Bridget McKenzie’s blatant misuse of public money for political purposes should surprise no-one. We have been enabling this behaviour for a long time.
That the excuse is that “no rules were broken” shows just how utterly corrupt the people who make the rules have become.
Even if McKenzie is demoted, it is rarely an impediment.
Look at Stuart Robert, briefly stood down for pretending to represent the government on a private trip to China with a fellow investor and Liberal party donor when he went to secure a mining deal.
Robert has had a plethora of shady dealings aside from that trip – Rolex watches, internet bills, local government elections, tour guide to Israel, elderly parents unaware they were directors of his company, connection to business getting government contracts – the list is seemingly endless, yet Scotty From Marketing promoted him to a senior portfolio regardless as a reward for being his numbers man.
After Jamie Briggs was stood down for sexually harassing a public servant and later sharing her photo, he lost the next election. Not to worry – he was given a job as a director for the government-owned Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited.
In fact, it was reported in 2017 that nine of the fifteen Liberal MPs who lost their seats at the 2016 election had since been handed well-paid government jobs.
Arthur “I can’t recall” Sinodinis stood down during the ICAC hearings, but has now tagged dumped Treasurer Joe “cigar” Hockey for the plum posting of US Ambassador.
Angus Taylor must be thanking the cosmos for Bridget’s bungling but #watergate, #grassgate and #clovergate haven’t gone away. He nevertheless enjoys the confidence of our PM, Scotty From Marketing.
That’s the same PM who interceded to make sure valued-member Craig Kelly remained in government against the wishes of local preselectors and despite everybody except Rowan Dean knowing the guy is a fruitloop.
Sussan Ley was demoted for rorting expenses – all is now forgiven as they need more “skirts” on the front bench.
George Christensen, having spent the majority of his time over the last few years consorting in ‘adult’ clubs in the Philippines, just pays back the money he misspent on domestic flights and comcars to pursue his passion. Well, that’s ok then.
Leaks from J Edgar Tuber’s office to the Murdoch rags, or from veteran union-basher Michaelia Cash to the tv camera crews, are no problem, but whoever leaked that colour-coded sports rort evidence will be hunted down.
Most of us would get sacked if we turned up to work drunk, or used the excuse of sorry I was pissed and fell asleep for missing an important meeting. In parliament, you end up leader of your party – I’m looking at you Tony and Bananababy. They even ask in surveys about political leaders, who would you rather have a beer with, and we are barraged with photos of politicians vying for the title.
(As an aside, one wonders if the new gasfields to be opened up in NSW or the inland rail will increase the value of Bananababy’s ‘farm’ in the Piliga.)
The decline in party membership has made branch-stacking easy as the Mormons in Victoria displayed. The IPA provides a steady stream of aspiring youngish political hopefuls to the ABC panel shows and maybe to Sky too – I don’t bother watching that trash.
The quality of people entering politics, particularly on the conservative side, has plummeted. We are lumbered with inadequate hacks only interested in the gravy train and, as such, willing to do whatever it takes to keep their noses in the trough.
Public servants have been replaced by political staffers as advisers. These staffers often go on to become MPs themselves – it’s a career path where rocking the boat is not recommended. Consultants provide the answers the government wants. Lobbyists pay for access and dictate policy.
And the whole time this rorting has been getting further and further entrenched, our ability to do anything about it, is being eroded.
We can’t strike. We can’t protest. We can’t find out (or publish) the truth despite having freedom of information laws.
We can’t change the rules about politicians’ expense claims, or political donations, or election funding and spending.
When we demand a corruption watchdog, we are offered something that would have no power to investigate any of the “within the rules” wrongdoing that has become entrenched.
The Auditor-General even found that the Liberal Party’s money-laundering scheme, Parakeelia, which funnels millions of dollars of public money directly to the Liberal party coffers, was not in breach of electoral and parliamentary rules.
Deregulation, privatisation and ‘flexible workplaces’ have given a green light to businesses to reap profits at the expense of services, workers, and the environment
What hope have we got when the rorters make the rules?
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