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There are consequences for reneging on a major promise

With the next election possibly but a few months away, it seems highly unlikely that the Coalition will bring any legislation into the House for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. So pathetic was the last attempt by Christian Porter that it was laughed out of the Chamber.

Be it not for me to say that all the participants in our political system are lilly-whites, but conservatives seem most prone to the evils of the corrupt deal.

It is now two and a half years ago that they promised to legislate for a Commission, and it seems they will renege on it.

There are three possibilities as to why. One is that COVID-19 has made it too difficult to draw up complex legislation. Two might be that it would incriminate the Prime Minister and Cabinet in significant corruption. And three is that there is no money in the budget for such a commission and its long-term costs.

This flies in the face of:

“… the “government’s claim that it understands the need to prioritise transparency and accountability in public life and implement policies to achieve such an outcome.”

Humility is the basis of all intellectual advancement. However, it is the truth that enables human progress.

Suppose it is true that the Coalition doesn’t plan to take a policy to the next election. In that case, it may fly in the face of public opinion and at the same time create the impression that they are scared of doing so because such a commission may want to look at Coalition corruption during its term in office.

As I see it, it is a win-win for Labor. The government cannot produce legislation that will eliminate enquiries into Coalition dealings such as land deals, aged care, political donations, sports rorts, Robodebt and a host of others that would pass the Senate. If we don’t end up with a commission, the government will still have to explain why.

And if Morrison thinks he can explain it away with a few glib lies, then he will be overlooking what is now a long-term, deep-rooted desire for an effective federal anti-corruption body.

Governments who demand the people’s trust need to govern transparently to acquire it.

Dr Colleen Lewis, Honorary Professor, Australian Studies Institute, ANU, is certain that:

“This matter will not go away; indeed, the reverse is the case. In several Australian states, the establishment of an effective anti-corruption model became a significant election issue. Those who care about accountability, openness and transparency at the federal level, and there are many, will ensure that it is front and centre in the forthcoming federal election.

It is time for the government to admit that the Porter-promoted CIC model is so badly flawed as to be an embarrassment to any government that professes to be concerned about effective accountability in the Australian public sector. It is not too late for it to right the wrongs of the past 2 ½ years.”

In October of 2020, Scott Morrison was asked by Anthony Albanese a question about the delay in the legislation. It was obvious that Morrison had zero interest, deflecting the urgency:

 

 

At the time, I wrote that:

“In truth, what these answers delivered was confirmation of an ongoing capacity to lie to the Australian people. The government has been conducting business as usual since the outbreak began. Part of that normality has been legislation to overhaul the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the foreign veto power proposal plus powers to remove mobile phones from asylum seekers legislation. Add to these other examples, like doubling university fees for some future humanities students.”

I also purported that:

“Like many other readers of this site, I feel that for many years now, the integrity of our politics has been gradually sold out by a bunch of corrupt politicians more intent on feathering their nests than working for the people. We are sick to death of the travel rorts, the living away from home allowance, donation rorts and ministers when they retire, walking into senior positions with companies in the same field.”

Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politician’s whose first interest was the peoples and not their own.

I could keep going, but I think you get my drift. All of these everyday pieces of legislation have been worked on while at the same time coping with an awful pandemic. With a list of alleged corruption growing longer by the day

And I repeat an earlier claim:

“If all the LNP errors, rorts and corrupt activities during the Morrison government’s tenure were lumped in the same basket as corruption and looked at retrospectively, then an Integrity Commissioner would have years of work.”

My thought for the day

Having the ability to admit that you are wrong is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.’

 

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10 comments

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    An ICAC should be a vote winner and/or interrogated by media while far less developed nations have done the same under threats of death and/or legal action for those working in or round the same.

    I am not sure there will be consequences when any idealistic expectations of the electorate are managed down or away by claims of ‘they all do it’, ‘whataboutery’ etc. and MPs or Ministers claiming their right to their own ‘rule of law’ However, most of our media monopoly will not talk about or promote an ICAC as their proprietors, giving ‘protection’ to the LNP, will deflect and avoid on behalf of the LNP.

    Meanwhile Australian journalists know the deal, they are expected to be ‘quiet Australians’ or be subject to mischievous and autocratic defamation for producing news and/or supposed breaches of official secrets by whistle blowers.

    We really have become a bunch of doormats passively witnessing the egregious and autocratic breaches of ethics and morals of the ‘top people’ and ‘elites’ in politics, business and media.

  2. Terence Mills

    Instead of the dumb questions Albanese was putting to the prime minister in Question Time he should have asked :

    “Will the prime minister guarantee to deliver on his promise to the Australian people to establish a robust a federal ICAC before the next election is called ?”

    As Morrison seems to be moving towards a November election this, at least would put him on the spot. And with the way the Speaker is enforcing rules at the present, the PM would be called on to actually answer the question.

  3. leefe

    I totally agree with Andrew on this. The Australian electorate is overwhelmingly uninterested in the things that should concern them, such as the integrity and honesty of those who have, or seek, political power. We have been taught to accept it by Mudrake and his minions.

    Those few of us who see behind the distractions and flashy frontispiece and shouting into a hurricane of indifference.

  4. wam

    All the words from you, lord, that I have read over the last 8 years are summed up in today’s thought. Intellectual humility is indeed the key to all learning. From history, from mistakes, from peers, from writings, from you. The most obnoxious example of intellectual superiority is the belief that white Australia cannot learn from Aboriginal Australia. Such a lack of humility is to our detriment and major hurdle to Aboriginal education. For most politicians and all my rabbottians, the condition is rarely , if ever, applied. They, and many of us here, suffer from the intellectual superiority of truth being what they believe instead of the humility of honesty in what is right. What is the difference between our truth of vaccines that eliminated smallpox and rinderpest and have almost eliminated many others versus the astraZ, pfizer et al which neither prevent catching nor spreading the disease? ps what do you believe was the effect of boobby’s caravan on the loss of two labor seats in townesville?
    spot on waltz such questions are important because they can be followed up with theautocuemob in the morning and they will hound the answers from scummo.

  5. GL

    Those who are corrupt to their eyeballs are not going to install a commission that could drag them into the spotlight of scrutiny, public or otherwise.

    “We will have an ICA…quick look over there, China is being naughty again…”

  6. guest

    wam,

    the fact you remember “boobby’s caravan” means something, but in your case it is only that two seats were lost in Queensland.

    But the caravan is still rolling on. Nearly 200 countries have signed for the Paris Agreement, almost the whole world. And only a couple of weeks ago courts ordered three major oil companies [Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron] to make “radical changes to curb their carbon emissions”. (fortune.com, 28/5/2021)

    As for the “astraZ, pfizer et al which neither prevent catching nor spreading the disease”, what is the truth? Are you suggesting that the Covid19 vaccines are not working, whereas other vaccines have eliminated other diseases?

    Only part of the story, wam. Smallpox existed for 3000 years. It was eradicated by a collaborative global vaccination programme led by the WHO, as is happening now with Covid. Last known natural smallpox, Somalia 1977.

    Smallpox exists now only in a laboratory in Atlanta and in Russia. (niaid.nih, 11/12/2014).

    Questions for ScoMo? Do not expect any answers

  7. Old bloke

    Was watching the superb series ‘The Hollow Crown’ recently and it came to mind, how did Shakespeare know that in the 21st century, a country called Australia would have a politician so like his Sir John Falstaff (Henry plays)? Falstaff characteristics: talks incessantly, mostly bullshit, gathers around him sycophants, indulges in the Gish Gallop, never stays on topic but persistently deflects, is a coward (it was Falstaff who uttered the lines ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ after hiding during a battle), who claims the victories of others, who is a thief. Who likes to identify with the great and famous and grovels to them. I would not suggest however that the politician I am thinking of is a debauched as Falstaff, nor a drunkard, but certainly is as corrupt.

    Perhaps the bard was not thinking of this politician but of the the whole cohort of Falstaffs over the centuries that have infested government.

  8. Zathras

    If the ALP was in power any one of those scandals would have had the media screaming and demanding an immediate election – but only if the Libs looked like winning.

    While the chaos is mentioned on social media platforms there is no significant public outrage and journalists don’t seem to be bothered following up on such events. There has been plenty of criticism from the opposition parties but much of it isn’t even widely reported, the media preferring to discuss the messenger rather than the message.

    Perhaps the only thing worse than a corrupt, inept and fiscally irresponsible government is the notion that voters don’t seem to care.

    We’re looking a lot like Trump’s America where much of the population prefers wilful ignorance over substance, and although the need for a Federal ICAC seems popular with many I suspect it can be sidelined without much political effort.

  9. margcal

    Really?
    Not at the ballot box.
    I didn’t notice Abbott’s broken promises doing the Liberals any harm come the following election.
    And the only change I see in the electorate now is that, if anything, they’re even less interested than they were before.

  10. corvusboreus

    The boat for an effective federal anti corruption body has sailed away.
    Shorten approached the subject with shuffles and sidesteps, and Anthony Albanese is even less keen.
    As the years have dragged on, poll by poll, public interest and support has waned (as intended)
    Stop pining for an ICAC, and accept that an insipid NIC or a pathetic FIC are the best you’re gunna get.
    Suck it up plebs, we make our own rules.

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