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The 3 Cs: Collusion, Corruption and the Coalition

Don’t get me wrong.

I do not think for one moment that the Coalition parties are the only political parties in Australia which lack integrity, transparency and a desire to benefit the electors more than themselves.

However, on Thursday 13/02/20, during the Senate inquiry into the sports grant awards, the following, fairly lengthy, exchange, as reported in Crikey Daily on Friday 14/02/20, took place between Senator Abetz and Brian Boyd, an Executive Director in the Auditor General’s Office:

‘SENATOR ERIC ABETZ (Liberal Senator for Tasmania): ” … I seek to clarify, you did find that no ineligible project or application was funded?”

BRIAN BOYD: “No Senator that’s not what we found. So if you go to the start of chapter three, which is the chapter on assessment, the finding there was ‘ineligible applications were identified and no applications assessed as ineligible were awarded grant funding’.

“So that’s the Sport Australia eligibility assessment process. What then happened subsequently was there’s applications, late applications were taken on board, which were ineligible under the guidelines.

“Amendments were made for existing applications which were ineligible under the guidelines and they were funded.

“But at the time — this relates to the Sport Australia assessment process. Sport Australia removed from its list those assessed as ineligible — that’s what that finding is.

“Subsequent to that there were the five new applications, the four amended applications. And then because things took longer — because you are now running two rounds, rather than three, and funding agreements are in place — you had eight projects where, according to the details provided by the proponent, the project had been completed before the funding grant was signed. They’re ineligible under the program.

“And there were 270 something where the project had started before the funding agreement was signed, which is also ineligible under the program. So we get to around 43% of those which were awarded funding, by the time the funding agreement signed, were ineligible.”’

It will be really interesting in due course to actually read in full what is revealed to the Senate Inquiry concerning the extent of communication between the PM’s office and the Sports Minister and the inquiry by Phil Gaetjens. The latter has clearly been significantly paraphrased by the PM in reporting the findings to Parliament.

We already know that this is not the first time that slush funding for sporting bodies in the run up to an election has been abused. Ros Kelly, the 1993 Labor Sports Minister was forced out of office in 1994 and later resigned from Parliament altogether.

First as a university lecturer and later as a lawyer, I have served on three different University Human Research Ethics Committees, which have really strict guidelines. Those guidelines apply whether the research is medical – where they are even stricter – or in social science areas but still collecting date from human beings. In the veterinary sciences there are similar research ethics committees.

As a lawyer, a compulsory unit of study is ethics and I doubt that is the only discipline area to which this applies. Most professions have requirements regarding continuous reaccreditation, as I know from firsthand experience both as a lawyer and as a mediator, and most also have disciplinary bodies with the power to limit or prevent practice by a member of that profession.

Yet when it comes to politics – it is horribly clear that anything goes!

Thus we have to drag a government, kicking and screaming, to a Royal Commission, when it comes to issues like banking and aged care, where poor regulation and supervision can be literally a life and death situation and where the terms of reference seldom fully encompass the needs for enquiry and the following up is seldom effected satisfactorily.

Why?

Because politicians of most flavours receive party donations on a significant scale which discourages them from being too critical to the donors.

Why else did we wait so long for smoking to be curtailed?

Why else are we still waiting for action on phasing out fossil fuels?

And what is the background of most politicians?

Once upon a time, politicians had a wide variety of backgrounds, and usually some work-life experience before entering politics. Nowadays we still have a significant number of lawyers – which is a mixed blessing! – but are represented mainly by political apparatchiks who have spent most of their adult lives to date in a political party environment.

On the pretext that they have nobly abandoned a lucrative career in order to work for the common good, they vote themselves generous-to-a-fault superannuation schemes which the average working person could only dream of and have generous allowances, claims for which depend on their integrity.

I am leaving out a lot of detail here, because most of us who ever stop to look closely at politics know only too well that the balance between public duty and personal benefit leaves none of them short changed.

So – where are we?

Looking back over the last few years, I would sum it up like this:

We have a prime Minister who is not interested in honesty, does not seek the best for the Australian people, and has a single focus which is keeping his party – and himself – in power.

Integrity? MIA.

Transparency? MIA.

Suitability for office? Absolutely none!

Once more – this is my 2020 new Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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17 comments

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  1. Josephus

    Thank you. We are a banana republic .
    If only we were out in the streets by the millions, but brainwashing is clever, and works unless one seeks evidence by experts. In a democracy stupidity rules and will be the death of us, though not of the planet. My money is on giant huge brained ants or lizards evolving. Which is fine. They will pray to their ant god or lizard god.

  2. DrakeN

    It’s a strange fact of life, Josephus, that human evolution is so unequal across the species and even within communities.
    We have some of the most evolved intellects that the world has ever known dispersed amongst some of the most stupid societies that have ever existed.
    We have Universities dedicated to the study and promotion of religions defying the findings of rational science.
    We have massive military establishments which are for the ‘Defence of the Nation’ but which spend most of their effort in interfering in other countries’ affairs.
    We have people claiming that there are conspiracies involved in the provision of massed vaccinations for disease prevention, yet who believe that one becomes wealthy on purely individual effort.
    Et-bluddy-cetera.
    The mind boggles at such massive proliferation of elective ignorance and contradictions.

  3. ROGER LEE

    Come the night of the long knives !😡

  4. DrakeN

    Rosemary, it is an unfortunate truism that a large majority of the population prefer to believe comforting lies than to face hard truths.
    A major failing in popular democracy.

  5. Jack Cade

    Josephus.
    We are a banana republic and the bananas are in government. Read Lawrence Britt’s 14 features of Fascism. We have a perfect score 14 out of 14. The only things the Coalition does right are wrongs.

  6. LambsFry Simplex.

    Evidence of this shows in the Huawei debacle of last week, perhaps, Jack Cade.

    Second degree Byrnes from the friction round the US/Israel butthole.

  7. Merkin Wankette

    A few years ago I heard a radio analysis of big business, called The Nike Paradigm. Put simply, companies like Adidas and Puma had their own factories in their countries of origin, employing local people and selling into local markets. Conservative governments favoured local businessmen, Democrat governments favoured the employees.
    Nike worked out that they only needed to sell their name, didn’t have to produce.
    Now, corporate entities abandon their countries of origin and put their names on products manufactured in poor countries for one tenth or less of production costs ‘at home’, slot the profits into havens and pay fuck all taxes comparatively.
    When the cheap countries get ambitious, the corporates move off into even cheaper places. Somebody told me – and I have no other evidence than my innate cynicism, that ‘help desks’ were moved from India to Manila because Indians started asking for promotions.
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, arseholes like JWHoward persuaded AUSSIES that their mates – ie unions – were holding them back and thsy could forge better deals themselves.
    Go on, shoot me down if you like. I have 4 children with families all in ‘safe’ employment but shitting themselves about absorptions and amalgamations. Our governments give shiploads of tax breaks to boost the coffers of offshore havens.

  8. whatever

    Joyce, Canavan and Craig Kelly should do the honest thing and resign from Parliament. If you intend to be a lobbyist for the mining industry you cannot claim a Parliamentary salary as well. You can’t “serve two masters” as a Peoples’ representative.

  9. totaram

    whatever: ” You can’t “serve two masters” as a Peoples’ representative.”

    Says who? Where is the law that says this? Can’t find it? Tough luck!
    I know we should have something like that but it doesn’t exist.

  10. Trudy Bray

    Whatever, they do not represent the People. They represent themselves, their party, their donors and, lastly, again themselves. The People do not come into it unless they can be used to benefit the politician, their party or their donors.

  11. Pingback: The 3 Cs: Collusion, Corruption and the Coalition #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  12. whatever

    Scotty is making a habit of appearing on TV at about 11.AM, and giving a folksy ‘fireside chat’ about people ‘having a go’.
    RSL Clubs around the nation go silent as drunken bogans harken unto the words of Scotty.

  13. Bert

    As a humble truck driver for a multinational concrete and quarrying company I even had to sign off on a code of conduct which a breach off would lead to termination of employment. What happens to these fekkers that go way beyond anything I could possibly do? SFA!!!

  14. leefe

    Was it Plato who proposed that anyone seeking public office should be immediately barred from achieving it? Whoever it was, they had the right idea.

  15. Henry Rodrigues

    I just read on Twitter that firery Paul Parker who told Scummo,to fuck off has been sacked. Someone tweeted that If he had stopped fighting fires and had taken off to Hawaii, he’d be alright. Just like that bastard Scummo, thin skinned sob.

  16. LambsFry Simplex.

    Trudy Bray.

    Spot on, it is a doctrine spread and snowballed since Margaret Thatcher and as others have said elsewhere, there is a civilisation jeopardising epidemic right across the world. The symptoms include a trembling, fevered grasping after brown paper bags and codes for numbered accounts and deranged outbursts when caught doing this. These ravings include much deep delirium as fantasies issued forth from brows drenched in sweat with anxious shivering from identified cases. The visions are truly disturbing and diametrically opposed to reality, as exhibited through utterances from victims like Christian Porter, Michaelia Cash, Angus Taylor, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce and the sadly mourned St. Bridget.

    The symptoms have spread through big business and banking, cotton growing areas where inordinate thirst ( for others water) is an endemic problem, tabloid media and press and even large sections of the Civil Service, resulting in widespread grief for many ordinary people affected throughout wider society, usually involving people on low or no incomes, offshore visitors and dark skinned ethnic subgroups withing the borders of this very country.

    It is true that no vaccination is available. In fact, Pentecostals claim it is likely so universal as to require a visitation from a cosmic medical practitioner who will only save the infected while the innocent are punished en masse.

    Certainly, it seems that widespread suffering will continue across the third world, but since this only applies to coloured folk and other non essentials, little has, or ever will be, done to alleviate this more general suffering, only “collateral damage”, you know.

    So the prognosis is not good and observers wait anxiously for the eventuation of some of the more dire consequences predicted from those identified by ranting denialists as deluded alarmist carriers, such as Meltdowns of ice caps and stock exchanges alike as well as plagues of bloodsucking vermin and rabid stool pigeons.

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