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Without transparency, corruption flourishes

Scott Morrison played on the general ignorance, as regards politics, of many members of the public, when he performed a one-man-band election campaign in 2019.

A closer inspection of his message would have revealed no policy promises, except for cutting taxes. For the unthinking, that sounds like a good idea.

For the more thoughtful, it raises questions as to which services will be no longer available if the government has insufficient income – from taxes – to fund them?

By contrast, the ALP had developed a whole series of policies, some of which were well thought-out and worthwhile, but most of which were quite complex, and were largely aimed at restoring some semblance of equality to the general population.

It cannot have gone unnoticed, that the gap between the rich and the poor has become a chasm. Regular use of ‘average’ incomes instead of ‘median’ incomes has blurred the picture and created a totally false picture of the extent to which the rich are getting richer.

Check this out! Given the Prime Minister’s situation, how well to you think he understands what the people for whom he governs have to cope with?

And that was before COVID-19 and the massive range of job losses and consequent loss of income.

When I studied law, late in life, I was advised that, if I planned to engage in criminal law, it was important to work both as a prosecutor and for the defence.

That way, I was advised, I would learn to predict the arguments which would be raised by the other side, and be prepared with a stronger case for my side.

The same message would, no doubt, apply to members of a debating team, because your opponents will wax as eloquent as your team for their side of the argument, so you must be prepared to pre-empt and counter their arguments.

Like law, our political system is adversarial.

The ALP was too certain that its policies had merit, and failed to prepare for the extent to which they would be subjected to criticism – and was even less well prepared to counter the lies.

Unless you have a population which is well-educated in political theories – which Australia, and most other so-called democracies, are not – then a scare campaign is pretty certain to be effective.

One exception is possibly when it is run by Clive Palmer at a State level!

His ‘death taxes’ stunt in 2019 did a lot of damage to Labor at a Federal level, but he was ill-advised to think it would work again in Queensland, in the just-run October state election, and he has paid the price for his poor judgment.

The level of support for Daniel Andrews in Victoria, and for Annastacia Pałaszczuk in Queensland, has highlighted the desperate need for people to feel that their leaders in a crisis need to have their best interests at heart.

And, as a broad generalisation, Labor governments are more likely to be perceived as being there for the have-nots

Just as strict parents are often later thanked by their post-teenage children, so voters can recognise when unpleasant policies are actually being developed in their best interests.

The USA, Brazil, India and now Europe, are demonstrating clearly that premature efforts to get ‘back’ to what used to be normal commerce, is liable to be totally counterproductive.

Possibly linked to his ability to be an ardent adherent of a very un-Christian cult, Morrison is blindly addicted to worshipping the ‘economy’ and subjugating the needs of members of the population to those of the leaders of business and industry.

Yes – people need jobs – and many are now out of work because of government policies, designed to reduce the spreading of infection. The concept was good, but the range and duration of support has been woefully lacking.

And in all this, evidence of corruption and lack of transparency keeps raising its ugly head!

Before the pandemic took hold, Morrison was fighting accusations that he had colluded with Bridget McKenzie in the Sports Rorts affair.

 

Image from Independent Australia (Via YouTube)

 

Even greater discrimination in selecting recipients for the award of community development grants has also been exposed.

Regular audit reports of Border Force have noted an alarming level of failure to apply correct procedures and contain costs.

Just recently, senior personnel in ASIC have resigned or stood aside over expenses claims which have not stood the test of scrutiny.

And of course there was that land which might be needed for the extensions of Sydney airport – assuming planes will be flying in sufficient numbers in some distant future!

When you add that the Audit Office is being subject to reduction in funding, one is left wondering what other evidence of lack of transparency, maladministration or outright corruption is being concealed from view because of ANAO’s lack of funds to audit departments thoroughly.

I know, from living through all the rationing and restrictions imposed on UK citizens to support the war effort in WWII, that if there is a serious national threat, people will accept limitations on their behaviour in order to ensure the threat is properly dealt with.

Pressure from Morrison, for restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible, to enable the economy to recover ASAP, were very ill-judged.

We only now have to look at those countries mentioned earlier to realise that responding to that pressure merely delays the desired outcome, putting lives at risk in the process.

Many of the Australian deaths have been of elderly people who were supposed to be being cared for in their twilight years – only it turns out that the conditions which should have applied to their circumstances were ignored under the Coalition government.

Many Aged Care Homes employed no trained nurses.

Care staff, trained to a very basic level, were so poorly paid that they needed at least two jobs to get a sufficient income.

Ratios of staff to residents were not defined for the most part and certainly were not appropriate.

Decisions about sending residents to hospital were not made appropriately.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg of problems.

Running a caring service will never be cheap, and if it is run by a for profit body, funds that should go into the caring service will, inevitably, go instead into the pockets of the shareholders. In fact there is evidence that extra monies given by the Commonwealth government to aged care homes were immediately diverted into increased dividends.

Are government Ministers really so stupid as to not see this?

On another front, in families with children, it is most often the mothers who have to make suitable arrangements for childcare if they are going to be able to work.

For a short time, early in the pandemic, the government provided free childcare.

But that was the first benefit to go in the Coalition’s drive to ‘snap back’, and the situation as regards childcare accessibility has spiralled downwards ever since.

Morrison’s wife has choices which the majority of mothers do not share.

I wonder if she has made any attempt to explain to her husband the desperate plight of many working mothers – always assuming she has any understanding of their situation.

He seems to be totally blinded by ideology, and gets photo ops showing him building a cubby house or a chicken coop, in order to prove that he is a just an ordinary, down to earth Daggy Dad who understands what life is like for the rest of us.

I wonder how much time Daniel Andrews had for family matters over these last few months?

From what I have seen and heard of her, he is blessed with a wife who truly understands the mammoth task her partner had to shoulder, and she provided him with all the support he needed to cope.

In fact – what the hell was the PM doing, getting up to these antics, when there were still desperately important issues to be resolved?

Looking back at Morrison’s early career clarifies his desire for power doing whatever it takes. If you missed this, read it and ask – who who would have been the more honourable candidate?

We should not take it for granted that politicians cannot be trusted!

In fact it says little for us that we let it continue.

Incidentally – who owns Australia Post?

We do – and its employees are Public Servants, bound by Public Service rules!

We need to rid the governments of this country of corruption – which will not be an overnight task!

As individuals, there are clear limits to what we can achieve.

As a group, we have power – which we must use!

What do we want?

ICAC!!

How do we want it!

With real teeth!

When do we want it?

NOW!!

 

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Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

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8 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    When you consider the candidates being offered to the electorates in the USA, the UK and Australia in the next elections in those countries, there seems little incentive to vote. Unless I am offered a decent incorruptible independent at the next SA and federal elections, I will simply spoil my card. I do not have any enthusiasm for the ALP in either sphere.

  2. Lambchop Simnel

    Yes, it is what political scientists call “repressive tolerance”.

    Not guns and batons, just a gradual wearing down of democratic institutions and people and the morale of people who believe in democracy.

  3. George Swalwell

    Great to read your pertinent and perceptive comments again – I always enjoy reading them. Self-serving politicians get well-deserved demolitions! One suggestion: Your double-negative sentence towards the end of today’s column is perhaps the opposite of what you intended: “We should not take it for granted that politicians cannot be trusted!”

  4. Phil Pryor

    What a slurry of sluts, slags, slimes and slavery promoters the conservatives are, a plantation for you to get any work, cycling for fat food, crook products and of course, no decent pay or conditions as the arsehole donors and corporate patrons desire. Corporate oppression is a crime but is protected by laws, bought from rented pollies and established to make such crime appear legal. Take commercial T V, (please, and flush it down the dunny) with its brainless, incessant, childish, brainwashing messages for the crippled cranium, with cartoon figures, fantasy suggestion, lying insinuation, utter shameless dogmatic disonesty, is there any wonder the people are dills?? This is a world deliberately crafted into a hard labour plantation to profit, to oppress, crush the ordinary people, outsiders.

  5. RosemaryJ36

    George Swalwell – I actually meant what I said. For us to be in a position of taking it for granted that we are unable to trust politicians is highly undesirable.

  6. Geoff Andrews

    I believe George is correct, Rosemary.
    I shall assert, “politicians can’t be trusted”
    If you respond, “We should not take that statement for granted”, you are, in effect, saying “politicians can be trusted”.
    Your defence at 12.02am makes sense if you change “undesirable” to “desirable”.
    Tricky things, double negatives – I cannot disagree that you are wrong, though!

  7. Michael Taylor

    Just noticed in the photo of McKenzie that she’s holding a cheque for the Blackwood Football Club. Dang, that’s the Adelaide team I played for for nine years (a lifetime ago).

  8. Watchdog

    Rosemary, my understanding is that Australia Post is one of the many Australian Government “beneficiary industries”. They are given Corporation status, controlled by the shareholders, but run by the private sector. In this case, one Shareholder (Australian Government), and Private Corporate Management.
    Both political parties have been pushing this agenda, especially in trying to adopt a similar model onto the numerous Local Government’s. The CCC cannot initiate investigation’s into private businesses and therefore we have witnessed strong growth in partnership’s with “non profit associations” advising and obfuscating policy on behalf of the public sector. (rent seeking organisations).

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