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The revolving door of Conservative wrongdoings

The revolving door of corruption continues to tarnish Conservative politicians’ ranks and their party. Following the tradition of deceit that began in 2013 under Tony Abbott’s (or during Howard’s rein) victory, the Government continues with an openness that most leaders would be embarrassed by. Goodness knows what will happen if they win a fourth term.

1 Who else but Peter Dutton – the Minister for Everything Not Tied Down – could slash “millions in grant funding from organisations that were strongly recommended by his Department, and used the funds to support his own handpicked list”?

Documents obtained under FOI reveal from his own department that:

“The Home Affairs Department recommended funding a list of 70 community safety projects using a merit-based assessment.

Peter Dutton reduced the funding for 19 of the highest-scoring applications and redirected the funding to projects of his choice.

The funding guidelines state the minister can override the department’s merit-based assessments.”

Not only that, but the Minister also used the funds to help out a couple of councils in a marginal seat. It must be like having one’s own personal slush-fund fit for purpose. And to think that his department recommended they shouldn’t be funded at all.

This little morsel of corruption wouldn’t even pass a shandy test in the lady’s lounge.

On top of all this, an investigation by the ABCs 7.30 programme tells all and sundry that Dutton has:

“extraordinary influence that Mr Dutton wields over a multi-million dollar fund, drawn from the seized proceeds of criminal enterprises, for the Safer Communities program.”

As a former copper, you would think he would know better.

The guidelines for the grants for round three of the Safer Communities program stipulate that the Home Affairs Minister must consider each project’s assessment. Still, he has the power to overrule his department’s merit-based reviews.

It was also revealed that:

“… Mr Dutton was warned by the department, in a previously confidential ministerial briefing, that overruling the merit system could draw scrutiny from the Australian National Audit Office or other news organisations.”

Well, they sure did, and sadly they will probably get away with yet another one of these political crimes.

The documents, released under freedom of information laws, can only increase the mistrust we already have in our politicians. How we award, grants generally must be reviewed in light of the avalanche of evidence before us.

As is his usual ploy, Dutton tells us everything is above board and squeaky clean and you should believe him because he is a former policeman.

And meanwhile where is the chairman of this ring of skulduggery? Hawaii? No, he just allows it all to happen.

However, The ABC tells us that:

“The ministerial submission Legal experts have told 7.30 that Mr Dutton’s consideration of the grant funding after the association donated to the Queensland LNP may give rise to a perceived conflict of interest, which could be considered a breach of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ministerial standards.”

In breaking news Friday 12 February 2021, The Labor Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate the Safer Communities Fund after departmental documents exposed Mr Dutton diverted almost half the total pool of funding away from recommended projects to his own handpicked ones

2 So the National Party, the party that receives about half the Greens’ votes yet has nine seats to one in the House of Representatives wants to determine Australia’s climate policy. They don’t even have the support of the National Farmers Federation. To say they represent country people is in itself a lie. Just look at the NBN.

They must be the most unqualified group of people to have ever served the nation in this. Whoops, I forgot the redhead.

3 In politics, do you shape the truth for the sake of a good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you use the contrivance of omission and create another lie. I can only conclude that there is always a pain in truth, but there is no harm in it.

4 From Facebook (author unknown):

“It was refreshing to see David Speers meeting his match on insiders this morning. Sunday 7 February. Try as he might, he could not disrupt or contradict Labor official Marles this morning, who reflected the quiet, competent professionalism awaiting Australia after this tired, lazy crooked Government is removed in favour of a new capable Labor’s government. Do we want more Craig Kelly’s or Marles, the difference is a bit too obvious? Of course, I haven’t even mentioned Tanya Plibersek or Kristina Keneally or penny Wong. Labor has a wealth of reformist talent ready to lead.”

5 This email from Mark Dreyfus I received in my Roy Morgan daily newsletter summary is worth repeating:

“We’ve all seen the ever-growing list of scandals surrounding the Morrison Government.

Sports Rorts. Robodebt. The Western Sydney Airport Land rip off.

The list goes on and on.

Australians deserve to have confidence in their Government. Still, Scott Morrison and his Liberal and National Party mates are doing everything they can to prevent the establishment of a powerful and independent national anti-corruption commission.

The Liberals are even proposing what has been called ‘the weakest watchdog in the country’ which will ensure they are never held accountable for their multiple scandals.”

6 Also from Roy Morgan:

“Professor Andrew Stewart from the University of Adelaide is among 23 labour law experts who have criticised key elements of the Federal Government’s omnibus industrial relations bill. Professor Stewart says a particular concern is the proposal to exempt some enterprise agreements from the ‘better-off-overall test’ for two years. The senior academics have also questioned the proposed definition of a casual worker. Professor Stewart stresses that the academics support some parts of the bill, such as increased penalties for wage theft.” (Original article by David Marin-Guzman, The Australian Financial Review, 09/02/2021).

7 From Peter van Onselen (Peter referred to Minister Greg Hunts astonishing attack on ABC journalist and morning host Michael Roland last Tuesday):



Anyway, truth won in the end.

My thought for the day

We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that, the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?

PS: Many thanks to Marilyn Richards, who found the time to write the following:

“Thank you I have enjoyed your writing and your thoughts on this crazy life for some time. I have particularly enjoyed the self-control you seem to have when I have needed to gather my thoughts and courage to stop myself from exploding. Wishing you many more enlightening contributions. To keep some of us sane.”

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  1. Bert

    “As is his usual ploy, Dutton tells us everything is above board and squeaky clean and you should believe him because he is a former policeman.”

    Yes he is a former cop from QLD, nuff said.

  2. sandy

    I’m sorry. I got completely distracted by wouldn’t even pass a shandy test in the ladies lounge. You need to cast a misogynist slur against over half of the population to make your point?

  3. Kronomex

    The LNP just plain doesn’t care, they’re in power and can do what they want and when they get back in again (sad to say but I think it will happen) the takeover will continue and then we’ll never get rid of them.

    My Dad was given a t-shirt with a big image of the Rastafarian Tassie Devil on it for Christmas and the next morning while I was in the kitchen petting Lord Banjo Nuttley (our big tabby cat) my father came around the corner wearing the shirt. Banjo’s eyes almost popped out of his head and he fell off the table and hid under a chair. He didn’t come out until my father left and changed the shirt. That shirt freaked the cat out every time Dad wore it.

  4. Keitha Granville

    exactly, QLD used to be the bastion of democracy !

    Oh dear JL, will any of this matter to most people at the next election? It didn’t last time. Goodness knows what kind of mess we’ll be in if we have to endure the liars and crooks for another term?

  5. wam

    A great giggle this morning, lord, missed your truth hangup except part 3. Do you really think your truth is not tempered by your beliefs and your ability to understand? Do you really think kelly or the rabbott is lying about climate? Surely, they are telling their truth?
    Political truth comes with discovery and dissemination with spin. Therefore avoiding discovery is a major part of political life.
    The loonies get their usual lie of omission or selection because surely they are over represented in the senate? But they are allies of labor, aren’t they lord? Their cash increase last election was good enough, so let’s concentrate on their 150 (many self funded) candidates against the few nationals who are able to get over 50% like ONE loonie.
    I have several retired copper friends, including retired pollies, all who disagree with your words but none are multi-millionaires like dutton, Wonder what advantage he has or had? ps I remember much of 49-72 and the euphoria of 72-75 and the tragedy of our clp whose arrogant rule was born, with a council without a labor member a Their rule came to an end when they and labor least expected it. The electors just got sick of their lazy rorts, open arrogance, uncaring, unfair and indolent attitude ignoring problem solving for off the cuff solutions with jobs for the boys. It had gotten so bad howard had to tie grants into little packages of fixed spending(indue style). We all were swept up with a former ABC announcer, an untried political woman, an honest, roll up the sleeves and dig in worker with no bullshit 25 year figjam baggage.
    pps the year of the buffalo predicts new career opportunities, so don’t let anxiety or negative thinking of labor affect you.

  6. Terence Mills

    I see that Ian Melrose has funded a hard hitting satirical advertisement on the culpability of the Howard government in their pursuit of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery over the actions taken by Downer in bugging the Timor Leste parliamentary offices.

    the ad was on during the tennis last night and needs, in my view, support from the Labor party and the public to have a Royal Commission and bring to justice those responsible for the bugging and subsequent rorting of Timor’s oil revenues.

  7. Bronte D G ALLAN

    NOTHING this fucking so-called “liberal” government (?) or its other mob of lackeys-the stupid bloody national party- could EVER tell the truth about anything, they ALL lie, cheat & do whatever they want trying to run this country (to the ground?)/. Hopefully, Australia can get back onto its feet when they are defeated at the next election & we get the Labor lot back in! Yet another great & true article Mr Lord!

  8. Ross

    John, you ask “We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that, the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?”
    My answer would be people just don’t like politics and politicians. Politicians rate very low on people’s trustometer. If the msm investigated and reported the full truth of politicians nefarious activities there would a riot. It seems some political corruption is the price we pay for social stability.

  9. Matters Not

    Seems like we want politicians to be moral – to proceed on the basis of ethical principle(s). But what about the behavior of the elector – the citizen(s) resident in a particular electorate? Should they also be bound by the right and good? How many citizens say to their representative when it comes to a facility (school, hospital, road or whatever) – We don’t want to jump the queue. Or more generally – I (we) don’t want to be greedy.

    Or is it the case that we just readily accept what (we know) to have come straight out of the metaphorical pork barrel and simply congratulate the member in question without question? Do we ask to see where we (in this electorate) are (or were) ranked on the rationally generated list? So many questions that might (should?) be asked but aren’t. Etc. In short, are we devoid of a moral compass as well? Perhaps politicians act exactly (at least some of the time) how we want them to act. And the real enemy therefore is us?

  10. Matters Not

    Want to see Leigh Sales really do her job? Grilling with unscripted questions and all that. Then make sure it affects her personally!

    The Sydney-based 7.30 host, who visited Melbourne for a friend’s birthday and got caught in lockdown, repeatedly quizzed Mr Andrews over the need for the five-day lockdown during an exchange of almost 10 minutes.

    “How is it the case the government still lacks such confidence in the hotel quarantine systems and contact tracing that you currently can’t manage two or three cases a day?” Sales asked.

    Sales continued to grill the Premier asking why there was a need for lockdown if cases were being properly traced. “Lockdown imposes a real cost and Victorians have already paid a big price for lockdown. Cases are actually very well traced, so why the lockdown?” she asked.

    Then again, it’s Dan under the pump and not Scott.

  11. Bert

    “My Dad was given a t-shirt with a big image of the Rastafarian Tassie Devil on it for Christmas and the next morning while I was in the kitchen petting Lord Banjo Nuttley (our big tabby cat) my father came around the corner wearing the shirt. Banjo’s eyes almost popped out of his head and he fell off the table and hid under a chair. He didn’t come out until my father left and changed the shirt. That shirt freaked the cat out every time Dad wore it.”

    Thanks for that mate, I just spat a mouthful of amber fluid over my keyboard laughing at that anecdote.

  12. leefe

    “As a former copper, you would think he would know better.”

    As a former cop, he knows damn well that it’s not what you do but what you can prove in court that matters. And as the LNP have the AFP in their pocket, none of this is ever going to see the inside of a courtroom.

  13. Jon Chesterson

    Time to put a condom over his head and stop the disease and corruption from spreading, although strangling him out of office for good would be a far better option, politicians like Mutton, Scummo, Trump and Putin are the gutless wolves of the 21st century. History will thankfully emasculate these bastards one day if the human race survives their exploitation. But history can’t come soon enough.

  14. Jane

    Don’t we have a word for corporate backed states that constantly seize control of market forces and own a huge portion of media? We do, don’t we?
    Nationalistic ones especially?
    What’s the term…?
    Ultranationalistic Corporatism?
    Which, if I’m not mistaken… would be the descriptive term for…

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