remember that Obama attempted to create a ”kinder” political debate in America and failed.

    So, perhaps the optimal solution would be to build a strong case against the individual COALition politicians with a track record of corruption and dirty deals supporting their own pecuniary interests and ”encourage” the alleged offenders to chose between very public exposure and early retirement into their Bowral dashas to sip pink gin and play Bridge.

  2. Joe

    And where was the media (left and right) in all this, there to hold the government/politics to account? where?

  3. pierre wilkinson

    $u$$an is further upset by the union thuggery on display at the shonky stunt of the so called jobs forum,
    as herr dutton implodes over the unnecessary inconvenience of hunting witches and politicising wrong doings on his side of government, totally ignoring the apparent hypocrisy of criticising the use of royal commissions into supposed corruption, something his predecessors excelled at
    meanwhile sky continues to extol the virtues of liberal views and denigrate everything labor

  4. Bob

    John, so many ways to destroy democracy before it’s on its feet and the Liberals are all over it. NEC, you are correct. Labor prefers to do what it thinks will keep them in power rather than what is good for the country. Again, democracy is not served by that kind of compromise.
    This quote from Alexander Fraser Tytler (Scottish lawyer and writer, 1747-1813) summed up the problem:
    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”
    And the first group to always vote themselves benefits are politicians, on behalf of their various lobbyists, financial backers, etc.
    There are some good people in Labor, I wish they would stand their ground.

  5. Goog

    Reading a book by Cameron K Murray and Paul Frijters called Rigged ( how networks of powerful mates rip off everyday Australians ) , well entrenched system

  6. Andy56

    I Know that Labor are LNP lite. I know this summit was orchestrated for media consumption. It took lees than 24hrs for Chalmers to take action. It was all preplanned, so Dutton was right for the wrong reasons.
    We heard strong advocacy for disabled people and then we get the action for pensioners only. Fuck, yea lets let them eat more cake.
    Its not only that wages have stagnated , the basics of life have also been sky rocketing in price. Housing, cars ( basic models are becoming a rare breed), tolls, government non services cost an arm and a leg. Hecs fees that seem overwhelming. Private health insurance that nobody wants is out of reach for most pensioners yet we get penalised if we dont have it. And its not as if these costs have gone up slightly, they have leaped way way ahead. So for me, not recognising the root cause and concentrating on wages is somewhat a fucked idea. Bubble thinking.
    Privatising basic public infrustructure hasnt brought the benefits its proponents promised, in fact made the delivery worse than basic. Lets move away from private does better BS to delivering services with a heart by people who care. Lets have a government that says it believes in climate change and then tells fossil fuels they have ten years to clear out. Until then, its all smoke and mirrors. Lets face it, we voted labor because they are not liberals. Is that the best we get?

  7. ajogrady

    Australians need to start paying attention. Our democracy is under threat and it not from a invading marauding nation. Its from within. Our democracy is being stolen right under our noses by billionaire media barons, mining magnates and right wing politicians fulfilling their own agenda and self interests that do not benefit the majority of the Australian people. When over 30% of first nations people in the Northern Territory were either unable or prevented from voting something is very wrong. It is against the fundamentals of democracy. Where was the outrage from the Main Stream Media? This is straight out of the American Republican play book where known groups who vote for Democrats, different ways/laws are found to prevent them from voting. Having over 30% of first nations people not being able to vote brings into question Jacinta Price’s election. Preventing voters from voting or manipulating voters through medias continual disinformation and exacerbated by big money adding to the disinformation is not how a true and proper democracy works. Its not what those who made the ultimate sacrifice fought for. They fought for a fair go for all Australians. We are a lesser people and a corrupted nation for this interference. While politics can be boiled down to the integrity and character of the parties, perhaps it is not just the integrity and character of the political parties that are in question. It is also the integrity and character of main stream media journalists reporting on the those political parties that is also in question. Biased, prejudicial and suspect journalism is undermining our democracy. Journalists are not ment to make partisan political statements dressed up as questions or make unbalanced subjective reports across media outlets.
    Democracy is being gamed by influential right wing legacy media that is also manipulating social media played to benefit big business. Those of us engaged in the civic debate don’t pay attention to the hermetically sealed information sphere of the radicalising Right. We don’t understand that there is a borderless global nation sharing panic and fear and unhinged theories to the gullible.This is the group of people who brought Trump flags and wrote appeals to US constitutional Amendments on their Australian posters.Their civic education is formed in international Facebook or Telegram echo chamber chat rooms that are being manipulated by the likes of Murdoch and Palmer that only benefit Murdoch and Palmer and their business interests. If businesses pay large amounts of money to “influencers” to gain advantage over their competition then how much is the influence of the L/NP turd polishing media outlets of Murdoch, 7 , 9, the once was “our ABC” and money from billionaires like Palmer worth to the L/NP? The Main Stream Media are a life support system and cheer squad for a side of politics that has decimated Democracy. The MSM is the problem not the solution. Advertising with these media outlets should be counted as political donations to the L/NP. The Fourth Estate need to recognise that they have been given a powerful and privileged position in maintaining a healthy democracy. The job of the Fourth Estates journalists is to uphold and protect the core values of democracy.
    “Truth”, “accuracy”, and “objectivity” are cornerstones of journalism ethics.

    Worst debt blow-out in the developed world refutes Coalition claims of economic competence

    Zombie Doctrine: belief in Coalition as “super economic managers” sticks, despite proof otherwise

  8. Canguro

    Sussan Ley seems to be going out of her way to be accorded the adjectival label of ‘dumb blonde, but to associate her with the iconic Marilyn Monroe is a lazy mischaracterisation.

    She was neither dumb nor naturally blonde. She may have been troubled… anyone who endured the the degree of abuse she suffered during her dysfunctional childhood is practically guaranteed to be disturbed, but that doesn’t mean she was dumb, stupid, simple or any of the many other pejoratives so thoughtlessly tossed into the word salad. Far from it.

    Goddess, the 1985 biography by Anthony Summers, lays to rest the popular misconception of Marilyn being nothing more than a dizzy-brained sexbomb. Worth reading, if only to put to rest the mythological status of her intelligence. Or if not, the recent documentary The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes based on the book is also revealing as to the sensitivity and skill the late actor brought to her performances.

  9. RoadKillCafe

    You’ll note, John, little ssussssy’s name is Sussan (note the two esses) apparently a numerogical imperative to improve her life, seems to have worked a treat. Deputy opposition leader with the resultant salary and lerks and perks, done well, has little ssusssy. How many vacuous airheads have been elevated to such lofty heights, speaks volumes of her electorate.

    Other than that, Andy56 said it all, as did Canguro. Mate Marilyn was no dumb blonde. Do your homework, dude.


    Politicians I trust none
    They will tell you what you want to hear until the election is won
    Vote for me is their cry
    “Honourable” I will serve you through thick and thin, this election we must win
    We have spent years in opposition, now now here comes my proposition
    Let me show you how to vote, when I win you can come out on my taxpayers funded boat
    With all the bells and the whistles girls dressed in scanty bikinis with us sipping expensive martinis
    What more could you want, so vote for me you silly runt.

  11. wam

    great Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V today, lord. Missed honesty, but that is not a lordian concept. You could give a thought to the opus dei and ‘lying’. But I love your reference to “$444m awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation” 4 people $110m straight into their account withno strings.
    ps ajog There was never a threat to Price. the nt has 7x area and 50% of the ACT Population there is no pocock chance so a nomination by the ALP or the CLP is a certain senate seat There are over a 100 language groups whom are treated as one by the white gov but they are as different as the poms, french, germans, greeks, chinese, indians et cetera?

  12. GL

    I just realised what DoPe reminds me of –

    And when you turn the pump off it sags limply to the ground.

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